Entries in College Students (3)


Back-to-School Plastic Surgery Added to College Must-Haves

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Among the latest must-have accessories for students across the country heading back to college is one that might surprise you.

It’s not books or bedding. It’s breasts or, namely, plastic surgery to achieve a different look.

“I’m turning into this woman,” Kaelyn O’Rourke, 24, told ABC's Good Morning America.  “I feel older. I just want to look older.”

O’Rourke is a nursing student at Bakersfield College in California.  As a teenager, her chest was the smallest of her friends.  As a young adult, she viewed the top half of her body as being out of sync with her bottom half.

“I totally thought my boobs were going to grow and they never did,” said the community college student, whose pre-surgery chest was a size 34B.  “I just want a fuller chest because I’m a girl with hips.”

O’Rourke turned to Dr. Tenley Lawton, an Orange County, Calif., plastic surgeon, for a pre-college surgery solution.

“It’d be nice if we could all be confident with, just the way that we look, but that’s not the reality,” Lawton said.

Also seeking help from Dr. Lawton was Jamie Ruddocks, a college junior from California who, at the other end of the spectrum, was interested in a breast reduction.

“Having large breasts is a burden on me physically,” said Ruddocks, 20, adding that she was teased mercilessly in high school for her size 34DDD chest.  “It’s heavy and, after awhile, it starts to hurt.  It starts to cause some wear and tear, not only on your back but your shoulders and your neck.”

Dr. Lawton estimated she would need to remove nearly a pound and a quarter of fat from each of Ruddocks’ breasts to reduce them to a size 34D.

“It’s not that we all have to fit into some perfect picture,” Lawton said.  “If that small change can give them that self confidence, especially going to college, I think it can be important.”

Three weeks after being treated by Lawton, both O’Rourke and Ruddocks say they are happy with the changes to their bodies.

“I just feel better about myself,” O’Rourke said, noting that with her new C-cup size, she believes her top half is now as curvy as her bottom half.  “I felt like I had more confidence walking in [to school].”

Ruddocks says the pains in her shoulders and back are gone now that her breasts are a regular D-size instead of triple Ds, and she feels better about herself.

“I just feel more confident,” she said. “I just feel like I can step into a room and let myself go.  I feel like all the things that were making me self conscious are gone. …It’s the best thing I’ve done in my life.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Binge Drinking College Students Report Being Happier

Hemera/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- The negative effects of binge drinking are well-known, which makes the findings of new research released on Monday linking binge drinking and reported happiness in college students troubling to many health experts.

The survey of 1,595 undergraduate students revealed binge drinking students report being happier than their non-binge drinking peers.  The results were released Monday morning at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver.

Specifically, the survey revealed that happiness was directly related to “status” -- with wealthy, white, male, heterosexual and/or Greek-affiliated students being happier than “lower status” students.

However, in “lower status” students -- in other words, less wealthy, female, non-white, homosexual, and/or non-Greek affiliated students -- those who binge drink report levels of social satisfaction that are comparable to their high status counterparts.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming more than four drinks per session for females and consuming more than five drinks per session for males.

“Binge drinking is a symbolic proxy for higher social status in college and is correspondingly related to greater social satisfaction,” writes Carolyn Hsu, lead author on the study and chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University.

In other words, binge drinking to “fit in” may actually lead to increased happiness -- a phenomenon that does not appear to have gone unnoticed by the alcohol industry.

“The insight that people drink to attain social status is not [new],” says David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  “Alcohol marketers intentionally market social aspirations -- for example, an ad for Johnnie Walker from the 1990s had the bottle suspended from wires with other objects floating around it, like a mobile -- and the tag-line was ‘Upwardly mobile.’”

While upward mobility through binge drinking may help lower status students attain happiness, drinking may also be necessary to help higher status students maintain happiness.  Another finding in the study is that high status students who do not binge drink report lower levels of social satisfaction than their binge drinking, high status peers.

“Binge drinking may also be a prerequisite for receiving the full benefits of high status group membership,” writes Hsu.

The association between binge drinking and social happiness among both high- and low-status students is a link that doctors find treacherous.

“I find the overall information to be very sad,” says Dr. Edwin Salsitz, chair of the Education and Program Committee of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine.  “Binge drinking is dangerous on many different levels, yet these students seem to derive benefits from this behavior.”

Other experts suggest these findings must be interpreted with caution.

“Since [the study] is descriptive and not experimental, the two end points may not be linked,” says Dr. Fulton T. Crews, director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  “It is possible drinking reflects satisfaction for some, [but] changes mood, creating dissatisfaction for others.”

Other doctors suggest that the associations may not be causal at all -- in other words, happier students and binge drinking might just happen to appear together, without one influencing the other.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Student War Vets at a Higher Risk for Suicide

US Dept of Defense(WASHINGTON) -- War veterans who return home and go to college are at a greater risk for suicide, according to a survey published in MedPage Today.

M. David Rudd of the University of Utah reported the findings at a recent American Psychological Association meeting in Washington after he and his colleagues surveyed 545 student veterans to determine the students' emotional adjustment, psychological symptoms and suicide risk upon returning from war.

Nearly half of the respondents -- 46 percent -- reported thinking about suicide, while more than a third of students said they suffered from "severe anxiety." Rudd and his colleagues say it is the first such survey conducted and that researchers found the results "surprisingly high."

In addition, 20 percent of the students said they had a plan for committing suicide and 10 percent thought about it often or very often.

Among the more stark findings was a relationship with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and risk of suicide. While 7.7 percent of the students said they had tried to commit suicide at some point, 82 percent of those who tried to said they also suffered from PTSD.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio