What Does It Mean for Public Health?

My Words about Being a Public Health Student

What Does It Mean for Public Health?

Well, really, it means being more than just someone who could learn what they can from their professors and try to apply it to other students and their own community by supporting, volunteering; those who have internships, or actually have met those from the community and are willing to make an effort in changing the world to be healthier, be smarter, be more active in what public health is supposed to do.

Public health, in short terms, is really caring and maintaining for a population's well-being in many realms of health, such as sexual health, maternal health, mental health, physical, environmental, and so on.

So I think that what we are and what has been done for those in our community is quite staggered in both good and bad. We are still making some effort with current plans, such as the Paris Climate Accord for the world, though a certain US president feels his need to not take part and participate in what could benefit future populations towards the land that we are limited to. We are still trying, though. Many US states are pushing their own efforts to be a part of a global plan to save what we have left and make that difference in being a better society that benefits everyone, not just a specific population.

We are also making changes that revolve around the LGBT community, civil rights, and medical advancements that were influenced by the media, Big Pharma, or politicians/lobbyists trying to voice their reasons or even where the public have seen change happen in their communities where danger has awoken their minds in wanting change.

But another thing to look into is what makes public health tick. Guess you didn't know that. It's because of the need to want to change certain ideas, practices, values that are surrounded by controversial topics such as abortion, gun control, vaccinations, education, and much more that I haven't caught up to yet. (*if you feel the need to debate or discuss this with me, I don't mind. I truly do want to hear what you have to say. If it's polite in manners.) When ideas like this come up, both from the opposite sides have thought about what seems right without looking towards the other side on their opinion, what made them feel that way, and what possible reason will there be to come to a final conclusion?

I've thought about it and know that many of my peers would consider one or the other based on logic, facts, scientific reasoning, and evidence. What we know now will change—it's part of life and how we grow as humans. We were made to evolve and change that isn't made to be cookie-cutter or chaotic in ideas.

Being what we are is how life is. We're clearly not perfect, trying to maintain our sanity for the sake of being good. But it'll come to a good end, hopefully... Really what I'm trying to say is that, since becoming a public health major in college, it has really opened me up on how I see the world, how some things are what they are, how possible it could be to change it, and maybe, in some ways, reflect on that and hope for the best in the future; which, of course, starts when we make that change. In some point of every day, we, at the very least, need to make some slight change that benefits us in the end, like making a to-do list in change. Another thing to bring up in public health is having an open mind. Since I guess the dawn of time, we are changing in how the world changes and how we perceive it as well, meaning we have to have an open mind in learning new concepts, seeing through a new lens, and not letting your bias cloud your judgement on others like their beliefs or their how they do certain things. Yes, I know, some of those negative views are super bad to look into, but we have to look into their reasoning. What did it stem from, and where can we go from there? I don't like it as much as the next person, but my professors have made me see this; that even though the world isn't pretty through rose-colored glasses as before, I still believe in the value of humanity and hope for the best in making a change.

Maybe one day others will see that too and make an effort for change. I guess public health can make you do that. Or maybe I could be off and have some odd way of looking at the world. I would like to hear some opinions and see what more public health should really be doing to help in making that difference. Should we start off small or rise towards the bigger picture?

How does it work?
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Jennifer Alquicira

I'm a senior college student at UNO, which is in Omaha, Nebraska. I enjoy being a mental health advocate though I'm also a public health major. Hoping to make some difference as public health does for the outside world.

See all posts by Jennifer Alquicira