Author Archives: guardingme

Spiritual Wellness

Dimension: Spiritual
Activity: Youth Group Retreat (Wildcard)
Sunday, February 26

Sunday marked the end of my Pursuit of Wellness game journey; however, the presence of all seven dimensions of wellness will continue throughout my time at UND and beyond. Sunday the 26th was a wildcard, a perfect day to conclude my last dimension, spiritual wellness.  At a local church in Grand Forks, I have the privelage of working with 8th grade girls as a small group leader for youth group. This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Minnesota for a youth group retreat at a Bible Camp. I was excited to to be with the group outside of the usual setting and for an extended period of time. The entire weekend involved worship through singing and hearing God’s Word from the speaker. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend getting to talk with the middle schoolers about the Bible and God’s purpose for their life. Throughout the weekend we also played several games and activities such as a broomball tournament on the iced over lake. Overall, it was a great weekend, as it challenged me in my faith as the girls seek answers about their spiritual wellnes journey.


Intellectual Wellness

Dimension: Intellectual
Activity: Meet, Eat, & Learn
Wednesday, February 8th at 12pm

Last Wednesday I attended my first Meet, Eat, and Learn session at the International Centre. Prior to the event, I knew this month’s speaker was going to be Amoussa Koriko who was going to speak on the common misconceptions/challenges refugees faced when coming in the Grand Forks area. I knew a bit about the topic as we had just discussed this briefly in a social work class after a news article was written in the Grand Forks Herald about the topic recently. However, I was curious to hear Amoussa’s insights on the subject. The presentation was interesting as well as hearing others in the audience ask what they themselves could do to make the transition easier for refugees coming into this community.  We can be open to listen and learn about someone elses culture, this will build relationships and respect for eachother in the process. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation as this topic is relevant in our community today.

Healthy UND Coalition – Emotional Wellness

Dimension: Environmental
Activity: Healthy UND Coalition meeting
Friday, January 27th at 12:00pm in Swanson 10-12

On Friday I attended Healthy UND Coalition meeting in the lower level of the Memorial Union. I knew prior to the meeting that the meeting focus was Mental Health. I expected to hear information regarding managing mental health as it relates to our college campus. While attending the meeting, I heard interesting information from the 2010 ACHA-NCHA data in regards to mental health. A survey will be administered to UND students this February. University Counseling Center also shared their priorities and goals for the year. The Peer Education Office was also well represented with how they connect to the issue. Overall, this meeting gave me a better understanding of mental health and the importance of managing it as it affects many other aspects of my life. Each dimension is related to one another; this meeting illustrated this point even further.

Physical Wellness

Dimension: Physical Wellness

Activity: Complete e-Chug Assessment

When: Tuesday, January 24

Today I completed an e-Chug Assessment online through the Peer Education office. As a student employee through the Health & Wellness department, I had general knowledge to what an e-Chug was; however, I was curious to see what exactly is asked through the assessment. The e-chug assesses your alcohol consumption and provides information to go about it in a healthy and safe manner. At the end of the assessment it reviewed your answers and gave additional information such as more detail about blood alcohol levels, etc. The assessment also showed how alcohol consumption impacts your physical wellness. By choosing to not drink or drink moderately, your physical wellness can improve.

Emotional Wellness

Dimension: Emotional

Activity: Complete online health screening on the UCC website

When: Thursday, January 19

Last Thursday I took the online health screening on the UCC website. I was interested to see what types of categories the survey would screen and what the end result would be. During the screening, detailed questions were asked and a multiple choice answers were there for me to respond with. The screening had me think about things that in the past I thought were “normal” but ended with realizing my view about certain topics were skewed. At the end of the survey, the UCC offered additional information as well as the opportunity to meet with staff to process it further. Overall, I think this is a beneficial tool that allows students to take at home and process through things before coming in a talking one-on-one with a professional.

Occupational Wellness

Dimension: Occupational

Activity: SHAC meeting

Time/Place: Monday, January 23 from 5-6PM, Memorial Room in the Memorial Union

Before attending the meeting, I was curious as to how many students would attend the meeting and the ideas the members would have for the year. The Student Health Advisory Committee is a group of 10-20 UND students. The topics discussed at last night’s meeting were Health Insurance, the Wellness Expo, and semester goals. Overall, I was impressed with the excitement and ideas brought forth by SHAC members. The group had great ideas to promote services offered through Student Health. SHAC fits within the occupational dimension as it is a foot in the door working with Student Health staff and having a better idea of what goes on within the clinic.

