Behave with caution

After another Wednesday night outing, I found myself conversing with friends at a 24-hour fast food restaurant, and there was no need for me to look at my watch because I knew what time it was – time for me to go home because I felt like I was at a circus.

While trying to engage in a normal conversation, I could not help but observe a room full of people crying for attention.

I heard girls yelling loudly while talking to their friends who were standing right beside them. One guy was singing his version of an Al Green hit, while another guy attempted to make a world record by pursuing every girl in sight. He was either against discrimination or it just was not difficult to please his senses.

I am not the one to judge anybody, but it is obvious that my fellow students are lost.

Let me quickly put you up on what’s going on.

I know you have seen or heard all the public safety announcements on TV or the radio, and you probably overlooked them. You may think it could never happen to you.

Well, I am here to tell you that according to recent statistics, people ages 15-24 are contracting sexually transmitted diseases at an alarming rate compared to other age groups. That means someone you know could possibly be infected.

No, seriously, your friend may have an STD.

And you only had to hear it from me because he or she did not want you to know.

Someone else you know may be infected with Chlamydia but has yet to find out. This is because more times than not, Chlamydia usually has no symptoms.

You may be one of many students who think they can just get treated if they happen to be included in the hundreds of STD cases accounted for at the end of this year in Leon County.

But when will people realize there is a chance they may get infected with something that medicine cannot get rid of, such as Herpes, HIV or HPV, which causes other conditions including cancer.

The next time you are on “The Set” trying to get attention, think about the 2,278 cases of STDs reported in 2005 in Leon County.

Sadly, this does not even include Gadsden, Jefferson or other neighboring counties, not to mention those people who refuse to see a doctor.

Students, value your health.

Many students feel they are not getting the true college experience unless they are experimenting with drugs or alcohol.

Don’t underestimate the long-term effects of indulging in these devices either.

Although you may think you are young, at the peak of your life and unable to contract a life-long disease, think again.

STDs are real.

Deidra Fields is a junior business administration student from Tallahassee. She can be reached at