If I could travel back to the beginning of freshman year, I would tell myself to be more social and focus more on my mental health. For as long as I can remember I have found a group of friends I get really close to and I usually stay within that group. I realize now that I need to branch out more to become exposed to the diversity of people. This is also important if I am to learn the art of networking. Nobody can get anywhere on their own so it is important that people are able to network and be able to ask for help or support whenever it is needed. It would also be nice just to know a lot more people that I can share experiences with. I would also have told myself to start meditating earlier in the school year. Meditating helps me keep peace of mind and I think that it would have been very helpful if I had begun meditating sooner rather than later. I also should have taken more time to do things that I enjoy such as reading and drawing so that I was not always so focused on school work. It is a healthy mental practice to be able to take a break from work that can be strenuous on the mind or cause stress.
During our discussion I was very surprised to hear all the diverse ways in which students received sex education. Initially, I assumed that most people had received an abstinence only education. There was a good mix of people who got a more comprehensive understanding of the topic and a lot of students who received abstinence only education. Some students did not learn anything at all about sex within school, which I thought was ridiculous seeing as sexual health is just as important as any other form of health. Sexual health is important because it teaches us how to take better care of ourselves and to be conscious of our reproductive health. If students are not taught to be aware of their bodies, then they could potentially end up getting an STI, cervical cancer, or many other illnesses. In order to improve sexual health, I believe we should steer away from abstinence only education and focus in on ways in which we can be more proactive during sex in order to reduce the risk of disease. That is not to say that we should not talk about abstinence at all—I just believe that it should not be the focal topic of sex education. I also think that we need to implement all sectors of sexuality into sex education considering most of it focuses in on heterosexual couples. How would you guys try to improve sexual health? Would you try to alter abstinence only education or get rid of it altogether?
This semester I have learned to become a more responsible student. In my letter I said that I wanted to work on my procrastination skills and I have slowly been improving, though the bad habit has not been dropped completely. As far as professionally, I believe the HSSP observations have opened my eyes to careers that I would not have otherwise considered being interested in. I now have a better grasp on what to expect when in the health care system and I have gotten more experience on actually being in a professional health care field. I am proud that I have been able to get through all of my classes without failing anything. I have been trying my best to stay on top of my work and it seems to be paying off so far. I am most disappointed with my physical health, however. I wanted to start eating healthier and exercising more but I have not been able to get out and exercise as much as I would like to. I have improved on my diet but in order to have a healthy mind, I need to work more on having a healthy body. This also includes getting more sleep which can be hard to come by for us college students. I will continue to approve on these points, however.
The 2016 Presidential Election is only a couple of days away and it is important for HSSPers, as possible voters or as residents of the United States, to become aware of what each candidate can give to our country. I believe that one of Hillary Clinton’s plan strengths is her defense and expansion of the Affordable Care Act. Since this is the health care system we are using presently, Clinton would not have to make major changes to the health care system and there would not be as much confusion around the idea of health policies. Starting over, in terms of health care, could cause confusion and chaos seeing as Donald Trump’s idea of ditching the ACA would create new health policies entirely. One of Clinton’s flaws is her plan to decrease out-of-pocket costs. Hundreds of millions of dollars are already spent on Medicare and Medicaid expenses; therefore, lowing out-of-pocket costs may be harder on American economy. Tax raises may be implemented in order to keep up with the lowering of costs.
Strengths of Donald Trump’s policies include his enforcement of price transparency from providers and health insurance sales across state lines. Price transparency would allow for honest pricing and estimating while allowing customers to “shop around” for their health insurance. If sales were to occur across state line, competition would increase between companies and prices would be lower. A flaw in Donald Trump’s plan is the implementation of health savings accounts. Health savings accounts allow users to save money tax-free for medical costs but the money that is not used within a yearly period would go towards government funding.
To my fellow HSSPers, how do you think Clinton would make up for the government money being lost toward out-of-pocket costs? Would you care if your money was taken away at the end of the year if you did not use it for medical expenses? What do you think are Clinton and Trump’s worst plan flaws?