mind, body, spirit

FALL 2022 VOL. 23 ISSUE 1

Front Cover:

Am I More Than My GPA?: Exploring the influence of academic validation on well-being.

Inside Front Cover:

Dean: David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, Diane Lyden Murphy.

Editorial Director: Luvenia W. Cowart, Ed.D.,R.N.

Student Managing Editor: Kinley Gaudette ’23.

Graphic Designer: Bob Wonders, Executive Art.

Student Editorial Board: Luke Anderson, Oluwatomisin Cardozo, Delaney Cummings, Lachlan Doust, Shelby Fenton, Jette Halevi, Osayamen Igbinedion, Saiyara Islam, Benning Johnson, Sophie Katz, Amanda Kosta,

Kamile Kralikaite, Hunter Kusak, Sophie Lauzon, Kylie Range, Olivia Ray, Summer Rosenberg

Contributing Authors: Fabryce Fetus ’23, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics; Amanda Stanley ’23, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Editing Support: George S. Bain G’06.

Contact Us: Healthy You News magazine, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics White Hall, Syracuse, New York 13244, 315.443.9808.

Healthy You welcomes letters to the editor and story ideas.

Healthy You is a student-run health magazine of the Department of Public Health. It is a jointly funded publication of the Syracuse University David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and the Divisions of Undergraduate Studies, and Enrollment and the Student Experience. This publication enhances, broadens and supports the academic and social experiences of students. The Student Editorial Board is responsible for providing work structure for the magazine’s production, which includes the content, design, production and distribution. The information contained in this publication is not to be construed as medical advice. Readers should consult a medical professional before engaging in any activity described. The contents of this magazine may not be reprinted without the expressed consent of the editorial director.


In the Know

Mother Nature or Doctor Nature? The benefits of enjoying nature

Am I More than My GPA? Exploring the influence of academic validation on well-being

’Cuse to Career: Where to Begin Your Career Planning

Fun in the Sun: ABCDE Skin Checks for Melanoma Prevention: Know the dangers of sun exposure and how to prevent melanoma

What You Need to Know about Snail Mucin: Facts about this trendy new skin care product

Cross-Cultural Cuisines and Nutrition: Expanding your palate to improve your health

From Schine to Shaw: Your Guide to Meal Plans on Campus

Nail-Biting Addiction: Saying no to nail-biting

Easier than A-B-C: Exploring the Consequences of Paying with One Tap: Contactless payment has risks and benefits

Fighting the Winter Blues on a Snowy Campus: Coping with mood changes and seasonal depression

Improving Social and Spiritual Well-Being through Meditation: Exploring the benefits of group versus individual meditation

Missing Your Pet? Check Out Pet Therapy with the Barnes Center at The Arch: Examining the benefits of pet therapy on campus

LGBTQ+ Resources at Syracuse University

The Dangers of Restrictive Eating in Athletics: Examining the harmful effects of certain diet practices

Physical Wellness 101: Ways to care for your body as a college student

In The Know

By Shelby Fenton ’26 and Kinley Gaudette ’23

Yoga's Impact on Stress

Stress is a part of the inevitable, especially for college students. However, dealing with the anxiety of everyday life may be easier than you think. The New York Times suggests yoga as an effective way to step away from everyday stressors by “regulating the nervous system, specifically the autonomic nervous system and its response to stress.” Many people hearing about yoga associate it with meditation, but this is not always the case. “While relaxed forms of yoga are helpful, improving your ability to return to a calm state after stress requires a well- toned nervous system that is resilient” says The New York Times. By varying the types of yoga practiced, an individual can broaden their nervous system’s ability to regulate stress levels and, in turn, generate a more balanced sense of self. Resources and videos online are set up to allow yoga to be done from anywhere at any time. Simply look up any style of yoga, and tutorials will guide you through each movement. Additionally, the Barnes Center at The Arch offers yoga classes to students who may be looking for a way to regulate stress or stay active. The Barnes Center is open to all and is designed to help students unplug from their fast-paced lives.

For more information on how to sign up for classes, visit the Barnes Center

Source: New York Times

Why Sleep?

Beauty sleep may be more important than students think. Whether it be an essay due at midnight or a party on a Thursday, students find a way to stay up. However, “sleep is always one of the biggest pieces of the equation for people to be healthy,” says CNN. Oftentimes individuals think of sleep as an inconvenience, or a pause, in their everyday life. This mindset leads to pushing sleep back and only getting minimal hours of a night’s rest. By regularly doing this, adverse health effects may arise. A study by CNN concluded “short sleep duration in midlife and old age is associated with higher risk of onset of chronic disease and multimorbidity.” It is important to prioritize sleep rather than view it as a waste of time. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid caffeine, alcohol and large meals before bedtime; exercise during the day; and ensure you have a quite dark sleeping arrangement. Your body needs sleep just as much as it needs food and water. By getting your eight hours of sleep, you are reducing health risks for the future and taking care of your body’s needs. Adequate sleep is essential. Do not allow life to get in the way of this necessity.

