My name is McKenzie and I am now in my third quarter as a Public Health major with the population health emphasis. I was originally a Language Arts Teaching major but throughout all of my schooling I was taking different health classes for fun; it has always been an interesting and important topic to me. After some things changed in our administration, I decided to make the switch to Public Health and I have never been happier.
As I see it, my personal consumer health status is slightly varied. I grew up near the poverty line and though my family has worked their way up, I still often find myself overthinking nearly every purchase I make. I bargain shop, I compare prices, I read reviews on the product at hand and while I feel these are good strategies, I don’t always follow them. When it comes to home items, clothing, materialistic things, I consider myself a “careful” shopper; however, things like groceries, cleaning products, coffee, I tend to just read the label and buy. I am a sucker for the “cage free”, “organic”, “fair trade” labels which are always more expensive and yet I haven’t done the research on whether these products are simply meeting the bare minimum of their claims, or not. I see an ad on Facebook for Bigfoot Java and next thing I know, I’m craving coffee. From this class I hope to help myself and other “suckers” combat this process. Also to learn the real research necessary before consuming and to really learn the ins and outs of this processes affects on health.
My first and most important value is my mental health. This is something not enough people focus on, and yet it affects all aspects of your life and who you are. My mental health and how I take care of it comes before anything, because without that, everything else that is important to me becomes harder to handle; relationships, school, work, etc. Being my best self and making sure that is my priority allows all other aspects of my health to fall into place. My other value is family, which is not simply limited to that which you were born into. Family to me includes relatives, chosen friends, in-laws, “step”, and pets alike. My family is my support system, my lifeline, my comfort zone and something I always put first.
As Americans we have the right to freedom; of speech, of religion, of sexual orientation, of political views. I feel this right seems to falter in the eyes of many, but it is there nonetheless and for that I am grateful. We also have the right to life and happiness (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness right). As long you are not infringing on laws or causing harm to others, we as Americans have the right to pursue choices that provide self-fulfillment, to live in a way in which we choose for ourselves. As human beings we should all have the right to equal and accessible healthcare and also to have complete control over our own bodies and minds, though these rights are unfortunately not the case across most of the globe.