Some urinary tract infections (UTIs) are preventable. And while they tend to be regarded as a women’s problem—or, more accurately, as a problem for anyone born with a vagina—in fact, anyone can get a UTI. The anatomy of the vagina does make it much more susceptible to infection than the penis, however.
What causes UTIs?
Most urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli, a bacterium found in the gut, but other bacteria can also cause these infections. The rectum is very near the vagina, where the urethra is located. If non-sterile bacteria from the rectum manage to ascend the urethra, they can infect the bladder, causing a UTI. Anyone born with a vagina has a short urethra, so it’s not that long of a trip for bacteria to get into the bladder.
How do I know if I have a UTI?
Symptoms can include:
Frequent urination and/or an urge to urinate even when your bladder is empty
Bloody or cloudy urine
A UTI is a “simple” bladder infection called cystitis. Sometimes, the bacteria can travel all the way up to the kidneys and infect them too, causing pyelonephritis. Both infections are fairly readily diagnosed and treated, but since a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, you’ll need to treat it right away. For that matter, a UTI may feel so uncomfortable that you’ll want to treat it right away.
How to prevent it?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have some general guidelines that can lower your risk of a UTI:
Empty your bladder before and after sexual activity
Stay hydrated and urinate regularly
Take a shower instead of a bath
Avoid douching or using any sprays/powders in the genital area
I’ve dealt with this complaint with many patients over the years and we almost always can make things better. If you frequently get UTI symptoms, you should definitely speak with a health care provider who is experienced at dealing with them. Not all of your episodes of discomfort may be due to UTIs, but it’s worth talking the situation through and considering all the possibilities.
Liam K. is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Oregon Institute of Technology.
Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu host the Another Round podcast every Tuesday, covering a variety of topics like current politics, social issues, career advice, relationships, board games, and much more. Each episode includes a guest who is knowledgeable on that week’s topic. The hosts make the podcast fun to listen to, but they also know when to get serious.
One of the more serious issues they focused on for today’s social issues is the “Me Too” movement. They also cover women’s experiences within the workforce and encourage the listener to stand up for themselves and to do what’s best for them.
On the more fun side, Another Round has lots of nuggets of advice scattered throughout their podcast. When I was listening to episode 19, for example, I learned that LinkedIn allows you to customize your profile page URL, which I didn’t know!
Tracy and Heben have a natural ability to allow the conversation to instinctively form. They connect with their guest and have the listener wondering where the conversation will go. I love that they don’t try to solve an issue—rather, they interview people to learn from their experience. The podcast doesn’t offer just one definitive solution; it offers a viewpoint, and I respect that.
I would recommend this podcast to someone who’s interested in today’s social issues—but who also needs something to listen to for a laugh when doing the dishes.
You understand the importance of locating your classes and the best coffee shop—but where’s your school’s career center? If you don’t know, go find it. There’s more happening there than the standard job search (though they’re great for that too), and students who stop by a few times a year gain a powerful advantage.
“The earlier students start to explore careers, the more time they have to test out their interests, build essential skills, and gain exposure and experience in possible fields,” says Jean Papalia, director of graduate student career services at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Nearly 86 percent of students have used their career center for résumé help at least once, according to a 2017 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). More than half of students are making use of career counseling and internship assistance.
Here’s how your career services can help:
1. Find four full years of opportunities
“I thought that my career services office would only help me find full-time jobs when my four years were up,” says Lexi K. at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, “but they helped me find summer jobs, apply for on-campus opportunities, [get] semester-long internships, etc.”
2. Check out your potential future(s)
The self-assessments offered at career centers are not designed to tell you what to do but instead to give you ideas that aren’t already on your radar. The questions touch on your values, motivation, skills, and interests. “The career center also hosts career fairs and employer meet-and-greets, so they’ve provided me with plenty of opportunities for exposure and learning what kinds of employers and fields would be interested in someone with my degree,” says Anthony S., a third-year undergraduate at University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
3. Pick your area of study and know what to do with it
Weighing your major, minor, and elective options? Considering their impact on your career opportunities can help set you up for getting employers’ attention. “The various personality and aptitude tests I took were helpful in narrowing my potential career path and interests,” says Noa S., a fourth-year undergraduate student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
4. Network with alumni
Your predecessors are often open to requests for informational interviews and might even connect you with a specific opportunity or strategic contact. “Networking is a key component of career exploration and job search success,” says Papalia. “Alumni are especially supportive and always willing to provide information and advice.”