Source: CNN

Hydrate of Die-drate

Hydrating the body is a critical but often overlooked component of fitness. Regardless of the stage you may be in when it comes to your personal fitness journey, hydration is always necessary, and doing it right can truly change your capacity to perform well. According to sports dietician Leslie Bonci, hydration starts before the workout does. In her article for U.S. News & World Report, she says that you should always begin workouts well hydrated, which you can achieve by eating fruits and veggies or drinking smoothies, in addition to standard practices for drinking enough water. Electrolytes are your friend, as they help prevent cramps during your workout. Sports drinks, salty foods and electrolyte drink mixes are all good ways to boost your electrolyte intake. Bonci also says that it is important you replace all of the fluid lost during physical activity, meaning that if you have a higher intensity workout and/or sweat more heavily, you should drink more immediately after working out. Lastly, you can actually hydrate smarter, not harder, since the body is limited in how much it can absorb within short time spans. Bonci recommends sipping rather than chugging to hydrate consistently. Hydrate or die-drate, as they say, and watch as your strength and endurance improve.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Mother Nature or Doctor

By Amanda StanleySenior, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

After a heated argument, a lot of people are told to “go take a walk,” which is usually meant as a criticism. But these critics don’t realize is that going for a walk is beneficial. People who feel stressed often go to see a therapist or go to the gym. They have other options. Instead of spending money and time on therapy visits, just stepping outside into nature reduces stress, anxiety and depression.

Every day college students are faced with extreme amounts of pressure; each student may handle their mental health differently. One way to improve mental health is to go outside, or bring the outside indoors. While shopping for dorm decor, we rarely decide to pick out a plant. According to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, “Research done in hospitals, offices and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.” A plant’s presence has a big impact on one’s mental health.

When people turn to therapy to help improve their mental state, they could spend a lot of money weekly, which is not feasible for most college students. Going out into nature for just a short amount of time can have just as big of an impact as going to therapy. No matter what it is, most people will jump at the opportunity to get anything for free, but, when it comes to nature, people forget its value. Tori Rodriguez writes in Psychiatry Advisor, “With the vast range of therapeutic tools and techniques at our disposal, mental health practitioners often overlook a key resource that has a multitude of mental, emotional and cognitive benefits, is generally accessible to most people and doesn’t cost a thing: the great outdoors.”

Walking around campus works for Jaime Gartenberg ’23. “After I finish hours of homework in my dorm room, going outside for a walk to the dining hall is a good way for me to clear my head,” she says.

Our beautiful Syracuse University campus offers so many spots to spend time outside: plenty of trees to sit under and do work, plenty of benches to eat lunch with a friend, plenty of open grass on the Quad to just chill alone. Many clubs also involve being outside. Setting time aside to do these simple things in nature will reduce levels of stress, anxiety and depression that are common among college students.

For more information:

How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing

Mental Health Benefits of Nature Exposure

Am I More Than My GPA?

By Shelby Fenton, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

It is easy to allow your GPA to define your success. Sometimes, academic stress can even be isolating. It is easy to lose touch with your identity and only draw attention to numbers, grades and academic validation. However, students are more than the grades they receive. Although it may not be easy, students should take care of their minds and generate a balance between social life and academics.

Many students are dealing with a shift in the style of learning that comes with the shift from high school to college.

Matthew Yager, an academic advisor at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, explains why students deal with this challenge. “If  you think about who is responsible for making you successful in high school, [compared to] who makes you successful in college, there is a shift,” he says. “With multiple priorities, classroom teaching becomes a smaller part of how college professors are evaluated.” 

Professors are assessed based on their research and experience in their field, whereas high school teachers are assessed by their student’s success. So, college is often the first time when students are the only one whose success is reflected by their scores.

What come with this newfound independence are often anxiety and self-doubt. Academic validation becomes an issue for students, causing them to lose sight of the social aspect of college. To create a balance between social life and academics, students must take advantage of opportunities outside of the classroom.

Yager explains the value of social wellness by bringing up Maslow’s theory of self-actualization.

“Social belonging has to be fulfilled first,” he says. In other words, you are more likely to be in good academic standing if you prioritize all aspects of life, including emotional and psychological needs.

Exploring interests outside of the classroom is “how we connect and find our people,” says Yager. Once students branch out, they better self-identify and feel fulfilled in the classroom, rather than constantly striving for academic validation.

Students are people, and though it is important to set goals, it is imperative to avoid becoming emotionally reliant on those goals to define self-worth. For students searching for academic validation, it can be all-consuming. Working toward these lofty goals and striving to improve social engagement at the same time remain a challenge.

