Just because someone is young doesn’t mean they can’t be stricken with some serious and relatively common health issues. College campuses in particular offer a unique environment for certain health issues to develop.
This means educators, students and their parents all need to be knowledgeable of college-centric health problems. Be wary of these three health issues that are common on college campuses and take the necessary steps to avoid them.
Alcohol and Drugs
Suddenly away from home and the watchful eyes of their parents, many college students might party in excess or try harmful substances. This can be because they are curious themselves, aren’t armed with the necessary knowledge of how these substances will affect them or peer pressure might take hold.
For many students, the use of alcohol or drugs is illegal, and even if they are not, overuse is a considerable problem. Students can take precautionary measures, such as having designated drivers or using taxis or ridesharing services. Parents can help prevent drug and alcohol use/abuse by being frank with their teenagers on these subjects, and arming them with knowledge.
Emotional disorders and mental illnesses are common among college students. These can include depression, stress and anxiety. It is easy for these conditions to develop among college-age students because of the enormous pressures college can place on anyone. Depression can get severe due to homesickness or other feelings of inadequacy when compared to peers.
Emotional disorders, while not always easily seen from the outside, are nonetheless just as serious as a physical ailment. If untreated, they can lead to decreased quality of life or even suicide.
Meningitis is a notorious condition that can strike and kill college students very quickly. There are different types of meningitis, but they are all infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms are typically flu-like in nature, but progress quickly and can even cause death within 24 hours in around 15% of cases.
It is generally recommended that incoming college students get the meningitis vaccination, and in many states it is even required. Being aware of the symptoms and seeking help promptly if you start displaying them is also imperative to prevent this condition.
Basic diseases as well, such as the common cold and flu, can spread easily on college campuses due to so many people in small enclosed spaces. Because of this, students must be more vigilant than usual and take necessary preventative measures.
It’s important they find good healthcare professionals where they are studying, and ensure these people have quality education and training like a doctorate in nursing. Students should also develop health habits like practicing good hygiene techniques, self-care and taking vaccines, when available. Students that do this have a much better chance of avoiding the pervasive college campus health issues outlined above.
Special thanks to Hannah Whittenly for providing us with this article. Hannah is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can follow Hannah on Twitter.