Fall has arrived! The air is cooler, the leaves are crunching under your boots, sweater weather is upon us…JUST kidding – it’s New Orleans and still 90 degrees with no sign of relief or polychromatic leaves.  But here at Loyola, there is still one unmistakable sign of Autumn present: midterms.  At the UCC, we know how stressful this first round of papers and exams can be, and want to make sure you go in feeling as confident as possible.  So grab that double shot of espresso and run down this list of five midterm tips to help you make the grade without making yourself question your degree.

  1. Fuel your brain.  The library can be like a casino: dark, dismal, and before you know it you’ve been inside of it for 48 hours without sunlight or food.  To keep yourself alert and able to better retain information, munch on power foods such as blueberries, nuts, sunflower seeds, and granola in-between meal times.  When it’s time for dinner, grab some salmon and avocado – the omega-3s and fatty acids are essential for prime brain function.   And don’t forget dessert! Dark chocolate contains natural caffeine as well stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood – which everyone needs at midterms.
  2. Sleep.  Eight hours a night during crunch time may be unrealistic, but you shouldn’t be limiting yourself to less than five.  Your mind and body both need rest to be on your best game for that Spanish oral exam first thing in the AM.
  3. Try a study group.  Sure, you can’t co-write your Poli-Sci paper with the guy who sits behind you, but there’s no reason not to buddy up and share notecards for an exam study session.  Splitting up sections to review can help lighten the load and studying with friends can keep you sane on hour seven of cramming for Organic Chemistry.
  4. Take breaks.  Sitting over the books for long periods of time can make you sluggish and decrease your ability to focus.  For every hour you study, stand up and stretch or take a 10 minute walk to increase the blood flow to your brain!  Try doing the stairs at Monroe to re-energize you for the long haul.  We’re not recommending you take a break from writing your research paper to watch Clueless for the 13th time – but giving your mind a break and catching up with your best friend from back home gives your brain the rest it needs to be able to retain information once you go back to the books.
  5. Find a good study spot.  Roommate getting on your nerves?  The girl eating her chips in the library in the loudest way possible driving you nuts?  Branch out!  Loyola’s campus is filled with great study nooks.  Once you find yours, keep it sacred.  Don’t bring items you know will distract you and tuck your phone away in your backpack except for breaks.

Above all else – you know yourself the best.  Make sure you study in a way that works well for you and you are sure to succeed!  If you do start to feel overwhelmed, the UCC is here to help.  Just call (504) 865 – 3835 or visit us on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, Room 208. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:45pm.  Good luck and remember, Fall Break is only 10 short days away. You can do it!

 

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The Flu Facts

Being young and relatively healthy can protect many students from contracting the influenza virus, but being in crowded areas such as a college campus can increase your chances of getting the flu and other viruses.

The influenza or “flu” virus is spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with the influenza virus in their system. Sometimes, people can become infected simply by touching something with the flu virus on it.  This virus can then be transferred from the hands to a person’s mouth or nose. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick. This means that you may be able to pass the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

Common symptoms of the influenza virus include but are not limited to:  high fever (102.0-104.0 orally), congestion, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and body aches (which can be caused by the high fever). If you have an appointment with a health care provider within the first 24-48 hours of developing symptoms, then you can be prescribed medications that can help ease some of these symptoms.

The influenza vaccine or “flu shot” is normally given around the first week or two of October.  One misconception is that the flu vaccine gives you the flu virus.  Like any vaccine, there is the potential to have mild fever and cold-like symptoms which can mimic the flu.  Once you receive your vaccine, you actually are not protected from the flu virus for 2 weeks.  So this means that you should refrain from exposure to known sick persons until your 2 weeks has passed.   Remember, if you receive a flu shot but are exposed to someone with the flu before your coverage begins (2 weeks), or you may have been exposed several days before you received the vaccine, then you develop flu symptoms.  This is how and why patients tend to believe that the vaccine made them sick.  Now you know the rest of the story!

