Now that school is about to start, we’re having those anxiety nightmares about all the things that can go wrong in college. You know the type: You get lost finding an ICC classroom on the first day even though you had a class there last year. GUPD or SNAPS shuts down your Labor Day weekend darty. Your best friend texts you about her pregnancy scare while you’re in line for your first Hot Chick sandwich of the semester.
Many of these fears are unfounded, and some are even preventable. A big part of adulting is assessing the potential for these problems and doing what you can to manage them when they arise. Getting sick is a very real and inevitable wrench that will be thrown into your college experience at some point or another.
Everyone will get a cold or the flu during their time on the Hilltop, despite the best laid plans of Student Health’s free flu shot initiative. We live in a cesspool of foreign bacteria festering in the black mold of our Henle kitchens. Our immune systems are ill-equipped to handle living in close proximity to so many people; our bodies are at a loss for what to do in this new confusing situation, much like we were when we skipped a “Problem of God” reading.
But some health problems can’t be solved by a bottle of Nyquil you bought from Vital Vittles, even though they charge, like, $40. As much as we want to ignore our concerns until they go away, not dealing with health problems is a surefire way to be out of commission for the other essential parts of adulting, too. You can’t sneeze if you’re passed out on Benadryl, and you can’t pass your Maps final either.
Put another way (and this is a true story): It’s both difficult and ironic to write a column about taking care of your health like an adult while you’re recovering from anaphylactic shock brought on by eating a banana nut muffin. So, maybe, if you know you’re allergic to walnuts, take it seriously and don’t just “pick them out” because you’re really craving some potassium.
It’s important to assess the severity of your situation, whether you have a pre-existing ailment or are just beginning to be under the weather. Feeling a little lonely post-NSO is normal, but more than 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin before you’re 24. “The freshman 15” is normal, too, but thousands of Americans also develop conditions like prediabetes as young adults. While your friend who texted you about her scare while you were reacquainting yourself with the regular cooks at Wisey’s is probably not pregnant, she might need to have a frank conversation about her reproductive health decisions.
Luckily, here at Georgetown you can interact with doctors more closely than just standing in line at Epicurean together. Our MedStar campus isn’t just an emergency room — they have specialists ranging from gynecology to addiction services to endocrinology, so definitely check to see if they take your health insurance. CAPS is just $10 a session, and they have services from long-term therapy to 1-3 session problem solving. The watchful eyes of John Carroll can’t stop you from purchasing contraception at the CVS on Wisconsin Avenue.
And we get that, for a lot of you, calling to make doctor’s appointments without a parent is just as scary as braving late-night Leo’s alone or visiting a Darnall trash room. Do I have to know whether they take my insurance? Do I have to bring other medical records? Those “haven’t-done-my-Problem-of-God-reading” feels come rushing back, and quickly. Here’s the thing, though: Being embarrassed you know nothing about deductibles is probably better than whatever’s motivating you to call in the first place. If you feel like you need help, don’t let 10 minutes of feeling clueless stand in your way of living your best — or least-diseased — life.
There are also low-cost steps you can take to improve your health that don’t involve a doctor at all. You’re paying for Yates anyway, and exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental health, though we understand the cumbersome mental roadblock that is the hill leading to up our hallowed field house. There’s no reason to skip Chicken Finger Thursday, but you can also take advantage of Hoya Hospitality’s registered dietician to talk about some healthy options for you. As previously noted, you can get your flu shot for free on campus, and Health Education Services also has experts you can talk to at no charge.
To our loyal “Adventures in Adulting” readers, our final advice for you is basically this: Don’t stand in your own way. Being an adult is absolutely making it up as you go along, but good health is a prerequisite for faking it ‘til you make it, so take it as seriously as you take getting to First Bake on time.
Finally, here’s to all the Hoyas trying to make this adulting thing work, we’ll be rooting for you! Catch us on campus as we stumble our way through senior year.