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Fighting the Fear of the Freshman 15 (part two) 

So how can you go about dealing with the pressures surrounding the idea of the freshman 15? 

The first step is learning ways to combat any negative talk you may hear regarding the freshman 15 or any other college weight gain. Because this kind of talk has become so normalized, others may not be aware of the harm they may cause by bringing these topics up to incoming freshman. To make sure you prevent talk like this from bringing you down, try to challenge yourself to respond to these negative body talk statements in a purposeful way. 

If someone tries to warn you of the freshman 15, try telling them that it is simply a myth or that you will be happy with your body no matter your weight. You can also explain why statements such as those might be harmful to hear. If these seem too challenging to do, just try changing the subject.  

Besides avoiding negative body image talk, there are many ways to ensure you take steps to feeling better about yourself. At the end of the day, it’s your body, not anyone else’s, so you’re the only one who needs to like it.  

Here are a few simple steps to staying healthy and happy during your first year at college: 

  • Avoid diets. 

Studies have found that those who start a new diet their freshman year are more likely to gain weight. They also may be more likely to develop an eating disorder as well. Instead of dieting, practice intuitive eating. Intuitive eating involves eating whatever your body craves whenever you want it, guilt free.  

  • Make sure not to skip meals 

Skipping meals can lead to some of the same effects of dieting. It can also prevent you from having enough energy to perform well academically throughout the day. If you find yourself struggling to find time to eat in-between classes or other commitments, try keeping healthy snacks on hand to grab in a hurry.  

  • Drink enough water 

One study found that only about 15% of college students were drinking enough water each day. Water is important for every part of your body to function, especially your brain. Make sure to drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water each day.  

  • Get plenty of sleep 

Living minutes, or even seconds, away from your friends or a seemingly endless list of assignments can lead to many late nights during your college career. Not getting enough sleep can be extremely detrimental to your health. Try to get between at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night to make sure you are fully rested and have enough energy to take on the day.  

  • Schedule time for yourself 

With the introduction of several new commitments including a rigorous academic schedule your first semester at OSU, it can be easy to forget to make time for yourself. Remembering to take care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. To do so, find time to destress and relax in your favorite ways for at least a few minutes every single day.  

  • Find time to move 

Make time in your daily schedule to get some type of physical fitness in. This could come from taking a walk around campus or trying one of the RPAC’s group fitness classes. Doing so will not only help you take steps in the right direction for your physical health, but it can also be a great stress reliever.  

  • Utilize Ohio State’s many resources  

Ohio State has a ton of really great resources available to all students! Check out all the programs the Student Wellness Center offers including nutrition coaching and the body project to specifically work on any fears you may have surrounding college and body image.  

References: 

-Kayla Miedrzynski, Body Project Student Assistant   

 

Fighting the Fear of the Freshman 15 (part one) 

Almost every student has gotten the warning of the dreaded freshman fifteen before they even step foot on a college campus. You may have seen it talked about in movies or on the cover of your favorite magazines. You most likely even have heard about it from your friends and family. 

The idea that everyone gains fifteen pounds their freshman year of college has taken society by storm. We are all warned to stay away from the unlimited plates at the dining halls or sugary drinks that may be offered to us at parties, all because they can cause the number on the scale to increase. 

The beginning of your college career comes with so many things to worry about. How will I find my classes? What will my new friends be like? Am I going to be homesick? How much weight you may gain or what your body looks like should be the least of your worries.  

The beginning of freshman year is also one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life. Never before have you had so many new opportunities waiting for you. If you spend all your time worrying about potentially gaining weight, you are going to miss out on so many great experiences. It is just not worth it. 

The matter of the fact is the freshman fifteen is also simply just a myth. Numerous studies have found the average weight gain is far lower than fifteen pounds. In fact, many students do not see a change in their weight or may even lose some weight during the first year at college.  

