Party Smarter

by Marissa Hart


Hey everyone! Hope you guys are having a great summer! :) With summer comes parties. A lot of the time, those who are college-aged get lectured on partying too much, or get labeled as reckless, irresponsible, and so on. I’m here to tell you that there is NO harm in having a good time! The problem comes about when laws get broken or when people aren’t aware of what has real consequences that will follow them. I can sense you rolling your eyes at me already. I’m here to help educate you on how to have the best time, while making sure it doesn’t haunt you past the weekend. No one wants those labels, or worse, to have a fun get-together to have University consequences. Yeah, didn’t think so. So please, read on, and party smarter this summer. We’re going to talk about a few myths that college-aged adults often miss or mix up.


First things first: who can drink at your house?

So, sometimes this seems a little tricky. One friend says one thing, another friend says something different. Even online, no one seems to really know. Well, I’m here to dispel all the myths. Here’s the law in Ohio: even if you are 21 or older, and anyone is on your property who is under 21, they CANNOT have alcohol. You can’t give it to them, they can’t bring it, etc. It’s illegal for people under 21 to have alcohol on anyone’s property. Even if it’s rented, you own it, whatever. The ONLY exception is if the person under 21 has a parent in the immediate vicinity. The parents or guardians of the person under 21 have to be within eyesight of them. It doesn’t count if you have a note, even if you got it notarized and it’s official. The parents have to be physically there. It’s very specific, and there’s really no room for loopholes. You should really go read it – it’s source one.


Here’s Some Fun Ideas (No Alcohol Required!)

First, if you’re going to have a party, these things make it better…

1.) Porch S’mores!                                                                             smores

Line a small garden terracotta pot with foil, then fill it with charcoal. Once it’s lit, you can roast s’mores. This is perfect if you have a lot of people, or if you don’t have a fire pit.


watermel keg2.) Instant Juice

There isn’t one immediately available online, but I found directions for making it. Check source (instructions 1) for them! It’s easy and it’s super yummy. I’ve done it before. The best part is you don’t have to add anything to it; it really doesn’t need the alcohol. Watermelon is delicious on its own! :)



If you’re looking for something fun to do with friends, I’ve got you covered!

3.) Dinner Party

If you or one of your friends likes to cook, this is a blast! Make whatever you’d like; maybe you start with finger sandwiches, a salad or soup, then have a main course and a dessert, all while wearing fancy clothes and nice dishes. It’s something different than the usual summer barbecue.

4.) Dive-in movie

If you have a pool, take advantage of it! (Although I’m sure you already are! ) Find, borrow, or buy a projector. Hook it up to a computer and play it over a screen on the other side of the pool. Popcorn and punch make this extra special.


Like to be outside?

4.) Canoeing and a Picnic

You probably remember canoeing from summer camp, but it’s way more fun when you’re older (really, it is). Bring a lunch with some sandwiches and chips, and make it a day. :)

5.) Geo Caching

Geo Caching (said “gee-oh cashing”) is the process of finding a box (cache) of stuff in the woods. You get to take something from the box as long as you bring something else to replace it. The way you find it is by having a GPS with coordinates of the location of the box. It’s like a treasure hunt. Check out sources (instructions 2 and 3)  for more. There’s parks that do this in Portage County!


Interested in art?

7.) Gallery Hop!

I live in Columbus, and we have an official gallery hop in our arts district, the Short North. The shops are open late, and there are a lot of sales and samples given out. But you can find something similar on your own. Get a group together and go to galleries and shops. Try going to a restaurant and sharing food, so everyone can try different things. It’s a ton of fun with just a few friends, or a whole bunch.

8.) Paint Your Own Pottery

This is an awesome activity for just a few friends. It’s also pretty self-explanatory, so check out All Fired Up in Akron. They also have lessons for pottery wheels.


And most important…

Be safe and have a great summer! :D


(Ps – Remember, I add sources because they’re important and you should READ them!)