Opportunities to affirm self-worth in non-academic ways are endless on campus. A great place to start is by getting involved in clubs, organizations and related activities at Syracuse University.

If you struggle with academic validation, keep in mind that “anxiety lives in the future, regret lives in the past, and we need to live in today,” as Yager explained. You can’t change the past, but what you do in the present defines your future. GPA does not define who someone is or what they are worth.

For more information:

Academic Advising Office

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

How to get involved on campus

From 'CUSE To Career: Where To Begin Your Career Planning

By Kylie Range, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Career planning can be a stressful, daunting experience for any college student. Regardless of whether or not you know what your goals are, preparing for the future can be intimidating. Questions arise, such as where to begin or how to find a job that achieves a good balance between financial and emotional wellness. Syracuse University has many resources to make the transition from student to employee as easy as possible.

Each individual college and school at Syracuse has an office of Career Services. This is where you can make appointments for anything relating to career needs. David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics students can make appointments with a career advisor through Handshake to get services such as career exploration, mock interviews and assessing job offers.

The central Career Services office hosts drop-in sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on the second floor of Schine Student Center. In these sessions you can ask questions about networking, interview preparation and internship strategies.

Need your resume looked over? While making an appointment with a career advisor is a great way to get feedback, Career Services also recommends an artificial intelligence program called VMock, which reviews your resume against a set of criteria and suggests changes to maximize success. You can even keep track of your progress and watch your resume move from the red zone, which means it still needs work, all the way up to green, which means your resume is in tip-top shape. VMock can be found on the SU Career Services website.

Jessica Pitcher, a Falk College career advisor, says that the actual job search is step two. Step one is asking yourself, “Do I know what I am looking for?” Pitcher explains that “people are only ready to look if they have an idea of genuinely what their interests are. If not,  job searching can be incredibly overwhelming.”

Once you know where your interests lie, you are ready for step two. Pitcher gave three places to begin your job search: general search engines, Syracuse- specific resources and the places where nothing is posted. General search engines are the sources that everybody already knows about, websites like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor.

Handshake and Hire Orange offer similar searches, but are Syracuse-based. Handshake is not just for job postings. This is where you can also find 30-minute career crash courses from Falk College, which you can sign up for in just a few clicks. Hire Orange is a website where Syracuse University alumni who are looking to employ members of the Syracuse community post jobs in hopes of adding more Orange to their workplace.

Of course, networking is also a reliable method for finding a job, with no computer required. “There are a large percentage of jobs that don’t get posted, but they get filled,” says Pitcher. Networking is how some people locate jobs before the openings hit the internet.

For overall wellness, Pitcher advises to “stop trying to obtain the perfect job title.” When leaving college, figure out the type of people you want to work with, the setting you want to work in and what skills you have and what you want to gain. “We are not of a generation anymore where you get a job and have it for 30 years,” she says. You can take the time to learn what you want in a job instead of putting pressure on yourself to love your first job.

For more information:

Syracuse University Career Services: Achieve Your Professional Goals

Falk College Career Services

Make an Appointment

Fun In The Sun: ABCDE Skin Checks For Melanoma Prevention

By Luke Anderson, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time, especially for first-year students. Many students love spending time outside to soak up the last of the sun before they’re plunged into the cold winter. Getting outside, while great, can result in lots of sun exposure. Whether students realize it or not, all this time spent in the sun can leave a lasting impact. Like many, I long shared the belief that I didn’t get sunburned; therefore, I didn’t need to worry about getting skin cancer. This past summer, I had an experience when I got burned badly, which encouraged me to do some research on sun exposure. The American Cancer Society defines melanoma as “a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown color) start to grow out of control.” The deadliest of all skin cancers, it is linked to excessive UV exposure. Ultraviolet rays greatly increase the risk for cancer. Although sun exposure plays a role in the development of melanoma, other factors contribute to risk. Genetics play a large role in the development of many types of cancer, and melanoma is no different. Those with blond or red hair, freckles, blue eyes and pale skin are genetically at a higher risk. Despite all these risk factors, you can limit susceptibility from sun exposure.


ASYMMETRICAL: The spot is not symmetrical in shape; BORDERS: Edges are blurred or have ragged angles; COLOR: Color is non-uniform throughout the spot; DIAMETER: Spot is greater than 6 millimeters across; and EVOLVING: The spot changes over time—shape, color or 

It is crucial to see a specialist if you notice any points from this acronym. Additionally, applying sunscreen when exposed to UV rays is a great way to stay safe. High SPF sunscreen is extremely effective at absorbing and blocking out the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen eventually wears out, so it’s essential to reapply sunscreen if exposed to the sun for a long time. Lastly, you can protect yourself by wearing clothing that covers your body and avoiding the sun at peak intensity, which is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. While students should enjoy the sunshine, it is important to know how to be safe. Follow these ways to reduce the risks that come along with prolonged sun exposure. Practices like using the ABCDE checklist, wearing sunblock and covering your skin with clothing are all ways to keep yourself healthy for years to come.