Even if you do see a change in your body during your freshman year, so what? As long as you are happy and healthy, there is no reason to try to change the way that you look. Trying to hold on to your high school body forever is impossible. It is normal for everyone to go through different phases of their lives where their bodies transition in some way or another.  

Each and every body changes as it ages over the course of each decade. By the age of 17-19 your body is still far from being done with growing. For both men and women, bone and muscle mass reach their mass peak sometime during their late teenager years or their early twenties. It is also common for your metabolism to start slowing down around the age of 20. Even if you keep the same food and exercise habits as you did in high school, your body may react differently. This means that the body you enter college with is not the body you will be leaving college with. 

Also, during this time, students are likely to be going through some emotionally challenging events. For the first time, you will be on your own as an independent adult trying to figure out your social and personal lives. It is easy to begin to feel overwhelmed and even lost, which can have damaging effects on not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.  

These potential challenges to your mental and physical health are far more important to worry about than your weight. It is important to stay proactive rather than reactive when it comes to your health. Check out part two of this series to learn about ways to deal with the fear of the freshman fifteen.  

References:  

-Kayla Miedrzynski, Body Project Student Assistant   

6 Strategies for Balancing Studying and Self-Care During Stressful Times

1. Start studying early 

If possible, avoid cramming at the last minute for a test. Try starting a week or two in advance and carving out 20-30 minutes per day to focus on studying. Giving yourself more time will help you to commit the content to memory. It will also help you to balance the content, manage your time, and avoid increased stress and anxiety at the last minute. 

2. Find a study environment that fits your needs 

Do you prefer to study in quiet environments alone, or with a group? You know yourself best. Try to create an environment that best fits your study style. Do your best to eliminate distractions. If it helps, you can move your phone (or other distractors) to another room while you study. 

3. Use study strategies that work well for you 

Study strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all. Try finding a method that best fits your own learning style. If something isn’t working for you, switch it up! Here are just a few examples of study techniques: 

  • Pretend you are teaching the content to someone else. If you have a roommate, friend, partner, family member, or even a pet, you can practice with them. If not, you can always practice alone. If you can clearly and thoroughly explain the content, it demonstrates how well you know the material.  
  • Create flashcards for key terms and concepts. 
  • Write down your notes and color code them. Get creative! Try creating visuals, rhymes, acronyms, or patterns to make connections and help you remember the content. 
  • Pick a topic and write down everything you know about it without looking at your notes. 
  • Create your own practice tests. 
  • Work with a classmate and quiz each other on key concepts. Discussing the content, bouncing ideas off each other, and quizzing each other will help expand your understanding of the content. 
  • Break larger, complex topics and theories down into specific examples. Think about how you would apply it in practice.  
  • Create a mock lesson plan, study guide, or outline for the content you are studying. 
  • Identify connections between themes and topics. Create diagrams, charts, or lists. 

4. Take breaks 

Taking breaks will help with your concentration, ability to focus, and overall productivity. Building in breaks can also help you prioritize caring for yourself. Set a timer to remind yourself to step away and take a break. For example, for every 30 minutes of work, stop and take a break.  

5. Take care of yourself and maintain healthy habits 

Studying can be stressful. Your grades and productivity are not reflections of your self-worth. Remember to prioritize taking care of yourself as you study. Self-care isn’t selfish! 

  • Stay hydrated. 
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. 
  • Move your body in a way that feels good for you. 
  • Eat nutritious food. 
  • Spend time outside. 
  • Engage in mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation practices. Examples can include deep breathing, body scans, guided meditations, yoga, and more. 
  • Spend time with loved ones. 
  • Make time for activities and hobbies you enjoy. 
  • Give yourself time to rest and recharge, even if that means doing nothing at all. 

