College is a difficult task for many, especially if you can't keep your grades up. Not only can you lose your sense of pride but also benefits such as healthcare. This was a sad reality for "Karen Johnson," a student at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
Suspension/Readmission East Carolina University
Getting Mental Health Counseling in University
This story is an example for all students to keep those grades up and take college seriously. It is a privilege whicih only some have and if not appreciated could cause the real world to approach sooner than one might wish.
******As she studies for her next test, all "Karen Johnson," (not her real name), an East Carolina University sophomore, can think about is the time that she was not so privileged.
You see Karen was suspended from the university because her grades did not meet the requirement to hold a student standing.
Quickly she was thrust into the real world and had to get a job during her semester long suspension. This meant also that she would no longer be eligible for her parents insurance.
TAKING VITAMINS TO DRIVE OUT THE HEALTH INSURANCE JITTERS
"Being without insurance was the most nerve racking thing that I have ever had to go through," Karen said. She also recalled that she was very health conscious. She went on a strict diet and began taking vitamins. It was a part of her everyday regiment to wash her hands after touching anything that stood a chance of having a germ.
"I was so scared that sometimes I wouldn't even go out. I became a clean freak and even picked up ketchup bottles with a napkin."
Struggling to pay rent, utilities, and food, Karen was forced to carry on a full time job.
This was something that she had never had to do. Because she was not considered a student, she lost her financial aid, which was what she relied on to pay for her bills before. Because of scarce jobs in Greenville, she could only find a job as a waitress at the local country club. This was definitely not enough. If she were to get sick, which fortunately never happened, she would not have money to pay for a doctor.
WHAT IT TAKES TO STAY ON PARENT'S INSURANCE
"When I was out that semester my mom was constantly telling me that she was worried that something might happened, said Karen. Her parents would be the ones that she would have to rely on if something would have happened
"At the time, my parents were going through tough times themselves, and me being out of school added to their stresses because they knew that they were the only ones that I had to turn to," she said.
For a college student to be covered on a parents' insurance, one must be full time. This means that the student must have twelve or more hours in each semester. Many insurance companies require proof from the university saying that they are registered full time for each and every semester that they are attending.
THE "TYRANNY OF "PREEXISTING CONDITIONS"
Finally after four months of struggle, Karen was able to go back to school, though there was a catch in the situation. She had to prove not only that she was back in school, but also she lost all coverage of preexisting medical conditions. For any prescription medications that she was on prior to her suspension, Karen had to pay full price. She was taking a number of medications that are very costly if they are not covered.
"I now have to pay so much money for prescriptions that I take that I can barely afford them, and I know that my parents really can't afford them either," she said.
Overall, Karen can now breath again now that she has her insurance back. She is not scared to get sick anymore, yet still takes precautions.
Insurance for young people is a big deal. Without school and a good job, costs of going for a normal doctor visit can be monumental. This story should be used as an example for all students to keep those grades up and take college seriously. It is a privilege that only some have and if not appreciated could cause the real world to approach sooner than one might wish.
"I definitely learned my lesson and hope that no one has to ever go through what I had to go through. It is not something that anyone should take lightly," said Karen.
Laura Keeling is a junior communications major at East Carolina University. She aspires to become a journalist and one day hopes to be editor-in-chief of her own cooking magazine. A North Carolina native, Keeling enjoys oooking, writing, and trips to the beach..