By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
In 10 years, you should look back to your first week as a freshman and remember the friends you made, the classes you began and the late-night trips to the laundry room. After all, starting off college confirms the idea that you are mature enough to move out of the house and not have to get told when to shower because you already know (that’s every day, people). But when that first week of school tests your abilities as a rookie adult, it may be difficult to rely only on yourself.
Especially when it comes to getting sick, or worse… getting lice. Dun dun duuuun! I remember the event vividly: On the Sunday night after the first week of classes, I went to the bathroom to check in the mirror and I saw them: two tiny, dirty black bugs crawling along my hairline. I did a double-take, because what the heck was that? Turns out, I had contracted lice.
I had never had lice before. I’d hoped to never, ever find a hotbed of little insects and eggs in my hair, but alas, my time of weakness had come. All I could think was “Why me, Lord?” Unfortunately for me, my hair is long and super-thick, which meant that this whole process could take longer than usual.
As soon as I discovered them, I told my roommate, then my RA, and last, I called Student Health Services. The darn place was closed for the night, which meant I had to wait until the morning to get my scalp checked out.
In the meantime, my roommate and I took a lovely stroll down to CVS and hunted down a lice removal kit. I knew that after I did the treatment, I’d feel much better knowing that most of these bugs would be gone. Back at the dorm. we started shampooing. 10 minutes in, we washed it out. Then came the comb: a plastic red handle with small, metal teeth aka the death contraption/torture devise for my minute enemies. I rinsed my hair with water and got all shower-capped up.
The next morning, I headed straight to SHS and met with a doctor. She was right: lice is not deadly or even that harmful. Sure, they are a real pain in the neck (pun intended) and you have to do extra loads of laundry, but it’s really nothing to be worried about.
The new few weeks were full of treatments, keeping my hair in a bun to prevent any accidental transfers and even put vinegar in my hair after every shower. I think the collection of treatment fumes from this incident is enough of a caution against having it again. Two weeks later, BAM! My third trip to the doctor proved that I was lice-free. I walked out of that patient room and even whipped my hair back and forth.
So that was my first month of college. Delightful, with an underlying tone of gross. If you are unfortunate enough to get lice while in college, here are some tips:
1. Don’t panic. Seriously. Take a breath before you take care of the problem and don’t make the situation a bigger deal than it is.
2. Call a doctor. You don’t have to handle this on your own and they can give you advice when it comes to treatments.
3. Call your mom (or dad). I called my mom on the first day when I found out. She was very sympathetic and she helped reassure me that I’d be okay. Plus, your parents probably want to hear from you that you got lice, and not from embarrassing pictures on Instagram (but those are cool too #licearentnice).