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Category: Tips Articles

by Julian Cobb

August 07, 2014

The Time Is Almost Here

In two weeks, I will be leaving the state that I’ve called home for twenty-two years to begin my new journey. How do I feel? I can’t even begin to describe the emotions that are going through my head at this very second. All I have in Nashville, TN is an aunt. That’s it! Granted I’m thankful that she is there but as far as everything else… I’ll have to start from scratch.

The Masters of Divinity Program at Vanderbilt University will take three years to complete. In the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t seem that long. My undergraduate career took four years but the time literally flew by! I am grateful to have the opportunity to attend such a prestigious institution…but it’s the adjustment piece that continues to plague my mind.

It takes eight hours to get from Durham, NC to Nashville, TN. This means I can’t just hop in the car and go see my family whenever I want to. Wow. It still hasn’t hit me yet but I think it will once I move. In Nashville, I’ll be an hour behind everyone back at home. I must say that when I went to visit Nashville, I did enjoy being in the central time zone. I felt like I had more time in the day- probably because I wasn’t doing much in the first place besides touring the city. I’m not too keen on cars but now I’ll have to take time to really learn about my vehicle. This is something I should have been doing already- I know. I do have AAA so that actually may come in handy! It still wouldn’t hurt to know about your own vehicle. I’m not looking forward to finding a new barber AND a new church home. I’ve been going to the same barber since middle school. All I had to do was call my barber, tell him I was coming and he would find the time to squeeze me in his schedule. I have been attending the same church for four years. Before that, I was a member at my home church for eighteen years. My church family has truly been my support system in college and throughout life. Leaving both churches will be difficult for me.

When it comes to the divinity school, I will be entering a totally new curriculum. Reading and studying are about to become my new best friends. I know that undergraduate and graduate programs are on two different levels. I’m not expecting it to be easy but then again… I don’t know what exactly to expect- if that makes any sense. Theology is something that I’ve always had an interest in so I’m sure I will enjoy learning new concepts. At the same time, I am grounded in what I believe personally. I realize that everyone who comes to Divinity School may not believe the same way that I do. Some individuals may be Buddhist, Hindu or even atheist. No matter their religious preference, I still have to see them as human beings and understand that they too have a voice.

I heard someone say once that “sometimes you have to go in order to grow”. This journey is definitely going to be a growth process for me but I’m up for the challenge. I’ve come too far to stop now. Besides, I can still see my doctorate within reach after I get my masters. Three degrees before I turn 30 years old- it can happen. Don’t believe it? Just watch.


  

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by Keiara Morris

July 30, 2014

Women’s Role in Men Health

Not to generalize all men but I know that the guys around my house used to absolutely despise going to the doctor because they felt like it was a waste of time. They believed that ALL could be healed with anything in the medicine cabinet and band-aids. This was my Dad before he suffered from a heart attack. These days I feel like our family dynamic is a little different. My Dad definitely doesn’t mind going to the doctor now and instead suggests healthy options at the dinner table.

My Mother and I are the only two females in my household and although my Dad has taken a different role in the health of our family, at the end of the day, the women keep things realistic and rational. There are many food options that my Dad brings to the table, but we (the women) figure out how to make these things work for our family or how to politely tell him “No, we’ll pass on that one”. From incorporating more fish, chicken and turkey into our diets and working out pork and beef to even starting our own family garden, our family has been made a complete lifestyle change. What’s an idea without someone to put it into action? Right, just an idea.

I believe that women play a huge role in men’s health. Typically because women are more aware of the signs of pending health issues thus sending up a red flag and ensuring that the men (in our families) see a doctor. So let's just face it, we are the backbone!

       

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by Research Scholars

July 22, 2014

Twitter Chat: Snapchat & Technology Obsession

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by Dr. Fay Cobb Payton

July 22, 2014

Black America’s Silent Epidemic – Outtake of @OWNTV @Lisaling – Our America

We watched the June 26, 2014 Our America series on OWN.  In this series, journalist Lisa Ling covered the HIV epidemic in Black America. Our team watched intently and followed the Twitter hashtag during the show.  What would be different about this coverage?  How would the Black community be portrayed? Would this be, yet, another depiction of all things wrong in and with the community?  How would it reach young people, the millennials?

