I remember getting ready to come to college and everybody saying, “You’re going to change so much during your first year of college.” And I remember buying into that, and anticipating the changes that would happen to me over the next 8 months. Well, sike, they were all lying. You’re gonna come to college, you’re gonna meet some friends and go to class and eat food and generally do all of the same things you did in high school. So don’t get your hopes up, because college is basically high school but now you have to call your dad rather than go down to the office and talk to him. But despite the fact that, overall, life isn’t that much different, there are a few things I think you should know.
- Get ready to not be the top of your class anymore. And get ready to be ok with that. You don’t need to be number 1 to be successful and go on to grad school.
- Speaking of grad school, drop the surgeon plan, that’s just flat out a bad idea and solely based on Grey’s Anatomy.
- Eat less cereal and more fruit.
- Come out of the closet, it’s a good time.
- Don’t walk through the Arb at night with Dilara and Daniel. It’ll do bad things for your heart rate.
- Appreciate every second you spend here at college, even when you’re considering transferring because this place can be terrifying. You only get to experience it once.
- Take care of yourself. Love yourself. Be happy with yourself.
It’s been real umich.
As someone who has used umich’s mental health services before, I feel like they provide great resources for students to use. However, I don’t know if umich does a great job at preventing students from having to use them in the first place. Obviously college is supposed to be stressful, but the pressure to excel in school and extracurriculars and social life and find internships and prepare for your future career can be daunting and quickly catch up to you. I think the university does a great job at staffing their centers well to make sure that we are receiving the best care possible. However, even though CAPS is often advertised, not many people come out and say they have used their services, making students feel like it’s a place not many people actually go to.
I think something that affects students’ mental health a lot outside of campus, at least for me, is the expectations from back home. To get into umich, you obviously did well in school, and you want to keep that up, and your family and friends and teachers all expect you to do well. The last thing anyone wants to do is go back home and not have excelled here at Michigan. This pressure, on top of everything we feel on campus, just adds to our stress and can impact our mental health. I think one way to combat this is to make sure you have a strong support system here on campus, whether that’s friends, RAs, professors, coworkers, or mental health professionals. Whoever it is, having someone you can go to with your worries can do miracles for your mental health. Overall, I think the best way to make sure students are in their best mental state is to work to get rid of the stigma that surrounds mental health. As students, I feel like we are expected to handle everything just fine, but the truth of the matter is that we’re dealing with a lot, and it’s important that we take a step back and check in on ourselves. The more people realize that being healthy mentally is just as important as being healthy physically, the more successful we will be as students, and the more we will enjoy our time here at Michigan.
Before I left for college, everyone told me, “you’ll come back from your semester a completely different person.” As someone who doesn’t like others to make assumptions about them (as I think most teenagers are), I adamantly denied that I would be any different come December. Well, it’s December now and I hate to say it, but they were all right; I am a totally different person than the one who started school in September. I am now much more aware of what I want my life to look like, the people I want to surround myself, and the values that are important to me. In September, I was closeted, and now I am out and so comfortable and happy in my own skin, something that never could have happened at home. I have always considered myself a studious person, but Michigan has really taught me how to prioritize and how I learn best.
When I look back over the past three months, I am most proud of the relationships that I have made. HSSP has been the most amazing community that I ever could have asked for. I can’t even keep track of how many people I have in my life now that support and care for me. I had the same friends all throughout middle and high school, so having to come here, to an unfamiliar environment, and create a whole new circle of friends was very intimidating. But I’ve learned over the past semester that by putting myself outside of my comfort zone, I’ve created the best experiences and relationships.
Every semester, about half way through, I always hit a slump where I have no motivation to do the work and my grades drop slightly. Knowing this, next semester I am really going to fight against this and power through to get the grades I know I can.
Reading through my letter that I wrote at the beginning of the semester, it’s almost like I wrote it yesterday. I was nervous about my classes, which I still am for next semester. I was worried about making friends, and it’s still tough to make sure I make time to spend time with those close to me while still trying to balance academics and extracurriculars. The thing in my letter that stuck out to me the most was the sense of terror in it. My first sentence reads, “I am so absolutely terrified right now, I miss my dad, and I want to go home because this is not the place for me.” And I still feel that terror sometimes; and I still miss my dad and siblings, a lot. But I know that I have a family here in HSSP and that they’ll support me in everything I do.
I think the main thing in Obama’s JAMA article that surprised me was how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an impact in more areas than just health care costs and the number of people insured. With the ACA, more money has been put towards antifraud efforts, to make sure those that receive Medicare/Medicaid need it. In addition, the number of people that got additional illnesses in the hospital has gone down by 17% in the past four years. This has prevented roughly 87,000 deaths over the past 4 years, which is mind-boggling to me. Also, fewer Medicare patients are being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge, going down from 19.1% to 17.8%. This meant about 565,000 fewer readmissions in the past five years.
I looked at Clinton and Trump’s health care plans side-by-side, and a few things definitely worried me. As a woman, the biggest thing is the fact that Trump wants to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that helps millions of women receive health care. They do so much more than abortions, and he wants to shut them down. As someone who could very well need their services some day, it scares me to think that Planned Parenthood might not be there for me. In addition, Trump opposes abortion, especially late-term abortion. It’s been proven time and time again that legalizing abortions did not increase the amount of abortions women had, but decreased the amount of deaths and illnesses from getting an abortion. I adamantly believe that no one, especially not a man who has never, and will never, have to deal with a pregnancy and everything that goes along with it, has the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. If abortions become illegal, or become harder to access, you can expect the number of complications due to unsafe abortions to increase.
The first thing that I think needs to be improved in the health care system is the cost of health insurance and health care. These costs have not decreased, rather just increased at a slower rate. There are still so many people without insurance, mainly because it is still so expensive. We need to find a way to make these services more affordable. The second thing that I think needs to be improved is the cost of drug prescriptions. There is little regulation on drug costs, which lead to the outrageous price hike of the life-saving epipen. Families should not have to worry about affording drugs and services that are essential to them leading a healthy and happy life