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Visiting Your Student Health Center

November 8th, 2010

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College can definitely take its toll on your body. When you aren't nursing a massive hangover, you're loading up on caffeine, pulling an all-nighter before a big exam. It doesn't help that you may not be as physically active as you were in high school, and no longer is mom cooking every meal for you. Your poor student diet consists of lots of pizza and fast food, which affects your ability to maintain a clear mind. Dealing with the stress of new academic expectations, living on your own and homesickness can drive almost any college student mad. Plus, living in a nasty environment like a dorm room — which features communal bathrooms — increases your chances of getting sick.

College isn't the healthiest of times, and most students fail to take the appropriate measures in order to deal with their physical and psychological problems. This could be due in part to the simple fact that many don't take advantage of the services offered by their school's student health center, even though they pay for it on their fee bill (if they're enrolled full-time) before each semester. Additional fees that could come per visit, including the prescription of medication, vary from school to school, but all-in-all, it's an inexpensive service.

If you’re looking to visit the student health center, peruse your school's website and familiarize yourself with everything it offers. In many cases, they provide allergy and immunization injections, meningitis vaccinations, women's health services and mental health services — the latter of which includes help with anxiety, depression, self-esteem problems, eating disorders and other difficult issues you may deal with each day. Student health centers are obligated by law to keep student information confidential, so you don't have to worry about anyone else knowing about your visit. Typically, at least one working pharmacist is present, filling and refilling prescriptions as needed.

There's no reason to go through college without receiving the proper health care, especially when it's conveniently offered right under your nose. More likely than not, you'll discover the doctors are friendly and happy to work with students, making an otherwise unpleasant experience worthwhile.

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