6. Ask for help when you need it

If you are having trouble understanding the class material or would like some extra help, reach out for support. Asking for help is a sign of strength. Try reaching out to your instructor, TA, or a trusted classmate. Go to office hours. There are also many campus resources available to support you including the Dennis Learning Center, The Writing Center, the Younkin Success Center, Disability Services, the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center, and University Libraries 

References: 

-Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Assistant

The New Best Diet 

Chocolate = bad  
Salad = good 
Pizza = bad 
Vegetables = good 

Isn’t it tiring having all of these “good” and “bad” labels racing through your head, controlling your thoughts, as you decide on what to eat? Now, imagine if you stopped categorizing food as “good” and “bad” and listened to what your body craved instead. 

The new best diet is having no diet: it is listening to your body and eating intuitively. Intuitive eating is the concept of listening to your hunger cues and what your body is craving and allowing yourself to have it, no matter what it may be.  

This concept may be hard to digest at first. When I first came across the idea of intuitive eating, I did not believe in it at all. In fact, I thought it was ridiculous. I didn’t understand how eating whatever I wanted could do any good for my physical health, mental health, or my appearance. I thought that if I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, I would never stop binging and eating the foods that I thought were “bad” for me.  

When you restrict your body of what it needs, it can lead to extreme hunger and uncontrollable cravings. This can then trigger your body to go into binge mode, where you feel out of control with your eating. After binge eating however, you feel guilty, so you start to restrict again. Only, restriction doesn’t work for long, because you eventually end up going through the cycle again. This is known as the binge-restrict cycle, and it can have negative physical and emotional effects on you. 

After focusing on intuitively eating for over a year now, I can say that it has tremendously helped to heal my relationship with food by eliminating the binge-restrict cycle from my life. Some days I want a burger with fries, so I will eat a burger with fries. Other days, I want a salad, so I will eat a salad. Allowing my body to listen to its cravings has tremendously helped me with overcoming binge eating. Not only is intuitive eating something that has worked for me personally, but many studies about intuitive eating have been conducted, and they all show very positive results.  

Starting to focus on intuitive eating can seem very daunting at first, and it is totally okay if it does not initially come naturally. It is so hard to break the repetitive patterns of dieting that society has ingrained into our heads. Even as someone who whole-heartedly advocates for intuitive eating, I still struggle every once in a while to do it myself. 

You can start practicing intuitive eating by asking yourself, “Am I hungry right now?” If you answer yes to that question, you can then ask, “What am I craving?” After choosing what you would like to eat and allowing yourself to have it, be in tune with how your stomach and body is feeling. If you are full before finishing all of your food, there is no pressure to force yourself to finish it. If you finish your food and still feel hungry, go for some more! There are no strict rules with intuitive eating: just principles to help guide you and your body to a healthier relationship with food. 

Overall, intuitive eating has allowed me to have the best relationship with food that I have had in many years. Allowing your body to have freedom with food frees up so much of your time and energy. Instead of spending unnecessary time thinking about what foods you can and cannot have, you can spend time doing activities that will enhance and fulfill your life instead. I highly encourage you to give intuitive eating a try and start to better your relationship with food. Intuitive eating has changed my relationship with food for the better, and I hope it will have a positive impact on yours as well.  

-Kelly Lin, Body Project Student Assistant

5 Tips for Navigating Studying in the Digital Era 

It seems like in today’s world everything revolves around technology in some way or another. One area that has been completely revamped is the academic field. In the last few years, students have had to completely rethink the way they go about their academics due to online classes and zoom meetings brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Reliance on technology for studying can come with many unwanted distractions, so make sure to check out these five simple tips for improving your digital wellness.  

First off, do your best to remove all unnecessary devices from your study space.  

Research shows that even if you resist the temptation to check your phone, the thought alone that a notification might come in can lower your productivity. Putting your phone somewhere out of reach is the best way to ensure that it will not be a distraction.  

Completely removing your cellphone is certainly no easy task. If you are struggling with the idea, make sure to put your phone on silent and do not disturb mode. This will make sure that you will not be tempted to check your phone after hearing a notification come in.  

