Prescription to addiction: the slippery slope 

If you’ve been on a college campus long enough, you’ll know that alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use is no hidden affair. What many don’t see though, are the high rates of illicit prescription drug use among 18-25 year old’s. (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Even in the case of a legitimate prescription for opioids from a physician, these adolescents are still at greater risk of future opioid misuse, regardless of having no prior history of drug use. It ranges from taking your friend’s prescribed Adderall before an exam to popping oxycodone or Xanax at a party. The problem with prescription drugs, especially opioids, is that the user builds a tolerance and needs more and more of the same drug to feel the high. This is not a cheap habit to maintain, and as all of us college students know, the last thing we have lying around is excess money. The cheap alternative that fuels the user’s dependence next is the street drug heroin, which is more potent than almost any prescription opioid you can find and has a much higher mortality rate. In as little as two years, between 2010 and 2012, “the mortality rate from heroin overdose doubled in 28 states” (Ross, 2016). I know what you’re thinking: you’ve never seen anyone use or even talk about using heroin! According to a study conducted between 2011 and 2014 however, on average nineteen new users were introduced to the drug each day; that is 133 new college users each week (NSDUH). Using opioids is not ‘glamorous’ nor normalized like drinking or smoking weed which is why it is not put on display. Fortunately, all hope is not lost and through public education and preventive programs, we can combat this epidemic. The best choice you, as an Ohio State student can make is to stay away from all opioids and illegal prescription use as whole. If you are prescribed medication from your physician, take only the amount you are prescribed and talk to your health care professional about potential for misuse and abuse. Here at Ohio State, the Collegiate Recovery Community is a group that serves students in or seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. There is no shame in seeking support and you can learn more at 


Sania Hussain, Wellness Ambassador 

Dating Scares: Meeting the Family 

Dating can be difficult not only because you are meeting someone new, but also it may come down to meeting that special someone’s family. Meeting the family can often be difficult and overwhelming, but by knowing how to approach the situation, the encounter can be smooth and painless. 

A main tip for meeting someone’s family is making sure the relationship is ready. Meeting someone’s family can be a big step in a relationship and making sure your significant other and yourself are at that stage is the first steppingstone. By introducing someone to your family, it can often create stronger ties in the relationship, potentially making a breakup more difficult if your significant other and family connect. Know where the relationship stands and know if this relationship is worth introducing to your family, because it can make things more difficult if the relationship takes an unexpected turn.   

The first thing a couple can do for meeting each other’s family is preparing for it. By just generally talking about each other’s family, it can help familiarize your significant other with your family and give them a general idea what to prepare for. By knowing if the family is quiet and reserved, or louder and more open, it may help prepare each other for future conversations and encounters.   

Building off of the last idea, the most important thing about meeting your significant other’s family is being yourself. Although it’s cliché, it holds true for these encounters. Understand that if your significant other enjoys your presence and likes you, it may directly parallel to their family’s feelings towards you as well. Being comfortable in your own skin helps radiate confidence, which is always important in meeting new people in general. Also, the family wants to get to know you as a person, so feel free to share! Do not shy away from speaking about yourself and interests just because you are scared you won’t impress them. This is your time to shine!  

Another big thing that goes with meeting someone’s family is manners and body language. By including all the main things like eye contact, a respectable handshake, using please and thank you, and being respectful to their family will further deepen their respect for you and your relationship. Additionally, these actions further demonstrate you have confidence in yourself. By being respectful and “proper,” it will help the family further accept the relationship and enjoy your respectful presence.  

While being introduced to their family, the family will most likely be interested in your life. Do not be afraid to show an interest in them. By asking them questions about their own lives, it will help develop a connection between you and the family, as well as demonstrate that you care about them. People usually enjoy talking about themselves, so this will help create conversation. It may even help to think of things to ask about beforehand in case the conversations end up becoming duller than you would like.   

Meeting your significant other’s family can be daunting, but with proper preparation and calm execution it can be very easy! By being yourself and being respectful, meeting the family can become simpler, and remember, you only have to meet them once. You got this. 

-Ben Nagy, Relationship Education and Violence Prevention Volunteer

Establishing a Healthy Body Image and Relationship with Food in a Digital Era 

In an age where we are constantly connected and get almost all our information through our phone screens, the media we intake can be equally as important as the food we consume. The people and accounts we follow on social media can have a huge impact on our mental health and how we view our bodies. When conditions like orthorexia (an unhealthy obsession with being healthy) emerge, because of our time spent on social media, it is important to closely monitor the information we are absorbing (Amidor, 2018).  