1.) Drinking Laws with property:

2.) About damages:

3.) Other info about drinking





1.) Watermelon Keg:

2.) Park Guide for Portage County:

3.) GeoCaching:





Categories: alcohol, friends, Health, lifestyle changes, nutrition | Leave a comment

Spring Break and Summer Reading Suggestions

By Mariss Hart

Hey friends. Spring break is here! Are you excited? I sure am. We hear a lot from social media (and older adults in general) that reading is really good for you. With all the schoolwork most college students are buried in, or the work youreadingbeach put into your job, or both, it’s hard to find time to kick back and read just for pleasure. Some of you probably think it’s boring. Maybe you were just forced to read uninteresting books in high and middle school? We have a week to (mostly) just relax. Here are some books to whet your appetite for reading. If you don’t have time over spring break, these would also be great summer-reading-on-the-beach books! I asked a few people to suggest some books that would be interesting for college-age people would enjoy. I’ve broken them up into genres, but you should read them all and see what interests you. Enjoy!

Historical Fiction

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“It’s set in older Russia, and it’s the account of a upperclass woman who has an affair, falls in love with a jockey, who comes to see her all the time. Eventually, her husband finds out and she ends up jumping in front of a train. To me, it shows the dangers of being too rebellious.”

-   Andy Malys, Spanish major

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

It speaks to “The way [black maids] were treated [in the 1960s] and the attitude the whites had toward the blacks. I found the way they were treated was bad in some cases, and good in others. It really speaks to the way things were then.”

-   Sandra Hart, retiree

Leon’s Story by Leon Walter Tillage

“It’s a brutally honest account from sharecroppers to the civil rights movement.”

- Dean Hoover, second grade teacher


Fiction / Apocalyptic Setting

My suggestion:

Ps – it’s my favorite book.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This book terrified me in a good way. It takes place in a futuristic society that is centred around perfection. People are engineered to be in a certain status in life, but one (average upperclass) girl, Lenina, meets one boy (who is supposed to be aristocracy but has a defect), Bernard. Bernard is fundamentally upset at the way their world is. They find a part of the world that hasn’t been engineered yet – to both of their surprise – and it changes the way they look at their own castes. So much of the post-apocalyptic content surfacing now is based off this book. It was written in 1931 (!) and is still amazingly relevant.

-Marissa Hart, Resident Blogger for

A Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood

“It’s set in a dystopian society in the US, where there’s a caste system. It follows a handmaid that works for a captain, and it’s about her journey to break out of the system and learn about the society. It really makes you think about different people’s roles in society, especially women.”

- Summer Canter, Music Education major

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

“It’s about a made up religion, and how society functions based on religious beliefs.”

-   Carlie Gabrelcik, Early Childhood Education major

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

“It’s a cool book dealing with a lot of pop culture references from 1980’s infused with near-future apocalyptic world. You have to solve series of games to unlock a fortune based on the references.”

-   Bob Russell, Theatre Professor



Don’t Eat This Book by Morgan Spurlock

This book is a light-hearted approach to analyzing what we eat. There are some gross chapters, but overall it was really interesting and informative. (I know that’s the last thing you want to hear on a book you might read for fun, but you really should give this book a try.) Morgan Spurlock is the guy who made the documentary “Super Size Me” and this book is a bit of a narrative about his experience and his thoug

Categories: nutrition | Comments Off

Tips for Valentine’s Day and Beyond: Relationships are Important!

By Marissa Hart

Hey friends! With Valentine’s Day just passed (and plenty of discount candy available now!), I thought it would be a good time to talk about relationships. Relationships are literally something we can’t live without; not just with significant others, with friends, coworkers and professors. It’s really important to form healthy and beneficial relationships.


To have a successful relationship of any type, there are a few healthy traits to keep in mind. The biggest one anyone will tell you is that there needs to be communication. (Stop rolling your eyes at me! I’m serious!) Talking with your partner about things that bother you, whether internal or external, is super important. If your boyfriend still doesn’t take out the trash when it’s his turn, you need to actually tell him. Giving him passive aggressive notes or comments isn’t going to solve anything. If your girlfriend interrupts you when you’re talking about how you guys need new towels, tell her you need her attention. You need to be honest with your feelings and frustrations; it’s a matter of respect for you and your partner, and both of your needs.communicate

Something I’ve learned in my relationships is that if you establish an honesty policy right away, things tend to go smoother. If something is wrong, it makes it easier to open a conversation about it, and take a step to solving the issue. Something else that helps is being open right away with your intentions for the relationship. When I first started dating my fiancé, one of the first things I told him was that I was dating to find a spouse. I wanted something real, something not based in sex. Where that had freaked previous partners out, Connor agreed that that’s what he was looking for as well. If I hadn’t said anything, our fundamental goals might have been in conflict. Can you think of a relationship where your goals were totally different than your partner’s?