Looking at your phone for even a split second could be harmful to your productivity. Studies have found that after picking up your phone the first time, you have a 50 percent chance of picking it up again within the new few minutes. Try only checking your phone during designated breaks.  

That brings us to the next tip, creating a study schedule. Designating time for active studying and separate time for taking breaks will make sure you stay on track.  

One study schedule to try the Pomodoro study method. This method consists of choosing a total amount of time that you want to dedicate to studying and then breaking that time down into separate Pomodoro sessions. Each Pomodoro will consist of actively studying for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. After completing 4 Pomodoro sessions, give yourself a longer break of about 20-30 minutes.  

Along with following a set study schedule, ensuring that your study space is well organized can be crucial to staying productive. One tip for setting up your space is to use the CLEAR method. 

  1. Step one is to clear your desk of anything that you will not need while studying.  
  2. Step two is lifting your computer up to avoid tension.  
  3. Step three involves eliminating all distractions.  
  4. Step four is to activate one designated study space in your living area. 
  5. Step five is refreshing your study space by adding a natural element such as a plant.  

Are you finding yourself getting tired of your current study space? Switch it up! Studying in the same spot everyday can get tiring fast so make sure to explore all the different study spaces Ohio State has to offer.  

Finally, remember that not everything about electronics is harmful to a productive study session. There are so many ways to put those electronics to good use! Take some time to explore the thousands of studying apps that exist, check out online planners and calendars that can help you stay organized and on schedule, and find ways to connect with others on Zoom for digital study sessions.  


References: 

-Kayla Miedrzynski, Body Project Student Assistant

 

How to Make the Internet a More Positive Place: 5 Steps to Clean Up Your Social Media 

Have you ever been scrolling through social media and noticed a sudden shift in your mood? Have the posts you have seen make you feel worse about yourself? If so, you are not alone. 

Many of us experience feelings of self-doubt after spending time on our social media accounts. Maybe you feel envious of the perfect lives others seem to be living, or you start to wish your body looked more like those of popular celebrities and influences.  

Whatever the case may be, there are many aspects of social media that can harm our mental wellbeing, especially when it comes to body image.  

A recent study found that “thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.” Facebook also found that fourteen percent of boys in the United States said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves.  

As social media is becoming more popular and we are spending more time on it each day, it is important to make sure it is not something that brings you down. Making sure this time spent online leads to a positive mindset is key to your overall wellbeing. 

One way to move towards this mindset is to complete a cleanse of your social media accounts. Doing this can make sure that time spent online helps you move towards a healthy lifestyle.  

Here are a few ways to complete a social media cleanse of your own:  

  1. Set your intentions.  
    • Think about the reasons why you use your different social media accounts. Do you enjoy talking to friends and family? Finding a new restaurant to try out? Learn something new? Make a list of these reasons and remember them when considering whether to follow or unfollow an account. If an account does not match up with one of your intentions, unfollow it! 
  2. Remove negative accounts . 
    • Look out for specific pages or people to unfollow if they tend to post content that makes you feel bad about yourself. Focus on your reaction to looking at what that account posts. If it tends to be negative, it may be time to let that account go.  
  3. Explore new content. 
    • Social media is a great resource for finding wellness content, especially about body image. The body positivity movement has become a major trend over the last few years and there are a ton of creators that specialize in creating body acceptance content. Make sure to explore accounts and hashtags recommend for you to help you find new creators to follow.  
  4. Utilize all the platforms features. 
    • Most social media platforms have some way to limit the posts that you see from certain accounts. Take some time to look into features such as muting certain accounts, turning off comments, and hiding likes. All of these can make social media a more positive space by removing some of the stress that comes along with using it.  
  5. Take a break from social media all together. 
    • Try limiting the time you spend on social media each day and exploring different ways to pass the time. There are so many ways to increase your physical and mental health by staying offline such as spending time outdoors, trying a new activity with friends, or even completing tasks on your to-do list.

