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Neuro-Stack: Drug-Free Anxiety & Depression Relief Through Nature

Many Herbal Extracts Calm Nerves Better than Drugs and have POSITIVE side effects.

You are dependent on your ability to calmly focus and recall information quickly and there are many natural, plant-based, powerfully effective options available to help you do so. The extensively studied and expertly cultivated ingredients in Neuro-Stack improve your memory, focus, and clarity, as well as the overall health of your brain without the side effects that pharmaceuticals can cause.

Taking pharmaceutical drugs for anxiety, depression, or stress is hard for the rest of the body. We develop a dependence and tolerance to these drugs, so we need more to get the same effect. We risk becoming seriously addicted. According to Dr. Edward Group, who has a background in chemistry and biochemistry, when you stop taking pharmaceuticals your anxiety/depression returns far worse than before.. His talk can be found at Akua Life on Facebook.

Instead of taking pharmaceutical drugs that can permanently damage your neurotransmitter balance and cause a ton of other side effects like stomach cramps, weight gain, and even worse anxiety, choose a natural, plant-based earth medicine that works with your body.

Why choose Neuro-Stack?

Neuro-Stack, our targeted nootropic herbal blend, works to reduce anxiety physically and chemically.  Meaning, it helps your brain create a more relaxed and focused balance of neurotransmitters so you can learn new information effortlessly and recall it more easily even in stressful situations, like finals.  It also helps to create new brain cells and new neuron connections to allow you to improve your problem-solving abilities and understand your major subjects more intuitively. Being stressed out is no joke, and a majority of students report that they’re so strung out they’re practically numb.  This isn’t healthy!  Not only does this limit your ability to enjoy life, but it limits your performance in the classroom leading to lower grades and fewer potential job offers.

The drugs that are used for the anxiety you feel in school often make the feeling of numbness worse.  Neuro-Stack works differentlyto enhance brain function with clinically tested ingredients that will have you performing at the top of your game. You’ll have no problem balancing all of your assignments and tests, and still have enough mental stamina for a social life.  The bonus is there aren’t any negative side effects. No rebound anxiety, no stomach cramps, just benefits.

The ingredients we use improve the health of your brain over time, which is something none of the pharmaceutical drugs can claim.  If you skip a dose or two, even for a couple of weeks during break, you’ll still be sharp when you get back to class. The 27 synergistically formulated nootropics in Neuro-Stack include nine patented ingredients to optimize the production of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine so you can remain clear-headed to keep pushing yourself forward. Boosting these neurotransmitters with the natural plant extracts found in Neuro-Stack can enhance your memory and settle your mind quickly so you can ace your finals effortlessly.

The function of neurotransmitters in regulating mood

If neurology isn’t your major, let’s get clear on what these neurotransmitters do. GABA is one of the primary compounds involved in how we feel anxiety. If we have too little of it, it is either because we aren’t producing it or we’re burning through it in stressful situations and as a result, we feel more and more anxiety until the feeling crushes us. It’s too large of a molecule to create through digestion, so we have to take things that will help us make more of it in our brains.

Serotonin and Dopamine are “happy chemicals,” and we need plenty of them to feel good.  Heck, we need plenty of them to feel just OK, and if you’re feeling less than OK it’s a sign you need to produce way more of them. The combination of these neurotransmitters allows you to reach flow state, where everything in your brain just clicks and life gets easier. They also boost motivation and decrease your tendency to procrastinate, so you’ll be able to study for stats and organic chemistry without crying first.

Our plant-based formula to keep and support your brain health

Our plant-based earth medicine formula includes 27 extracts that are standardized for purity and are of the highest quality available. Neuro-Stack even has nine patented Ingredients for optimum bioavailability. Three heavy hitting extracts of our 27 ingredients are Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Ashwagandha, and Bacopa Monnieri.Bacopa Monnieri was first found in ancient Ayurvedic texts thousands of years ago. It was recommended to devotees to help memorize long passages of religious text. Today it is used as a powerful memory booster and it is used to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. Bacopa Monnieri is an adaptogen and helps prevent the chemical and physical effects of stress. Instead of just suppressing them like many modern antidepressants, Bacopa Monnieri calms your nervous system so you actually are less stressed. We offer a patented version of Bacopa Monnieri called Bacognize®

Ashwagandhais one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. Neuro-Stack’s has a patented version of Ashwagandha called Sensoril® and is 5x’s more potent.