Another hugely important part of any relationship is trust. You’re your own person, and you have thoughts, hobbies, friends etc. of your own. If they’re really wary of people you’re around, to the point of texting/calling you a lot, that should be a red flag. A relationship is an added layer to you. You don’t need to answer for yourself every minute; or why you cut your hair, changed your profile picture, didn’t text back right away, like that color, band, or food, etc. Letting someone know where you are or what you’re up to is totally different. They care about you. They want to make sure you’re safe and in a good place emotionally, mentally and physically. They need to be able to tell you if they’re unsure about something. And the same goes for you: if you get weird vibes from one of her friends, tell her. Maybe she goes and hangs out over there instead of having the friend in a space shared with you. If you feel like something is really bothering him or giving him anxiety, offer to listen. Partners need to be able to express (cough: communicate!) that what is being said or felt is out of concern. It’s about respect and trust.

There’s one more thing that I think is worth mentioning while we’re talking about relationships: sex. imagesCAW4I7GSSex is awesome. But feeling like you need to repay someone for a nice dinner or gift with sex is a guilt trip. It’s a big part of manipulation, which violates trust within the relationship. You don’t owe sex to anyone. Not your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, friends with benefits, stranger who bought you a drink at the bar, anyone. Sex needs to be consensual and be emotionally safe for all involved parties. For more on safe, consensual sex, look at source 3. And, lastly (last thing): trust and communication are especially important in the bedroom! If you don’t like something, say so! If you’re getting it on with someone and they change their mind about it, let them. It’s not emotionally safe for them if you don’t (and if you changed your mind, you’d want them to stop, too.  Be fair!). Talk about preferences beforehand, and enjoy the experience.;)

Enjoy the candy on sale! I am. :)



Sources cited:

general healthy relationship info:



Consent and Sex:


Images courtesy of google images

Categories: friends, Mental Health, relationships, Sex | Leave a comment

The Truth About Resolutions And How to Keep Them

By Marissa Hart

I know what you’re thinking. It’s a new year! Time for a new start. Time for new things, better things. January 1, it’s time to reorganize. Everything. (Fix all the things!) And every year, about the same thing happens: people pour in to the gym; enact new-year-resolutions-2014 whatever diet they think will work to shed those extra pounds they earned over Christmas; or they totally deconstruct a room so they  can regroup, reorganize or remodel. But truthfully, what good does that do? Working out usually entails a goal; a new diet means new ingredients lining the shelves, and reorganizing is a whole new project of sorting and sifting through years and years of clutter. That’s a lot of work, which is why 61% of people in their twenties break their resolutions (see source one). I’m not trying to speak poorly about having these goals, but does it really have to be in one of the dreariest months of the year?

To me, those are lifestyle choices. Changing what you eat for 6 months isn’t going to keep that weight off for the rest of your life, just like going to the gym 3 times a week for a couple months is going to change your body composition. Why force yourself to make a change just because it’s a new year? Things are dreary, snowy and dark. I dunno about you, but I tend to eat worse during these gloomy months. There’s less variety in fresh fruit, it’s too cold to go for a pleasant walk, and I really just want to sit in my room watching Netflix and eating chocolate. I just don’t have the energy to take the stairs, do you? So why would you want to start a new lifestyle in the middle of “I want hot chocolate” weather?


What might I like to change?

For me, it makes way more sense to resolve to think about new, simpler, smaller goals. Hm,    what would it be like to eat fruit instead of candy? I just don’t want to be guilty when I reach for a snickers. What if I start meditating once a week? Or look into guitar classes? If we can replace condemnation with curiosity and discovery, your choices are probably going to stick. And why wait until January? I changed my diet in August/September. I was tired of going from really hungry to overly full all the time. I started reading the back of labels. Nothing crazy, no extra hours at the gym, no “miracle” powders. I just read the back of things. If, by the end of the label, I decided I didn’t want it, I found something else. It made me think about what was going in my body. What is “methylcyclopropene” and why on earth does my sandwich need it? I soon found myself preferring simpler food. I’ve noticed that I’ve become more in tune with my body; I know when I need to eat, and generally know what my body is craving. And you know what? It started with the idea to start reading food labels. So what do you think you’ll look into for 2014? Perhaps this year, you decide to look into going dairy-free. Or maybe cutting energy drinks or caffeine intake. Or maybe to start doing yoga once a week. Don’t do it to make yourself feel guilty, or because you feel you have to change something drastic about yourself or your life. Do it because you’ve decided you want to try it. Maybe it works for you, maybe it doesn’t. You’ll never know until you try. :)

So, here are some tips on making lifestyle changes last. (See source 2 for more.)