When we are so influenced by what we see on the internet, it only makes sense to want to be influenced positively! Here are some ideas on how to strengthen body images and relationships with food by making some changes to our online actions: 

  1. When it comes to the people and accounts being followed, ask yourself “what kind of message the page is sending?” Is it promoting body positivity at all shapes and sizes or broadcasting one body size as best? Avoid following “thinspo” accounts or any page that gives a narrow scope of health and beauty. We are all meant to be happy at a genetically predisposed weight and we should follow accounts that promote and celebrate that idea. 
  2. Ask yourself what kind of language the accounts you follow and the people around you use when talking about food and fitness. Food should be thought of as fuel and never as a bad thing. It isn’t something that needs to be “worked off” with vigorous exercise. Food and exercise should be used as things that make us feel better! Follow pages that encourage intuitive eating (which includes being mindful and respectful of hunger cues) and eating all foods in moderation. It is also a good idea to think about adding healthy foods to your diet rather than subtracting anything. Totally limiting certain foods has been found to be less healthy (mentally and physically) than enjoying all foods in moderation (Bacon and Aphrmor, 2011). 
  3. Contribute positively on your own pages to add to the healthy conversation surrounding food and body image. When a friend posts a cute picture, leaving a comment that isn’t specifically about their body can help you and others (follow @VictoriaGarrick4)! “Looks like so much fun!” or “I love your outfit!” are some examples.  

Look after your own mental health by filtering what your news feeds are showing you. Strive for positivity surrounding all foods and bodies and add to the change in rhetoric by encouraging your friends and family to do the same! 

 P.S.- Here are some of my favorite body positivity/healthy relationship with food accounts: 

  • @dietitian.rachelgoodman on Instagram
  • @maryscupofteaa on Instagram 
  • @effyourbeautystandards                                                                         
  • @VictoriaGarrick4 on TikTok 


– Sarah Haskins, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador 

Managing Your Time When Transitioning to College 

When you went off to college for the first time, you probably faced a number of opportunities and responsibilities that you didn’t experience at home: parties, new friends, new relationships, extracurriculars, and of course the workload of classes. As exciting as the change can be, it is not uncommon for students to struggle with time management. Piedmont Technical College published an article in which Psychologist William Knause estimates that 90% of college students procrastinate. Procrastination not only leads to increased stress, but it makes it difficult for you to prioritize and balance your daily life.   

If you often find yourself procrastinating, here are some tips you can implement into your life, helping you to better manage your time. These techniques include following a routine, planning ahead, prioritizing, balancing your commitments, and blocking your classes. If implemented, these tips will not only help you succeed in your classes, but all areas of your life.    

Follow a Routine: In high school, you probably had a clear cut schedule: seven hours of classes, followed by any sports or extracurriculars. In college, you probably only have a few classes a day, and your class schedule probably alternates everyday. Your classes might start late, or you might be finished early in the day. Compared to high school, you have more time for yourself, but it is important that you use this time wisely. Developing a routine early on will help you stay organized and fit everything into your day.   

Plan Ahead: Read every syllabus and keep track of the dates of upcoming exams and projects. If you anticipate a busy week, start accomplishing tasks for that week sooner than later. This will decrease stress and help you focus on the big exams and projects when the time comes. Further, if you pay attention to the dates of upcoming exams, this will allow you to start studying early. According to the American Psychological Association, spreading out studying leads to greater success than cramming studying. I think everyone can agree that going into exams with a feeling of confidence about the material is a lot less stressful than going into exams feeling unprepared.  

Prioritize: Make a list of tasks that you need to accomplish everyday. Rank how important each task is, and start by working on the most important tasks. Even on busy days, having a list of tasks in front of you helps you realize that the workload is doable. An article by Webster University recommends setting priorities for the week and month in addition to the day.  

Learning to manage your time effectively will not only relieve stress, but can help lead you to a successful college career. Implementing these tips won’t happen overnight, but with continuous practice, they can become habits. 

Balancing Your Commitments: Obviously, it is important to get involved in college. There are countless benefits to getting involved, including meeting new people, making connections, and preparing for the professional world. Ohio State has an incredible number of student organizations and clubs to join. There is probably a club for anything you are interested in! However, many students end up spreading themselves too thin, and stress about wanting to build their resumes. This makes it hard to be fully involved in any one commitment. If you pick a few commitments, you have a better chance of obtaining leadership roles within those organizations, which ultimately looks better on a resume.  