Ashwagandha works just as well as some of the most potent drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. This ancient remedy has remarkable stress-relieving properties.  Ashwagandha can help to regenerate brain cells and assists in the generation of neural networks involved in learning.  This herb also reduces cortisol which is a hormone that makes us feel more stressed and promotes weight gain.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom is known as the Brain-Shroom for stimulating Nerve Growth Factor.  It enhances nerve regeneration, improves cognition functions, and relieves depression, anxiety, and stress.  It’s a powerhouse for improving focus and memory.  If you want to get the best performance from your brain, Lion’s Mane is essential to get into that creative, focused, calm state of flow.

The best part about Neuro-Stack’s formula is it repairs axons, dendrites, synapsis, and helps grows new ones too! The ingredients have been specially chosen to not only give an immediate effect but to improve the condition of the brain long term.

Use Discount code “StressFreeExams” at https://akualife.com/ for a $11.11 discount.

About Akua Life

Akua Life’s nine driving forces are love, quality, potency, results, helping people, health wellness, being eco-friendly, happy customers and making money. Similarly, their product neuro-stack’s abides by helping their customers remember more, feel happier and live healthier.

Many of their ingredients have a higher percentage of potency and a larger dose than other products on the market, alongside featuring Nine patented ingredients for maximum absorption and more bioavailable.Neuro-Stack even stimulates NGF – Nerve Growth Factor for enhanced nerve regeneration (you heal faster) and it can help relieve you of pain,

Start your journey to health and happiness at https://akualife.com/

See Also:

Welcome to Nootropics: Natural Brain Boosters

 

Welcome to Nootropics: Natural Brain Boosters

We are faced with an ever-increasing need to process and retain complex information, as  our fast-paced lives emphasize an excellent memory, quick thinking, and creative problem-solving abilities.  Nothing supports these needs better than nootropics or powerful plant-based extracts, that have been utilized for thousands and thousands of years, as seen in ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese texts.

If you are looking to crush anxiety, depression, stress, and improve all cognitive functions we have a solution and it comes from the earth. Get back to your roots!  You are what you eat, nature/god/source has the answers, and our 100% natural vegan product will prove it to you.  We’ve spent years refining this formula of nootropics  and receive feedback daily on how users have pushed themselves to new levels, which they didn’t believe they could ever reach.

We start with Organic Lion’s Mane mushroom, a super-star in the nootropics world. The Organic Lion’s Mane in Neuro-Stack is a potent cognitive booster, especially since it’s wild grown on its natural substrates. Lion’s mane improves the health of brain tissue over time by stimulating Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), enhances nerve regeneration and gives a boost to brainpower by enhancing the communication between neurons. It’s been used clinically to reduce the plaques in the brain formed in Alzheimer’s disease and to treat ADHD. Learn more about the intense benefits of our Lion’s Mane at https://akualife.com/pages/lions-mane-mushroom .

Neuro-Stack also includes a patented high potency extract of  Turmeric called Curcumin C3 Complex®. Curcumin decreases inflammation and is a natural pain reliever; it also has been used as an antidepressant for centuries. Curcumin is a mood lifter and brings clarity over thoughts. It promotes the growth of new neurons and improves the balance of serotonin and dopamine, so you feel ready to tackle your day.

Next is Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs employed in Ayurvedic healing for 1000’s of years. Ashwagandha works just as well as some of the most potent drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. This ancient remedy has remarkable stress-relieving properties. Our Ashwagandha is a patented version called Sensoril® and it is 5x more potent.

The Bacopa Monnieri extract in Neuro-Stack is a patented form called Bacognize®. Bacognize is an adaptogenic herb, which fights stress in your body and your brain and works as a healing agent, that doesn’t just cover up the symptoms like many drugs.

In order to get your brain firing and allow you to work at your best, CDP Choline/Citicoline is essential. We use a patented form called COGNIZIN®.  Choline is brain food and it gets used up faster, the more intensely we have to study and the more stress we have to deal with. It’s a primary neurotransmitter, which makes all the other functions of the brain possible.  CDP Choline is a targeted compound that has been used in clinical settings to heal stroke damage and studies have shown it can improve healing in the brain and improve cognitive performance.