5. Develop your best résumé and cover letter
Selling yourself on paper is not as easy as you think. Check out your school’s drop-in sessions or workshops for assistance with selecting content, formatting, organization, grammar, and layout flair. “My résumé would be terrible without my career center’s help. Not only with formatting but also content and how to alter the résumé for each job. They were also happy and supportive when I got a position,” says Emily O., a fourth-year undergraduate student at St. Louis University in Missouri.
6. Own that interview
Whether your mock interview occurs over the phone, via Skype™, or in person, you might be paired with a career counselor, another professional, or a fellow student who has interviewed already. “I didn’t know that such a thing existed or that it would be helpful to practice with a real recruiter and no penalties,” says Kayla G. at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Jake A., a fourth-year undergraduate student at University of the Pacific in California, added: “Mock interviews helped me get more comfortable with doing more interviews.”
Cynthia Dantes, director, career service, public health and professional degree programs, Tufts University School of Medicine, Massachusetts.
Jean Papalia, director of graduate student career services, Tufts University, Massachusetts.
College Parents of America. (n.d.). How the college career office can help your college student. Retrieved from http://www.collegeparents.org/members/resources/articles/how-college-career-office-can-help-your-college-student
Fouad, N. A., Guillen, A., Harris-Hodge, E., Henry, C., et al. (2006). Need, awareness, and use of career services for college students. Journal of Career Assessment, 14(4), 407–420.Retrieved from http://jca.sagepub.com/content/14/4/407.abstract
National Association of Colleges and Employers. (2012, December 5). Student survey: Class of 2012 used career center at same rate as class of 2011. Retrieved from http://www.naceweb.org/s12052012/student-career-center-use.aspx
Let’s face it: Doing the same thing every day could get a little boring and result in us lacking the motivation to exercise. Changing up your workouts not only helps keep your mind engaged in exercise, but also it can boost your fitness level as you add new physical stresses to the body.
When we first start exercising, whether it’s lifting weights, using the elliptical machine, running, or yoga, we may notice a change in our bodies. Muscles may become more toned and flexible, and our weight may change. Over time, as our body adapts to the stresses we’re placing on it (exercise), it stops changing as much. This is a good time to start stressing it differently so that our bodies are challenged by different types of activity.
Here are four ways you can change up your workouts:
1. Increase the intensity.
Working harder over the same amount of time will increase your energy expenditure and boost your metabolism, giving you more bang for your buck. For example, if you normally use the elliptical machine for 30 minutes and cover three miles of distance in that time, try aiming for four miles in the same amount of time. The increased effort will get your heart pumping and the sweat dripping!
2. Increase the weight.
If you normally perform sets of 15 repetitions with a given weight, increase the amount of weight so you can only comfortably perform six to eight reps. This stresses the muscle tissue differently and helps you gain more strength.
3. Increase the repetitions.
If you normally lift heavier weights, decrease the weight and do more reps. Try 20–30 reps. You may feel your muscles burning as you get up into the higher reps. That’s OK—you’re building endurance in them.
4. Change the activity.
Do you lift weights all the time but don’t stretch much? Try yoga. Are you a full-time yogi but you never lift or do cardio? Try to add in a bit of both. And for the cardio lovers who never touch a weight, try lifting. Doing different activities helps keep our muscles balanced and our minds engaged. You might find doing something different is really challenging because your body isn’t used to it. Use that challenge as an opportunity to grow, both mentally and physically.
Here’s why upper body workouts matter: Each day, we pick things up, put things down, carry items from one location to another, or move things around a room. Having a strong upper body makes these tasks easier.
Don’t worry—none of this will require hours in a gym with state-of-the-art equipment. Our trainer, Brianna, has put together a circuit of arm exercises below that are quick and effective and require zero equipment. This workout can be done anytime, anywhere, so it’s perfect for the busy student.