1.) Make small steps. If you break up your big goal into easy-to-achieve steps, you’re more likely to keep at it. It helps to have realistic goals, and it gives you the feeling you’re actually improving (and you are!)sticky_notes_breakfast

2.) List your steps some place you’ll see them. If you’re anything like me, you’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached some days. Even just having a sticky note in your backpack will remind you you’ve got a plan and a goal. Eventually, it will become habit. (Every time I see a new food, I automatically ask or check what’s in it. But at first I had to remind myself. It just takes practice.)

3.) Ask a friend to get involved with you. I know, I know. You hear this all the time. But seriously. Even if no one wants to, ask them to remind you. (You can even set an alarm on your phone with a label!) Just telling them you’ve started something can help. Your friends can help you stick to it, or try whatever you’re tackling from a different angle. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to your struggles or a fresh perspective.

And most importantly….

4.) Remember to be patient with yourself. Changes don’t happen overnight. You’re not going to have a six pack tomorrow, just like you’re not going to immediately know what type of meditating works best for you. It just takes time and energy. It’s a lifestyle change, so launching yourself headfirst into unknown territory isn’t going to get you anywhere. Just breathe, take your time, and it will come to you as you go.

Good luck!








Categories: alcohol, exercise, finance, friends, Gratitude, Health, lifestyle changes, meditation, Mental Health, nutrition, relationships, resolutions, sleep, Smoking cessation, stress | Leave a comment

Seasonal Affective Disorder: What to Know

By: Marissa Hart

Marissa is joining us again!

Marissa is joining us again!

Hey friends! As the holidays roll around, I thought we should talk about a type of depression that tends to creep up during the winter months. Most people know a bit about depression, but there can be a stigma around mental health. Sometimes an uninformed reputation precedes fact. There’s a really big stigma around mental health in our culture, both here in Portage County and all over the nation. It’s worth a post, so here we go. Before we talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, let’s talk about depression.

Depression is a very common mental illness. It affects an estimated 1 in 10 people in the United States (see source 4).  It can affect anyone, regardless of race, gender, social class, quality of life, location, age, etc. Anyone can have it!  Most other illnesses have a group they occur most in, but not depression. Depression affects a wide range of demographics. Women, people of color, older adults, and those having trouble getting or keeping a job are most at risk. However, that’s not meant to discount you and your experiences. Remember, anyone can have it! That’s just a general statement.

Depression has a lot of different symptoms, and they can range in severity. Usually, one of the first symptoms is being sad for a long period of time. I don’t mean “bummed out I didn’t make the team”, “I failed my test”, or “I can’t get over him/her”. I mean, like, months. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling you can’t shake. For others, it’s a crushing sadness. Sometimes it lifts, but it always comes right back down. Another big symptom is loss of interest. Things that were once your favorite now hold little to no interest to you. Your sleep cycle is also mixed up.

SAD mostly occurs in the colder months

SAD mostly occurs in the colder months

Now to dive into SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is a subset of depression, and it almost always sets in during winter. Since SAD is part of depression, there are a lot of things they have in common, including:

  • Sleep (SAD makes you want to sleep more, depression is usually a mix of insomnia and excessive sleep)
  • Lack of focus and/or motivation
  • Lack of social interest
  • Sluggish feeling
  • Hopelessness or feeling like something’s wrong with you
  • May include thoughts of harming yourself

If any of these sound like something you go through, here’s an online symptom checker, from Kent State Health Department.

I’m providing you with this in hopes that if you do have these feelings you’ll go get help. (That website is also a great resource if you want more info on depression!)

