Look left, look right, and see familiar faces
No matter where you go
People you’ve seen once before in all places
I’m watching my level of social wellness flourish and grow
Before I was concerned about making friends in a far away land
Had I made the wrong decision to leave home?
Would this college experience thing go as planned?
My questions in my mind continued to roam
Coming to DU I’ve become more aware of myself
I’m building a self-relationship while meeting others and forming a bond
I spent 3 hours in solitude, which was real good for my health
I hope I continue to feel this way at DU and beyond
I’m not lonely – instead I’m having a blast
While I’m ready to go home, I look forward to my DU return
The future is exciting, but I want to go home to visit my past
I’ll continue to better my social wellness from knowledge I’ve learned
Written by Toni Dunlap, WLLC 2015-2016
These are my three key tips to survive finals.
- Get lots of sleep
Tip #1: Sleep
As a college student this may not be the easiest thing to do especially during finals when everyone is staying up late studying for countless hours. I have learned that getting enough sleep is very important to your mental wellness and can help make the finals week a little bit easier. By staying well rested your mind can concentrate more and will allow you to remember more information for your test. Even taking naps during the day is a helpful way to regain energy after studying for a long time. After getting a good nights sleep I felt much more prepared and ready to take on my finals this weekend. Even though it may seem like a good idea to study all night it is not the most productive way to survive finals.
Tip #2: Exercise
Maintaining your physical wellness is also an important thing to not forget about during this stressful time in college. It may seem ok push exercising aside but it is important to take care of yourself. Exercising is a great way to reduce stress and take a break from studying. Even if it is for a short period of time like just stretching or going on a walk can be beneficial to your body. I personally enjoyed going on short walks around the DU campus to clear my mind before I went to take any of my tests.
Tip 3#: Relax
This may seem impossible to accomplish during finals but it is possible and it will help you succeed. Being relaxed clears your mind of all the worried and stressful thoughts racing through your mind about finals. When I feel relaxed before my test I also feel more calm and confident that I can do my best to tackle the many hours of testing. One strategy to feel more relaxed is to close my eyes and take long, slow, deep breaths. It temporarily takes away all my problems and worries and allows me to put all my focus and energy into studying and taking my finals.
By following these tips anyone can survive the most stressful time in college. These tips are also very useful whenever you are feeling stressed out and not just for finals.
Written by Danielle Nebel, WLLC 2015-2016
As an alternative to a formal final exam, one of my introductory business classes recently offered the opportunity to complete a project entitled “How I Will Change the World.” In small groups, we were challenged to come up with short seven minute presentations telling of how we would like to impact the global community through our professional and personal lives. My group members and I chose to present about expanding the availability of free or low cost camp-style Autism therapy programs, specifically here in the Denver area. During the completion of this project, we were really challenged to consider how to transfer the model of preexisting camps in the San Diego to a Colorado landscape. Some of our first ideas on outdoor activities that could be offered through the camp were horseback riding and hiking. A connection with nature is vital in these camp-style programs as it serves as a grounding means as well as creates a sense of distance from reality and the “real world.” Because it is so important to making camp-style treatment camps successful the environmental aspect was really a large part of our project.
When it came to building the actual presentation, we went on a search to find visual representations of all aspects that our camp would hold. When searching for a hiking image, the above picture came up and it really resonated with me. In viewing this image, I was instantly brought back to a recollection of a childlike since of community. I remember at a young age playing on the neighborhood playground with children of all ages. Some of these children I knew from school or extracurricular, and some I had just met. Yet we were all playing together as if we had known each other all or lives. Even though we were all different and had no real connection to each other, we were all still able to play together in absolute harmony. Putting aside differences in age, family history, culture and background, we were all able to extend each other the basic kindness of laughter and play.
In the midst of recent worldly events, it then struck me: at what point did we as adults loose this ability to so easily get along with people different from us, and view everyone as a friend? In Kindergarten, your entire class is your friend, and unbreakable bonds of friendship can be made over the transfer of a sparkly crayon or an animal cracker. Yet with the transfer into adulthood, innocent transactions of kindness become fewer and more far between. I am not satisfied with this answer. I personally want to live in a world where “random acts of kindness” occur so often that they no longer take people by surprise. I personally would like to live in a world that parallels more to the habits and kindness found within the hearts of children.
Written by Claire Boggs, WLLC 2015-2016
No sleep, hours of homework, and midnight snacks. Sounds like a typical college finals week. The bags under the student’s eyes no matter how much girls try and hide them. The weight gain this week is higher than any other week in school. Students that are typically very social become reclusive and spend every minute they aren’t in class working in their room or the library. The stress of this week is sometimes too much for some students. There is however advice for things that can help during this week.