Suntheanine® is a potent form of the amino acid L-theanine that’s been patented for its effectiveness.  It shifts your brainwave patterns away from the scattered, reactive beta state into the more focused and calm alpha state.  This is where your brain flows, where thoughts come effortlessly and you feel alert without being anxious.  Suntheanine® works extremely well with caffeine, enhancing cognitive abilities and wakefulness while soothing any potential jitters.  We’ve chosen not to include caffeine in our formula because if you’re reading this you’re likely already mainlining the stuff.

In all we have 27 nootropics in our masterpiece including 9 patented ones for optimum bioavailability.  We’ve done an astronomical amount of research into each of our ingredients and we constantly evaluate our supplies for exceptional quality.  We crafted this formula so you can perform at your highest level. You need to be at the top of your game every single day.  Our goal is to support you in unlocking your potential because you’re here to make a real difference in the world.

For a limited time use Discount code “NootropicsRule” at https://akualife.com/ for a $11.11 discount.

Start remembering more and feeling happier today by giving us a try.

About Akua Life 

Akua Life’s nine driving forces are love, quality, potency, results, helping people, health wellness, being eco-friendly, happy customers and making money. Similarly, their product neuro-stack’s abides by helping their customers remember more, feel happier and live healthier.

Many of their ingredients have a higher percentage of potency and a larger dose than other products on the market, alongside featuring four patented ingredients for maximum absorption and more bioavailable.Neuro-Stack even stimulates NGF – Nerve Growth Factor for enhanced nerve regeneration (you heal faster) and it can help relieve you of pain,

Start your journey to health and happiness at https://akualife.com/

See Also:

Neuro-Stack: Drug-Free Anxiety & Depression Relief Through Nature

Are the Increases in STIs Signs of a New Sexual Health Epidemic?

New findings published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) found more than one million sexually transmitted infections  or STIs are contracted per day, with the most commonly contracted infections being gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and syphilis. Dr. Melanie Taylor,who led the report and medical epidemiologist at the WHO department of Reproductive Health and Research stated, “These infections indicate people are taking risks with their health, with their sexuality and with their reproductive health.”

The demographic at greater risk of contracting STIs are young people. According to the American Sexual Health Association, nearly 65 percent of high school students will have participated in sexual intercourse by the time they’ve reached the twelfth grade. The risk of obtaining an STI is increased when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, owing to the likelihood of having unprotected sex and carelessness with choosing partners.

 Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea

The surplus in the number of sexually transmitted infections comes in the wake of an increasing number of STIs showings signs of resistance to antibiotics. Gonorrhoea has now shown complete resistance to the traditional and most effective treatment method, fluoroquinolone.Transmitted by the bacteria, neisseria gonorrhoeae during unprotected sex, the symptoms of gonorrhoea include unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, painful urination, abdominal pain and in women, vaginal bleeding.

These resistant strains of gonorrhoea have been tied to an outbreak with infection failing to be treated by alternative methods, such as doses of ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic resistant strains therefore represent a major public health threat; the guidelines that have been imposed for individuals diagnosed with gonorrhoea involves the use of dual therapy with ceftriaxone by deep intramuscular injection and oral azithromycin. Nonetheless, cases of reported resistance to cephalosporin could make the application of ceftriaxone ineffective.

Better diagnostics and sexual health care

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner,Professor of Medicine and Public Health at David Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health in LA, emphasised the need to address resistant strains of gonorrhoea by asserting, “There is an urgent need for better diagnostics to address the problem of drug-resistant gonorrhoea in the United States.”

The need for better diagnostic methods has propelled the establishment of the ResistancePlus GC (SpeeDx),a test which will be used to effectively detect if the neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria in a patient is susceptible or resistant to treatment via ciprofloxacin. The antibiotic-resistance test will subsequently be able detect more quickly, whether ciprofloxacin can or cannot be used on a patient and will save the time of patients.

If left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to major health implications in men and women. The long-term consequences of untreated gonorrhoea include pelvic inflammatory disease, which can inflict serious damage to the fallopian tubes and maximize the likelihood of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. In both men and women, another complication is a disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) typified in the body by join pain and dermatitis.

