Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

9.30.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

9.30.2010
When faced with the message "Stop@Buzzed" you may know that it means to 'Stay in the Blue Zone' or 'maintain a BAC of 0.02 to 0.06', but do you know why that message is so important? Depending on your gender, weight, and duration of consumption, your blood alcohol concentration can raise quickly. At a BAC of 0.02 to 0.06, you begin to experience those nice euphoric effects of alcohol- increased sociability, talkativeness, ease of tension, and muscle relaxation. But even within that 'safer' zone, you will also experience lower alertness, impaired judgment, and a loss of inhibitions. It could take only one more drink to push you out of the blue zone, and into riskier situations. Want more specific examples?

BAC of 0.07-0.14: slowed reaction time, impaired senses, loud talking, inability to focus
BAC of 0.15-0.24: blurred vision, slow motor skills, sedation, difficulty standing/walking, passing out
BAC of 0.25-0.30: high pain threshold, impaired consciousness, slurred speech, disorientation, loss of motor function, impaired reflexes, inability to walk, possible death by overdose
BAC of 0.35+: unconsciousness, deep coma, non-responsive, death in most cases

Stopping at buzzed isn't just about avoiding embarrassing or regretful situations, it's about keeping you safe. If you choose to drink, staying in the blue zone lets you have the benefits you may desire from alcohol, without putting yourself at risk. October 1st marks the beginning of Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Month. Keep your BAC in check (women and men), monitor your drinking, and Stop@Buzzed!

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Tip of the Week: Let's Get It On

As the first month of school comes to a close, it's possible you may have had a close encounter of the sexual kind- perhaps even more than one. College is often known as a time when many choose to partake in a range of sexual activities. As long as they are done soberly, consensually, and responsibly, having sex is a normal, natural act (if you so choose to have it). It even carries various health benefits!

According to WebMD, sex does a body good! It can help to relieve stress, boost immunity, burn calories, reduce pain, and help you sleep- just to name a few. When the sex is connected and loving, it can even boost your self-esteem. Now, this isn't to say everyone should rush out and have sex. Abstinence and low-risk sexual activity have plenty of benefits all their own. 

There are many risks and decisions that come along with every sexual encounter. There is the usual worry of pregnancy or STIs, but there are also psychological risks. Sex can change everything. Even the closest of friendships can be ruined or made awkward due to one sexual encounter. If you choose to have sex, make sure you are ready both physically and emotionally. Be prepared for any and all consequences and be ready to live with any aftermath that may ensue. Another thing to take into consideration- your living arrangement. No roommate likes to be sexiled! When it comes to sex, plan ahead in everything you do. Talk to your partners, use protection, and maybe give your roommate a heads up.

9.29.2010

In the News: Intoxicating Caffeine

9.29.2010
As midterms begin to slowly lurk around the corner, your cravings for caffeine may soon be at all time high. It may seem like your typical cup of coffee is barely helping you get through the day, let alone the late nights of studying. Caffeine may seem harmless enough but it does bring its own risks. Caffeine intoxication is not only possible, it is a diagnosable psychiatric disorder as defined by the DSM-IV.

Symptoms of caffeine intoxication can begin after consumption of just 250mg of caffeine (roughly 2 large coffees or  4.5 sodas) with severe symptoms occurring around 800-1,000mg daily. If you're the type that relies on non-stop caffeine, you may be putting yourself at risk of muscle twitching, heart arrhythmia, or in rare cases, hallucinations. In fact, one man is using excessive caffeine as a defense against murder charges! The defendant claims too much soda, caffeine pills, energy drinks, and lack of sleep led him into a “temporary psychotic disorder" to result in his behavior. (Cue the CSI-Miami crime pun). To learn more, click here.

Instead of turning to coffee and energy drinks during the midterm season, focus on natural ways to boost your energy and focus. While it may appear that exercise would make you tired, it can actually provide a surge of endorphins to make you more energized and focus. Snack on fruits and vegetables to avoid the crash of sugary foods and choose protein-rich meals to keep you full and focused. Studies have shown that well-rested students perform better on exams than their sleep-deprived counterparts, so know when to call it a night to ensure at least 7 hours of rest. Grades are important, but so is your health. Keep it in balance!

