Western Courier

Western can help you stay healthy

Jason Adams, Courier Staff

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One of the great things about going to a bigger university like Western is the free perks and services that come with it. Like many universities, Western is big on giving its students the opportunity and the resources to keep themselves healthy.

The Rec Center is free for students and is very generous in their hours of operations to promote physical health. Counseling is offered and available for mental and emotional help for students who need it. The issue is that most students (and some people in general) stop worrying about their health. With such a heavy focus on physical and mental health, people tend to forget health aspects that may not be reocurring or troublesome but are still important.

For starters, social health is something that’s rarely addressed because it’s not an issue for most but it can be something people struggle with. Especially with the increase in social media and online forms of communication, some people may not see the need to go out as much and socialize with other people. The issue with that is you don’t get the same health benefits talking on social media as you do in person. Social interactions stimulate the brain more and increase hormones such as oxytocin that help you feel better about yourself.

Some people may not need social interactions as much as others but everyone needs it from time to time. So get out with friends and just hang out every once in a while. The university throws multiple events a year that are good for just getting out for a few hours and having a good time.

Along the lines of social health is something that is also important and can be a lot more detrimental if left neglected, sexual health. While usually if there is a major issue in this department it’s a lot more apparent, it’s still something that’s regularly neglected. The biggest issue here are STDs or STIs, which according to the CDC were on the rise in the U.S. in the last year.

Many people don’t think that it’s still possible to transmit or contract one of those infections even with the use of contraception. Especially since most forms of contraception focus more on the pregnancy aspect than sexual diseases. Something left out of most health curriculums is the morning after pill. If you are active or are looking to be active again, you should get tested to see if you have any issues and to prevent spreading it to someone else, even if you did use protection.

Ignorance is not bliss. If you do have an infection and don’t know about it, it could get worse and some STIs and infections like HIV can have huge life effects if left untreated. The negative stigma you might have or feel about getting tested is nothing compared to if you have something and let it go untreated. While the price of these tests can be a reason to scare you away, luckily the university is here to the rescue. The university will be providing free testing in the upcoming weeks. So stay healthy and stay happy.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Western can help you stay healthy