For more information:

ABCDE Rule for Detecting Skin Cancer

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Johns Hopkins Medicine- Melanoma Skin Cancer Program

What You Need To Know About Snail Mucin

By Luke Anderson, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Skin moisturizers have been around for thousands of years, with the first known skin moisturizer used by ancient Egyptians around 3000 B.C. According to an article in The Healthy, a Reader’s Digest publication, the ancient Greeks used snail mucin, an external bodily secretion from snails, which has a long history in skin care.

Snail mucin recently went viral on TikTok. Dermatologist Dr. Peterson Pierre told The Healthy that snail mucin hydrates and exfoliates the skin, speeds up the natural healing process of the skin and boosts collagen production. Additionally, according to WebMD, “snail mucus shows promise at hydrating skin, improving fine lines and helping wounds and scratches heal faster.” Snail mucin may be an effective treatment for conditions of wrinkles, dry skin, skin damage and more.

While wrinkles aren’t typically a concern for college students, dry skin and skin damage certainly are. Many students have skin care routines that involve using moisturizers and face masks to obtain or maintain clear and healthy skin. An online article published by Strut Health says that without use of moisturizer, skin can become dry- looking, inflamed, itchy and oily. These effects can lead to acne and premature aging. If you are looking for a new product to integrate into your skin care regimen, or you are looking to start developing a skin care routine, you may consider snail mucin as a staple product.

Although there is agreement that the trendy product has benefits, snail mucin is a product new to the skin care world, and more research is needed. According to the National Library of Medicine, use of snail mucin is projected to rise in the coming years. Corporate Market Insights projects that the market for snail mucus skin care products will approach $770 million by 2025. The use of snail mucin as a skin remedy will continue to increase as more people discover its benefits.

For more information:

Can snail mucin really help your skin?

8 Things that can happen to your skin if you don't moisturize

NIH: Advancing Discovery of Snail Mucins Function and Application

Cross-Cultural Cuisines and Nutrition

By Kylie Range, First-year student, Public Health, David. B Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Indulging in cross-cultural cuisines provides an abundance of benefits, an opportunity that Syracuse University students underutilize. While they may go unnoticed, stigmas against other cultures’ foods exist, leading us to miss out on healthy and delicious choices we may have never experienced. So many different cuisines around the world use different seasonings and flavor profiles to provide the nutrients needed for optimal health.

People eat what they are used to and are comfortable with. Neophobia is the term for the fear of trying new things, commonly used in regard to trying unfamiliar foods. What to some cultures may be primary food sources can appear scary to those from different backgrounds.

All cultures have a different set of ideals when it comes to what an appetizing plate looks like. How can we ease food neophobia? Jane Burrell, an associate teaching professor of nutrition and food studies at Syracuse University, says, “We become more comfortable with foods the more time we are exposed to them.” Burrell suggested that if a food feels unfamiliar or scary, asking questions, watching others eat that food and understanding the value that that food holds in its culture may help ease that unfamiliarity.

On the benefits of cross-cultural eating, Burrell says, “No. 1, variety. It is a lot of different foods prepared with different cooking methods, which then delivers all of the nutrients in different packages that may have different benefits.”

According to an article in the Boulder (Colorado) Daily Camera by Constance Roark, the herbs and spices that add depth of flavor also have many health benefits. One asset is that herbs and spices contain polyphenols, a compound that is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Studies of the Mediterranean diet, often considered as one of the healthiest diets in the world, have shown that herbs and spices may protect against high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Where in Syracuse can you try cross-cultural cuisines? Burrell says the Syracuse area has a good variety of restaurants. Have a free weekend? Go try something new in the city with some friends. A good introduction to international food is the Salt City Market downtown, where vendors offer Middle Eastern, Burmese, Jamaican, Thai, Ethiopian, Vietnamese and soul food.

The dining halls at Syracuse also serve foods from other cultures sometimes, so instead of grabbing your usual slice of pizza, try something new. For students who have access to a kitchen, Googling new recipes and trying them is a great way to increase the variety in what you eat. You can even make a night of it and cook with friends. Try it; you just might like it.

For more information:

Syracuse University Food Services

Salt City Market

Nutrition Talk: Ancient grains for current times

From Schine to Shaw - Your Guide to Meal Plans on Campus

By Sophie Katz, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Have you ever wondered why there are four—you read that right, four—ways to finance your food
at Syracuse University? Sophomores, juniors and seniors may choose to go the independent route, but all first-year students are required to have some sort of meal plan. So, what do those separate plans entail?