Blocking Your Classes: In college, you have a lot more freedom when scheduling classes. Many students are drawn to the idea of having extensive breaks in between their classes. However, this can result in lower productivity; if you take into account the time it takes to walk to and from class, you might not have as much time as you think. If you schedule your classes with the intent of having the most time after your classes, and minimal time in between, you will be able to use the time more effectively. 


 – Sophie Hippenmeyer, Stress Wellness Ambassador 

An Invisible Fight 

Instagram posts. Workouts at RPAC. Mental and physical comparisons. Food restricting. Skipping dinner Friday nights. Worried about others’ opinions.   

Your time at the university is brief, but the experiences and opportunities you encounter academically and socially speeds personal growth. We learn what it means to be vulnerable, which involves drawing back our curtain and revealing the stage labeled mental health.  

Food, in particular, has led many people into dark places, even at Ohio State. Campus has many cafes and cafeterias at almost every corner, and for many, the convenience of having food so close is more advantageous than anything. Nutrition and dieting can boost self-esteem while in college, thanks to the healthier options in university dining and nearby restaurants. In some instances, however, this can be a huge struggle; the constant stress of what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat deeply affects many individuals, so it’s important to remember that our battle with food isn’t just a one-person odyssey.  

This situation is personal to everybody, but the mental tension that lays deeply rooted between food intake and mental health can escalate to a host of detrimental habits. A version of this is calorie restriction on drinking days; a study, recognized by the National Institutes of Health, surveyed 4,271 students at 10 universities and found that “67% [of students] restricted because of weight concerns” (Giles). Restriction might appear as a way to get more drunk or give a skinnier appearance, but this temporary fix can lead to issues later into the drinking night or even down the road with body image. Some students, moreover, take this a step farther and engage in restriction throughout the week; this is a struggle with many causes and effects, but what it comes down to is seeking healing and letting others know your story.  

If you would like to talk to someone about this topic or have questions, there are some resources linked below. This is the age where mental health is finally being explored and discussed, so remember, it’s okay to not be okay.  



-Noah Jagielski, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador 

4 Strategies for Combatting Imposter Syndrome 

Repeat after me, “I deserve to be where I am.”  

Acceptance into graduate school is a huge accomplishment, providing experience for learning, growth, and professional advancement. It is also a time when unwanted thoughts and feelings of self-doubt plague the brightest of students into questioning their sense of belonging and create a mentality that they are undeserving of their accomplishments.  

These feelings can be a symptom of Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome can impact anyone and oftentimes leaves the you with a negative mindset towards yourself, your program and future. Experiencing difficulties accepting your accomplishments or constantly doubting your capabilities, can have a negative impact on your mental health. 

If you have experienced some of these feelings or others, know that you are not alone and that there are strategies and services available to help curb these unwanted thoughts giving you peace of mind and an opportunity to thrive.  

1. Acknowledge how you are feeling 

It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling, accept the thought and let it pass. Calling these feelings for what they are, negative emotions connected to imposter syndrome and not an actual reflection of your capabilities, can help you to let them go and move on with the tasks in front of you.  

Oftentimes these feelings are brought on by a mix of internal and external stressors, evaluate the situation in front of you that may have caused these feelings and find a path forward through self-care, taking a break, redirection, or mindfulness.   

2. Avoid comparison 

These days it feels impossible not to compare our experiences to others. With the constant highlight reel of social media, getting absorbed in others’ successes is a downward spiral best left in the past.  

Avoiding Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn for a period of time can help you to refocus on your personal journey rather than worrying about what others are up to.  

3. Create a mantra 

Traditionally mantras are short words or phrases used for meditation purposes to help refocus and redirect the mind. Mantras can be used to help inspire motivation, positivity, self-affirmation, and more. Utilizing mantras when negative thoughts pop into your brain can help redirect your mindset into a more positive headspace.  

Simple mantras such as, “I will not let self-doubt control me,” “I am proud of my hard work,” “I deserve to be where I am,” or “I haven’t done it doesn’t mean I can’t do it,” can help you combat negative feelings and get on with the task in front of you. 

4. Find your support system 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by thoughts of self-doubt, are feeling burnt out, or are overwhelmed by feelings of stress and anxiety, vocalizing your experience to others can help in a number of ways, including normalizing these experiences and connecting with others who may feel the same way. Talk about your concerns with someone you trust and respect, this can be friends, family, or colleagues.  