Not only should you protect yourself by getting the vaccine, but you should also use daily preventive measures to stay healthy:

  1.  Wash your hands frequently
  2. Cough into the bend of your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose
  3. Don’t share drinks or utensils with others, especially if you or they are under the weather
  4. Exercise daily
  5. Get plenty of rest
  6. Eat a well-balanced diet

Please call or visit Student Health Services to receive more information on the flu and other health care related issues you may have while attending Loyola University New Orleans.  We are located on the lower level of the Danna Center, directly below the Orleans Room and can be reached at (504) 865-3326.  For more information about our services please visit our website at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/health

Lannie Guidry, FNP-BC

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Are you feeling depressed or more sad than usual?  Have your friends or family expressed concern about how you are handling this new year already?  We are here to help!

Health and Education at Loyola (HEAL) and the University Counseling Center are partnering with the Counseling Graduate Program to put on the annual Loyola Student Depression Screening.  

Monday, September 30th, 12pm – 2pm

We’ll be at the Grid area in the Danna Student Center distributing information and administering a short 21 item questionnaire to help figure it out.

This is a quick (15 minutes) and confidential way to see if you are good to go, or need a little help.  If you need a lot of help, University Counseling Center staff is available immediately to speak privately about your concerns.

If you aren’t available on Monday, then you can stop by the University Counseling Center (2nd floor Dana, above the OR) and we can give you the same questionnaire and provide some feedback.  We’re open 8:30am to 4:45pm, Monday thru Friday and you can stop by or call X3835 to schedule a time with a counselor.

Thanks, and remember, Loyola Cares!

-Logan Williamson, LPC
HEAL Committee Chair & University Counseling Center Staff Counselor

 

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HEAL INITIATIVE: Smoking Policy & Designated Smoking Areas

Loyola University is committed to being mindful of the health and well-being of the campus community.  Please make note of Loyola’s smoking policy that states that the smoking of cigarettes, cigars, and similar legal substances is permitted only in designated smoking areas on University property.  Smoking areas are designated by “Smoking Area” signs.  Smokers are asked to please use one of these 10 designated smoking areas. The main campus has six smoking areas and the Broadway campus has four. Each is in an accessible location which is distanced in compliance with federal standards of at least 25 feet from entrances and high traffic walkways. These smoking areas, together with clearly marked restrictions around the entrance and exit ways to buildings, will allow those who choose to smoke to do so while protecting the health of nonsmokers.

Please note that the front porch of the Danna Student Center is not a designated smoking area given that smoke enters into the air conditioning ducts and doorway of the Student Health Services clinic.

Your respect of and participation in using the designated smoking areas is expected.

 

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Loyola’s University Counseling Center and Student Health Services are here to serve the mental and physical health of students with a broad spectrum of appointments and programs.  While you probably already know about our office hours on Mondays-Fridays from 8:30am-4:45pm, our locations in the Danna Center, and our free appointments, I compiled a list of our lagniappe, those extra benefits that we offer, that you might not be familiar with … yet!

At the University Counseling Center check out our:

  • Group services
    • For the fall 2013 semester, the UCC will be offering several group therapy options
      • Sexual Assault Survivors—Support, counseling and hope for adult survivors
      • Emotional Wisdom—Develop skills for dealing with difficult emotions and improving relationship effectiveness
      • Honors Students Stress Management—Connect with peers and learn new ways to create a more balanced life
  • HEAL committee
    • Loyola’s HEAL (Health Education at Loyola) committee is comprised of students and staff from a variety of departments who provide health education programming to the campus community. The committee meets once a month and coordinates events such as Take Back the Night, Smardi Gras, Safe Spring Break, Substance Abuse Social Norming Campaigns, Take Care of Yourself Tuesdays, Sexual Assault Awareness week, the  Wellness Expo and other similar events.
    • Please visit http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling/health-education-loyola to learn more or to complete an application to become a HEAL member.
  • Advocates Initiative
    • Sexual violence is a well-documented social concern among colleges and universities nationally. This training educates campus community members about the gendered nature of violence, potential outcomes of sexual violence, and a range of resources available (e.g., medical, legal, judicial, mental health). Empathic communication skill building is discussed and practiced. Trained advocates then voluntarily serve as first responders to bridge survivors of sexual violence to appropriate community resources. Through this program, we educate our community and provide a much needed services while illustrating institutional support toward sexual non-violence.
    • Join us for our next scheduled Advocates Training on Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  For more information or to register, please contact Brooks Zitzmann at (504) 865-3835 or bzitzman@loyno.edu