It is therefore imperative more sexual health services are put into place across all states and are easily accessible to all to prevent new cases of STIs and slow the rate of infections until more effective treatment methods for antibiotic-resistant strains are found.

See Also:

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby, Let’s Talk About STDs

STDs: When to have the talk

How Do You Get Brighter, Whiter Teeth?

Coffee, tea, wine—when we really think about it, it’s a wonder our teeth aren’t more stained already. Even things like tomato sauce, blueberries and soy sauce can contribute to dimming your bright white smile.

Professional teeth whitening shows immediate results and lasts quite a long
time, but it also costs around $500 and isn’t usually covered by insurance. So where should someone on a budget look?

Home whitening kits

You may be able to get rid of superficial stains by yourself. Tooth-whitening products use a surface-type bleach to break the bonds between the stains on tooth enamel. Dentists use a highly concentrated amount to achieve more dramatic results, but the at-home kits, which use a smaller amount, can achieve results too.

Expect that any at-home products will require multiple applications over a week or two and have a gradual whitening effect. If you do opt for a professional whitening treatment, dentists often recommend using at-home products as a booster to keep your teeth whiter for longer.

Whitening toothpaste

Perhaps the simplest way to stay on top of your teeth whitening is to pick a whitening toothpaste to brush with every day. While whitening toothpastes don’t lead to dramatic changes in color, they usually contain a small concentration of hydrogen peroxide that will whiten your tooth enamel over time.

Ideally, you’re using a whitening toothpaste in addition to other whitening solutions, says New York cosmetic dentist Edward Alvarez. But this is a good place to start.

Electric toothbrush

Another simple trick to up your teeth game is to swap out your standard toothbrush
for an electric one. Electric toothbrushes

can remove up to 70 percent more plaque than manual brushes. They also remove more stains by vibrating or rotating more effectively.

Prevention is key

The best way to whiten teeth is to observe some preventative measures so they don’t
get too discolored in the first place. Good practices mean avoiding staining substances, the most egregious of which are red wine, coffee and tobacco residue. But other foods that contribute to stains are tea, tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar.

If the thought of avoiding any of those feels out of the question, try rising your mouth out with water after you eat. Brushing your teeth is even better. And of course, regular flossing and dental check-ups never hurt either.

Ladies, try this!

Wear a red lipstick with a blue undertone to give your teeth the illusion of being brighter than they actually are.

See Also:

Unleash Your Inner Genie Goddess

 

Kanye West Opens Up About Being Bipolar and His Mental Health

A recently released sneak peak of David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction reveals Kanye West opening up about his mental health struggles. In the interview, the rapper candidly narrates his personal experiences being bipolar and coping with the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Speaking about how bipolar has affected him, he tells Letterman, “You have this moment [where] you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone…When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything, everyone.

“This is my experience, other people have different experiences. Everyone now is an actor. Everything’s a conspiracy. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things.”

Kanye West’s mental health journey

Concerns regarding Kanye West’s mental health first came to light in 2016, after the rapper was hospitalized at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center following, what was classified at the time, a psychiatric emergency. The hospitalisation was believed to the result of chronic sleep deprivation and subsequent mental exhaustion and occurred just hours after Kanye cancelled his remaining performances on his Saint Pablo Tour.

Two years after his November hospitalisation, Kanye discussed his bi-polar diagnosis through his album, Ye,which was released in June 2018. Debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200, the album featured artists such as Ty Dolla Sign, Caroline Shaw, Benny Blanco, Irv Gotti and Che Pop.

The album’s name originates from the word “ye” in the Bible and touches upon the last two letters of Kanye’s name that also appear in his Twitter handle.

Bipolar is my ‘superpower’

In a video interview with Big Boy TV, Kanye gave during his picturesque listening party for the album in Wyoming, he discussed the origins of the album’s name in greater detail, “Ye” means “you”… It went from Kanye, which means “the only one,” to just Ye —just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are.”

The lyrics forming the album’s lead single, “Yikes,” directly confront his symptoms of bipolar disorder and expresses to the audience the importance of prioritizing getting help. Kanye wraps up the single’s chorus, “Yikes, shit can get menacin’, frightenin’, find help” and “Sometimes I scare myself, myself,” by titling his bipolar his ‘superpower’. “Yikes” seeks to absolve the stigma placed onto individuals with bipolar and mental illnesses, and Kanye emphasizes this by asserting that his bipolar disorder has turned him into a superhero.