9.28.2010

SHWC Flu Shot Clinic Today!

9.28.2010
Flu Season is almost upon us! Get your flu shot TODAY!

Tuesday, 9/28
MSE Library, C-Level
2:00-6:00pm
JHU Students Only
$15 non-SHWC Insured Students
$8 SHWC Insured Students

Protect your health and your GPA by preventing the flu from infecting you!

9.27.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

9.27.2010
SEE Tip: Sleep: According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, by doing work in bed, we begin to associate work with our bed, and it becomes more difficult to fall asleep in that environment. Keep your bed for sleeping! For more information, check out the SEE for Yourself on Monday table at the Breezeway today from 11-1 pm.

Quit Tip from HKB: Many people who contemplate quitting are concerned about the potential for weight gain as cigarettes are often an appetite suppressant. Among those that do gain weight, the average is only a 6-8 pound gain. But don't let the fear of a few extra pounds deter you from protecting your health! There are many helpful tricks you can use to curb your appetite and avoid the weight gain. You may find these tricks add to your already healthier lifestyle!

Mellow Out Monday: With mid-terms fast approaching this can be an even more stressful time for Hopkins students. Having to recall a ton of information from the past few weeks is all ready stressful enough so why add to it?! The good news is that you have the power to minimize your mid-term stress. Here’s how:
•    Avoid the all mighty “All-Nighter” – “A study in the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Journal found that students who regularly pulled all-nighters tended to have lower GPAs than those who didn’t.”
•    Decrease your caffeine intake –  it’s been shown that while caffeine can give you a temporary jolt, it can be followed by a later crash sapping you of your energy.  Find more natural ways of boosting your energy by getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising.
•    Stay away from study parties especially if you find them distracting or counterproductive. Before you know it hours could pass without even cracking open a book!
•    Avoid procrastination – hasty cramming may get embedded into your short-term memory but it won’t remain for long.
•    Don’t focus too much on the outcome of the exam as this can cause even more test anxiety. Being overly anxious can actually cause you to do more poorly or score lower on an exam than you normally would. Instead try using positive affirmations , visualizing success, or deep breathing exercises.
•    Let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: Fall is here! It’s time to take out your fall clothes, and put away your summer clothes. Although, you may want to think twice before you stow your clothes with mothballs. The active ingredient in mothballs is a pesticide called napthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Not only are pesticides bad for the environment, but according to the EPA, even short-term exposure to that pesticide can manifest as a host of serious health problems. Instead of using mothballs to combat the musty smell which resides in clothes after storage, considering washing your clothes after removing them from storage or stowing them with cedar chips. Learn more about toxic mothballs and other household toxins on The Daily Green.

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9.23.2010

Tip of the Week: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

9.23.2010
The recent events on campus have brought the issue of respect into the spotlight. Respecting ourselves, respecting differences, and respecting each other are suddenly in the forefront of many thoughts. Hopkins is very fortunate to be a campus full of diverse students. Take this opportunity to embrace these differences instead of judging them. Each person has had varied experiences in life from which lessons and information can be learned. Hopkins students are bright, driven, involved, focused, and obviously competitive. Instead of working against each other, work to build up the JHU community.

Shows like MTV's If You Really Knew Me, Tyra, and Dr. Phil have focused on bullying in high schools and middle schools, but these behaviors can still be present on college campuses. Websites like JHU Confessions attempt to push gossip and rumor mills underground, but it only makes more obvious the judgment and disrespect that occurs among peers. This week, make note of your own personal biases and preconceptions, then attempt to challenge them. Remember times that you may have been cast out or criticized. Instead of an insult, give someone a compliment today. It may not only make someone's day, but it may make you feel better as well!

9.22.2010

SHWC Spotlight: Get tested!