When I began school, like so many other first-year students, I was hungry. I had no idea what my options were. It can be so confusing to decipher the plans, from ‘Cuse Cash to Dining Dollars. All of the alliteration alone can make the head spin.

Syracuse is a great spot for foodie students like me, but if you want to stay on campus and eat for cheap it can be tough. The first year on campus can become stressful for incoming students since it is often the first time they are away from home, feeding themselves independently.

Navigating campus dining is much easier once you understand the options. Let’s start with the basics: Meal swipes are what you use at any of the dining halls on campus. So even if you live in Sadler Hall, you could grab lunch at Ernie Davis if it is more convenient.

Each swipe gets you one entry to the dining hall of your choice. The swipes are a weekly allowance, not daily, so it is up to you how you want to distribute them. A great tip is to keep track of when swipes turn over and monitor your swipes on the GET app, so you never let a swipe go to waste.

Next is Dining Dollars. The amount of Dining Dollars you get depends on the meal plan you choose, but a standard amount is between $100 and $200 per semester. Dining Dollars and ‘Cuse Cash are alike in that they can only be used at Syracuse-run restaurants like the Starbucks at Campus West or the food court in the Schine Student Center. Users beware: Once you run out of Dining Dollars, they cannot be reloaded until the semester ends.

‘Cuse Cash, on the other hand, is a form of debit that can be used at the same University establishments and can easily be reloaded through the GET app. The process of replenishing ‘Cuse Cash and Dining Dollars can be confusing for the new student, but worry not.

For information about dining and meal plans.

Nail-Biting Addiction

By Fabryce Fetus, Senior, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Biting your nails is an addictive habit. You do it while solving challenging problems, when you are bored, or even when you are anxious or excited. Many times people bite their nails uncontrollably. But stopping this habit is easier than you think.

Why Do People Do It?

People bite their nails for many reasons. According to WebMD, nail-biting can be a way to deal with emotional or mental stress. People who are nervous, anxious, insecure or just bored tend to bite their nails impulsively. Parents can even influence this habit. WebMD says that kids whose parents bite their nails are more likely to bite their nails, too.

What Happens When You Bite Your Nails?

For one, biting your nails can damage your smile. A study from Texas A&M shows that continually biting your nails can shift your teeth out of their initial position, which could cost you thousands of dollars in dental repair. You can also chip or break your teeth while excessively biting your nails, which can result in damaged teeth enamel. The germs from your fingers can potentially infect your gums, along with causing bad breath. Millions of germs and dirt particles live under your nails and can enter your body when you bite your nails, which can weaken your immune system overall. You also risk the chance of paronychia, an infection of the nail. Seeing symptoms such as swollen red areas around your nails is a way to diagnose yourself with this. Lastly, biting your nails can even cause your nails to grow under the skin of your fingers. The severity of ingrown nails can cause swellings and infections that could require surgery.

Quite the Nail-Biting Addiction

Changing this habit might not be easy, but WebMD offers some ways that can help prevent you from biting your nails.
•    Short nails. You can start by cutting your nails short every week. That way, if you try to bite your nails, you would be practically biting air.
•    Wearing gloves. Yes, you might look like a superhero trying to save the day with your gloves on, but if your fingers are covered, then you are saving them from being bitten.
•    Coat them with a lousy taste. If you rub aloe vera, hot pepper or garlic on your fingers to keep them out of your mouth, that can help solve your nail-biting problem.
•    Keep your hands or mouth busy. Having a stress ball handy or even chewing gum can disrupt you from biting your nails.
•    Think about your nails. When you bite your nails, the result is not pretty. Next time you are anxious to bite your nails, ask yourself, “Do I want my nails to look bitten?”
Yes, it’s an addiction, but if you follow these tips, you may be able to have beautiful and healthy nails.

For more information:

News from Texas A&M Health: It's Bad For Your Teeth

WebMB: Why do I bite my nails and how do I stop?

Easier Than A-B-C: Exploring the Consequences of Paying with One Tap

By Saivara Islam, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Tap, click and done. That’s how easy it is to make purchases now. In today’s world better technology makes paying for purchases much
easier, as we can pay with just one tap.

Apple Pay was introduced in 2014 and starting in early 2019 we have seen a sharp rise in its use. People are able to pay in stores just by tapping their phones on the screen. For online shopping,
authenticating through Touch ID or Face ID is enough to make a purchase. With transactions becoming so quick and easy, people are prone to spending more, which can lead to bad spending habits.

This can be detrimental for college students because most students need to follow a budget. Being only a tap away from paying almost feels like you are not even paying for the purchase. When buyers can’t see the money being spent, it triggers the insula in their brain, which causes less anxiety in regard to the purchase. An article in The Atlantic magazine emphasizes how people claim that making purchases with Apple Pay lowers their stress about paying, as it doesn’t truly feel as if they are paying for the purchase.
On average, credit card users spend more money than people who use cash. Although they are convenient, Apple Pay and credit cards often cause people to spend more money than they have. Using these fast services as often as we do creates bad spending habits: At times we tend to spend more than we can afford. Being college students, not only do we need to save to manage college costs, but we also need to learn good spending habits that we can transition into our adult life. If we create bad spending habits in college and take them into our adult lives, we can be more prone to debt and other financial instability.

