Keep Calm Cuffin’ Season is Upon Us

As West Chester Students, we find ourselves just above the blue line on the map. Our weather apps begin to show temperatures below 40, while our dating apps light up with matches. For those of you who have been lining up perspective partners for the months to come, rest assured, Cuffing Season is upon us.

 

cuffin-map

 

Cuffing Season is the phenomenon defined by Urban Dictionary as “During the fall and winter months, people who would normally rather be single find themselves along with the rest of the world, desiring to be “cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

It’s a pretty funny concept on paper, but the truth is, this cycle of matching for the winter months is all too familiar to many young adults!

And, that’s totally okay!

We at the Wellness Office are here to tell you that whether you’re bringing your bae to Thanksgiving Dinner, or continuing to hook up in frat basements, rest assured, your sexuality is your own to explore and cuff as you please! Just make sure you’ve got consent and condoms!

Written by Gracie McDermott, Wellness Ambassador

Trick or Treat? How to play it safe during a Halloween extravaganza weekend!

Get your costume ready because it’s that time of year! With costume parties galore, who knows what you can get into! Partying and drinking can be fun, but it is important to know how to be safe. Halloween is on a Monday this year, so for some people this means more time to enjoy the festivities; for others that means sitting out and getting work done. If you do go out, learning how to be safe while drinking can prevent a spooky situation! Learn how to handle your “boos” (and your booze) by following these tips!

  • Eat before you go. The big WCU question: Chris’s or Amore’s? Pizza is a great example of a good food to eat before (and during) drinking. Eating before and during drinking can minimize the effects of alcohol. The most effective types of foods to eat are fats and proteins. Some other good foods to eat when drinking during are burgers, soft pretzels or chicken sandwiches. The food in your stomach will absorb some of the alcohol and will prevent some of it from entering your bloodstream. This will prevent you from getting drunk too fast. Amore’s Pizza or Chris’s Pizza are both open until 2-3 a.m. on the weekends, so don’t forget to be safe and grab a slice!
  • Pace yourself. Limit yourself to 1-2 drinks an hour to avoid the alcohol building up in your blood. This will keep you safe from alcohol poisoning and will help you to avoid getting drunk too quickly. Also, don’t forget to add non-alcoholic chasers or have a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink. This will help you pace yourself and will keep you hydrated.
  • Remember your limits. You know what your alcohol tolerance is (how much alcohol your body can handle). Regardless if you are Spiderman, The Joker, or Pikachu, your alcohol tolerance will be different than your friends. BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) can vary from person to person based on sex (male or female), and weight.
  • Know the warning signs. Safe, sensible and fun…Alcohol poisoning is not a joke! Alcohol poisoning can not only cost your wallet, but also your life. In the event of an emergency, stay with your friend at all times and call 911. Follow these signs to know if your friend needs emergency medical care.
    • MUST: Mental Confusion, Unresponsive, Snoring/Gasping for Air, Throwing up.
    • HELP: Hypothermia, Erratic breathing, Loss of Consciousness, Paleness/Blueness of Skin
  • Watch your drinks. Keep your drink with you at all times and pour your own drinks. This way you know exactly what is in your drink and you will avoid drinking anything dangerous.
  • Have fun! And don’t forget the candy!

Let’s talk about something that can be a little uncomfortable for some- sex. Growing up, adults avoided it, and teachers tried to get around it- even though people have tons of questions! Talking about sex can be awkward and/or nerve wracking. A lot of what we end up learning about comes from peers or the Internet- and is more often than not false. Among some famous myths about sex include:

  • The pullout method is effective in preventing pregnancy. MYTH! 

FACT:The best way you can avoid pregnancy is by using a condom or other contraceptives. Be sure to check all expiration dates of condoms, use one at a time, and keep your condoms in cool, dry places. Hint: Your wallet is not a good place.

  •  

    As long as there is no penetration there is no risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).MYTH!

FACT:The only effective way to avoid STI’s is through using barrier methods such as condoms. Important to note that STIs like herpes and HPV can be contracted via skin-to-skin contact.

  • Having sex in water will stop you from getting pregnant. MYTH!

FACT:Having sex in water does not prevent pregnancy.

  • It is not necessary to use barrier methods such as dental dams and condoms when practicing oral or anal sex. MYTH!

FACTSTI’s can still be contracted and transmitted during oral and anal sex

  • You will know if you have an STI because symptoms will always be present. MYTH!

FACT: For many, STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can go undetected because of the lack of noticeable symptoms. Best way to know if you have been infected is to get tested. If you

With all of the myths and misinformation it is important to have clear and correct information. To learn more visit:

www.bedsider.org

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/teens/sex/the-ten-biggest-myths-about-sex

http://stayteen.org/ask/series/myths

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/std.html

Lets talk about Sex, baby!

