Health and wellness tips for the collegiate juggler. Less stress, more life

Gender Norms at Cal Poly

Several Cal Poly students are interviewed about the pressures they face each day from society and how they themselves participate in social and gender norms. Pressures to look and act a certain way can be extremely stressful and often detrimental to our health. In college especially, both men and women are under an extreme amount of pressure by their peers regarding gender norms.



How am I doing?

Since my last evaluation I believe I still need to improve on a few things. After speaking to several of my peers, it is clear I need to improve the quality and composition of my photos in order to receive more hits. Several students claimed the majority of their hits came from photos and photo captions on their blog. One of my classmates, Rachael Davison said, ” i think you could include more photos in your posts. Most of my hits come from photos of the places I visit when writing my posts like Mustang Lanes for example”. While I included photos relevant to my blog posts throughout the quarter, I could have included more to make posts more engaging.

For example, in a article we read entitled, “The Nine Commandments of Caption Writing”,    the article mentions, “don’t state the obvious”. If I focus on stating the important information while providing something the reader doesn’t know, photo captions can bring in more hits.

Peers, as well as myself were surprised by the small amount of hits my blog has received so far. Several of my posts, especially the most recent, are relevant to students and anyone looking for new ways to relieve stress. I thought my more recent posts about sex and shopping would receive more hits.

While more photos and relevant captions would help bring in views, I think adding more tags and simple titles would help as well. I am still under 100 views which is hard to believe since I feel like my posts have a lot of helpful and interesting information and reliable sources.

None the less, I am proud of my work so far and feel it is a successful collection of works that I could use in a portfolio. In an article entitled, “Why Journalists Need to Build Their Own Brands“, it mentions, ” it is up to people to who want to be journalists to take affirmative action to promote their work to build audiences they can monetize so they can have satisfying and remunerative careers.”

Shaun Kahmann, another classmate, had some encouraging thoughts saying. “I like how you touched on current events here at Cal Poly. Your more recent pictures are great because they include people.”

For future posts I plan to improve by:

  • Adding more photos
  • Interesting and relevant captions
  • Add tags
  • Simple Headers




Sleep Cycle App

Stress Less With Better Sleep Cycles

iPhone Sleep Cycle App

A new kind of alarm clock that goes beyond waking you up; it tracks your sleeping patterns

8 Reasons to purchase the Sleep Cycle App for your iPhone

1) Sleep quality: track the quality of your sleep each night

2) Full Background Support: Set you alarm and exist sleep cycle-sleep analysis will continue in the backround

3)Sleep Notes: See how events such as drinking coffee, eating too much or having a stressful day effect your sleep quality

4)Long term graphs: track you sleep quality over time, see which days of the week your sleep best and much more

5)Wake up mood: track how you feel each morning

6)Uses the accelerator in you iPhone to monitor movement and determine which sleep phase you are in

7)Uses a 30 minute alarm window that ends at your set alarm time and wakes you in your lightest sleep phase

8) Only costs 99 cents


George Lewis from NBC News Speaks at the Cal Poly Alumni Center

This past thursday, George Lewis spoke about the evolution of the media at Cal Poly’s Alumni Center. Phi Beta Delta put on the event welcoming students, alumni and faculty to enjoy wine and appetizers before hearing Lewis speak.

Phi BEta Delta is an organization that recognizes the academic achievements and collaboration with international students. Phi Beta Delta has made it possible for international students to take a course at Cal Poly without having to enroll or get a degree. Promoting international education is important to this organization and is supported by big names in the media like George Lewis who has covered stories around the world.

Lewis got his degree at SDSU many years ago as well as his sense of humor, as he says, ” I attended SDSU back when the earth was still cooling and we handed in our assignments on stone tablets”.

Lewis begins his speech discussing his experience covering war and traveling to report on foreign affairs. Lewis says, ” I got into journalism because i wanted to help people”. International affairs is important to Lewis who has been with NBC news for over 30 years now dealing with foreign crisis.

Lewis covered the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 ” I was dispatched by NBC news 4 days into the crisis… naturally I have very vivid memories of that entire period.” Lewis says his suspicions back then about the hostage crisis that could not be discussed in order to protect lives would be harder to keep secret in this new age of social media, ” I just wonder given todays new journalistic climate…bloggers and tweeters, it would be a lot harder to keep secrets like we could in those days”.

The most inspiring aspect of Lewis’s speech was his discussion of the “new” media. For a man who has been in media for close to fifty years, it is hard not to listen to his opinion on the evolution of social media and power of the internet.

Lewis has a positive outlook on the future of journalism saying, ” there have been a lot of changes in the media. I think of it as Darwin said, to survive you adapt…the news organizations will do that”.

