‘Getting well soon’ is possible at college
May 25, 2016
During the spring of my freshman year, I woke up with a cough and runny nose. However, as I was busy with midterm exams, sorority activities and my new job as a reporter at The Daily Illini, I told myself I was fine, even as my “cold” got worse and worse.
However, one morning a few weeks later, I woke up and started coughing up blood. Fast forward a few hours, after my parents rushed to campus and took me to the Emergency room, we learned that I had a 104-degree fever, a severe sinus infection and ruptured blood vessels in my nose.
Sorry for the graphic description, but this is the prime example of what not to do in college. When college students are on their own for the first time, it can be easy to disregard their health since their mothers are not around to check on them.
For me, what should have been a common sinus infection treated by antibiotics turned into a hospital visit and five days of missed classes. I had to learn the hard way, but here are four resources on or near campus that can help students stay on top of their health:
Conveniently located on campus at 1109 S. Lincoln Ave. in Urbana, McKinley is the first place you should go if you are feeling under the weather. Many of the services at McKinley are already paid for through the Health Service Fee that all students pay as part of tuition.
The center has many functions like “Dial-A-Nurse,” where you can speak with a nurse about any health concerns, a pharmacy, vaccinations, a women’s health clinic, mental health counseling and more. One of my favorite aspects of McKinley is their free “cold packs,” which include cold medicine, cough drops, etc. As soon as I sense a cold coming on, I drop by to grab one.
McKinley is a great service if you are feeling sick, but the center also helps prevent illness in the first place with free flu shots every fall. Nurses set up mobile flu shot stations around campus in convenient areas like the Undergraduate Library. All you need is your student ID to get the vaccination.
As college can be an unfamiliar and stressful time in new students’ lives, it is important to keep an eye on mental health, not just physical health. The Counseling Center, located at 610 E. John Street in Champaign, provides confidential individual counseling and even group counseling. They also do same-day counseling.
DRES can help students with disabilities stay healthy and make the most of their college experience, through academic services, custom living situations, physical therapy services and more. To learn more, visit www. disability.illinois.edu.
For health emergencies, call 911 for immediate assistance. The closest hospital to campus is Carle Foundation Hospital, which is located at 611 W. Park Street in Urbana. There are also three locations in Champaign and two others in Urbana.
Helpful phone numbers:
Counseling Center: 217-333-3704
Crisis Line (Mental Heath Center of Champaign County): 217-359-4141
McKinley Health Center: 217-333-2701
McKinley Dial-A-Nurse: 217-333-2700
McKinley Mental Health: 217-333-205
McKinley Alcohol and Other Drug Office: 217-333-7557
Emergency Dean: 217-333-0050
Carle Foundation Hospital: 217-383-3311
Annabeth is a senior in Media.