References: 

-Kayla Miedrzynski, Body Project Student Assistant

Find What Moves You: Browse Fitness Classes on the Student Life Activity Calendar 

If you are anything like me, you may need the motivation that comes along with working out in a group setting. If this is the case, a workout class or group fitness event could be right for you. Working out with friends and fellow students can help you kickstart your fitness routine and get your body moving.  

Fortunately, the new and improved Student Life Activity Calendar has you covered, displaying numerous fitness and training classes on campus that are designed to make working out work for you. Getting active is a key component to enhancing your body, mind and overall well-being; all of which is important in leading a healthy lifestyle.  

The calendar serves as a virtual hub that includes endless options for completing a workout and reaching your fitness goals in ways other than hitting the treadmill or weight machines. Being energized, happy and well is just a click away via the Student Life Events website.  

The calendar provides students with an easy browsing experience to view upcoming events and provides you with the option to filter events by the audience, category or even keyword. You can search through categories such as Health and Wellness, Sports, Personal Development and Workshops/Training that will generate numerous options for working out and getting your life in motion.  

Fitness classes posted on the calendar include: 

  • Circuit Training 
  • Barre classes 
  • Dance cardio 
  • Barbell cardio  
  • Full-body challenges  
  • Weight Training 
  • Group Fitness 
  • Yoga 
  • Cycle Classes 
  • Hip-Hop Dance  
  • And more! 

The Student Life Activity Calendar includes more than just fitness classes as well. It has all kinds of events, activities and opportunities that may interest you. Utilizing the calendar can help you connect with students, staff and faculty, all while broadening your campus network.

Find what gets you moving. Access the calendar and view upcoming events at:  https://studentlife.osu.edu/events.aspx 

References: 

 

 – Natalie Hall, Office of Student Life, Communications Writing Intern  

 

3 Quick Tips for Setting Goals and Establishing Healthy Habits 

Mid-semester can be a great time to check in with yourself, reflect on your wants and needs, and set goals. There’s never a bad time to prioritize your health and wellness! Whether you want to maintain your current habits or start new ones, check out these tips for setting and meeting your goals. 

1. Define your goals 

Reflect on any aspects of your life you would like to maintain, improve, or change. It doesn’t have to be a major life change. Maybe you want to start volunteering, join a club, or find a new job. Maybe you want to make more time for rest, time with loved ones, and self-care. Maybe you want to improve your time management – or something else entirely. It doesn’t matter what the goal is – what matters is that the goal is meaningful and relevant for you. If you find it helpful, you can create an accountability plan by writing down your goals, or even telling a friend or loved one about your goals. 

2. Identify your “why” 

Finding the motivation for your goals can help you stick to them. For example, maybe you want to join a student organization to get more involved on campus and meet new people. Maybe you want to start meditating to increase your mindfulness, manage stress, and expand your sense of connectedness. Think about why you want to change something, and what your life would be like with the change. What would it mean for you to reach your goal? 

If it helps, create a reward system for yourself for making progress. Positive reinforcement can help you stay on track. For example, maybe you watch an episode of your favorite TV show after studying for a big exam or ask a friend to go for a walk with you to encourage you to move your body in a way that feels good for you. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, recommends making habits obvious, attractive, simple, and satisfying. 

3. Start out “small” 

If you are looking to start a new habit or change something in your routine, don’t feel pressured to do it all at once. Sometimes a drastic, immediate change can be overwhelming and if you don’t reach your goal it may lead to shame or frustration. Think about creating the change you want to see in terms of consistency rather than intensity.  

For example, if you want to start waking up earlier in the morning, start out by setting your alarm five minutes earlier and gradually adjust over time. If you want to start exercising more, move your body for just a few minutes each day. Maybe you walk around the block or do one rep of an exercise each day. If you want to start meditating, you can start with short, guided meditations for a minute or two each day. Starting out “small” can help you build sustainable habits while preventing you from burning out or pushing yourself too hard too fast. You can always increase intensity over time. In the long-run, the changes that seem “small” at first can actually be very powerful.  

