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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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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4 Things To Do When You're In A Depressive Episode

Even if you don't have any plans besides staying home all day in a depressive puddle, doing these two small things helps put me into a more productive mindset.
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Depressive episodes are debilitating, to say the least. They come when you least expect them and gnaw at your mind, leaving you numb.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I have the tendency to go through depressive episodes. These episodes generally last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. They usually happen for no particular reason, with no warning.

And there's not really that much to be done in terms of curing it. It's more about just getting through it.

Since we are nearing the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought I'd give my advice on little things you can do when you're in a spot of depression.

Every person's mental health experience is different, so what helps me might not help you. Also, this advice is dealing with short-term depressive episodes, not chronic depression.

Here are four things that help me cope with depressive episodes.

1. Get dressed and make your bed.

Even if you don't have any plans besides staying home all day in a depressive puddle, doing these two small things helps put me into a more productive mindset.

Realizing I've been in my room all day, with blankets, snacks, and my laptop just thrown across the bed and myself still dressed in pajama pants at 5 p.m. usually makes me feel worse. It makes me feel like I'm just wasting away in my room rather than doing something with my life.

Getting dressed and making my bed sets me up for a more productive day.

2. Watch a feel-good movie or TV show.

My go-to's are usually the movie "Mamma Mia" and the TV show "Psych."

Saying laughing can cure depression would be completely ridiculous, but laughing does make it more bearable. Watching something funny and uplifting helps remove you from the despair that you feel like your life's currently in and reminds you it's not all bad.

3. Dive into your work.

Whether it's school or a job (or both), ignoring your responsibilities can make you feel worse in the long run, since it adds more stress on to you in the future. Also, working on something else can serve as a distraction.

Yes, it is harder to focus when depressed, but you need to push through it and force yourself sometimes so that you don't let this disease impact your day-to-day life.

4. Don't think too much about why you're depressed.

Questioning why you feel the way you do is best left in therapy.

Asking yourself things like "What caused this?", "Why did my mood suddenly shift?", and "Was it because of so-and-so?" can lead to really destructive thought spirals.

These thought spirals could lead you to believe that something that definitely didn't cause your depression in fact has.

It's easier to accept that sometimes mental health problems come without any kind of warning.

Don't focus too much on the "why" of it. Getting through it should be your main priority.

Instead, focus on how you will get better eventually. Even if it seems impossible at the moment, you will feel good again.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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