Back To School For Young WomenSep 24, 2013
Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones: Back to School. Young women going to college or leaving home and what to bring, what you should know about yourself, where to get healthcare, and the biggest threat to your health. This is Dr. Kirtly Jones from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah Healthcare and this is The Scope.
Announcer: Medical news and research from University of Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You're listening to The Scope.
Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones: Forty years ago, when I went off to college, my mother said if I got pregnant, don't come home. My father gave me condoms and said if I got pregnant, come home. My doctor said don't have sex. I was only 30 miles from home, but it was far away. Leaving home is a big deal. Your parents could be very happy, or very sad, or, more likely, a combination of the two. Today on The Scope, we'll be talking about how women should get ready to go off to college or move away from home. What should you have in your health suitcase?
Number one, your medical records. You should know what illnesses you've been treated for, what medications you take, what surgeries you've had in the past, what are your normal menstrual cycles like, because they often change when you go off to school.
Two, your vaccinations. Hepatitis, meningitis, TDAP, HPV, all these initials and words are for diseases that are more common when adolescents, when young people, live, play, and have sex together. If you haven't been vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you've been vaccinated, get your mom or your parents to get you proof so you bring it with you where you go.
Number three, know where you can get affordable and reliable healthcare. Get a copy of your health insurance card, find out where you're going to be getting it, and put that number in your phone.
Four, going off to college is a time for young love and I'm a fan of young love as long as you're protected against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It's also a time to party and dance. Parties mean alcohol, and parties sometimes mean sex. But, I don't want to sound like your mother, but bad things happen when sex and alcohol go together. Alcohol is not a girl's best friend; diamonds are, right?
Women make very bad decisions when they drink or have decisions made for them. Decisions that you might not have made in a sober morning happen at night and you may not be protected. You may wake up with somebody you don't know and you may wake up not knowing what happened. This is a horrible thing to happen your first year away from home.
If something bad happens, know who to call and where to get help. Put those numbers in your phone in advance. Parties, drinking, and sex happen in college and the outcome is not great. So, protect yourself, plan in advance, you should know who you're going to the party with, you should know when you're going to go home, you should have someone watching out for you, and you should watch out for your friends. This is just what friends do and this is what you should do when you go off your first year.
Number five, get your sleep. Young people on their own, burn their candles at both ends and do badly at their day job. If you're in college, your day job is classes and you won't remember anything if you're not sleeping well. Make a sleep schedule and stick to it. Have a great year, be safe, be smart, and call your mother at least once a week. This is Dr. Kirtly Jones and thanks for joining us on The Scope.
Announcer: We're your daily dose of science, conversation, medicine. This is The Scope, University of Utah Health Sciences Radio.