If you are looking to set new goals but aren’t sure where to start or would like some extra support, the Student Wellness Center has several free resources that can help. The Student Wellness Center offers individual and group wellness coaching to provide peer support and help students set goals relating to the Nine Dimensions of Wellness. Looking to set specific goals related to nutrition or finances? Check out the Student Wellness Center’s financial coaching and nutrition coaching services. 

 References: 

-Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Assistant   

Emotional Intelligence and Healthy Communication

How to foster emotional intelligence and healthy communication in your everyday life:

Emotional intelligence and nonviolent communication are both practices that focus on how you understand and relate to yourself and those around you. Strengthening your emotional intelligence and incorporating nonviolent communication into your everyday life is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection. Both of these approaches emphasize being able to identify and respectfully communicate your feelings and needs. 

Emotional intelligence and healthy communication promote safety and boundaries, as well as emotional and social wellness. These practices can also give others permission to be more open and vulnerable by modeling healthy behaviors. 

Emotional intelligence incorporates the following four elements: self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management. 

Moreover, components of nonviolent communication include: observations, feelings, needs, and requests. 

If these concepts sound new to you, you are not alone – these strategies are not something that we are often taught in school. Here are some tips for practicing and getting started: 

  • Use the feelings wheel (depicted below) to begin building your awareness of your own feelings and emotions. This awareness can also help you identify and empathize with the emotions of those around you. 
  • Journal about your thoughts, emotions, experiences, wants, and needs. 
  • Utilize “I statements” when communicating with others. 
  • Practice openness and nonjudgment. Try to avoid blaming and shaming.  
  • Ask open-ended and clarifying questions during conversations. 
  • Listen to understand and not to respond. You can practice this skill by reflecting, repeating back, or summarizing what someone has told you during a conversation. 
  • Be mindful of the language you are using – words are powerful.  
  • Practice curiosity and self-compassion alongside compassion and kindness for others. Self-care is not selfish! 
  • Recognize the difference between INTENT and IMPACT. 
  • Focus on behaviors and ideas. For example, if you disagree with someone’s opinion, focus on the idea and not the person. Or, if you are requesting that someone make a change, focus on the behavior you want them to change rather than the person as an individual.  
  • Express what you would like for someone to do, rather than what you don’t want them to do. This practice is known as making a positive request. 
  • Incorporate mindfulness and do your best to be fully present in social situations. If you feel yourself beginning to struggle regulating your emotions during a difficult conversation, take some deep breaths or take a break. You can always pause and come back to the conversation when you begin to feel more balanced. 
  • Once you begin to feel more comfortable identifying your emotions, try to engage in deeper reflection to explore the root causes of your feelings. Can you observe what caused a certain emotion or thought to come up? What do you need in order to acknowledge, process, and cope with the emotion? For example, are you hungry? Do you need rest/sleep? Are you feeling overstimulated? What would help in this moment to allow you to recenter? 
  • Develop healthy coping strategies for times when it is difficult to regulate your emotions. To learn more about emotional regulation, check out this video from CCS. Practice sharing with people you trust what you are experiencing and what you need in these moments. 
  • When you make a mistake, take responsibility and accountability by owning up to it, offering a genuine apology, and learning from the experience.  
  • Practice! You can always start out small, with simple requests and expressions. 
  • Remind yourself that it is okay to ask for what you need. 

If you are looking for additional support to help incorporate healthy communication and emotional intelligence in your daily life, there are resources available. Counseling and Consultation Service offers free individual and group counseling for all Ohio State students. CCS’s group counseling offerings include the Understanding Self and Others Group. Another option for peer support is the Student Life Student Wellness Center’s free individual and group Wellness Coaching services which can help you to identify and set goals. 

References 

 

-Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Assistant  

Euphoria and Mental Health – Are your friends crying out for help like these characters?