Additionally, Ohio State has many free resources that graduate and professional students have access to: Counseling and Consultation Services, Career Counseling and Support Services, and the Student Wellness Center. Each of these departments have services such as one-on-one coaching and counseling available to support you throughout your academic journey. 

Take some time to make a plan for when these negative thoughts of self-doubt appear. Being prepared will help you to better overcome this mentality and start accepting and embracing your accomplishments for what they are – major successes. 

Credit Scores

What is a credit score? 

Your credit score shows up in your life in a number of ways.  It influences your interest rates when borrowing for a car or house and  a good credit score can save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Some employers will check the credit scores of applicants and landlords may also use it to judge the quality of potential tenants.  A credit score is an expression of the risk associated with lending money to a person.  FICO, the most commonly used score, ranges from 300 at the low end and 850 as the best possible score.  For those students considering refinancing their student loans, their credit score will be a major factor in that process.  

 How is a credit score determined? 

Once someone starts borrowing money from a financial institution, be it a student loan or credit card, all of the payment and account information is aggregated into a credit report.  Based on the information on this report a credit score is determined. It is a good practice to check your credit report on a regular basis to ensure there aren’t any errors or other issues.  Consumers are able to check all three credit reports once a year for free at  The actual formula for determining someone’s credit score is a trade secrete but FICO provides an idea of how the algorithm weights several factors:  

  • Payment history: 35% of your credit score.  In short, make your payments on time.  In the case of an installment loan, like a student loan, the borrower simply needs to make the entire payment in full but with credit cards just the minimum payment is needed.  Keep in mind, that anything less than payment in full will result in interest being charged to the account.   
  • Utilization rate: 30% of your credit score.  Utilization rate is the ratio of spending on credit cards to overall credit limit.  Under 30% is a good practice though under 10% is ideal.  
  • Length of credit history: 15%.  Having a longer credit history is better.  It’s not possible make your credit history longer expect by getting older so starting earlier is better.   
  • New credit: 10%. Each new formal application for an account will appear on your credit report and hurt your credit score for a short period of time.  Be sure open new accounts strategically and avoid it all together prior to a large purchase like mortgage or car loan.  
  • Credit mix: 10%.  Having a mix of credit cards and other revolving lines of credit and installment loans like student loans is helpful.  

How to get started 

Anyone with who has borrowed for undergraduate or graduate school has already established a credit score. For everyone else opening a credit card is an option.  Since 2009 first time borrowers need to be at least age 21 to open the first credit card.  Secured or student credit cards are a good fit for first time credit card users.  

 -Scarlet and Gray Financial Services

Comfort Foods + COVID-19

Comfort food is a type of food that holds a specific kind of value to an individual. Anything that evokes a strong feeling can be considered a comfort food. For many, comfort food provides feelings of happiness and pleasure while temporarily making us feel better.  

The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in various ways. No person’s experience is or has been the same. Due to all the changes we have experienced, people have been reaching for more comfort foods than they may have been before. Studies in New York have shown that 3 out of every 4 Americans are eating more comfort food than they were prior to the pandemic. With the stress that the pandemic has brought into everyone’s lives, this is completely understandable. For some, eating comfort food is a coping mechanism to help oneself feel good temporarily by eating a food they enjoy.  

Consuming comfort foods can provide many psychological benefits. They can improve your mood, improve your sense of well-being and decrease feelings of loneliness. According to Psychology Today, just thinking about a specific comfort food has also been found to improve emotional well-being in people.  

So, what is the most popular comfort food in America? According to an article authored by the Food Network, the answer is pizza! Other common types of comfort food include: 

  • Chocolate 
  • Ice Cream 
  • Mac and Cheese 
  • Chips 
  • Hamburgers 
  • Steak 
  • Popcorn 
  • Pasta 

Good nutrition is all about having a well-balanced diet, so that means that occasionally eating food you consider to be “unhealthy” is actually good for you. It is important to remember that restricting yourself from consuming foods you enjoy can be harmful and negatively impact your relationship with food. Comfort foods are commonly viewed as “unhealthy” or non-nutritious but consuming these foods can provide positive benefits to mental health as well as overall wellbeing. Some of the benefits include feelings of pleasure, happiness and temporarily feeling better after consumption!  


– Taylor Dewey, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador