November 23, 2017

Students should be offered more health options

Everything was quiet except for the ticking clock on the wall. Everyone around me was wearing a long, white hospital gown. My hands were shaking and a feverish heat started to crawl up my spine. I looked down to see the hospital gown flowing to my knees. The MRI technologist called my name. They were ready for me, and I was terrified. 

Life is full of unexpected surprises. Some surprises can be good, but others not so much. Everything in my life had finally felt somewhat normal. Bills were getting paid for the most part, spring semester of school just ended, I started working full-time again and things were calm. All of this changed when my doctor told me she found a baseball-sized cyst in my left ovary.

At first I wasn’t concerned because I didn’t know much about ovarian cysts, but then I could tell my health was starting to decline and the medical bills began to pile up. I was sick and cranky all the time. My family and friends started to get angry with me because I wasn’t myself. I never wanted to do anything and got extremely moody because of the pain.

The doctor urged me to get an ultrasound immediately. The tests came back inconclusive. They found a dark mass covering the ovary, but couldn’t decipher what it was. The cyst was blocking several blood vessels, which causes awful and consistent lower back and thigh pain.

After the MRI, I waited anxiously. I finally received the results. The tests came back benign. I am cancer free; however, the pain still continues so surgery could be a possibility sometime soon.

The website healthline.com, states most women get ovarian cysts at least once in their life. They are usually small, painless and go away on their own. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for me.

Sadly, my biggest concern is money. I’m a full-time college student with a very large student loan, and now I have a new $1500 medical bill. I can only work so much while maintaining my academic career. I’ve always struggled with school and never had the chance to receive a scholarship for grades.

According to the Washington Post, only 59 percent of students who begin college as a freshman receive their diploma. Students with a low-income background are less likely to graduate and that’s even if they begin at all.

In a recent email from Patrick Giblin, Director of Public Relations at Webster, he mentioned there is a pay scale data system that compares graduates 5 years after they earn a degree to those who did not receive one. The study shows that students who receive a degree can still make more than those who don’t have one, even after the student loan debt.

“The data have repeatedly shown that the average Webster undergraduate increases earnings by several factors within five years of finishing a bachelor’s degree, that the cost of a Webster degree is below the national average, and that the average graduate leaves the institution with lower-than average student debt,” Giblin said.

After reviewing this information, I feel more confident about getting my bills, school, health and essentially my life in order. Colleges should make this more of priority because it will help the student understand they can do this and give them an option besides dropping out. There are other students like me, and I think it would be good for those people to know this information before they give up.

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