Fighting the stigma around mental illness

The stigma of crazy attached to mental illness is a subject Kanye describes to David Lettermanas another way of society being able to “write you off.”

He tells Letterman, “They love to cut your sentences off halfway. What you say doesn’t mean as much. Sometimes, for me, I think it’s a form of protection for me, because if I’m peeping something that people don’t want me to think about or know as a celebrity, ‘Oh, he’s just crazy,’ and then I go home. If they didn’t think I was crazy, it may be a problem.”

The full interview is set to be aired on May 31 on Netflix.

See also: What is Camp, Anyway? Our Fave Met Gala Looks

Dr. Sherry Benton on Mental Health Support at College

Applying for a Student Loan: Where Should You Begin?

As the cost to attend college keeps rising, so does the need for students to find ways to cover that cost. Savings, grants, and scholarships are often not enough to pay for college, leaving a student loan as one of the primary options to finance the education you want. As you consider student loans, It’s important to know that not all student loans are the same. Before you decide to jump in with student loans, you should consider all of your funding options including grants, scholarships and others.

Private student loans

Private loans, like the name implies, are provided by lenders like banks and credit unions, as opposed to federal student loans, which are funded by the federal government. While there are a lot of benefits to getting a federal student loan, there is a maximum limit of how much you can borrow. You should start by utilizing federal student loans if you can, but with the rising cost of college, federal loans may not be enough. Private student loans can help fill this gap.

Give me some credit

Federal loans don’t require a credit check, which means when you apply for one, you’ll get the same rate as every other student. When applying for a private student loan, your unique financial circumstances and credit history are taken into consideration, which can affect your approval odds and the interest rate offered if you are approved.  While having to pass a credit check may seem like a disadvantage, private loans commonly give you the option of having a cosigner. With the right cosigner, it could make a big difference in the rates you’re able to receive and may make it easier for you to acquire a private loan with a good rate. After you graduate, you may have the option to refinance your loans using your improved and established credit, which could offer you the benefit of a lower rate.

Shop around!

Where should you begin? Student lending platforms like LendKey can help you find a private student loan to cover your cost of college.

What’s the difference?

The rates and terms you may be able to get can vary drastically from one lender to another. Taking the time to shop around now could save you thousands of dollars in the future.

Federal students loans always have fixed interest rates, meaning your interest rate will be the same for as long as you have the loan.  With private student loans, you often have the option of choosing between fixed and variable rates.

There’s more to consider than just the interest rates. Will there be reliable customer service?  Will the lender also be the one to service the loan? LendKey services the loans that are originated on its platform, and LendKey’s US-based loan specialists are consistently praised for their friendliness, reliability, and how quickly they are able to respond to questions.

The loan with benefits

If a private student loan fits your needs, LendKey connects community banks and credit unions to students like you. Because LendKey partners with community banks and credit unions, these institutions prosper when their customers prosper, so they want you to succeed. Lendkey also streamlines the lending experience, making it easy to keep up with your loan. You can complete the entire process online, including reviewing your loan, applying, and making payments.

LendKey can also simplify repaying your existing student loans with student loan refinancing once you have graduated. If you have multiple loans already in place, you can combine them into one brand new loan, making it more convenient to keep up with. The greatest benefit  —  one loan means one interest rate, which could save you thousands in interest over the life of the loan.

When you work with LendKey and one of their partner lenders, you have a strong team behind you, helping make your dreams come true.

LendKey was founded in 2009 immediately following the Great Recession. Through partnerships with banks and credit unions, LendKey has helped more than 92,000 borrowers and disbursed more than $2.9 billion in loans.

For more information visit http://www.lendkey.com. 

See Also:

Common Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

Avoid These Interview Mistakes

Writing the Perfect Resume

Nootropics: Can They Make You Smarter?

Our modern lifestyles require us to retain more new information today than ever before, from rigorous exam preparation to big deadlines at work.

Dominating this fast-paced information-filled world is social media and its effect on cognitive health. Social networking platforms portray an elusive mirror of supposed perfection and happiness; however, excessive usage has cultivated multiple cognitive problems such as loneliness, depression and social anxiety.

