College Students Fears & Anxiety about H1N1

By: Sylvia Petty Email
By: Sylvia Petty Email

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The fall semester is winding down for college students which means important classes, labs, tests and finals are near.

"You can't miss class now. It's getting down to the wire," said Washburn University freshman Ashley Morrison.

With H1N1 and the regular flu season underway, some students may have fears and anxieties about missing class due to illness.

“You know you don’t want to miss out on finals, or you’ll have to make it up or other times you won’t be able to make it up,” said Washburn student Jephthah Schlingensiepen.

Washburn Sophomore Skylar Flinn agrees, “You want to be at those classes at the end so that way you can do as well as possible.”

Fear of catching H1N1, the flu or just a cold is especially on students minds considering they live and learn in such close quarters.

“You never know if someone who’s sick or on their way to being sick has been there touching stuff,” said Schlingensiepen.

So, students say they are using lots of hand-sanitizer and washing their hands frequently throughout the day just in case.

Washburn Sophomore Samantha Cook had H1N1 earlier this semester, and didn’t know until visiting her doctor.

"I still went to class, because I didn't know. I hope I didn't get anybody sick. But I had to because I still had homework and stuff,” she said.

Cindy Turk is a psychology professor and helps run Washburn’s Anxiety Clinic. She said students shouldn’t let a fear of getting sick, or actually being sick stress them out.

"It can be easy for a student to think, should the worse happen, this is the end of the world. I'm going to miss class I'll never be able to make it up. But in reality, a lot of times they're going to be able to cope with it a lot better than they might initially think.”

Turk’s words proved true for Washburn Sophomore Alanna Seymour, who recently got over H1N1 in the last couple of weeks. Seymour also said that her teacher’s have been very helpful in allowing her to complete make-up assignments and homework.

"Most teachers are sympathetic and are willing to work with their students,” said Turk. She went on to say that she has had students come to her with physicians notes, and has tried to help accommodate them as best as possible, knowing their situation.

With all of the stress that tests and sickness can bring, Turks said it’s most important for students to have a plan in case they were to get sick, notify and talk with teachers right away, and remember to keep things in perspective.


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