College Prep: Preparing for Life After Senior Year of High School

A new school year is right around the corner (or has already started in some cases).  College dorm move-in is in full swing (2 pieces of advice: prepare for extra time if shopping at big box stores since these stores are really busy right now, and check out the previous blog on health supplies to bring with you to the dorm). This is also the time of year where high school students come into clinic super stressed about life after high school.  Preparing for college can be a daunting task to any high schooler, especially an up-and-coming junior or senior. Not only do you have to worry about getting or maintaining your grades, you also have to worry about college applications, standardized tests, and even paying for college once you have been accepted. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you get better prepared for your future after high school is over.

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The Choking Game

There are plenty of “fads” that people try – the “Cold Water Challenge” from a few years ago, the “Cinnamon Challenge”, and who can forget the recent “Tide Pod Callenge” (for all that is good and holy, please do not try this challenge, it’s dumb and dangerous!).  One craze that rears its ugly head every couple of years is the “Choking Game.”  This dangerous game has been around for a long time and occurs throughout the United States (and in many other countries, see this interactive map). There was a death attributed to the “Choking Game” in the Madison area within the past few weeks, bringing it back to the forefront.  Can we stop calling it a game?!?  That makes it sound like something fun, instead of something very, very dangerous.  I digress…

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World AIDS Day 2017

The start of December brings about many things, including World AIDS Day.  This year’s theme is about ending the stigma of those living with HIV/AIDS (follow along on Twitter at #LetsEndIt). There is still a lot of misinformation about HIV/AIDS – remember a couple months ago when a Georgia state representative (and former anesthesiologist) recommended quarantining those with HIV to curtail the spread of the virus? Stigma and discrimination are some of the biggest barriers to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support. Specifically, research has shown that stigma and discrimination undermine HIV prevention efforts by making people afraid to seek HIV information, testing, and services to reduce their risk of infection.

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Caffeine packs more than an energy punch

This week, we are reposting this blog on caffeine in light of the recent death of a previously healthy South Carolina teen.  In the hours prior to his death, he consumed 3 caffeinated drinks — a cafe latte, a large Diet Mountain Dew and an energy drink. This toxic mix likely caused his heart to have an abnormal rhythm.

Meanwhile, back in 2014…

An Ohio teen mysteriously dies just days away from his high school graduation.  One month later, the coroner finds the cause of death: caffeine overdose.  He had more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system, 23 times the amount of a typical coffee or soda drinker.  In his room, the teen’s mom found bags of white powder later identified as caffeine powder.  This caffeine powder was bought online and is totally legal.

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