In Case of the Emergency of Lice – College Edition

In Case of the Emergency of Lice – College Edition

Better to be safe than sorry is the motto
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I know, the first thing you may have done when you read the word “lice” is cringe or start scratching yourself out of paranoia. If you didn’t, then you either have been through the whole, draining ordeal that is lice infestation or you are just one of the odd ones out.

Wait, isn’t lice infestation something that is only supposed to happen to kids? Sadly not. It is the most common with children, yes, but it can still happen anyone. College dorms and housing can also be culprits. Between sharing beds, that couch that is always passed down, and/or sharing hair brushes, hats and towels, there are ways you might catch lice at some point if at all during your college career. It can happen to anybody, even if it may not be likely to happen to you.

The reason why I am writing this article that is making your paranoia rise is that my roommate and I had a lice scare last week. In the case of a lice emergency, it’s very likely to panic and Google what you might be able to do. Sometimes Google doesn’t do you justice during your state of panic, and then your Resident Advisor(s) don’t/doesn’t have a policy or action plan to deal with students with lice. So after my week of paranoia and research, I feel like I can actually be helpful and help direct you in how to go about this terrible situation that you may be in.

Do you think you have head lice? These are the signs you need to check off:

  • Your scalp itches like crazy and you can't stop scratching
  • Small, red bumps on the scalp, neck, and shoulders (bumps may become crusty and ooze)
  • Tiny white specks (eggs, or nits) on the bottom of each hair those are hard to get off. This is the main factor on deciding whether you have lice or if it’s just dandruff (this is what got my roommate and I): dandruff is dry, flaky skin from your scalp and it comes off when you brush it out. Nits stick to your hair like glue and takes way more effort to get them off/out.

If you think you check out for head lice, take a couple of deep breaths and keep on reading.

Please note that I go to a University in the city and I live in the dorm system. I recommend you alter these procedures to your situation.

1.Call your RA. I know at least at my school, in every hall there is an RA on Duty at all times. Call them, tell them your situation and ask what you should do. If they have a policy/action plan for you, follow that.

2. Depending on what time of day it is, go to the school’s health center/nurse and get checked out immediately. If you go to them during the hours that they are open and you check out for lice, they will give you further instructions from there.

3. It’s the middle of the night, what am I supposed to do? You can do a couple of things: a) if you’re paranoia isn’t that terrible, you can attempt to sleep through the night and go to your school’s health center first thing in the morning. Or b) Get to work on fixing the (potential) problem: put your hair up (if it is long enough), strip all your bedding, throw all your hats and possibly infected clothes and fabrics in the wash on high heat and then in the hot dryer as well.

While that’s going, go to the nearest convenience or drug store in search of lice killing shampoo and a special comb (that will usually come with the lice killing shampoo). Follow the instructions on the lice killing shampoo and go through the whole process. Warning: the longer the hair, the worse the process will be.

4. While the shampoo sits in your hair, if you are able to, disinfect and clean everything. No matter what, you will need to disinfect and clean everything. The easiest way to do this is with disinfecting wipes. Wipe down everything. If you haven’t thrown your comb/hair brush out yet, soak it in anti-lice shampoo, disinfectant or rubbing alcohol for an hour. Put clothes and fabric items that cannot be washed in a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks before dry-cleaning them. Vacuum your floor (for any hairs that may found its way to the floor).

5. Visit a doctor or your health center first thing in the morning. Tell them what happened, what the situation is and what you have done so far in terms of clean up and disinfection. Even if it may not have been lice at all, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

ALL of your roommates should get checked out for lice, even if they do not think they have any. If you are not sure if you have lice or not, go get checked out by a doctor immediately. When it comes to lice, or the possibility of lice, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For further information and help, please check out these links:

https://www.virginiamason.org/body.cfm?id=1215&action=detail&aearticleid=000840&aeproductid=adam2004_117

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/

Cover Image Credit: www.123rf.com

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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You Should Treat Your Body With Kindness

Your health should be your first priority.

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I've learned that at the end of the day, you have to love yourself more than anyone else does. Your body will be either you for the rest of your life and you haven't to treat it kindly.

Things can get difficult as we grow up, and we can often be led to neglect our bodies or to treat them badly. You may be wondering what exactly I mean by badly.

The smallest things we do that can harm our bodies can lead to major consequences. Not drinking enough water is a big one, especially for me. I usually go about my day, forgetting I even need to drink water to survive, and this has led me to become dehydrated a few times. Being dehydrated is horrible for your body and can lead to many serious life-altering complications. You do not want to end up in the hospital needing an IV because you forgot to drink water. Drink water; this is an example of self-care.

Not eating enough can be very damaging. Have you ever been so busy and stressed studying for an exam, running home to make flashcards, then running back to the library to study with your classmates? Have you ever been so caught up with studying that you passed up time to eat or forgot to eat because you didn't feel hungry from the stress? If you have, you are probably a college student. I can tell you that this has happened to me and the end result wasn't good. I was too hungry to study and didn't retain information well. When I finally found time to eat, my stomach started to hurt because I had spent so much time without food. Eat well and regularly; this is an example of self-care.

Not getting enough sleep can cause you to feel like you're not even present the next day. Pulling all-nighters has never been something I've done or wanted to do, but I do stay up late way too often. I never realized how much getting a full 8 hours of sleep would benefit my health and well-being the next day. I've gone days with sleeping little and not being as productive as I would have liked to be because I didn't have the energy to do anything at all. Sleep the required hours; this is an example of self-care.

Drinking water, eating regularly, and sleeping are all seemingly simple and obvious things people should do, so why do we neglect them so often? No grade is more important than your health. If you neglect your basic needs, your grades are sure to suffer. Taking care of your health means that you love your body and want it to carry you through the rest of your life. Remember, you only have one body, so treat it with kindness.

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