Here are comments below from the research scholars (millennials) on the MyHealthImpact team and their thoughts on the series. Comments have been shorten for this blog post.

After watching the show, I realized that there are still more progress/action to be taken surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Especially, when it comes to church involvement, I was taken back when only “one” church had replied saying that they would allow the woman to speak/tell her story. I feel like the stigma and judgment still remains in the church. The fact that a church made an individual feel inferior baffled me. Also, from watching the episode, it’s important for people to get tested regular. Knowing you status, as well as, your partner’s status is important..  Overall, I enjoyed the episode and thought it was informative and did a great job of depicting several stories of people battling/dealing with HIV. I think we need more documentaries/programs like this, which educate and spread awareness on the issue.
 
I thought that HIV in the Black Community by Lisa Ling was a fantastic program. It was truly touching to hear African Americans open up to their personal battles with HIV. This goes to show that there is no one specific way that you can obtain the disease. Each person had their story, testimony proves that this is still a serious topic within our community. What really stuck out to me was the fact that people didn’t want to attend the free HIV testing event because of the stigma that the disease carries. This was very hurtful to hear because regardless to whatever [virus] any individual may have, it does not take away the face that they are still first and foremost a HUMAN. I can only imagine the stares, gossip and bickering that takes place when people find out that someone they know has HIV. This episode allowed me to see things from a different perspective. You never truly know what it feels like being in someone else’s shoes.


The program was really informative. The part that really stuck out the most to me was probably when one of the men stated he expects to only live to his mid-thirties. I was trying to think to how depressing that could be. Not only did he know he know that he is infected, but he has also gone untreated for a lengthy period of time. Also I’m not surprised that people didn’t show up to the free HIV event. No one wants their life to change; they want to be comfortable with their respective lifestyle without restrictions. This lifestyle is important to uphold, especially with your family. When one of the women shared with her family that she has HIV, I couldn’t imagine how her family felt. That’s like hearing if one of my siblings were infected. Of course they’re still going to be my siblings, but I would continually sympathize with them. Overall the program was good and the twitter response was very responsive as well.
 
This broadcast was really good and extremely informative. The broadcast was a good reminder of a lot of HIV facts and information that tend to get lost because we focus so much on the sexual transmission of the infection. We tend to overlook the fact that some people may be born with it or became infected through the use of needles. When I think about someone becoming infected, in my mind I automatically think about someone being promiscuous and not someone contracting it from her husband who she thought she could trust. The broadcast shed light on the situations that we fail to think about. I was completely tuned in locked on the screen. Sad to see the show end and really wishing that the broadcast was on a channel that could be seen by more of the masses because this was definitely one that everyone needed to see.

Follow us @myhealthimpact on Twitter.  See myhealthimpactnetwork.org for additional content and health information.

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by Julian Cobb

July 20, 2014

Snapchat and Technology Obsession Amoung Youth

When thinking about the word “technology”, I’m pretty sure the younger generation comes to mind. Nowadays, there is an “app”, short for the term application, for everything. In a world filled with iPhones, Androids, and all other types of smartphones, you can almost do anything you want on your mobile device. For some youth, this use of technology has become an obsession. When I begin to conceptualize that one piece of technology has the ability to preoccupy and intrude one’s mind for such a long period of time, it frightens me. I will admit- there are some pros and cons to technology usage in today’s society.

Youth are using technology more to complete homework assignments. A research paper or a group project may require some extensive outside research and the Internet is usually the “go-to” spot. Online encyclopedias and dictionaries come in handy and often times yield quick results. On the other hand, technology can be used for the wrong purposes and can be viewed as a hindrance versus an advantage. Some students are busy moving their fingers to reply to a text message during class rather than being actively engaged in the classroom. Being mindful that an assignment is upcoming, technology gives youth more of a reason to procrastinate. They would rather focus on tweeting, updating their status on Facebook or sending videos to their friends. By the way, this new Snapchat application is something serious.