Like many of you, I too have been waiting for each Sunday to arrive so I could see the next episode of the drama filled HBO series Euphoria. While the chaos that ensues at East Highland High School seems to be a different planet from the high school I went to, which some would describe as “rural Ohio” (aka Louisville, Ohio) – the drama is entertaining regardless of believability. Also not believable, how everyone has fresh nails each episode, yet no one has a job…who the hell is paying for all those nail appointments?? 

Each of the characters have very strong personalities and emotions, and whether you support or disagree with their decisions, if you saw a friend acting in the same way it would be labeled as a serious cry for help. So here is how you can help if any of your friends are acting like the following characters  

  • Maddy has all the confidence, the trouble is she struggles with caring about others and will literally do whatever manipulative thing it takes to get what it is she wants. She definitely lacks self-awareness and the emotional maturity to realize how her actions could have a larger impact on her friend group and her future. A great referral for someone exhibiting these behaviors is the Student Civility Program. An educational workshop series that engages students on topics such as personal responsibility, community safety, emotional intelligence, and healthy relationships. All of which Maddy desperately needs. 
  • As we saw this season, Kat is working on trying to find herself while struggling with her body image and low self-confidence. If you know someone who consistently practices negative self-talk, has a lack of confidence or struggles with negative body image there are a few places on campus that can help. Wellness Coaching works on personal development, boosting confidence, and finding our strengths all in a peer-to-peer coaching session. Kat may not go for the peer-to-peer model as she is not a very trusting person but we promise all of the Student Life Student Wellness Center programs are private. For body image struggles, participating in a Body Project workshop could be another great support for Kat. Finding a community of those who are also trying to find themselves and work towards body positivity could really benefit Kat as she navigates her identity. 
  • Our hero Rue struggles with substance misuse and has jumped in and out of recovery and relapse multiple times in the two seasons of the show. For a friend who is struggling with substance misuse, you have a couple of options: BASICS/CASICS for those exploring their substance use, the OSU Medical Center has a variety of Drug and Alcohol Treatment services for someone seeking help in getting sober, and finally those who are in or seeking recovery and in need of a community of support, the Collegiate Recovery Community could be exactly what they need. For those struggling with opioid use specifically, like Rue, OSU and Project Dawn are working to provide free Narcan Naloxone kits to the OSU and Columbus community. Be prepared and get your free kit by visiting the Project DAWN Narcan Kit Distribution Program Website 
  • Cassie (literally the worst), has a whole mess of struggles she needs to work through –  placing all of her value in her relationships and what her boyfriend thinks of her, backstabbing her best friend for a guy, not taking the time to mentally recover from her abortion, nervous breakdowns every other day because she doesn’t have healthy coping skills, heavy alcohol use, lack of personal awareness, the list could go on and on. If your friend is spiraling like Cassie is every episode, Counseling and Consultation Service is a great first step in getting support. Cassie needs that higher level of care from a certified counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to work through these emotions and experiences, find healthy coping strategies, find some self-worth, and an identity outside of her relationships. 
  • Nate (seriously the other worst character) has childhood trauma that he never worked through which is negatively impacting his life and contributing to his extreme anger towards everything and his manipulative personality that is front and center in all of his unhealthy relationships. The toxic masculinity is strong with this one. First, if you or a friend is in a relationship with someone like Nate (manipulative, controlling, physically or emotionally abusive), it is not your fault and there is help – Ohio Health’s SARNCO has a campus advocate on the Columbus campus to help with safety planning, crisis response, and confidentiality. Second, Nate needs to personally work on himself and the emotions and experiences he is not addressing, a therapist could be really helpful in this space to help him process his trauma.   

One final note, if you are having sex as much as these high schoolers, please make the smart and safe decision to join the Condom Club. 

Hopefully, we don’t have to wait too long for season 3 – I need to know what was in that note Fez wrote to Lexi!! 

-Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator |Outreach and Programs