Tag Archives: self-care

Adapting In A New Place 

By Rio Jackson

Building confidence and increasing your self-esteem is vital in adapting in a new social setting. I will briefly walk you through a journey on how to channel and become “the best you”. The awkwardness, stumbling out of words or becoming distant can negatively impact your engagement with your peers. College is one of the best places to practice embracing new cultures, learning new languages, meeting new friends and expanding your comfort zone.

Here are a few tips you can use to expand your surroundings and stay on track:

Try something new.

Meaning, go to that yoga class you heard about. Try that restaurant you seen on Yelp, or go see that movie you heard great things about. Remember to try something new when you are ready. You never want to feel rushed or peer-pressured into doing something you’re not prepared to do. Start where you are comfortable.

List your short and long-term goals.

This best way to measure your growth, is to document it. Short goals can include, making sure you set time for self-care. Remember, some goals can be set with your own deadlines.

Practice positive affirmations.

Speaking positively is a great way to begin your day. Some affirmations can include: I will seize the day, I am the master of my fate, I will do and be my best. Affirmations can remind you to be encouraged and build your self-esteem.

Meet new people.

Take some time to introduce yourself to a new classmate. Typically, you have shared interest with your classmates, and will spend a lot of class time with them. Building friendships is a part of the college experience. Make sure you get know the community surrounding USC and explore the school’s culture. Free events are always available and serve as perfect opportunity to meet new people.

Stay connected with your roots.

Keep in contact with your family or friends that keep you grounded. Stay in contact with your family who can positively impact your adjustment to your new school. Lastly, great friends can give you the push you need to finish your semester strong!

Good luck and remember to take care of yourself.

Featured image from Pixabay

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Emerging Adulthood

By Elizabeth Goodman

Going away to college whether it is close to home, across the country, or across the world presents an exciting and challenging time in any student’s life. For some, including myself, it is their first time living away from home where a newfound sense of independence and responsibility are formed. It’s an exciting, stimulating and fun time, but also one that can be characterized by anxiety, insecurity, and depression, making for a complex stage of life. This marks the beginning of a unique stage that was recently identified in 2000 by psychologist Jeffrey Arnett called, “Emerging Adulthood,” the period between adolescence and young adulthood, respectively (Arnett 2000). Its concepts and features are fascinating and applicable to almost all USC students, as this new stage concerns 18-25 year olds. As emerging adults, it is important to learn about this period in your life to fully understand the steps to becoming an adult in American society.

Emerging adulthood is characterized by five features: self-focus, instability, possibilities/optimism, identity exploration, and feeling in-between (Arnett 2014). Self-focus means this is a time where it is all about you and you have fewer ties and obligations to others. Instability in all facets of life is feeling like you are supposed to have a plan, but also knowing it will be revised many times. Optimism is feeling like anything is still possible at this time. Identity exploration is about asking yourself questions such as “Who am I? What do I want to be? What kind of person am I looking for romantically?” (Arnett 2014). Feeling in-between means not feeling like an adolescent, but also not feeling like an adult just yet (Arnett 2014).

As an aspiring Occupational Therapist, I am intrigued by development. As an emerging adult, I am especially interested in learning about this stage of life. Dr. Kim Morris-Eggleston is teaching her first semester of a two-unit course she created called, “OT 280- Essential Occupations of Emerging Adulthood” under the USC Chan Division of Occupational Therapy. The course is designed to, “Analyze the “emerging adulthood” stage of development in American society through an occupational science lens that includes sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, and business” (Morris 2017). The course also focuses on themes in occupational therapy such as how to improve the health and wellness of emerging adults.

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A Guide to Self-Care

By Jackie Kim

Whether at USC or any other American university, many international students have a tough time adjusting to not only American culture but also college culture in general.  As an international student myself, I was able to experience firsthand how it felt to come to a completely new country without any prior exposure to the new culture that would soon engulf my life. Thankfully, I went through this change at a young age and had a strong support system to guide me through the difficulties. I hope to be able to provide this same support to other international students at USC, especially those who recently had to go through the big move.

One of the things I wish I had realized earlier when I moved to Singapore (and then to America) is the importance of self-care. I realize now that I was so caught up in making new friends, adapting to the challenging curriculum, and getting used to the change of scenery that I lost my motivation to take care of myself. I often skipped meals and didn’t get enough rest; I was left feeling lethargic and unable to extract the overseas experience to which I had previously looked forward. Being a firm believer in always showcasing the best version of myself, I constantly challenge myself to reach my full potential, and this denial of my basic needs was hindering my ability to achieve this goal. I needed to switch gears and really dedicate time to self-care. Here are some tips that I currently abide by in Southern California to make my USC experience as great as possible:

  • Equip yourself with a water bottle: I’m used to the warm weathers of Singapore and the changing seasons of Korea, but I never knew how parched I could get until I found myself walking around the vast USC campus on a daily basis. There are a lot of water fountain stations on campus at which you can fill your bottle, and being hydrated is the key to energy when studying, exercising, and socializing!
  • Exercise as much as you can: Although walking around USC is an exercise in itself, people who board or bike around campus don’t get nearly as much exercise as those who choose to walk. Taking full use of the exercise equipment and classes at the Lyon Center or joining a sports team (club, intramural, Varsity) on campus is encouraged for a fresh start to the day. Even a quick walk or jog can immediately lift your mood!

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