Lewis makes a valid point discussing the polarization of American media influencing the next generation. Lewis says, “People consume their media when and where they want it”. Still, Lewis remains optimistic saying, ” Its an exciting time to be involved in media. I play with social media and have a lot of fun with it. ”

For a man with a full head of grey hair and enough stories to write a book, Lewis is hip on the new age of social media and journalism. As a journalism student his speech was inspirational and as he says after receiving his gift bag from Cal Poly alumni, “Swag!”.



Cal Poly Health Center

Utilize your campus’ resources and make a visit to the health center. Counselors are available for all students who want professional help and talk about tools to manage stress. All fees are included in our tuition so why not take advantage of this awsome opportunity.


Transitioning from semesters to quarters

Juggling the numerous responsibilities of being a full time student is difficult. For those transferring from the semester system at a junior college to the more fast paced quarter system at Cal Poly, life can become extra stressful.

Current and prospective transfer students talk about their experiences transitioning from the semester systems at their junior college to the quarter system at Cal Poly.

Emma Patterson, 22, transfer student at Cal Poly and Journalism major, talks about her response to the quarter system after growing accustomed to semesters at Hancock College in Santa Maria. Patterson discusses the importance of prioritizing and organization while balancing your school work with fun activities outside of academics.

Alicia Cocks, 21, server at Cliffs in Shell Beach, transfer student at Cal Poly, and Parks and Recreation major, is also accustomed to semesters and discusses her struggles getting used to a more fast paced schedule.

Emma Alita, 22, and full time server at Hulas and Harbor Cafe in Santa Cruz, talks about her worries transferring into the quarter system after having not been a student for a year and only having experienced semesters.

Shopping Reduces Stress


They call it “retail therapy”

entrance to Jay’s clothing store, downtown San Luis Obispo

Believe it or not, shopping can be a successful way to reduce stress. After a long week of school, work, and every day life, treating ourselves to something new is a way to reward and unwind.

In a consumer society, retail stores, shopping malls, and price tags surround us. With a guilt-free conscience, spending limit, and a little extra money in pocket, shopping can be a calming exercise when done in moderation.

Click here to identify healthy versus excessive shopping habits

Students’ thoughts on shopping

Paige Brock at Ambiance

Brock perfecting her store’s displays at Ambiance downtown

Frequent shopping is generally more common among women compared to men. Many young women, including Cal Poly students, consider shopping a great way to unwind and boost morale.

Paige Brock, 20, student at Cuesta for nursing and  sales associate at Ambiance downtown, believes being fashionable with your wallet is an immediate stress reliever.

Brock explains, “If something bad is happening to me in my life it is always nice to make myself feel pretty.”

Brock says juggling work and being a student is stressful: ” I either turn to working out or shopping to manage my stress. Shopping is a great way to distract myself and get out of the house”.

Zara Khan, 20, biomedical engineer major at Cal Poly, and sales associate at Crazy Jay’s Clothing store downtown aggress that a shopping spree here and there is a great distraction.

Khan says, ” I love shopping because it is fun and it is girly. It also has nothing to do with engineering.”


Paige Brock

Brock organizing a new shipment of jewelry for the Ambiance store counter


Retail Managers relieve stress in and out of the shop

shirts on sale displayed outside Jay’s clothing store in downtown San Luis Obispo

Monica Crow, store manager of Crazy Jays downtown, and veteran of the retail business, knows her shopping. For Crow however, being surrounded by new clothes at work draws her away from shopping.

Crow says, ” I’m here 40 hours a week. When I get done I just want to be outside because I am inside so much. I relieve stress by hiking and going to the beach.”

Still, Crow mentions she is well aware of the stress relieving benefits of shopping just by talking to her customers and fellow co-workers: “I shop less now that I work in retail and am in shop management. You can ask anyone else in here and they will tell you why shopping relieves their stress.”

Tips for healthy shopping habits

While shopping every once and a while can be a healthy way to relieve stress, compulsive consumerism can have the opposite effect. Here are a few tips on how to shop to ease the mind and not burn a hole in our pockets:

  • Have a budget: Don’t spend more money than planned to avoid guilt and panic
  • Plan ahead: know what item you want to buy before going shopping
  • Don’t let the SALE fool you: don’t exceed your budget and feel inclined to buy sale items that exceed your budget
  • Window Shop: there is no harm in looking and not buying; get some exercise while pleasing the eye
  • Get organized: organize and purge your closet of items you do not need anymore to get a sense of what you may want to buy or not buy

For more information on how and why to reduce stress by shopping click here

In regards to reducing stress, guilt-free and moderate shopping is key. Too much shopping can have the opposite affect resulting in more anxiety and stress. Still, while cheaper alternatives to managing stress are available, there is nothing wrong with treating ourselves every now and then.

Burn calories while shopping

If money is tight, window shopping is a cheap and effective form of exercise. Two hours of walking can burn up to 300 calories. Add some weight to your workout with a few shopping bags after purchase. For more statistics about shopping as a form of exercise click here.