At Student Health Services, be sure to take advantage of our:

  • Ochsner affiliation
    • Did you know that Loyola partners with Ochsner Health System for delivery of our campus health services?  That’s right; all of our medical professionals in our Student Health clinic are Ochsner employees.  You can feel confident in the healthcare that you receive and also have access to a wide range of referral resources through the Ochsner system.
  • Ochsner On call
    • For non-life threatening issues outside of normal Student Health Services hours, students can call 1-800-231-5257, a free after-hours nurse care line to speak with a Registered Nurse.  Ochsner On Call provides nurse triage, appointment booking, health education, and advisory services from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year.  Ochsner On Call nurses are supported by an on-call physician.
  • Student Health 101
    • As a service to the Loyola community, the Office of Student Affairs provides an online subscription to Student Health 101, a monthly health and wellness e-magazine tailored to fit the needs of today’s college students.  Each month, you will receive a personal email with the latest issue of Student Health 101.  Student Health 101 contains valuable information that will help you make the most of your time at Loyola … from tips on reducing stress to achieving academic success to improving your relationships, Student Health 101 has it all.  Please take 10 minutes to read the September issue at http://readsh101.com/loyno.html.

One last thing, the Care for the Pack blog is updated twice a week with all sorts of great information about mental health and encouraging words.  Check back often, or take a look at some of our past postings!

-Alicia Bourque, Ph.D.
Director of University Counseling & Student Health Services

 

 

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Representatives from the University Counseling Center and Student Health Services will be present in the lobbies of the residence halls Monday night (9/9) from 5:30-7:00pm.  Please be sure to stop by to meet the counselors and medical staff and learn more about the services we provide.  Cookies and lemonade will be provided (but probably won’t last long!)

Here’s some information about the UCC and Student Health that may surprise you:

Facts about the UCC:

20% of the student population accessed services at the UCC last year

31% of students who come to the UCC are first year students

92% of students surveyed reported they would recommend the UCC to a friend

The UCC is located in room 208 on the 2nd floor of the Danna Student Center

Hours of operation are M-F 8:30am-4:45pm

The UCC has a counselor available after office hours who can be reached through LUPD

Please visit us at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/bios/dept/counseling  for more information about the UCC counselors.

Facts about Student Health:

20% of the student population accessed services at Student Health last year

100% of students surveyed were satisfied with the friendliness and concern of the medical staff

Same day appointments are available by calling (504) 865-3326

Student Health is located in the basement of the Danna Student Center

Hours of operation are M-F 8:30am-4:45pm

Please visit us at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/bios/dept/health for more information about the Student Health medical staff.

 

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Rags to Riches  

Stories of success often start with a hero.  They spin a fascinating tale of destitution or disadvantage that evolves into the hero reaching the very heights of achievement.  In his book Outliers, Maclom Gladwell debunks the myth that the heroes of these stories of success do it on their own, without luck, coincidence, or outside aid.  But as Gladwell clearly states, “Successful people don’t do it alone.  Where they come from matters.  They’re products of particular places and environments.”  Whether you are a freshman just starting, settling into the meat of your major, or staring down graduation – You are from Loyola. 

From Loyola means something special.  It carries the weight of its 101 year history, its reputation within the community and the world, and its purposeful approach to producing students who are, as Gladwell puts it, “products of particular places and environments.”  There are so many ways on campus to get involved and be supported.  This can come from a number of supports on and around campus.  The Care for the Pack Blog is just one of those supports.  You can find it as a break in your day to think about life just slightly different.  You can use it as a way to get to know the counseling staff here at Loyola.  And you can even find it as a source of information about ongoing events on campus.