         

For those who may not know, Snapchat is an application that allows you to send short video clips and/or pictures to contacts in your phone. The interesting concept is that you only have a certain amount of time to view the “snap”. The viewer has no more than ten seconds to view the picture or video that has been sent to them. Actually, that time can be shortened at the discretion of the sender. Snapchat also includes a component called “My Story”. At any time, you have the ability to allow other viewers into your world by posting pictures or videos to your story. Keep in mind; this information is made visible to those who are your friends on Snapchat. Users have the ability to keep adding to their story at any time they want. This means their own personal story can potentially be up to two minutes long, all composed of one to ten seconds pictures or video clips. Within twenty-four hours, the entire story disappears.
From my understanding, users enjoy the spontaneity of Snapchat. It allows them to capture a particular moment in time and send it to whoever is on their friends list. After the allotted time of one to ten seconds, the viewer is no longer able to open up that particular “snap” again. This keeps for constant communication between the two parties involved. Okay I will admit it- yes I do have a Snapchat. Am I obsessed with it? No. But, I do believe that the youth in this upcoming generation ARE becoming obsessed with it. You can always tell when someone is adjusting their phone, trying to get that perfect shot using their front camera on their iPhone. More than likely, this is because they are on Snapchat.

            

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by Keiara Morris

July 20, 2014

The Next Leg of the Journey

Working with MyHealthImpact made me realize that settling for just my bachelor’s degree and that mediocre was not acceptable and that not following my hearts desire was not ok.
By the end of my junior year of college, I knew that working in my field (business) as soon as I graduated undergrad was not what I wanted to do…directly anyway. This caused me to do a bit of soul searching. In soul searching, it led me back to the only thing I talked about doing as a kid, which was being an educator.

I did my research on what I needed to do, what programs to apply to and I went to work early on in my senior year. Initially while applying, getting out of North Carolina was my only goal. I applied to different school types and in different areas. Amazingly, I ended up right where I never thought I would be; 30 minutes away from home at East Carolina University. This made me realize, that everything happens for a reason and exactly how it’s supposed to regardless of the plans I thought I had for myself. I will be working towards my Masters in the Art of Teaching starting in June and if everything goes according to plan, I’ll be someone’s fifth or sixth grade teacher starting August 2015.

At first I wasn’t sure how to feel about going to a school so close to home but it began to grow on me. Once I met with some of the faculty and staff in my program, it slightly began to feel like home…exactly where I should be and exactly what I sh ould be doing. I’m completely excited about the next leg of life’s journey!!       
          

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by Ebony Baldwin

July 10, 2014

Road to Medical School

With less than one week until I take my MCAT, I’m starting to understand the importance of staying mentally sane and stress-free. My whole summer has been leading up to this point. Though my road to Medical School is far from over, performing well on this exam will make the process a little bit smoother. For the last week, I have made sure to take time out for myself. Though I have maintained the same study habits and schedule, I have made it an addition priority to take time to relax and not overwhelm myself with everything the MCAT entails.

               

Sometimes knowing all the information does not automatically mean you will do well. It means you are prepared with understanding the majority of the topics. As I reflect and count down the days, I continue to tell myself over and over again, that all things are possible through Christ. I continue to build confidence in myself and in my ability. If I continue to have a positive attitude, then I shall receive positive results. At the end of the day, there are going to be some concepts I may not fully understand or certain areas I may need to excel better in; either way, I have to remain confident and not allow those struggles to hinder my success.