9.22.2010
No one likes to think that their sexual encounters will lead to any consequences, especially not permanent ones. While many are aware of the risks of STIs, they may not be aware of their prevalence. By age 25, an estimated one in two sexually active young people will get one. Yet, less than half of adults ages 18 to 44 have ever been tested for an STI other than HIV/AIDS. Have you been tested?

Whether monogamous or promiscuous, in the type of hook-up culture seen among many college students, it's important to know your STI status. You don't have to have intercourse to get an STI. Many can be contracted just through genital contact. If you are sexually active in any way, do yourself and your partners a favor- get yourself tested.

Confidential testing is available at the Student Health and Wellness Center for males and females at either low cost or no cost to students. Discuss your sexual history with a provider and figure out if you may be at risk for any infections. It's better to be safe than sorry, and it's always better to know. Remember to protect yourself by using condoms regularly and discussing sexual history with your partners. It just may save your fertility and your life! Call 410-516-8270 to schedule your testing today!

9.21.2010

In the News: Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!

9.21.2010
Not as cute and cuddly in real life.
Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite! It's a saying you may have been told while getting tucked into bed in your younger years, but the occurrence of bedbugs is on the rise. They've been found in stores, hotels, libraries, movie theaters, and yes, even college dorms.

These little critters are most common in areas with crowded lodging or a high turnover of guests and result in itchy, red bites. The problem has gotten so bad that Chicago's first national Bed Bug Summit has sold out! The website promises attendees, "direct access to bed bug experts from both academia and industry in a neutral setting" with plenty of opportunities for learning about research, treatments, and proper protocol. According to experts, the bedbug fighting industry has tripled in the past year!

Want to protect yourself from a bedbug infestation? Start by washing your sheets! You've been at school for roughly a month now. To cut down on dust mites, bedbugs, and other allergens, it's important to wash your sheets regularly- about once a month. Think how often you or your friends use your bed as a spot to eat, to study, to lounge, or for... other activities. Keeping your sheets fresh and clean can keep you healthier! Click here for more information on bedbugs.

9.20.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

9.20.2010
SEE Tip: Exercise: Be Hard Core! Start your day with 10 sit-ups or crunches. A study at Cornell showed that a five-minute fitness program leads to a healthier lifestyle. If your core is weak, nothing else can be strong. A strong core will allow you to keep optimal body alignment for whatever you’re doing (swim, bike or run), and this in turn will reduce your fatigue in the long run. It also reduces back pain and improves posture! For more information, check out the SEE for Yourself on Monday table at the Breezeway today from 11-1 pm for more tips!

Quit Tip from HKB: Think that cigarette use is just a college thing? Old habits die hard. One study from UPenn found that 90% of daily smokers and 50% of occasional smokers in college continued their smoking habit 4 years later. As more employers are creating smoke-free workplaces, now is the perfect time to kick the habit. College students tend to be more flexible in their behaviors, so choose to quit now!

Mellow Out Monday: Let Stressbusters melt your stress away every Monday at MSE Library, Q-level, from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: Are you driving a low rider? Every three pounds that your tires are below their recommended pressure, lowers your fuel economy by 1%. Over time, the loss of fuel economy will become costly to you and the environment. Get your tires filled, and increase your fuel economy while extending the life of your tires. Better fuel economy means less CO2 in the atmosphere, and bonus putting air in your tires is usually free at most service stations! The Daily Green has more information on the relationship between tire pressure, fuel economy and the environment.

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9.16.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

9.16.2010
The phrase "College Binge Drinking" seems to be the topic of much discussion and debate among media outlets and higher education professionals, but honestly, what does it mean? According to the NIAAA, binge drinking is defined as, "a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours." It's a nice compact definition, but if you are out at a party with a solo cup in your hand, are you really aware of your BAC or the number of drinks you've consumed? We can address ways to monitor your BAC, define serving sizes of beverages, and even offer some Solo cup simulations, but what might be more important is to discuss some of the dangers associated with binge drinking behaviors.

