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THE TRITON independent, student-run news source at the University of California, San Diego
February 11, 2021

The Current: Midterm Season Check-In!

Ella Chen, Editor-in-Chief of The Triton

Hello!

Now that it’s week 6, I am sure that many of you are right in the middle of taking midterms. I know that I’m finishing up my second round of midterms before my last round in the beginning of March. I suppose that’s the blessing and the curse of the Quarter system. We get breaks free from studying and school, but we have to go through multiple rounds of exams in short periods of time. 

Although February is the shortest month, it also holds a lot of meaning! In February, we celebrate Black History Month, which has been observed by every U.S. president since 1976. Black History Month not only brings attention to Black communities across the country but also remembers the African diaspora, which led to the establishment of such diverse Black communities in America. On Wednesday of this week and Week 8, the Black Resource Center will hold the BRC Family Room from 1-2 p.m. virtually to give Black students and community members a space to get together, mingle and converse. 

February is also the month of Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day. This year, they fall back to back on the calendar, starting with Lunar New Year on Friday, February 12 and ending with Presidents’ Day on Monday, February 15. That means we get a long weekend to rest and recuperate before we head into Week 7. In years unlike this one, I’m sure many of us would have had plans during the long weekend to go out, travel, or spend time with friends and family. While this year may be different, I hope that everyone gets to spend some time taking care of themselves regardless. 

This issue of The Current is dedicated to the midterm grind we’re all facing right now. In this edition, you’ll find tips for self care and reminders to love yourself, even during these trying times. 

Wishing you good health and midterm success,

Ella Chen

Editor-in-Chief 2020-21

NEWS UPDATES

Photo courtesy of Ally Lawler / The Triton

We’ve had so many stories come out in the last few weeks with updates on how UCSD is handling the pandemic and more! Here are the snippets to know:

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom rejected a proposal to increase University of California (UC) tuition. To mitigate the rejection, Newsom increased state funding by 3% for the proposed 2021-22 state budget. Even so, the increase will leave UCSD with a $20M funding gap. 
  • In addition to the Petco Park Superstation which opened in January, UCSD’s RIMAC gym has been converted into a new COVID-19 vaccine superstation. The vaccine will be available for eligible UCSD Health patients, staff and faculty. The guidelines for eligibility can be found here.

  • As part of its Return to Learn program, UCSD has installed COVID-19 testing kit machines across campus to maximize accessibility for viral testing. However, university officials have found that people have been sharing their free testing kits with others, which is a violation of testing ethics. 

  • As part of an initiative to bring inclusivity to disabled students on campus, graduate researcher Marina Nakhla and faculty member Adam Fields introduced the Delta Alpha Pi International Honors Society to UCSD in September 2020. If it is formally established, DAPi will be the first society on campus to recognize and bring together disabled students at UCSD. 

On The Flip Side 

Photo Courtesy of Kristina Stahl / The Triton 

Ellamentally Yours is back! The fourth piece of my column, titled “Setting Boundaries with Others and Myself,” was published last week and it discusses how I learned to cope with my mental illnesses by communicating with people around me and giving myself grace. The fifth piece will be published this week, and the sixth piece will be published during Week 7 just after Valentine’s Day (hint hint!). 

Also, be sure to look out for an upcoming Return to Learn op-ed that will be published soon after! Our Assistant Editor Kiyahna Brown is also working on The Sauce, so check back soon for more pieces, especially in relation to Black History Month!

What is Self Care?
Photos courtesy of University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu

During times like midterms and finals, it’s pretty easy to throw self-care out the window. But even now, when many of us are stuck at home, our schedules are still hectic and busy. Oftentimes, we tell ourselves that we can take care of ourselves later, we can rest later, eat later, call home later. So what exactly is self care? Here are some small tips and tricks you can employ, even when you feel like you have no time, and I hope they help you cope a little with all the stress we go through each day. 

Self-care is, simply, an act of self-preservation. When we take care of ourselves, we are actively taking measures to improve our health. That’s another thing. Our health isn’t just physical health. Emotional and mental well-being are also important components of our health that we tend to overlook because they aren’t something we can see with the naked eye. Furthermore, self-care is something we have to actively make time for. It’s not something we remember one day, do a little bit, and then forget about until the next time it pops into our minds. 