There are some ways you can help deal with SAD, but you should really see a doctor. If you want to help keep holiday blues away, here are some tips, according to the National Library of Medicine (source #1):

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Try to exercise more often
  • Learn to watch for signs that your depression is getting worse, and have a plan if it does
  • Don’t use alcohol or illegal drugs
Exercising can help

Exercising can help

(PSSST: See a pattern with the sleep and healthy foods yet? Try to avoid super processed stuff, eat as many fruits and veggies as you can, and get outside or to the gym! Just because you’re not in school doesn’t mean that previous tips don’t apply.)

There’s no definitive test for SAD, it’s really just up to a health care provider. If you think you have SAD or depression, please, please, please go see someone about it. It’s really important that you do. I know the stigma is that everyone with depression is “weak”, “stupid” or just “overreacting”, but that’s so not true. Some of the people I know with depression are the strongest, kindest, and most supportive people I’ve met. Change some opinions about the face of depression! I hope I have. ;)

Best of luck to everyone, and happy holidays!


P.S.- If you want to look into some helpful resources, check the first source.

Let there be light

Let there be light









Categories: alcohol, exercise, friends, Mental Health, nutrition, sleep, stress | Leave a comment

Fall slump: How to Beat the Mid Semester Blues

By: Marissa Hart

Our newest blogger!

Our newest blogger!

It’s getting to be that time of year again; the leaves are changing, candy is everywhere, pumpkins are appearing on doorsteps, and… you’re entirely bored of your classes. It’s that quarter-year slump. So, until we get to Thanksgiving break, here are some tips to keep your momentum going. I know you probably hear these things all the time, but as a peer, these have really helped me. Give them a chance. :)

1.) Study with natural light during the day. You have a natural rhythm with day and night, called your circadian rhythm. It’s what keeps you awake during the day and generally lulls you to sleep at night. Getting enough sunlight (vitamin d) will also help keep things like cancer away later in life, help you from getting sick, and generally keep your body running well. Your body will thank you, and it’ll be way easier to be productive during the day. (It REALLY boosts your concentration! See source seven for more.)

Let the sun shine in

Let the sun shine in

2.) Sleep really is your friend! Going to bed at 3 am will seriously screw up your body’s natural day/night cycles and make you super tired. When you’ve got tests, difficult classes, or that presentation coming up, you need all the sleep you can get. (I’m in college too, so I know how hard it can be!). Going to bed between 11 and midnight and keeping up a routine will help get you keep you alert and productive.

3.) Eat fruit every chance you get. Seriously! Berries especially will give you natural energy throughout the day.  Just like sleep cycles, you also have a blood sugar cycle. Your body can easily digest and gather the sugar inside that it needs to run smoothly. Refined or artificial sugar can interfere with this, so try your best to avoid them. Once you have breakfast, your body digests the sugars and nutrients from your food, and you get hungry again when blood sugar dips. Citrus fruits (except grapefruit) help fight off illness during cold and flu season. Substituting an orange or banana instead of candy, a raw fruit/natural bar, or making a smoothie are quick ways to eat breakfast and get your body going.  (Read more about grapefruit and medicine in sources five and six.)

They can be BERRY fun to eat !

They can be BERRY fun to eat !

Be kind to your body, and getting through the quarter-year slump will be much easier! Best of luck!







4. Fruit.aspx




Categories: Health, nutrition, sleep, stress | Leave a comment

Bag of chips vs the punching bag…the eternal struggle to stay fit!

By Adrienne Moncrief   

Our Esteemed Author

Our Esteemed Author

I get it – you’re busy. There are 24 hours in a day, but it still doesn’t seem like enough time to get everything done! If exercising is one of the first things to get cut from the to-do list, then think again, because sneaking in exercise here and there might be easier to do than you thought!

Here are some easy tips to make exercising a part of your daily routine…

- Ditch the car and walk, run or bike to work, school,or anywhere else you want to go! If you aren’t able to do that, then at least park your car farther away than usual to get a few extra steps in.

-Take the stairs! Who needs an escalator or an elevator? Get those calves burning!

-Don’t lose me on this one…  Wake up earlier. I know that losing sleep sounds like the LAST thing you want to do. Exercising in the morning helps you have more energy throughout the day. And maybe going to bed a little earlier might not be such a bad idea either…

just 5 minutes...

just 5 more minutes…

-Take a walk on your lunch break. Get out of the office and get moving! It’s much better than eating at your desk or in the lunchroom. Fresh air might do you some good after being cooped up at a desk all morning.