According to the CDC, "About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks." And what can binge drinking lead to? Unintentional injuries, unwanted sexual encounters, pregnancy, STIs, neurological damage, fights, sexual dysfunction, broken relationships, and even alcohol poisoning or death. If you choose to drink, ask yourself, do you binge drink? Aside from the formal definition, do you choose to go out to party with the intention of getting drunk? Do you often wake-up in the morning with hangovers, a patchy memory, or a list of regrets? Perhaps you may want to cut down on the number of drinks you consume. Limiting yourself to less than two drinks an hour will allow you to feel the euphoric, social effects of alcohol without the consequences that binge drinking tends to carry. It's perfectly fine to go out and socialize, just don't jeopardize your health and safety. Avoid the binge, Stop@Buzzed!

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Tip of the Week: Focus on your wHOLe health

We tend to focus our definition of health based on physical factors- exercising, eating enough vegetables, protecting ourselves from illness. But there are many other factors that play into our health and well-being. Do you feel fulfilled, do you feel safe, are you happy? Acting as though our minds, bodies, and environment are all connected is taking a holistic approach to health.

When your body is out of sync with your mind, it's easy to feel run-down or depressed. Just think about how you feel when you are stressed: tired, anxious, sluggish, maybe even ill. What if you could reduce those feelings with some simple breathing techniques or massage? There are plenty of possibilities out there to help put your mind and body back on track. Perhaps a more holistic approach is exactly what you need!

Tomorrow, come to a Holistic event for the Whole You!

3rd Annual Holi-HealthFest
Friday, September 17th
2:00-5:00pm
O'Connor Recreation Center, Ground Floor 
Free food, games, prizes, massages, screenings, giveaways, and much more!

Come SEE what a difference a Holistic approach to health can have on your life! 

9.15.2010

In the News: Contraception Inception?

9.15.2010
There seems to be a trend when it comes to contraception that males worry about the condoms and women worry about the pills. The truth is that it takes two people to have sex, so both partners should be actively involved in the contraception process. In fact, one recent study shows that young women are more than twice as likely to use birth control if their partners are in favor of it.

The study, recently published in the journal Women's Health Issues, looked at 435 couples in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles aged 18-25 who were not pregnant, nor trying to conceive. Unlike many other studies, this one interviewed both males and females about contraception use and pregnancy motivation, acknowledging that sexual responsibility falls on both partners. The reasons remain unclear, but the findings suggest that when males are active in discussing contraception, females are more likely to listen.

Even though the majority of female partners did not want to get pregnant, most of them were having unprotected sex. This leads researchers to encourage sexually active women to explore their contraception options. Whether in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, it's always important to protect yourself against STIs. Use condoms regularly and ladies, contact the Student Health and Wellness Center about other forms of contraception. Remember to talk to your sexual partners about contraception methods early on, and not in the heat of the moment. It's easy to forget to get IT on when you're ready to get it on.

SHWC Spotlight: Shawneen "Shawn" Kelley

You may know the clinicians at the Student Health and Wellness Center, but there are many other staff members working tirelessly behind the scenes for students. While the SHWC is equipped to offer primary care services, there are times when referrals to specialists are necessary. That's where the bright and bubbly Shawn Kelley comes in to assist you!

Name: Shawn Kelley

Position: Student Insurance and Referral Coordinator

Favorite Health Tip: Know your health insurance; it is important to know what is/is not covered by your plan before being treated.


Healthy Advice: I encourage all students of JHU to see me for any insurance or referral related problems and questions. I am always happy to help. 


Fun Fact: Shawn is a big Bon Jovi fan!

For any insurance questions for Shawn, or any other services at the Student Health and Wellness Center, call 410-516-8270. All appointments are confidential. To learn more about the SHWC, click here!

9.13.2010

Happy CHEWsday!