How can we take care of ourselves when we’re spending most of the day -- and night--  studying, stressing, and working?

I tend to categorize my self-care techniques into broader categories to help me see them from a more manageable perspective. Sometimes, it’s hard to address all of the categories, but even broaching one is an act of self-care!

  • PHYSICAL

    • Are you eating regularly? Our diets and appetites vary from person to person and day to day. Even so, try to fit in meals rather than snacks. If you don’t have the appetite for a full meal, pack in some of those calories into healthier snack choices like fruit, protein bars, and nuts. Throw in vitamins like B-12 and C to help with your energy levels and immune system!

    • How much are you sleeping? Good sleep hygiene is important, even for those of you that don’t need much sleep. 7-9 hours is recommended, but sometimes that’s just not realistic during exam season. When you’re feeling tired, don’t push yourself to wait for the second wind. Take a nap, slow down, go stand outside for a second to refresh yourself before getting back to the grind. 

    • Do you relax? I know this one is hard for me, but everyone should have a way of “doing nothing” even when they’re “doing something.” I picked up yoga during quarantine and read, write, or watch TV when I have some time for myself. Even if it’s for 15 minutes, a quick relaxing activity is a good way to practice mindfulness and let off some steam. 

  • EMOTIONAL

    • I often find that I am more irritable during exam season. It’s hard to be around people because I’m stressed and worrying about what’s on my plate. Communicating these feelings with the people around us can go a long way. Gently let your roommates or family know what you’re dealing with. Having just a brief conversation about boundaries can go a long way!

    • Are you in touch with your feelings? That might be a loaded question, but talking out what’s going on inside us is important. Having a support system, whether it consists of friends or family, can help us see situations from different perspectives and make us feel less alone. 

    • What do you like to do? This is pretty simple. Go do that! Even if just for a bit. I promise, there is still time for it. 

  • MENTAL

    • Sometimes, everything just gets too overwhelming. While some people may isolate themselves whereas others surround themselves with people, it is still important to acknowledge these thoughts. Sitting and meditating for five minutes can help channel everything building up in the mind into a more calming, manageable energy. 

    • This may be cliche, but self-affirmations are important! Reminding yourself that you believe in yourself can turn a really awful day into a less awful one. Sometimes, I write affirmations on post-it notes that I tape on the wall in front of me. I also journal my thoughts so 

    • I track my daily moods to see how they fluctuate. The app, Daylio Journal, is a great way of tracking moods, emotions, thoughts, events, sleep and self goals! Having everything catalogued is a great way to reflect and learn from the past and the present.

Contrary to popular belief, self-care isn’t always time consuming. We just have to choose to make time for it. It also varies from person to person, and sometimes, finding what works for you is difficult. But once you do, having a personalized self-care routine to go to when you’re stressed or overwhelmed can make a difference, however big or small. I’ve only highlighted some ideas and examples, and now, you have the opportunity to build upon them and add your own!

CAMPUS RESOURCES

Even if you’re on campus, you’re not alone! Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is still operating and they offer events and programs you can join for free. 

  • iFLOURISH

    • CAPS’ self-guided technology program only available to students

    • Therapy Assistance Online

    • WellTrack, a wellness app to help manage and track anxiety and depression

    • iRelax! Have trouble relaxing? You can start here!

  • Triton Concern LIne

    • If you’re worried about a friend or someone you know, the concern line is an opportunity to report a student of concern. 

    • Concerns can range from physical violence, dangerous behavior, suicidal behavior. 

  • Foundations of Well Being

    • This support group meets every Monday from 3-4 p.m. 

    • Led by Dr. Scott Hansen, this weekly workshop focuses on six fundamental lifestyle areas to be aware of when leading a healthy, fulfilling life. 

  • Catch Some ZZZs with Sleep Hygiene

    • Weekly drop-in on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    • Led by Dr. Benjamin Penhas, this workshop goes over some skills and strategies to practice good sleep hygiene. 

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Content Copyright © 2016-2019 The Triton. The Triton is not in anyway affiliated with UC San Diego and the opinions expressed therein are not the overall public opinions of UCSD, ASUCSD, or our staff. Materials produced by The Triton do not reflect the views of the Regents of the University of California and the Regents do not endorse, warrant, or otherwise take responsibility for said content. Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Triton Editorial Board.

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