-Work out at work! You might have to be sneaky with this one, unless you have a private office without windows. Keep dumbbells in your office to slip in some bicep curls, do some wall sits or calf raises or even crunches while sitting in your chair. Be creative!

-Babysitting or have kids of your own? Take them on a walk or a bike ride around the neighborhood or a park.  If you have access to a pool, swim laps while they play in the kiddy pool (with adequate supervision, of course !).  And the kids won’t mind! They need a way to burn off all that excess energy that we all wish we still had.

-Workout with a friend or that special someone, so you can combine hanging out and working out into one activity. Having support from a buddy may even increase the efficacy of a workout. A little competition could make you work a little harder. Plus, it’s more fun and makes the time go by faster!

Enjoy time with a friend

Enjoy time with a friend

-Get your butt off the couch and do some lunges. We all have our TV shows that we can’t live without.  So instead of curling up on the couch, try doing some squats, jumping jacks or jumping rope during each commercial break.  If you’re into video games, Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect are great ways to have fun while exercising in your own home.

-Schedule time into your day so you can make plans around your workout.  Head to the gym straight from work or before you go in and shower at the gym.


Good lessons for a
healthy life

It’s so easy to make excuses not to work out, especially when you’re really feeling like having a movie night and a bag of chips or going to the bar after a long, exhausting day. It takes time to build habits, and if you create a healthy habit of working out, then it could remain one for the rest of your life!


Categories: alcohol, exercise, friends, Health, Mental Health, nutrition, relationships, sleep, sports | Leave a comment

Don’t be the Facebook Fool: A Guide to Using Social Media

By Danielle Beltz, Kai-Feng Chen, Angelica Francisco, Rohan Kulkarni, Tram Phan


The New Job Interview: “Forget the resume! Let’s just look at what you have posted on your Facebook…”

While out with friends you acted outrageously and pictures were taken.  No big deal, right?  Could these seemingly innocent pics turn you into a “Facebook Fool” later on? Follow these tips before your fun outing turns up on a social media page…maybe for good.

What may have been funny in the moment could have devastating consequences for your professional and/or academic future.  More and more, colleges and organizations are using social media as a way to gage your character and determine if individuals are worthy of their time and resources.

A recent survey confirms that a whopping 70 percent of U.S. business managers say they decided not to hire a job candidate based upon something negative found online.  So it’s crucial to keep your virtual self in check.

Why, yes...yes it can (if done properly)

You mean to tell me social media can help my career? Why, yes…yes it can…if done properly.

There is a recent trend toward asking Facebook users for access as part of their applicant screening process.  One tip is to “Google” yourself regularly, and clean up your online image if necessary.

Here’s How:

  1. Opt for the highest privacy settings on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  2. Remove any embarrassing information or photos of yourself acting in a way that could be construed as inappropriate. Do the same for any photo-sharing services you use.
  3.  Make sure you have “tagging” approval on all pictures of you so that you can control your Internet presence.   Many sites have settings that prevent name-tagging pictures without your approval.
  4. If an unflattering photo or negative information about you appears on someone else’s page, ask for it to be removed. You can also ask the site administrator to remove it.


  1. Maintain a positive and professional online reputation.  Engage in professional blogs and sites accordingly.  Networking is key and portraying yourself as a professional may be the first step to a successful career.
  2. Start a blog about your job search and qualifications.  Employers will be impressed by your initiative and it may lead to your first interview or offer.

    Click to check out our Facebook Page!

    Click to check out our Facebook Page!

Social media sites can be an engaging and positive method for getting your name and interests across to potential colleges and employers.  In addition, there are blogs dedicated to job searching and career building, including Read these job search blogs on a regular basis, review the advice that is offered.  You may pick up tips that will aid your job search.  Good luck!


Categories: alcohol, drugs, Facebook, job interview, job search, relationships, risky behavior | Leave a comment

Margarita Mayhem: Tips for preventing alcohol-induced blackouts

 By Lindsey Kershaw, R.N


Learn to control your drinking

Last night you went out with all of your friends to the bars. You had one drink, then another, then another, then….you woke up the next morning after blacking out.  What HAPPENED???  Did you make a fool of yourself? Did you do something you didn’t want to?  Does this sound familiar?