I would encourage you to lean on the support that the University provides while you write your own rags to riches story.  Bookmark this page and check us out throughout the semester.  Something new is up at least once, if not twice a week.  Thanks for reading!

-Logan Williamson, LPC

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Putting on a Front

I recently read an article on the idea that there are a defined number of “fronts” that we use when deciding what to post on social media, specifically Facebook.  He identified them as: The Partier, The Socialite, The Risk-Taker, The Comic, The Institutional Citizen, & The Eccentric – oddly closely resembling the members of the Breakfast Club.  The author argued that these categories allow Facebook friends to more quickly understand the messages that we are communicating and that this communication generally leaves a positive impression.  He went further and suggested the fronts are “central to performing as an undergraduate in front of peers.”  Viewed from this lens, he suggests that the social media process is less about Narcissism and more about participating in a socially expected manner.  Conformity would be the wrong word choice here, but there is a certain tinge of conformity to his suggestion.   I am more apt to spin it as harmonizing with your peers.

When harmonizing, the trick is to hit the right key.  Without the use of subtle social cues and facial expressions, it can often be safer to exist in these categories.  I would argue that these categories change over time as this article only deals with college aged students.  For instance, I might add the categories of “Involved Parent,” “Proud Foodie” or “Single and having fun!”  to my 30-something generation.

If social media is truly becoming a paralleled process to normal everyday interaction then we should treat it as such.  The danger is not social media, but when we mistake social media for the normal everyday interaction.  If you are having a bad day, don’t post it on Facebook or Twitter.  It does not resonate with the categories and will not yield positive results.  Use your normal everyday interactions for that purpose.  Lean over to your friend and say, “I’m really struggling today.”  They can listen, empathize, and comfort in real time.  Alternatively, use social media to reinforce the more important aspects of your personality.  Express that creativity and and wit, tag your friends and post on how you are training for a marathon.  Just remember when reading your newsfeed – fronts are exhibitions and are sometimes exaggerated.

So what front do you use on Social Media?  Would you suggest a separate category?  I felt while reading the article that people might be fluid in their categories depending on a variety of factors (ie. relationship status, commuter vs. residence hall status, greek involvement, performance of the school’s sports teams, etc.)  Is behavior on social media static enough to categorize?

-Logan Williamson, LPC
University Counseling Center

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Life at Loyola can be fun and exciting while at the same time stressful and demanding.  A visit to the University Counseling Center (UCC) could be your answer to staying balanced as you navigate the responsibilities of being a student either as a first-year or a seasoned Wolf Pack returner.  Your on-campus UCC provides mental healthcare for all currently enrolled Loyola students including residential, commuter, full-time and part-time.  Our staff in the UCC provide a range of experience and expertise and are made up of a licensed psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed professional counselor and a license-eligible professional counselor.  The UCC also has a part-time contracted psychiatrist on staff.  You can check out our individual biographies on our main page at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/bios/dept/counseling.

We are located on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, directly above the Orleans Room (OR).  Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:45pm.  We provide individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, ADHD testing, and medication management appointments.  Counseling services are provided for concerns such as anxiety, relationship difficulties, adjustment issues, ADHD, and depression, just to name a few.  UCC staff can also make referrals to local specialists and psychiatrists in the area, if needed.

If you would like to make an appointment, simply call (504)-865-3835 or visit the UCC in the Danna Center.  It is best to call or stop by to schedule your appointment as soon as you need assistance.  If you need assistance after-hours or on weekends for a mental health emergency, please call LUPD at 504.865.3434 and ask to speak with the counselor-on-call.  A UCC staff member is on-call 24/7/365.

There is no cost beyond your tuition for an appointment at the UCC.  However, there are fees for prescriptions.  If you receive a prescription from the UCC consulting psychiatrist, you will need to have that medication filled at a local pharmacy.  We can provide you with a list of nearby pharmacies.

Strict confidentiality laws under HIPAA are firmly respected in the UCC.  All medical records are kept strictly confidential and are not a part of the student’s academic record.  Medical records are only released with the signed consent of the student.  For more information on the UCC, please visit our website at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling.

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