Altru’s Pursuit of Wellness

Dimension: Social
Activity: UND vs. NDUS Basketball
Tuesday, January 17th at 7:00pm

Last Tuesday I spent the evening on the edge of my seat in the Ralph Engelstad arena. When heading to the game, I was slightly unsure as to how the game would go after recalling last year’s game against NDSU. The place was filled with UND fans cheering on their Men’s basketball team. I was impressed with the amount of fans that came out on a cold night to support their team as they faced their rivalry, NDSU. Overall the game was fun to watch and it kept you to the end to see what the outcome would be. I enjoyed spending the night with a group of friends and watching a great basketball game.

Kristen’s Story

Recently, I watched an online video about a young woman named Kristen. She shared her story after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

“For the past year I have been through every surgery, every drug, every doctor’s appointment that you could possibly imagine… It’s so important that this happens to nobody else. That you take care of yourself. That you go to the doctor, and you get your checkups. And you do everything you can to make sure you’re healthy. Because it does, it happens to anyone. It doesn’t matter age, it doesn’t matter what you do, or who you are, it happens. So please take care of yourself so YOU don’t have to go through what I did.”

The strain in her voice gave testimony to the seriousness of this disease. She recalled how tough the treatment process was on herself and her family. This diagnosis was something she never would have expected, making it that much more difficult. Kristen is now healthy! She also feels it is her job to communicate with others how to prevent this disease.  

Receiving the Gardasil vaccination is one way to take care of yourself. Gardasil will help protect again 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases. The vaccine is given over the course of 6 months in 3 different doses. It is important to continue routine cervical cancer screenings because Gardasil does not treat cancer.

My best friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer her senior year of high school. I have seen a 17 year-old go through things I never could have imagined.. things I don’t believe a senior in high school should have to think about. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I am talking about as cancer is not a new disease.

When it comes down to it, Gardasil is a vaccine that can potentially guard you against cervical cancer. This is UNBELIEVABLE that a vaccine has been discovered and proven to protect against this strain of cancer.  According to Merck, 30 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer EACH DAY, totaling about 11,000 women per year.  Why take the chance that this could be you?

I encourage you to take action and get yourself vaccinated.

One Less.

A couple years ago, I made the decision to guard myself against HPV (human papillomavirus).

According to Merck’s Gardasil website, here are the facts about HPV: HPV is a wide spread virus that can infect most males and females in their lifetime. In fact, approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. Another 6 million people become infected each year. For many, HPV clears on its own. But for some, significant consequences may arise: cervical, vaginal, penis, anus, head, and neck cancers (oral cavity and throat). The virus often has no signs or symptoms, so many people who have HPV don’t even know it! This also means you can pass the virus to your partner without knowing it.

I am sure most of you know someone who (or you yourself) has been diagnosed with cancer. And I am sure the hope of a cure for cancer has crossed your mind. Gardasil is not a cure or treatment; however, it can prevent certain strains of cancer. Gardasil is the only human papillomavirus vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV. Gardasil offers protection against some cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, and oropharyngeal. The vaccine is recommended for both males and females ages 9-26. Gardasil has been tested in over 11,000 women in the United States and around the world. This vaccine is found to be safe and effective in preventing these specific types of cancers. As stated previously, Gardasil does not treat cancer, but is a vaccine that prevents from receiving some cancers in the first place.

Gardasil is given in 3 separate injections over a 6 month period. Many insurance carriers cover the cost of the vaccine. If your insurance does not cover the Gardasil vaccine or you do not have insurance, UND Student Health offers state funded vaccine at $13.90 per dose.

A common question asked is if I am already sexually active, is it too late to get vaccinated? The answer is NO. If you are already sexually active, you may still benefit from this vaccine. If you have already been exposed to HPV, you may not have been exposed to the other types covered by Gardasil.

To me, receiving this vaccine makes sense. If you are only with one partner in your lifetime, how can you guarantee your partner isn’t carrying the virus from someone else? Being diagnosed with cancer is not a risk I’m willing to take, especially with a vaccine available proven to help prevent the disease.

I’m guarded. Are you?

For more information regarding HPV and Gardasil visit:

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