We can improve our spending habits and create healthy behaviors in many ways. One method that works for many people is to budget, which entails planning how much money they will spend in different categories per month and setting a limit. Other ways could be utilizing apps on your phone that help you budget your expenses more efficiently.
At Syracuse University, financial counseling is available within the Career Services office. Many advisors in the Office of Financial Aid can help you manage your bursar accounts and other financial needs.
You don’t need to stop using your digital wallet. With the right guidance and planning, you can still pay with ease and avoid breaking the bank.

Fighting the Winter Blues on a Snowy Campus

By Delaney Cummings, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Does rainy, snowy or cold weather make you struggle to get out of bed and start your day? Maybe you wanted to stay under your comforter, skip your classes and skip that morning workout you normally love. These upticks in fatigue, irritability and sadness during a gloomy day are often called the winter blues.

The winter blues refers to mild symptoms adjacent to a change of season. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly referred to as seasonal depression, is a clinically diagnosed condition involving depression during cold or dark seasons, especially winter. It is important to understand that winter blues are common and can often be managed with slight lifestyle adjustments, while seasonal depression may require more help.

Syracuse is well known for its dark and snowy days, making students more likely to be affected by winter weather than in other places. According to Fox News, Syracuse is the snowiest city in America, averaging 127.8 inches each winter. Winter blues can be especially prevalent in out-of-state students who are not accustomed to colder weather. We often have a glorified perception of snow or cold before we experience it, due to our favorite New York-based Christmas movies, then find it difficult to adjust once we are here on campus.

SAD is prevalent in college students due to the specific lifestyle college allows. According to Jan Hall, Ph.D., in an article with Timely MD, “Instead of getting up early and having a regular routine as they did in high school, college students often stay up late to study or socialize. This often leads to sleeping in if they don’t have morning classes, making it harder to get the vitamin D needed to ward off symptoms of SAD.” Another factor in seasonal depression is the increase in melatonin production that occurs in darkness, making it more likely that students may also feel fatigued.

The good news is, you can perform some simple remedies that will help on these cold days when it’s hard to get out of bed:

  • LIGHT BOX THERAPY: This is a psychiatrist-recommended A small box can be placed in any room (including a small dorm room) to mimic sunlight. Light boxes are affordable and can be purchased from major retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
  • WARMING UP: Use heated blankets, drink hot coffee or hot chocolate and bundle up in comfortable sweatshirts and
  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Schedule a period of your day to head to the Barnes Center at The Arch for a quick jog or full-body

Applying simple lifestyle changes, such as these, can significantly improve your quality of life during the winter months. Overall, it is important to remember that you are not alone, and that the winter blues are real. If you feel your symptoms significantly affect your ability to perform daily activities, seek a mental health expert at the Barnes Center.

For more information:

NIH: Beat the Winter Blues

Timely MD: Seasonal Affective Disorder in College Students

Improving Social and Spiritual Well-Being Through Meditation

By Delaney Cummings, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Meditation can be beneficial for college students in reducing stress and anxiety and promoting overall health for the mind and body. One major benefit of meditation is its flexibility: You can meditate anytime and anywhere. Individual meditation platforms like YouTube videos or apps such as Headspace are great resources for students to reflect and relax in the comfort of their dorm. Another form of meditation has added benefits: group meditation.

While meditation in all capacities is important for mental health, group meditation has proven effective in increasing social connectivity. Meditation and its effectiveness are on a spectrum, so it may require trial and error to find what works best for you. You may have a preference between individual or group meditation, or choose to integrate a mix of both. Group meditation has proven to increase our social awareness and our ability to be more open with our peers.

Bethany Kok of the Max Planck Institute in Germany analyzed the emotions a group felt after partner meditation. The results showed that group meditation reduced the individual’s loneliness and made them more comfortable expressing their emotions with others in the group. Kok wrote, “By increasing feelings of closeness, and by encouraging people to reach out to others through self-disclosure, we are laying the groundwork to prevent loneliness in the future.” If that’s true, she added, “partner meditation could help people stave off the mental and physical problems that are associated with social isolation, like poor cognitive function, heart disease and premature mortality.” These benefits extend to college students as well.

In a post-COVID world, social connectivity is more important than ever. After years of Zoom classes and being off-campus, students are staying clear of individual practices and instead turning toward more social activities. Whichever side you are on, group meditation can be a beneficial route to explore.

