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Sythong’s Super Summer

Sythong’s Super Summer

I can’t believe I’ve just finished my second year at Syracuse University. So much has happened so quickly. I am now a summer program assistant for the SummerStart program and my residents feed my denial of how long I’ve been at Syracuse. They think I’m one of the freshmen, and I haven’t ultimately come to terms with being a junior. Perhaps I feel old or want more years at Syracuse because I’ve enjoyed it so much. It is definitely a combination of both. This blog post will feature some things I enjoyed during the past academic year.

Being A Peer Educator Encouraging Healthy Relationship and Sexuality (PEEHRS)

With my passion for public health and health promotion, I can’t find a campus that’s more suitable for me. I am so grateful to have been accepted into the peer education program at the Health Promotion Office. Peer educators are made of three subgroups: Students Advocating for Mental Health Empowerment (SAMHE),  Be Wise Peer Educators ​(focusing on harm reduction strategies regarding alcohol and other drugs), and PEEHRS which I am a part of. My team focuses on sexuality and relationships, including consent, healthy relationships, pro-social bystander intervention, sexual relationship violence prevention, and sexual health and pleasure. ​

My role includes leading games, presenting consents, and setting up our health hub booth. One of my favorite programs to host was Sexy Bingo, where students get to play bingo for prizes and learn sex education content they may have missed from high school. I love seeing students reacting to new information they learn. The peer education program also allows me to meet many other amazing students. Some of them who I worked with frequently have become my closest friends. I will train to become a Be Wise Peer Educator, so I will get to know even more people!

My Classes

I took many exciting classes the two past semesters; some of my favorites are Public Health Ethics and Medical Anthropology. In Public Health Ethics, my class discussed ethical codes and public shortcomings and how the unsuccessful programs could have been made better. We also looked at medical anthropology, which studies the biological, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of health, illness, and healing; how health and wellness are understood and experienced by different cultures and groups of people. Medical anthropology is very much like public health but works with a population at a much more intimate level, which I’ve grown to like. I loved the course so much that I have added medical anthropology as my minor! I am taking more medical anthropology courses this semester, and maybe I could get involved in research with my professor at some point.

Hanging out with my friends and being in my natural habitat

Fun fact: I wrote my college essay about a tree, and here I am climbing trees around Syracuse. It reminds me not to take life too seriously sometimes and to have fun. Other outdoor activities I enjoy are hiking with my friends and taking photos of insects. It brings me so much joy.