In a study published by Psychology Today, findings demonstrated that real, direct social interaction was negatively linked to excess Twitter use in university students, with loneliness being the prime cause.

Nootropics to the rescue?

Nootropics, or “brain boosters,” work by increasing and decreasing the activity of brain chemicals. For example, GABA is a brain chemical responsible for reducing anxiety, whereas the neurotransmitter norepinephrine heightens adrenaline in humans.

Other neurotransmitters include serotonin that regulates anxiety and dopamine. A lack of dopamine can cause insomnia, fatigue, memory loss and abrupt mood swings. Moreover, chemical imbalances can be triggered by either too low or high glutamate levels, with the latter being a symptom of Alzheimer’s and the former creating cognitive problems, like ADHD in children.

Herbal Nootropics

Nootropics can come in herbal or synthetic forms. Herbal nootropics use the herb ashwagandha, which
was used historically in the holistic practice Ayurveda. The herb works to revitalize your mental performance by improving attention levels and reducing fatigue. A secondary benefit of ashwagandha is its potential to restore a mental harmony, therefore ideal for those who suffer from anxiety within social interactions. Native to South East Asia, mitragyna speciosa, which is commonly known as kratom, is another herbal nootropic. Adopted by tribal societies in South Eastern Asia to provide energy, stimulate hunger and treat wounds, Kratorm is now used as a cognitive stimulant to maximize productivity levels.

Synthetic Nootropics

Synthetic nootropics, available globally, are used to improve memory and concentration levels. Modafinil is one such example of a synthetic brain booster, available only through prescription to ensure its is the right and most effective type of treatment to meet the specific needs of a patients. Modafinil is also used to treat narcolepsy, the chronic brain disorder causing individuals to fall asleep at random.

Synthetic nootropics are also widely utilized to treat social and cognitive problems. The compound Phenibut is a derivative of GABA and was once embraced by the Soviet Union as a medicinal drug. Its properties allow
it to have a stress-reducing effect and improve the sleep quality of its users.

See Also:
Brain Food – Eating For Concentration

Provigil: “Viagra for the brain?”

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby, Let’s Talk About STDs

In 2018, rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the US had climbed among young adults aged 15 to 24 for the fourth consecutive year. However, according to the Guttmacher Institute, only 22 states and the District of Columbia require sex and HIV-prevention education in grade school, and only 20 of these require information on condoms and contraception to be taught. Twenty-six states require abstinence be stressed when teaching students about sex, so it’s time to shout the words ‘sexually’ ‘transmitted’ and ‘diseases’ from the rooftops. In today’s Sex Ed class, learn how to protect yourself from STDs and seek help discreetly.

What are STDs?

STDs are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal and oral sex. They’re common, but 80 percent of people who have them do not experience any symptoms.

Some prevalent STDs include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Herpes
  • HPV
  • Pubic lice
  • Genital warts
  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV & AIDS
  • Syphilis

At risk

The bad news is that anyone who is sexually active can get an STD. The good news is that, in general, STDs are highly preventable. While the only guaranteed method to prevent infection is to abstain from all sexual contact, there are some sure steps that you can take to reduce your risk of contracting an STD if you’re exploring sex in college.

Outside of the act itself, educating yourself about sexual health and taking a couple of precautions before engaging in any sexual activity can help to reduce your risk of getting an STD. The following may sound obvious, but in this case, the phrase “better safe than sorry” definitely rings true. Remember: taking control of your body isn’t something to be embarrassed about.

Take these precautions:

  • Limit your number of sexual partners.
  •  Explicitly talk to potential partners about your sexual histories.
  • Get tested, along with your potential partner, before having sex.
  • Avoid having sex when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B (HBV).

Practicing Safe Sex

Okay, so you’re having sex—but how can you make it “safe sex”? From male and female condoms to dental dams and gloves, the world of barrier protection is vast and in place to help protect you against STDs.

The most popular form of barrier contraception is the trusty condom, which may not be so reliable if used incorrectly. Be sure to check the expiration date and that the condom package has an air bubble (to show it hasn’t been punctured). Read the instructions on the box and ensure you know how to put the condom on correctly. Use condom-safe lubricant, make sure it doesn’t slip off, and never reuse a condom or take it off and put it back on.

