By Rebecca Hu
With the continuation of winter weather (the ever so rare Los Angeles rain and cloudy skies), midterm season incoming, and the drastic changes occurring within our own government, some of us have been feeling a little bit down in the dumps. What was once meaningful activities seem to lose their meaning, the people around you grow distant, and sometimes your outlook on your day refuses to be optimistic. Whether it is because of the winter blues or midterm stress, here are my favorite resources that I use to help uplift my spirits.
One of the easiest go-to’s for me are the people around me. As those around us become busier, I often feel more distanced from our peers and it becomes more difficult to reach out to them. However, this is the first step. A little bit of this is accepting that it is okay to reach out for help, although I acknowledge how difficult this often can be. Another aspect is to know who to reach out to and that it is okay if some do not respond well, because there will always be someone willing to listen. Whether I call my best friend from home, my family, or even reach out to a fellow classmate, it is often nice just to be able to rant to someone and have someone just listen. I try to gauge either who will be patient and is available to listen to me or perhaps, who I know can relate to my problem and can provide me with advice. Even if it is about something as miniscule as the weather or a serious personal topic, I always feel better post this cathartic rant and reinforcing the feelings of community by reaching out to others.
Sometimes, however, it is easier to talk to those who I am not close to and perhaps, professionals. Therefore, I utilize the Engemann Student Health Center at USC and the counseling services that they offer. (Their website for this is: https://engemannshc.usc.edu/counseling/) Whether it is mindfulness training, individual therapy, or a more serious crisis support, they have a plethora of resources to offer students. Most of these services are free (up to a certain point) and work easily with USC Health Insurance! Specifically, in the Office for Wellness and Health Promotion, they have free Yoga and Mindfulness classes that are free and require no registration! Moreover, we have our very own USC Therapy Dog, named Beau.
Beau on campus with the Tirebiter statue.
Other resources include reaching out to your academic advisor or a counselor in the career center! For me, my stress often comes from stress from school or a professional identity crisis. Therefore, it is often helpful for me to reach out to them and talk about my classes or where I am headed in life (I know, big questions!). These are trained USC staff and experts in your academic department, they know how to give you career advice. For me, as a Thematic Option Student, I would not know what I would do without the help from the advisors there. From the friendly environment to the wisdom of the advisors, I often even go to the TO office to relax if I need a calming, positive environment. For advisors, I would call ahead, however, to make sure they have availability or see if they have walk-in hours.
Yet there are even more campus spaces which are very helpful for those stressed out, panic moments (or days). The Student Union building is filled to the brim with these resources and friendly, welcoming spaces! For instance, all the Cultural Centers (CBSCA, LGBT, APASS, ECC) have the most welcoming and amazing staff and are always open to students to just hang out in. Moreover, the Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity is incredibly helpful as they specialize in managing learning disorders or if you are finding difficulty managing the day-to-day demands being a student (from managing stress, eating healthy, to not sleeping well). Their office, additionally, provides a nice study and hang-out space for students.
Ultimately, you have yourself. I often find the most cathartic moments for me are the “treat yourself” moments when I can indulge in ice cream, take a walk alone, listen to some music, or go on a run. These are moments in which we can find the necessary escape from the seemingly overwhelming, busy, and demanding life that we all live. Whether it is finding a new hobby or going to dinner by yourself, it is often relaxing not to have to meet the demands of anyone else but your own. After all, we often are our best saviors and know what will make us the happiest.
No matter what your stress or gloom may be coming from, there are an endless of resources, spaces, and people (including yourself) to aid you in the ups and downs of your life.
Rebecca is a Sophomore from San Jose, California and is currently studying Philosophy and Global Studies. She spends her time on campus involved in many political organizations as well as enjoys traveling abroad as a member of the Trojan British Parliamentary Team. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys reading, creative writing, and powerlifting. As a past USC Orientation Advisor, Rebecca looks forward to working with USC Students once again at ALI and utilizing her love for reading and writing to help others improve their English Skills.