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College freedom can trigger illness.

The freedom of college life can bring about stress-related illnesses that send many students to their campus health centers. Dealing with that freedom and coping with academic schedules and part-time jobs creates an ideal breeding ground for such ailments as colds, flu, mononucleosis, and strep infections - especially for freshmen. in fact, most colleges are breeding grounds for those kinds of illnesses, indicates Michael Kurland, director of student health services, University of Connecticut.

"Stress levels increase sharply, especially for freshmen," adds Beverly Beckwith, nursing director of the university's student health service. They're out on their own - many for the first time - and they have no structure in their lives. They have fatigue. They may not be eating right because they're skipping dorm meals. They're living close to other students. Some are homesick. They need some structure in their lives."

Even though campus health centers expect to see students with health problems from the beginning of the semester, the biggest workload of the year usually comes during final exam week of the fall semester, when stress, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition often combine with the flu. On the positive side, Kurland notes that parents should not worry because most students take fairly good care of themselves and know when to seek help. "It's all part of the development process. Students learn to become responsible for their health and well-being and subsequently become savvy health care consumers."
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Title Annotation:college students can become prone to stress-related illnesses such as colds and strep infections
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 1996
Words:235
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