You might be feeling confident that your condom game is strong but, while barriers are good at preventing the exchange of bodily fluids, they do not prevent the transmission of infection entirely. Syphilis, herpes and HPV are all STDs that can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, so take precautions and talk openly to your potential partners. If you’re unsure, seek advice from your healthcare provider.

Get tested

With most people who have an STD displaying no symptoms, it’s really important to get tested if you think you could be at risk. STDs can cause serious health problems if they’re left untreated, and having one also makes you more likely to get other STDs, like HIV. According to the American College Health Association, only 52 percent of young people actually use a condom during sex, so let’s keep it real. Ideally, you should get tested after the first time you have sex and between every partner. The best part about getting tested: once you get it over with, your mind will be at ease.

Most STDs are easy to treat and getting checked can be quick and simple. Depending on what you’re being tested for, your healthcare provider may take a blood sample, a swab or ask you to pee in a cup—easy!

It’s normal to feel embarrassed or uneasy about getting tested for STDs, but safe sex is a reality for everyone, because everyone who is sexually active is at risk of getting infected. Here are some tips on how to get checked discreetly:

  • Take advantage of college resources. Most campus health centers will be able to answer your questions about sexual health, prescribe birth control, distribute condoms and dental dams and even offer STD testing.
  • Bite the bullet. Search for a nearby healthcare center by zip code on websites like STDcheck.com and the CDC’s website—many take walk-ins.
  • Order a self-test kit. You can test for certain STDs from the comfort of your own home.
  • Rope in a friend. Offload your worries onto a close friend or make getting checked for STDs into a group outing (soooo Insta-worthy?)

See Also:

Looking Back On Your First Love

STDs: When to have the talk

The Home STD Test: 5 Massive Myths

Dating: Love in the Time of Hookup Apps

After spending four years in and out of high school relationships where the extent of dating is holding hands while walking each other to class and putting your partner’s name in your Twitter bio, you are now at a larger school with a new sea of faces and a spectrum of relationships. This is your roadmap to navigate three major categories that your new relationship is likely to fall into.

Keepin’ it casual

In his article, “Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review,” Justin R. Garcia of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University reports that, “a combined 81 percent of undergraduate respondents engaged in some form of hookup behavior.” Hooking up is a relationship with a partner without involving feelings; it’s typically a sexual relationship. Dating apps and social media are two popular places to meet partners. Intentions can be communicated without making things uncomfortable within a friend group or a classroom. Your friends at school will have their own friends and as long as tides are calm between you, your friends and your partner, there’s no harm in casual sex. Communicate to your partner that the situation isn’t working out and you would like to put an end to things. This can get tricky if your partner is present in your everyday life; however, without commitment, there isn’t much justification for bad blood as long as you do the respectful thing and communicate with them.

Dating Apps. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you’re meeting a partner off of social media, let a friend know. Text them where you’re going, or who is coming over, along with an address and a screenshot of your partner’s social media profile. Keep your friend updated once an hour and set a time limit for them to take action if they don’t hear from you. If your partner is involved in your friend group, ensure all of your friends are alright with the relationship because it’s never worth throwing  away a friend for just casual sex.

Deciding who to start dating

In his article “A Million First Dates” published in The Atlantic, Dan Slater shares a conversation with a friend, Jacob, where Jacob explains, “Each relationship is its own little education…You learn more about what works and what doesn’t…I’m not jumping into something with the wrong person, or committing to something too early.” Commitment in college can be scary, and it’s alright to not be ready to dive into a relationship with somebody. You go on dates, you hold hands and people know that, to some extent, you two are an item.

It’s a relationship without the pressure of a label or the intimidation that can come with commitment in your late teens/early 20s. Start a conversation with a person you’re interested in that sits near you in class or by discussing common interests in a club. Stay away from people you know because it can be tricky to have a partner in this stage in your friend group, because although there isn’t commitment, there are still feelings involved. Because feelings are involved, communicate them to your partner and be honest with what you want and where your feelings are at, and do what is best for you.This stage is the gray area of relationships and to ensure you and your partner are taking the same steps where it will influence your status, communication is key. Find a term that is well-known and establish terminology when beginning this relationship that is easy to explain to a wide demographic and is also comfortable for you and your partner.