Group meditation is a great way to complement the feeling of eagerness to socialize or build social skills. Through group meditation, you could meet new people, bond with friends and experience all the benefits meditation has on the mind and body. These benefits can include productivity, relaxation, better sleep, more energy and overall mindfulness.

Group meditation resources are available on campus to Syracuse University students. The Buddhist Chaplaincy at Hendricks Chapel offers weekly meditation groups; available dates are listed on the Syracuse University calendar. You can visit the Meditation Room located in the Barnes Center at The Arch during open meditation hours. Another option is to gather a group of friends and perform meditation together on the Quad, in a dorm or virtually. Simply turn on a guided meditation video and enjoy the experience together. Meditation can be resourceful and enjoyable in any capacity, but group meditation is both accessible and beneficial.

For more information:

The Benefit of Meditating Alone Together

Can Meditating Together Improve Your Relationship?

Syracuse University: Meditation and Mindfulness

Missing Your Pet? Check out Pet Therapy with the Barnes Center at the Arch

By Shelby Fenton, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamic

Nothing beats walking in the door and having a happy pet run up to you. Despite how difficult your day may have been, it is impossible not to smile at the furry friend that has been
waiting all day to give you love. Pets offer a series of health benefits and provide students with a coping mechanism for the stress or anxiety that come with schoolwork. Leaving pets behind is an anxiety- inducing experience for many students, but services such as pet therapy are here to help.

Mary Gilbert, president of Pet Partners of Central New York, explains her experience in the field. “Pet therapy offers an opportunity for students to gather and speak with like-minded people,” she says.
Interacting with animals “lowers blood pressure and anxiety while boosting endorphins.”
Gilbert works alongside a group of volunteers who bring their pets to various locations, offering animal contact to those lacking puppy love. “There is an element of touch to this” pet therapy, she says.
Reaching down and feeling a pet is often reassuring and generates a sense of relief. The joyful emotions that come from this experience can seldom be found anywhere else.

Individuals often do not recognize the benefit their pet has on their emotional health until they leave their pet. “Simply petting an animal can decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol and boost release of the neurotransmitter serotonin” says behavioral neurologist Dr. Marran Sabbagh, formerly of the Cleveland Clinic. For this reason, Gilbert and her team often find themselves at a school during testing week. However, at Syracuse University, students do not have to wait for test week to receive the pet therapy. Pet Partners of CNY visits the Barnes Center at The Arch on Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Tuesday with dogs that are ready to provide you with every “feel-good” hormone. For specific times, check out the Barnes Center website.

This resource on campus can benefit all students. Whether you are missing your pet, stressed over schoolwork or simply looking for a way to meet new people, pet therapy can help. “Animals are a wonderful way to meet other people” and “communicate with others who may be dealing with the same struggles,” Gilbert says. The environment at pet therapy is a judgment- free zone designed to make students feel relaxed and less worried about the stressors of everyday life. The dogs want to see you, and you could always benefit from seeing them.

To join pet therapy, make sure you bring your Syracuse University I.D. to swipe in. It is never a bad idea to stop in at pet therapy; your emotional wellness will thank you.

For more information:

Why Having a Pet Can Boost Your Mood and Keep Your Brain Healthy

To visit Pet Partners of CNY website or contact by email info@petpartnerscny.org 

LGBTQ+ Resources at Syracuse University

By Amanda Kosta, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamic

Being LGBTQ+ at a large school like Syracuse can be daunting. When you do not know if you have other LGBTQ+ peers, it can feel isolating and lonely. According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, LGBTQ+ students often face discrimination and have higher rates of depression and anxiety when compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers. The institute added, “Having resources for LGBTQ students is essential as they navigate higher education because they provide students with the necessary support to succeed in school.”

Because seeking out these resources can be intimidating, it is important that the campus resources are known and readily accessible to students. A few examples include:

  • Syracuse’s Pride Union is a group of students whose goal is to foster a sense of community among LGBTQ+ students. They often host meetings to discuss queer media and happenings, and have started a book club that focuses on queer For more information, email suprideunion@gmail.com.
  • oSTEM is a professional organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ students in STEM-related fields. The program has multiple organizations across many schools, including Syracuse, and hosts events and conferences geared toward networking opportunities for queer students in STEM. To connect with oSTEM, email lgbtq@syr.edu.
  • The OutCrowd is a student newspaper aimed at queer students on campus. For those interested in writing, the OutCrowd provides a space for students to practice their journalism skills by writing about progressive and queer Find them on Instagram at @theoutcrowdmag.
  • Qolor Collective is an affinity group for students of color who attend either Syracuse University or SUNY-ESF and identify as LGBTQ+ to come together and find community with other marginalized students.

The challenges of being queer at a large school also apply to graduate students, who may have fewer student organizations accessible to them. Open Doors is an organization specifically for LGBTQ+ graduate students at Syracuse University to help build a sense of community. Email the LGBTQ Resource Center at lgbtq@syr. edu if you’re interested in Open Doors.