New Semester, New Me

Cue the ‘beginning of the new semester resolutions’

“I will never go out before getting my work done,  You are going to see me at the gym everyday, I swear I won’t have a cookie in my hand every time I leave Lawrence”

The promises we make to ourselves during syllabus week are sweet, practical, and very well intented-but let’s be real, old habits die hard. It would be SO ideal to wake up early every morning to work out, or to never spend a night at the library past 10 p.m. But at the end of the day, we are all human beings who love sleep, food, and fun.

 

Unfortunately, class is an inevitable part of college and as much as we would love for life to be one big party, learning is the essential reason why we are all here-so try doing some things outside the box (or ‘triangle’) to make life easier.

Create your own schedule and plan strategically

We all have a class schedule on myWCU. But when do you have time for food, ‘study hall’, and to burn off stress at the gym? Organize your day the night before to prevent the feeling of having no direction in the day- this will increase productivity before, in between, and after classes.

            Keep in mind certain things are better to do at certain times. For example, I promise you that Einstein’s will be at least a 45 minute wait any time between 10 and 1- so I would recommend getting that bagel sandwich before or after that time. Also, consider early morning gym sessions- adrenaline is a great form of caffeine and stress relief, and you would not have to worry about waiting around for your favorite leg machine.

Ditch the paper flashcards

Who hasn’t spent 2 hours making 200+ flashcards, and ended up only having time to look at them once? Now your hand hurts and staring at that stack of cards just makes studying seem impossible. Did you know that there is a Quizlet app that allows you to type up flashcards on your computer to be transferred to your phone? This cuts the time and effort of making flashcards in half and you can easily study while waiting in line at Einstein’s, sitting on the toilet, avoiding people at a party… you name it.

 Commit to a class from the Group Fitness schedule

College is the place to experiment, right? The Rec Center offers a wide range of fitness classes- like intense cardio, zumba, and yoga. The best part is it’s all included with tuition. So why not try ‘Muscles and Mascara’, whatever the heck that is- (high intensity interval training that mixes cardio and strength conditioning). My personal favorites are the yoga classes offered, which I find to be a great venue for stress relief and increasing strength and flexibility. So pick a class and try to attend every week. That’s right- every week. This will give you the opportunity to meet new people, master a form of exercise, and ensure you make it to the gym at least once a week.

 Explore different study venues

Sometimes we get so used to our surroundings that we forget there is uncharted territory to explore. Believe it or not, there are more places to tackle assignments beyond the library and your dorm room. According to the New York Times, alternating the room where a student studies will increase retention. So grab your things from the library and familiarize yourself with an unfamiliar location. I have found coffee shops in town- such as Dia Dolce or Starbucks- to be great alternate study locations.

 

 

DUB C SURVIVAL GUIDE 101 :

Whether you are a freshman, senior, transfer student, or anything in between, it is important that you start the fall semester off right!

 Set goals for yourself:

Short-term, long-term, permanent or temporary goals are great to set in order to keep yourself on track. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach those goals. Always remember the sky is the limit and you can do anything that you set your mind too!

Get involved and try new things:

There are 280 different campus student organizations. Take the lead, charge ahead and be open- minded. Don’t be afraid to explore new adventures, go to as many programs and events on campus as possible! Not only will this help you to get an idea of what you are interested in, but it is a great way to meet new people and make friends!

Stay organized and manage your time wisely.

Get a planner or calendar to keep in your room or in your backpack. Staying organized and on top of all your assignments, club meetings, and any other important things is vital! Trust me you will thank yourself in the end. Make out a schedule for yourself to make sure that everything gets done!

  Implement physical activity into your routine:

The American Heart Association recommends that everyone gets 30 minutes of physical activity each day for at least five days out of the week. Take a fall day walk into town, go to Kiwi for some frozen yogurt with your friends, or head to the gym.

  Meet with professors and stay on top of your academics:

Take advantage of office hours! Your professors are there for you! Don’t wait to meet with them, Get to know them, and ask questions. This will help you to stand out, especially in large classes. Also, be sure to meet with your academic advisor so that he or she can assist you in any way possible.

  Be aware of all resources – academic, professional, and health and wellness:

Lawrence offers plenty of great resource centers. Such as the LARC which offers free tutoring. Tip 101 SIGN UP EARLY!  Trying to find a job? The Career Development Center is there to assist you with cover letters, resumes, internships, and other professional development. For confidential resources The Center for Women and Gender Equity is available for anyone that would like to utilize it. All three of these places are conveniently located on the second floor of Lawrence!  The Campus Sexual Misconduct Advocate in the Student Health Center is also a confidential resource, located right on the ground floor of Commonwealth Hall. Do not be afraid to ask for help. That is why these resources are all available to us!

What’s the Big Deal About Sleep?

sleep

Are those all-nighters starting to pick up as the last full month of classes arrives? You might want to consider turning some of those studying hours into catching some Zzzz’s. It can be tough to juggle all of those classes, homework assignments, and extra-curriculars, but it’ll be worthwhile in the long run!

