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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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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If I Could, I'd Start Running And Not Stop Until I Got To Kenya ​

The high altitudes of this east African country make conditions ideal for any runner looking to excel.

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If you're into running like me, then it's no secret where the best runners in the world come from. The African country of Kenya is home to some of the greatest runners to ever step foot on planet earth. Phenomenal talent emerges from Kenya year after year. Records get shattered as if they were minor accomplishments. Most of the talent goes unnoticed until the Olympic games roll around and get showcased to the world.

Kenya is a place I've always wanted to visit. Many of my running idols either live or train in Kenya. I'm talking about some world record holding athletes. Like Eliud Kipchoge, for example, who recently broke the world record for the fastest marathon ever. He trains every day alongside other world-class runners on the NN Running Team.

I constantly see athletes post on social media about their experiences while they training in Kenya. I think I would enjoy getting to know the culture. Life as a runner in Kenya looks like a lot of fun. The trails and roads look fascinating. There are always other runners striving to push one another towards their highest potential.

One big reason why I'd want to visit Kenya is that life seems so calm and simple. I wouldn't be caught up in the trends of society that resides while living in the United States. At times I feel overwhelmed and depressed from what goes on in the USA. I feel like there is a constant theme of people trying to outdo one another.

It's annoying because we are all the same and nothing should separate us, Sometimes I just want to get away from all that. I'd rather live out like a hermit and pave my own path in the vast open lands of eastern Africa. I admire the closeness of people in tribes and group settings in Kenya. People seem to be bonded tightly and enjoy the precious moments of life.

From what I read about Kenyan athletes, it sounds like I'd enjoy my time in the country. I would get to train with like-minded individuals day in and day out. The scenery would be incredible and breathtaking. There's just something about Kenya that gravitates me towards it. I've got it on my bucket list to accomplish at some point in my life.

Maybe my running ties could lead me to this place someday. Who knows, I'm just going to keep running until I can't anymore.

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