9.13.2010
CHEW: Center for Health
Education and Wellness
Happy Tuesday CHEWsday!

Come learn more about what CHEW can do for you! We are holding an open house Tuesday, September 14th from 10:00am to 3:00pm in our office, Levering 115. Stop in for free refreshments, snacks, information, and speak to members of the CHEW Crew! 

At CHEW, we strive to create and sustain a learning environment where healthy behaviors are an integral component to academic and individual success. Come to our Meet and Greet and join us in creating a healthier JHyoU!

Stay in touch with CHEW via our Facebook or Twitter page!

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

SEE Tip: EAT Well: Avoid portion distortion! Research shows that people unintentionally consume more calories when faced with larger portions. Many restaurants serve more food than one person needs at one meal. Take control of the amount of food that ends up on your plate by splitting an entree with a friend. Or, ask the wait person for a "to-go" box and wrap up half your meal as soon as it's brought to the table. For more information, click here. Stop by the SEE for Yourself on Monday table at the Breezeway today from 11-1 pm for more tips!

Quit Tip from HKB: Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States, causing approximately 443,000 premature deaths annually. Want to help make Hopkins a healthier, smoke-free environment? Join HKB in the fight against tobacco! Our first meeting will be held TONIGHT at 7:00pm in the McCoy multipurpose room. We will have free pizza and an opportunity to learn more about the organization's goals and projects. The truth will set you smoke-free, so we hope to see you there!

Mellow Out Monday: Let Stressbusters melt your stress away every Monday at MSE Library, Q-level, from 8-10 pm. The Stressbusters program enhances campus life by continuously training and dispatching teams of students to give free backrubs, health information and resource referrals at events, residence halls, libraries and wherever else the stressed gather! To be placed on our Alert Me List so we can email you when Stressbusters will be out and around campus, email us with the subject line “alert me” to stressbusters@jhu.edu.

Minimize Monday: Sometimes our biggest environmental impacts are hidden in the seemingly harmless actions we perform on a daily or weekly basis, such as dry cleaning. For many professionals, dry cleaning is a necessity; however, you may want to look into safer options since the cleaning agents in most dry cleaning operations are neurotoxins which also contribute to global warming. Luckily, many dry cleaners are going green! They have decided to use a cleaning process in which compressed CO2 carries biodegradable cleansers over the clothes. This is a win-win situation for your health, your wardrobe and our environment. Just make sure your dry cleaner doesn’t use DF-2000. While DF-2000 is a compressed CO2 product, it is also considered to be toxic. For more information, click here.

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9.09.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

9.09.2010
There seems to be a mantra of "Work Hard, Play Hard" on the Hopkins campus. After a stressful week, many students opt to take the weekend to unwind, let loose, and for some, get drunk. The reasons for using alcohol vary from seeing it as a rite of passage to just needing something to do. From the gossip or stories you may hear on Monday morning, it could seem like alcohol use is the norm at Hopkins. But, your perceptions may not be accurate! Check out these findings from the JHU Spring 2009 NCHA–II Web Survey:
  • Of JHU students that report going out to party or socialize, 69% of them drink 4 or fewer drinks in a night. In fact, 34% of them don’t drink at all!
  • While the perception on campus is that 96% of JHU students use alcohol at any point within 30 days, the actual monthly use (at least one day) is only 58.6%!
  • While it may seem that students drink every weekend, 40% of JHU students report drinking less than once a month! In fact, only 12% of Hopkins students use alcohol 10 or more days on a monthly basis.
While your perceptions may be skewed to believe that excessive alcohol use is the typical college behavior, know that choosing to not drink or drink in moderation is actually the norm! When the weekend rolls around, go ahead and relax, but don't think that alcohol is the only option. There are plenty of fun, sober activities to do around Baltimore. If you do choose to drink, drink in moderation. You don't want to culminate your hard, long week with a deserving trip to the toilet bowl. Sip slow and Stop@Buzzed!

In the News: So You Think He Can Dance?

