In the cities of Orange County, California, students in high school have the option to take Health as their summer activity. As a student who is entering high school in the upcoming school year, I have decided to take the Health course during summer. My first judgment towards the class was very negative as I had no interest in wasting my summer with lessons focused on topics I have learned in the past. However, after the first week of attending the course, I realized that it was actually very impactful and should be mandatory.
During Health, we focused on educational topics such as drugs, depression, alcohol, teen pregnancy, STDs, CPR, and many more. We had presenters from CVS Pharmacy and other organizations from California to discuss these topics and bring awareness to the students.
For instance, we had a presenter from Cal Youth Services to discuss the damages of overdosing on drugs. He made a personal connection to his son and the results of others and how it impacted his life. Some lose their lives, become paralyzed, or are lucky to be given a second chance to change who they were. After hearing the presenter’s personal experience, many students became moved and emotional from the ideas that they had to process.
A fellow classmate of mine, Nakul Warrier, shared, “The story was very impactful and made me realize that drugs should never be used inaccurately.” The course was able to bring recognition to the reality of using drugs wrongfully and provide information that allowed us, students, to truly understand the information.
Another important concept that we learned about was Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In this segment, we learned how to execute CPR with just our arms. We were assisted and supervised by an adult and practiced our CPR on dummies. The majority of us students learned when and what to do if a person is choking or having trouble breathing and how to tell the difference between a heart attack or cardiac arrest. All of us were also able to learn the insight of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and how schools are required to have them on campus.
Student Rishabh Bajaj said, “The lesson gave us the practice we needed, and I feel that this skill will come in handy one day, and I may potentially be able to save a life!” The lessons and activities gave us a chance to experience and learn about situations that may happen sooner or later. Just as Bajaj has said, trying CPR on the dummy was a learning experience that may impact one’s life in the future.
The health course was very impactful to our education, and I believe that it should remain to be mandatory for high school students because it allows us to face the reality of possible dangers. Knowing the effect of a situation that occurs to people in our environment is much more impactful than just knowing the fact that these negative outcomes are possible. Overall, I am very glad that I took the course and am looking forward to learning more about how to ensure our safety and health.
Chloe S. Mun, Grade 9
Northwood High School