Blog posts by Paula Cody, MD, MPH

Advice for Teens from the Class of 1998: Watch Your Money

This summer, I had my…ahem…20 year class reunion (Go Fondy!).  Just typing that out makes me feel old. I asked my classmates what advice they would give to teens/young adults currently in high school, and I thought I’d share their wisdom with you.  Since there were so many responses, and some more colorful than others, I have grouped their responses into themes. And since no one wants to read a 10 page blog, I’ll be presenting 1-2 themes each week.  This week’s theme: money.

Class of 1998 Advice:

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Periods: What’s the deal?

Periods. The favorite topic for women everywhere (and a favorite thing to talk about on our blog, since we get asked about them on a daily basis). That time of the month so lovingly nicknamed “a visit from aunt flo”, “crimson tide” (or “surfing the crimson wave” for all you Clueless fans), etc., etc., etc. If advertisements were to be believed, it is the time during every month when women feel like swimming in a white bathing suit or doing gymnastics in white leotards. While this may be the case for some, they aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. So is actually happening during your period? What is normal? When should you talk to your health care provider?

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College Prep: Preparing for Life After Senior Year of High School

A new school year is right around the corner (or has already started in some cases).  College dorm move-in is in full swing (2 pieces of advice: prepare for extra time if shopping at big box stores since these stores are really busy right now, and check out the previous blog on health supplies to bring with you to the dorm). This is also the time of year where high school students come into clinic super stressed about life after high school.  Preparing for college can be a daunting task to any high schooler, especially an up-and-coming junior or senior. Not only do you have to worry about getting or maintaining your grades, you also have to worry about college applications, standardized tests, and even paying for college once you have been accepted. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you get better prepared for your future after high school is over.

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Puberty and Teens with Special Needs: Ensuring a Smooth Transition. Period.

Puberty can be a confusing time for all teens but may present additional challenges for teens with special needs, as well as their families and caregivers. Remember: your teen with special needs will experience the same body changes and hormone fluctuations that others do. No matter how difficult this may be at times, it is another journey you and your child will conquer together. With preparedness and composure, it may even become an exciting time! Here are some tips for navigating this transition:

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Teen Health and Housing After Aging Out of Foster Care

Teen Health and Housing After Aging Out of Foster CareFoster care has been a frequent topic of discussion lately; there have been heart breaking-stories (like foster families helping ease anxiety of immigrant children placed in foster care while separated from parents), as well as heart-warming stories like the clothing store in Florida who has special shopping hours just for children in foster care. There are many reports available about the health of children while in foster care, but what happens to the teenager who “ages out” of the foster care system?

Teens who are in the foster care system face challenging social stressors after leaving foster care when they turn 18 years old. Every year 24,000 US foster adolescents age out of foster care. The period after leaving foster care can be a rough transition. These teens are at high risk of bouncing from one living situation to another, which is termed “housing instability.” It’s been estimated that more than 35% of them may experience homelessness after leaving foster care. Read more

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