There's always that one song that seems to get everyone out on the dance floor to show off their sweetest moves. No matter the music, it's always interesting to see who has some serious dance talent, and whose is questionable. There has been speculation that men who are good dancers may also have some good moves in the bedroom. While scientists can't say that for sure, they have found that women who view men to be good dancers also find them to be more attractive!

Scientists at the British university of Northumbria have unlocked the male dance moves that catch a woman’s eye. The researchers recorded 19 dancing male volunteers using 3D motion-capture technology. The images were then turned into blank, generic avatars and shown to a panel of women to rate their moves. The dances that women perceived to be the most attractive were ones involving large, varied movements involving the neck and trunk. Lead psychologist Dr. Nick Neave explained, “This is the first study to show objectively what differentiates a good dancer from a bad one. Men all over the world will be interested to know what moves they can throw to attract women". 

So guys, if you really want to impress the ladies- don't work on some cheesy pick-up line, start working on your dance moves! The Rec Center even offers several dance-based classes like Hip Hop, Breakdance, and Ballet for Jocks. Get your booty shakin' and you may be finding love on the dance floor!

9.08.2010

Tip of the Week: Brain-Boosting Foods

9.08.2010
You've probably heard the old adage that you are what you eat. While eating chicken three times a day will not in fact turn you into a bird, there is something to be said about the foods you choose to eat. There are certain foods that are richer in important nutrients and chemicals that can help your body improve its performance. Some can even help boost your brain power! To get the edge on your next assignment, try some of these brain-boosting foods:

FISH: Choose fish like salmon, tuna, or trout for folate and fatty acids. Researchers think the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is needed to build neurons and improve signal transmission.

LEAFY GREENS: Spinach, kale, and broccoli are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, calcium, fiber, and iron. Even mild iron-deficiency affects learning, memory, and attention. Load up to stay focused!


BERRIES: Richly colored berries like blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants for cancer fighting and neuron protection! The antioxidants also work to clear away the build up of free radicals in your brain. 

LEAN PROTEIN: Lean protein like chicken, pork, and turkey help your brain create dopamine and norepinephrine to keep you alert. They also keep you feeling fuller longer so you won't be distracted in class by hunger pains.

SEEDS and NUTS: If you are in need of a snack, try some Trail Mix with almonds and sunflower seeds incorporated. Seeds and nuts are rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to improve cognitive functions. Seeds are also rich in magnesium which can help ease stress.

WHOLE WHEAT: Brown rice, oatmeal and other whole wheat foods help increase blood flow which can help give your brain oxygen it needs to be at peak performance. 

DARK CHOCOLATE: If you have a sweet tooth, opt for dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants and also has natural stimulants which can help boost your concentration and focus. In addition, it revs up the production of endorphins which help elevate your mood.

So the next time you head to FFC or Char Mar look to incorporate more of these foods into your diet, just remember not to overdo it! Even brain-boosting foods should be eaten in moderation. Choosing these foods is good for both mind and body, so opt for the healthy choices and enjoy! For more brain-boosting information, click here.

9.07.2010

A Crash Course In College Health!

9.07.2010
What do you know about the health habits of the average JHU student? Test your know-how with this interactive Crash Course in College Health!


SEE for Yourself on Monday... a day late!

Labor Day weekend may have pushed Healthy Monday back a day, but you can still begin your week with a fresh, healthy start!

SEE Tip: Having trouble falling asleep at the same time every night? Get some sun!  According to the National Institute of Health’s Guide to Healthy Sleep, sunlight helps your body produce natural melatonin, a chemical that helps regulate sleep patterns. Getting 30 minutes of sunlight every day can help you stay on track. To learn more, click here.

Quit Tip from HKB: Are you the type that only smokes when you drink, are stressed out, or with other smokers? Many times, people who are non-daily smokers don't consider themselves to be smokers at all, simply 'social smokers'. So maybe you aren't addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes, you could just be hooked on the habit of smoking in general. Remember, there is no safe level of cigarette smoke. Any amount of smoking is bad for you, so don't let your social settings dictate your smoking habits. When offered a cigarette, just pass!