It’s Facebook official

Cara Newlon of USA Today reported that a Facebook Data Scientist study released in 2013 found that about 28 percent of married graduates attended the same college as their spouse. Even in the generation of hooking up and dating apps, romance on campus is not dead. When you’re in a relationship, there is exclusivity with you and your partner, using concrete terms like boyfriend and girlfriend. There are intentions to grow with your partner and there is permanence in your relationship.

Relationships can begin in a plethora of ways, from friends to social media to meetcutes at Jimmy John’s. If you’re interested in someone, never hesitate to make a move and keep in mind that the worst they can say is no. If you want to end things, be honest, be open, and be kind. Remember that you’re only in college and you have time to grow independently and you’ll meet people along the way. If you attend school with your partner, you’re prone to run into them. Try to avoid people who live in your building in case things have a rocky ending. These are pivotal growth years, so to maintain your independence in your relationship and remember you don’t have to share all of your interests with your partner. Also, make time for your friends throughout your relationship. It can be easy to isolate yourself from people that aren’t your partner, but try to set aside at least a night a week for your friends.

Dating Today. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.

In this generation, dating is more complex than it once was. There are a spectrum of terms and statuses your relationship could fall on. Although this culture is experiencing constant growth, at the core of any relationship lies communication and honesty, and with those two things in your pocket, you can navigate through any relationship.

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The Dos and Don’ts of College Interviews

Applying for college or university is stressful enough, without the added pressure of reviewing for exams and making sure you’re on track of coursework deadlines, which is why we have compiled a list of our dos and don’ts when it comes to preparing for your college interviews.

The Dos

  1. Tailor your interview research

While widely researching many universities and colleges during your application process is advised, when it comes to preparing for interviews, it is better to tailor your fact-finding mission. Tailoring your research will not only prepare you for the interview process, it will also give you better insight as to if a particular university is for you. Start by noting the classes you’re most interested in, and afterwards, record how specific elements of your prior experience or education tie into these subjects.

Moreover, be sure to make note of why you would like to study “X Course” at this particular university? The interview stage is about assessing your overall suitability both for the course you’re applying to and university.

  1. Practice makes perfect

Alongside measuring your compatibility with the course and college, the interview stage looks at your communication skills. Shed the waffle with a concise script of what you plan to say, either in bullet points or as a complete text.

To avoid ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ when it comes to responding to questions, go over the type of questions most commonly asked at interviews for your course. Even if these questions aren’t exactly the same ones that come up, you can still quickly modify your answer in your head to execute a well-delivered, fast response.

  1. Smile

The stress of seeing applicants come in and out, while in the waiting room might sky rocket your cortisol levels; however, it is essential you make yourself feel at ease. Just remember that the interviewer you’ll be seeing was once an applicant.

Also: try smiling while you speak. In a Ted Talk about body language, Ron Gutman highlights the benefits of smiling though citing the study by UC Berkeley and Wayne State University. Their study observed the width of smiles on yearbook photos and baseball cards featuring different MLB players. The results of the study concluded the wider the person’s smile had been, the longer and happier they had lived.

Don’t forget smiles are contagious, so shine a warm, beaming smile at your interviewer, and it’s likely that they will do the same, putting you both at ease.

Don’ts

  1. Do not be late

The difference between being late and early is the type of first impression you provide to your interviewer. If you feel travel may be an issue, pad your journey with plenty of time. Even consider booking a hotel close to the university or staying over at a nearby friend’s house if possible.

  1. Don’t sell yourself short in interviews

Smiling is a good place to start when it comes to expressing confidence and appearing more confident. Nonetheless, smiling alone won’t get you into college. Learning to ‘sell yourself’ is crucial, and don’t draw attention to your negative attributes or undermine any of your achievements. Especially when facing the frequently asked questions such as, “What is your greatest weakness?” or “What is a skill you could improve upon?”

At first glance, these types of questions imply the interviewer is asking you to address something you lack, when in fact these questions give you an opportunity to turn the question on its head. The lack can be transformed into a quality or an attribute you hold too much of. For example, you could interpret being too obsessive over detail, as the result of your need and strive for perfection.

End your interview with a strong handshake and an appreciative thank you. Good luck!

See Also:

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10 Things I wish I’d Known In College