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Surviving the Cicada Summer

by Jun 7, 2024

Home » Chiropractic Medicine Student Blog - Illinois » Surviving the Cicada Summer

“Hm, maybe there actually won’t be that many cicadas on campus this summer,” remarked a naive Matt, tossing a football with some buddies in the NUHS courtyard, circa early May 2024.

Boy, was I wrong. The cicadas have officially arrived on National’s Illinois campus, and let me tell you, they are buzzin’. While this buzzin’ is merely the sound of male cicadas looking for a little lovin’ – it, to me, resembles more of a death siren. With the arrival of this doom chorus comes my biggest challenge of the summer – walking home from clinic while avoiding these evil, red-eyed devils with wings. Here are some strategies I’ve developed to cope with this newfound daily struggle:

Know Thy Enemy. So far, I’ve made it a full week without one of these devils landing on me. In the meantime, I have been trying to conquer this completely irrational fear (while still completely avoiding them). My strategy so far? Know thy enemy. My Google search history this week has been filled with questions like ‘Do cicadas sleep?’ ‘Do cicadas poop?’ ‘Why are cicadas so stupid?’ – I have definitely done my research on the opposition.

Complete Avoidance. Drawing from my extensive cicada research, I’ve uncovered the ultimate safety strategy: complete circumvention of the critters’ preferred hang-out spots. Cicadas are particularly fond of trees, where they congregate to mate and lay eggs. Therefore, my route from the clinic to my apartment has been meticulously planned to avoid tree-lined pathways. My new path may be a bit longer, but the extra steps are worth it to avoid a cicada ambush.

Acceptance. Despite my best efforts, these cicadas are simply inevitable. They’re part of nature and, unfortunately, part of my summer. Since they live rent-free in the trees and my head, I’ve come to realize that facing them head-on might be the only choice I have. After all, they don’t bite, sting or cause any harm. Their only crimes are being incredibly annoying, slightly terrifying in appearance, and, did I mention, utterly grotesque?

So, here’s to surviving this cicada summer. With a little knowledge, a lot of avoidance, and maybe a touch of bravery, I’ll make it through. And if I do get dive-bombed by one of these red-eyed monsters, well, let’s hope there aren’t too many witnesses to my theatrics.

For more information on cicadas in Illinois, check out this Prevention article.

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About the Author

Matt Beyer

Matt Beyer

My name is Matt Beyer, and I am currently a 9th trimester DC student intern at NUHS. As a 2nd generation chiropractic student, I have a strong passion and understanding for the crucial role alternative (chiropractic and naturopathic) medicine plays in today’s health care landscape. I plan to earn a post-doctorate neurology diplomate and functional medicine certification after I graduate. I am also very interested in how natural, lifestyle interventions (exercise, sleep/wake hygiene, mindfulness, nutrition and herbal supplements) can play a role in managing chronic conditions. Therefore, I spend a lot of time reading research or taking seminars in these areas. I’m looking forward to discussing many of these topics, as well as my experiences as an NUHS student in future blog posts!


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