The LGBTQ Resource Center can be found in the Schine Student Center and is a safe space for any LGBTQ student to spend time in and take advantage of their resources. You can participate in an affinity group, become involved with any number of student organizations, or talk to a member or their staff. If you need a dedicated counselor, talking to the LGBTQ Resource Center can be a great place to start, as they can set you up with a counselor who specializes in LGBTQ+ students.

While it may seem intimidating at first, Syracuse University has a variety of resources and spaces to support LGBTQ+ students and help them develop a sense of belonging on campus.

For more information:

UCLA Report Pushes to Improve Resources for LGBT Students in Higher Education

Pride Union

The Dangers of Restrictive Eating in Athletes

By Sophie Katz, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Being an athlete is a great way to make friends, be active and find a deeper sense of self. Yet sometimes sports and exercise can impact the already delicate body image of young people. Sports like wrestling do not begin until high school, when teens are usually especially conscious of their bodies. Having to make weight while navigating adolescence can take a toll mentally and physically. Similar patterns of disordered eating are also common in the bodybuilding community. Restrictive diets can spiral into a dangerous binge-and-purge cycle. The disordered eating of participants in sports with these dietary habits is usually masked as making weight or being in prep for an upcoming competition, match or show. With this mindset, participants are unable to ask for help. Strict diets can easily escalate into disordered eating, in which case a person may not even be aware of the change. An article on “Bodybuilders Develop Binge Eating Disorders Post Competition: A Survey,” found in the Rutgers University Library, reported that a majority of those who participated in bodybuilding showcases experienced some sort of post-show binge.

A poll found that 85% of competitors had experienced binge eating post-competition, meaning just 15% had not. This culture has been showcased on platforms like TikTok, often showing tanned and toned bodies digging into the first cookie they have eaten in months. This kind of post-show eating is painted as a celebration; however it is important that athletes know they can find balance between succeeding in their sport and enjoying their favorite foods.

Sports are meant to be fun. Once they become dangerous or life-altering, that intended joy goes away. By only showcasing the highlights of bodybuilding, influencers may unintentionally get impressionable people to participate in similar eating behaviors.

It is important to know the warning signs of disordered eating and be aware of campus resources, like nutrition services at the Barnes Center at The Arch. To make an appointment with the campus nutritionists, call the Barnes Center at 315.443.8000 or use the Patient Portal (experience.syracuse.edu/bewell/ patient-portal/).

If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Association helpline (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help- support/contact-helpline) or call 800.931.2237.

For more information:

National Eating Disorders Helpline

Bodybuilders Develop Binge Eating Disorders Post Competition: A Survey

Physical Health 101

By Sophie Lauzon, First-year student, Public Health, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Between social life, class, extracurriculars and keeping in touch with family and friends at home, students often find there is not enough time in a day. As such, the body becomes a low priority, despite how important physical wellness is. Recognizing the need for physical activity, getting enough sleep and maintaining good nutrition will improve your physical wellness.

You often measure your physical health by what your body looks like on the outside, but it is so much more than what is seen on the surface. Physical health includes what is going on inside your body. Of course, we don’t want to come down with sickness or neglect our bodies, but as the World Health Organization says, health is “not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” You can find plenty of ways to not only keep yourself from getting sick but also improve your health and achieve well-rounded wellness.

First-year students are prone to picking up bad habits that lead to a sedentary lifestyle: eating junk food, snacking at midnight, doing less exercise, increasing alcohol intake and staying up late. College students being away from parental oversight can face a stark learning curve when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. It is important to establish a schedule that incorporates enough time for sleep and regular exercise and to develop healthy eating habits.

When it comes to exercise, many students think this means they have to hit the gym nonstop when they have free time. But being physically active does not mean you have to go to the Barnes Center at The Arch and work out for an hour or two at a time. Daily exercise could entail lifting weights or taking a workout class, and it could also be just 20 to 30 minutes of walking or jogging each day. Consistently getting the body moving is most important. A great resource that could help with being active could be joining a club or intramural sports team. Be sure to look online for club tryout dates, or information about how to join intramural leagues.

Check out the Barnes Center website  to explore other opportunities to get moving, such as group workouts or rock-climbing.

Syracuse University has many opportunities for students to get active. It takes a lot of challenging work to break bad habits, but the benefits of physical wellness can be revelatory.

For more information:

ActivePalTM  determines sedentary behavior, physical activity and academic achievement in college students

World Health Organization

Magazine Back Page

Syracuse University

David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and

The Divisions of Undergraduate Studies, and Enrollment and the Student Experience

White Hall, Syracuse New York 13244

315.443.9808 |  Syracuse University/Falk College/ Public Health


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