Minimize Monday Tuesday: Drive 55 to save on gas and greenhouse gas emissions. It is hard to drive the speed limit sometimes on the highway when everyone is whizzing past you but for every 10 miles per hour above 55 you drive the less fuel efficient your car becomes – 10% less at 65mph and 17% less at 75mph! Not only will you save on fuel costs and reduce your contribution to climate change but you’ll be safer for it! For more information about more fuel efficient driving click here.

9.03.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

9.03.2010
When the alcohol gets to flowing, the hormones can get to raging. Suddenly, people may start looking better, pick-up lines sound less cheesy, and good judgment gets a bit hazy. Through the first few weeks of school, you will likely encounter a range of fellow students that peak your interest when it comes to attraction. While alcohol has it's social benefits, it can also lead to regrets. Fortunately, a report from ASU found that friends don't let friends hook-up drunk. Through several party scenarios, students were asked to anonymously decide what their reactions would be if a friend was drunk and attempting to leave a party to go back to someone's place. Three-quarters of those surveyed chose either the low-risk (get friend home safely) or moderate-risk (try to persuade against it) option. The decision was based less on how drunk the friend was, but more on the level of friendship. Good friends tend to look out for each other to protect against regretful or dangerous situations. Sure, you may find the occasional friend egging on the hook-up, but the majority tend to be protective. It's not a cock-block, it's just being a good friend! Because Freshmen may not have those deep friendship bonds yet, they are at a higher-risk of not receiving support. Protect yourself by pacing your drinks (one an hour) to avoid making unsafe or unwanted decisions. Stay with your friends and leave no woman or man behind unless they coherently give consent. Alcohol and sex often go hand-in-hand, but the results aren't always the most fulfilling anyway. Look out for friends, look out for yourself, and Stop@Buzzed!

9.02.2010

In the News: The Homesick Blues

9.02.2010
You're finally moved in, unpacked, and have had nearly a week to get accustomed to the hectic life of Hopkins. Now that the excitement has slowly worn off, you may begin to feel the pangs of homesickness. Missing family, friends, and the routine of your old life is normal. In fact, a study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics declares the feeling of homesickness as a spontaneous emotion. The authors define homesickness as "distress and functional impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home and attachment objects such as parents".

There's no need to feel weak or childish for missing home. You spent 17+ years with your family! It's expected that you may feel anxious or sad as you adjust to your new environment. Those feelings stem from our subconscious desire to feel taken care of and secure. When thrown into new surroundings you may have trouble finding that same comfort which causes you to miss a place where you used to receive it- at home. You may just be missing a sense of normalcy. For more on homesickness, click here.

Give yourself time to adjust. Look for outlets on campus that engage you and make you feel like a part of something. A great place to do this is at the Student Activities Fair held tomorrow (Friday, 9/3) from 2:00-5:00pm in the O'Connor Rec Center. Meet new people and learn about new clubs that will make you feel right at home. If the separation anxiety gets to be too much, feel free to reach for the phone to hear a familiar voice. There is also confidential counseling available at the Counseling Center to help you as you start your new adventures. It's a big change now, but eventually Hopkins will feel like home!

9.01.2010

SHWC Spotlight: Dr. Yvonne Mark

9.01.2010
You go to the Student Health and Wellness Center when you are feeling ill or in need of health advice, but what do you know about the clinicians and staff? Periodically, we will shine a spotlight on the SHWC and introduce you to a staff member. Today, meet Dr. Yvonne Mark!

Name: Yvonne Mark, MD

Position: Clinic Physician

Favorite Health Tip: Avoid sharing food, drinks, and utensils with others to avoid sharing germs.


Healthy Advice: Sneeze/cough into a tissue (then throw it out) or your sleeve rather than your hand or the air to avoid spreading germs.
Click here to learn more!

To set up an appointment with Dr. Mark or any other clinicians at the Student Health and Wellness Center, call 410-516-8270. All appointments are confidential. To learn more about the SHWC, click here!