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10 Things Your College Student Won’t Tell You, Pt. 2

4 Apr

SmartMoney magazine, The Wall Street Journal Magazine of Personal Business, has been around since 1992. It has a recurring “10 Things” feature that covers all kinds of things—including “10 Things Your Spouse Won’t Tell You,” “10 Things Emergency Rooms Won’t Tell You,” and the one that is of interest to us—“10 Things Your College Student Won’t Tell You.” Here is the continued list:

4. “College life can be hazardous to my health.”

According to Kristin Kovner, writer for SmartMoney, the university experience is “marred by physical and mental health issues ranging from anorexia and communicable diseases to depression.” However, she most prominently highlights suicide, which according to her accounts for approximately 1,000 student deaths every year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 1,350 college students commit suicide each year—with accidents being the number one leading cause.

Carla Cantor, author of Phantom Illness: Recognizing, Understanding, and Overcoming Hypochondria, writes in a Psychology Today blog:

“Parents whose college-age children have killed themselves are often startled to discover that campus administrators, faculty and other personnel were well aware that these students were seriously suicidal.”

Many times because of privacy laws and the legal adulthood of the students, universities choose not to inform students.

5. “My resume isn’t the only thing I have posted on the Internet.”

It is no secret that college students love to use social-networking sites to meet, chat, post photos, and write about just about anything. Which is why many may have noticed that recently middle names or psuedo names have replaced the once full name of many students. Why? It is job/internship search time and that means concealing the compromising images of underage drinking on websites like Facebook. With most peers posting and sharing many personal aspects of their lives and social lives, employers have taken to looking at social networking sites of potential candidates. This is no new phenomenon. In a 2006 CBS News article, Dunia Rkein, a then-college sophomore expressed her views:

“Rkein agrees that the social-networking site for students consists primarily of pictures of people partying and says “I hope that employers aren’t looking at it too in-depthly.”

The bad news is that employers are doing just that.”

“There are students who work like crazy on their GPA, but don’t think twice about what they’re posting on Facebook,” Lauren Steinfeld, chief privacy officer at the University of Pennsylvania told SmartMoney. 

Facebook, however, has its benefits. A 2007 study at Michigan State University examined the site’s ability to build social capital for its users.

“Because online relationships may be supported by technologies like distribution lists, photo directories, and search capabilities (Resnick, 2001), it is possible that new forms of social capital and relationship building will occur in online social network sites.”

6. “Just because I was a straight arrow in high school doesn’t mean I will be in college.”

Kovner cites a couple of statistics that are quite scary:

  • Each year 2.8 million college drunk, and 1,700 die from alcohol-related injuries
  • Nearly half a million engage in unprotected sex
  • Almost 100,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape
  • 29 percent say that have used prescription drugs like Vicodin, Ritalin and Adderall recreationally

It all boils down to access and freedom, according to Sue Foster, vice president and director of policy research for the National Center on Addition and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

The future is not so glum though, last year fewer than half of UCLA freshman said they had drank a beer while high school seniors.

Here are 7-10:

7. “My grades are none of your business.”

8. “I’ll do just about anything for money.”

9. “I’m up to my ears in credit card debt . . .”

10.  “. . . so I’ll be moving back home after graduation.”

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