Maybe you thought to yourself, “I should cut down on my drinking.”  If so, here are some tips to help reduce how much you drink.

-Keep track of every drink by finding a system that works best for you.  Try placing check marks on a drink napkin, or on your smart phone for every drink you had throughout the night.

-Set goals.  Decide how many days a week you are going to drink and how many drinks you will have on those days.

-Pace & space.  Drink slower; don’t gulp down your beer.  OR try drinking a non-alcoholic drink in between each alcoholic beverage.

-Include food.  Eating food before you drink will help slow the alcohol absorption.

Remember to eat!

Remember to eat!

-Avoid “triggers.”  Are there certain places, people or activities that make you feel the urge to drink?  Recognize the triggers and try to avoid them.

-Count and measure.  Sounds too complex, right?  Knowing the standard drink sizes helps reduce the complexity.  1 standard drink is:

  • 12 ounces or 1.5 measuring cups of regular beer
  • 8 ounces or 1 measuring cup of regular malt liquor
  • 5 ounces or just over a half measuring cup for wine
  • 1.5 ounces or 3 tablespoons of 80-proof liquor.
Measuring your drinks to keep track

Measuring your drinks to keep track

-Plan on how to handle urges.  Being able to control urges takes willpower; exercise your self-control by reminding yourself why you decided to cut back on drinking.

-Know your “no.” If you don’t feel like drinking, just learn to say “no.”

Just remember, it may not be an easy or fun task, but it is worth it to avoid those embarrassing morning-after blackouts or worse situations that put your safety at risk.  Making small changes in your drinking habits can significantly reduce your chances of having alcohol-related problems in the future.

Categories: addiction, alcohol, friends | Leave a comment

You’re graduating from college. Now what? -Part 2

By Caitlin Shaffer

While finding a job and maintaining your finances post-graduation can be overwhelming, you can help balance out the stress by paying attendtion to your physical, mental and relational health. So here are some tips that may be helpful post-graduation whether you’re staying howorkout classme, close to home or moving across the country.

Maintaining your physical health is important to your mind and your body.  A few ways to keep your physical health in check are:

  • Take advantage of the great outdoors; it’s free and we like free
  • Research local traditions and activities; get involved
  • Run a local marathon
  • Rethink/reduce your alcohol intake
  • Join a gym and sign up for a weekly workout class

Another important aspect of your life is your mental health. Moving, trying to find a job, starting a new job, or enrolling at a new school can all be very stressful and overwhelming, so staying alert and “taking a breather” will be very beneficial to your mental and physical health overall. The tips above can be helpful as well as the following:

  • Find your own relaxation method
    • Breathing techniques, yoga, meditations, exercise, etc.
  • Talk to friends
  • Read a good book
  • Do what you’re good at
  • Ask for help
  • Be active
  • Simply take a break



If you are moving somewhere new, like me, or your friends are moving way, or you simply want a fresh start, but you’re not sure where to begin, making new friends is important and a little scary.  Making friends will boost your confidence and mental health.  As you work on health issues, you may meet new people who share your interests in yoga and exercise. You could also make friends at your new school or work place. Other ideas for meeting new people include joining:

  • A young professionals group
  • A sports league
  • A workout group
  • A book club
  • A volunteer group

volunteer group

As a soon to be Graduate I have decided to continue my education and attend Graduate school. I will be moving to a completely different state where I have no friend and I don’t know a soul. So I was very thankful when another Graduate student in my cohort created a Facebook group for all of us to chat and get to know one another. It did not take long before everyone began introducing themselves with mini autobiographies and asking when everyone was moving to the location. Everyone began to buzz with excitement and now the Facebook pictures had personalities. So take it from me, be out going, social media may actually help you make friends like it did for me.

The entire time you are in college they are preparing you for the “real world” and then suddenly, you are there. Although the task of graduating may not be stressful, it is the aftermath that can become overwhelming. The important thing that we must all remember is that we do not need a graduation ceremony in order to show us that we are ready to move forward, but we must be ready to act on it and have the tools to be successful.

So, what tips do you have for post-graduates?

Marathon Finder:

  • Provides you with a list of local marathons

Meditation Tips:


  • Enter some of your favorite book titles and they’ll provide you with suggestions.

Young Professionals:

Categories: exercise, Health, meditation, Mental Health, nutrition, relationships, stress | Leave a comment