                     

Nevertheless, I can honestly say that I have taken all the necessary steps to prepare for the MCAT. I’ve purchased review books, taken several practice tests, hired a tutor, improved my time management and study skills, and most importantly, asked for help when I needed it. At the end of the day, on July 12th, 2014, I am going to walk into my exam with confidence.  For anybody preparing for the MCAT and applying to Medical School, know that the journey is not easy. If it was easy, anybody could do it. Just remember that you have to stick to a schedule and a plan that works best for you. Seek help and advice when necessary, but DO NOT compare yourself to others. When you do that, you become more worried about others and how you compare to them, and not what you need to do to improve yourself. Remember that your happiness comes first. If you find yourself struggling or becoming overwhelmed, take a step back, refocus, and find what work best for you. Medical School and the MCAT are not going anywhere. Take all the time you need to prepare and build the confidence you well need to do well and be successful on your road to medical school.

In closing, I leave you with this: 2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

 

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by Christian Faith Baptist

June 24, 2014

National HIV Testing Day

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by Victor Ajewole

June 11, 2014

Free Music?

So all the people I know that listen to music 9 times out of 10 downloads it. Whether they paid for it or not is another question. Illegally downloading music is actually a very big problem. The concept of free music isn’t even an argument within my generation of peers, so the issue almost means nothing to us.

In this current wave of introducing new music, people are more impatient than ever. Streaming services are now available to anyone and everyone. The idea behind streaming music is to allow people to readily listen to any song without the commitment of a download or “purchase”.

I’ve even found myself using streaming services more recently. My favorite service is soundcloud. The selection is greater, it frees space on my media device, and I don’t have to worry about the “Fed’s” tracing me down because I didn’t want to pay the $1.29, which is ridiculous, to listen to my potentially favorite song.

More importantly the music feels free. I didn’t have to type in my credit card, I didn’t have to walk in a store, I didn’t even get pressured to upgrade to a paid account. I support the movement of streaming media. It’s convenient for me, cost effective, and gives artist the recognition and statistics that their music is worth something.

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by Keiara Morris

June 04, 2014

For Brown Girls

I’ve recently begun blogging and the story of Karyn Washington the creator of ‘For Brown Girls’ caught my eye and captured my heart. Washington reportedly committed suicide at the tender age of 22 after suffering from depression stemming from the loss of her mother. This hit my heart for two reasons. 1. She’s only a year older than me…a college student and 2. She’s a blogger that was interested in empowering and encouraging women to love themselves. These two things are practically I. I’m amazed at the fact that as she still desired to help others and while doing so, she was dealing with her own things.

           

Mental health is something serious. Did you know that depression is a mental illness? Let me make something really clear: you, we, she, he is not exempt. College students are not exempt. We (the black community) always seem to think that some things “aren’t what black people do”. Mental issues, mental health and stability have no face, color, socioeconomic status or background. Depression and suicide are things we deal with right in our own backyards…our own living rooms. We have to know and understand that there is nothing wrong with seeking help. You aren’t crazy for seeking help with coping with the loss of a parent or dealing with suicidal thoughts or even for being sad. Those sad thoughts may be more serious than you think if not tackled. To me and I don’t know how much my opinion counts to you but I truly admire those that are out to better themselves and are worried about their own well-being; self-love. I’ve noticed that the black community…it’s of our culture to believe that what happens in our home, stays in our home and that our issues will not be talked about and ridiculed among complete strangers or the Joneses’. Seeking help is saying I know I’m dealing with some things and recognizing the fact that all things aren’t able to be solved in the comfort of your own home but better on someone’s couch. We, yes WE must kill the stigma placed around seeking help. Did we think that these resources were put into place to hinder? We must kill our prides.

I’m sure committing suicide was the last thing on Karyn Washington’s mind at some point; let’s be real here her purpose was to help, promote self-love and seeing the beauty in which we are. I think it’s fair to say everyone can put on a façade but a façade can only be put on for so long. You never know what people are dealing with. Take the time to say something nice. Take the time to check on someone that you haven’t talked to in awhile. You never know what someone is going through and how much of a positive effect your nice words and thoughtful actions can be of help. Know that it is ok to seek help. Do not allow someone to talk you out of taking care of you.

See @myhealthimpact on Twitter, the web at myhealthimpactnetwork.org and on Tumblr for more information on mental health.

Gone too soon….

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