Taking naps would personally be my favorite form of help during this week. After hours of studying taking a well-deserved nap is beneficial to helping you retain what you just learned as well as giving your mind a break so that it can take in more information. Another suggestion is when you are up late studying instead of reaching for the ice cream container, which sound so good, reach for some vegetables like carrots and celery. They will satisfy your hunger as well as add nutritional value to your body. After you finish studying a subject try and leave your room/library and find some people to socialize with. Socializing and face to face contact are good for reducing stress and making your brain happy. There are many things that can help make finals week less stressful and ways that can help make studying more beneficial for you.
Now that finals week is over and it is time to start winter break I feel relieved. This break will be a time to relax and rejuvenate. With all of the holidays coming up many family members will be seen and they will want to know how college is going. I will be able to tell them about all the hard classes I’ve had and the fun teachers. I will also get to tell them about what I’ve learned in wellness class and will get to share some healthy living with all the members of my immediate and extended family. I will set up a regular exercise program to get back into working out, regain a somewhat normal sleep pattern, eat yummy and healthy foods with my family, as well as destress with family games and movies. I am looking forward to this long six week break.
Written by Nicole Nielson, WLLC 2015-2016
In our evolving culture of increased technological reliance and the growth in “cubicle jobs”, more people are spending more time sitting. This is especially prevalent at college. Many students don’t get enough sleep and sit through difficult and then spend the rest of the day sitting, either relaxing or doing homework. This causes many more problems than meet the eye. These people are putting themselves at risk for various health problems, however there are ways to counteract this trend.
Dr. James Levine, the director of Mayo Clinic’s obesity solutions department has summed up all of his research into two sentences, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” This statement may seem overdramatic to some, however it is completely true. Sitting has been shown to increase the chance of developing heart disease, obesity, and type two diabetes. Sitting also inhibits LPL, a fat digesting enzyme that provides the body with energy. Without LPL working correctly, the body stores away fat instead of burning it for energy.
On the bright side, there are many fairly easy ways to avoid these negative consequences of sitting. The most popular solution is to use a stand up desk. Other great options include getting more exercise and participating in active classes such as Zumba or yoga. Also getting exercise has a domino effect. By exercising, the body becomes more active and it actually wakes up more. So instead of convincing yourself that you are too tired to go workout force yourself to go and you will actually end up more energized. Overall, sitting is honestly one of the most dangerous things threatening our society and precautions need to be taken against the health dangers.
Written by Bruce Bonich, WLLC 2015-2016
During our wellness excursion I was able to participate in yoga for the first time. It was a very meditative experience, and afterward I was left in a state of euphoria and heightened perception that is similar to the feeling I get proceeding a meditation. This led me too take a yoga class a few weeks later and further explore this new art I’d been presented with. After the class I decided in order to express the feelings that originate from practices like meditation and yoga I would want to use poetry, rather than an essay form. This is the result:
To Be or Not To Be
To be yourself
To become what you love
To become love itself
Life’s gale blows
To the perfection of Now
To tame the beast of thought
Locked into spirit’s cage
Only from outside
Can mind’s key unleash
Only around that which is
Can one become All.
Written by Conor Sullivan, WLLC 2015-2016
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say the cliché “everyone changes after just their first term at college. It’s just so different.” I would have a lot less money related stress. The funny part is that no one thinks that it is true. I can honestly say that I didn’t think that it was possible for myself to change this much as a person in just ten short weeks. What’s ironic is that I did. I wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t really notice it at the time, but reflecting back on the last ten weeks it is pretty amazing how the different aspects of college life all play a part.
The most noticeable aspect is life away from home. For the last nineteen years of my life, I have never spent more than a month away from my parents. I have gradually grown more independent over those nineteen years however it is still a strange change leaving. Back home I had a strong support group that encouraged me to succeed and challenge myself. Now I am the only person that is concerned with my life. No one wants to see someone else fail, but we are a bunch of individuals thrown into the same building in the end.
The next big aspect is the responsibility that accompanies college and living alone. All of the sudden clean laundry doesn’t magically appear on my bed and I no longer have a personal talking, self-organizing planner. The course work that never seems to end also adds to that responsibility. As students at college, we are paying for sleep deprivation and stress all for a piece of paper that, if we are lucky, has the letter A on it a couple times.
The third big aspect is that we are all lonely, but never alone. This statement may seem oxymoronic, but it’s not. At college we are constantly surrounded by an entire ocean of individuals most of whom we have no relation to. On occasion you will see someone you recognize and maybe if you are lucky you will have the little awkward “Hey! How are you?” 15 second conversation instead of a wave. These informal chats don’t ever add up to the intimacy that is found talking to a close friend or parent. Even in the dorms, there are constantly people around, but it is still lonely.
These three facets of college life that give everyone so much time to think about who they really are. When you combine the responsibility of living alone, the separation from home, and the lack of a close knit friend group it changes your view on how you live your life. Different things have significance and things that were important no longer have that same priority. This may seem like a bad thing, however change is part of nature.
In the words of How I Met Your Mother, “The future is scary, but you can’t just run back to the past because it’s familiar. Yes, it’s tempting, but it’s a mistake.”
Written by Bruce Bonich, WLLC 2015-2016