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, young adults between the ages of 18-24 should get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Being sleep deprived can really bring down your day and negatively affect your performance in class as sleep greatly affects things such as concentration and memory.

 

Think it’s easier said than done? Here are some tips to help you get that 7-9 hours of sleep a night:

 

  1. Turn off or move your cell phone/laptop across the room, that way you won’t be tempted to constantly refresh twitter or respond to that non-urgent text from your friend.

 

  1. Try your best to complete assignments and study ahead of time. Cramming for that exam the next morning rather than getting sleep probably won’t help you do well.

 

  1. Watch your caffeine intake for the day. Consuming significant amounts, especially in the later afternoon or evening will through off your circadian rhythm and make it hard to fall asleep.

 

With these tips in mind, make sure you’re catching the right amount of Zzzz’s tonight to be refreshed and ready to go for the new day ahead tomorrow!

 

https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

 

http://campusmindworks.org/students/self_care/sleep.asp

Written by Pat Githens, Peer Educator

 

It’s Time to Put an End to Sexual Assault

April 1st marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

It’s on Us is a national campaign to end acts of personal violence toward both women and men.

Head on over to www.itsonus.org to sign your name and take the pledge to…

RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is 12440409_1102428379799363_5916611267946749780_osexual assault.

IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.

INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.

CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

 

Together, we can work toward a safer world in which we actively look out for each other!

Written by Gracie McDermott, Peer Educator

 

Are You Safe? Understanding Stalking

Have you ever received unwanted texts from someone? Had someone constantly asking where you are? Has a person showing up to your home or work place without warning? Things like this can be scary and potentially dangerous, and can all be considered stalking. Stalking is defined as the act or an instance of stalking, or harassing another in an aggressive, often threatening and illegal manner by dictionary.com. Some signs that someone may be stalking you are:

  • Someone following you
  • Persistent or unwanted gifts
  • Monitoring your phone use or social media accounts in order to learn about your life
  • Tracking you
  • Threatening you or people connected to you
  • Creating a situation in order to have contact with you
  • Seeking information about you
  • Spreading hurtful rumors or sharing personal information
  • Hanging around your house or workplace

Stalking is a crime and a violation of the WCU Student Code of Conduct. If you or someone your know are experiencing stalking, help and support are available. For more information, or to report an incident of stalking please visit: www.wcups.edu/sexualmisconduct.

References:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/stalking

http://www.asecurelife.com/signs-of-a-stalker/

https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-information

Written by Kim Brosius, Peer Educator

Know the Signs! Alcohol Poisoning 101

You may not know this, but alcohol acts like a poison in the body. That is why your body needs an hour to process each drink. Putting more alcohol into your body than it is able to process can inhibit how your body functions, and can lead to alcohol poisoning.  Some of the warning signs of alcohol poisoning may include:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Irregular/Slow Breathing (less than 8x/minute)
  • Unconsciousness

Alcohol poisoning is dangerous, if not handled quickly and properly, it can pose extreme risks to your health and/or death. Alcohol poisoning IS a medical emergency. Do not try and guess a level of drunkenness, and if any of the symptoms above occur, call 911 immediately. It is in your best interest to keep you and the victim of alcohol poisoning as safe as possible. If the victim is already vomiting and is lying on the ground, make sure to place them on their side so that they do not choke on their vomit. Stay with the person at all times, do not leave them alone. The Good Samaritan Law states that even if you are drinking and call 911, you will not be placed in any kind of legal trouble since you are helping someone out. Remain calm when medical help is on the way, and make sure to gather proper information about the individual if you do not know them very well. This will help make the process smoother and faster.

We have all heard “they just need to sleep it off”, but it is better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this. Never be afraid to seek help- you can save someone’s life.

References:

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-poisoning

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-poisoning/basics/symptoms/con-20029020

Written by Claudia Miriello, Peer Educator

Putting People First

Coming to college was a culture shock for me, but delving into all the lessons this school had for me as a social work major was even more of a shock. I’ve come to realize so much of what I thought I knew was far from reality. One of the things I have learned is the importance of using first person language. Think about a time when you were describing someone. It is not uncommon when speaking of another to use characteristics to describe that person. Often when this happens, the characteristic is placed before the person. This type of description makes that characteristic more important than the people themselves. Examples include:

  • Bipolar person
  • Intellectually disabled person
  • Autistic
  • A ‘normal’ kid

This kind of language defines people by their challenges or disabilities. By using person first language, we can change the focus of our words thus making the world more inclusive. A way to say the above examples in person first language is:

  • A person with bipolar disorder
  • An individual who is intellectually challenged
  • A person with autism
  • Someone without disabilities

Next time you are talking about someone, pay attention to the emphasis placed on the description. Is it on the person or the characteristic?  Challenge yourself to use person- first language.

Written by Kim Brosius, Peer Educator