Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Tiger’s Tale for a Healthy and Balanced Lifestyle

As if acclimating to your new college environment isn’t enough (moving in, making friends, finding your way around campus), you also get bombarded with the looming threat that most college students will have a difficult time making healthy choices in their new college lifestyle.  From needing fuel for all the late night study sessions, snacking with friends, and the delicious all-you-can-eat dining halls, sometimes it’s harder to eat healthy.  College stressors can make eating healthy, nutritious, energizing food and remembering to exercise more difficult.  Here are a few helpful suggestions to keep you healthy and thriving in new academic year:

  1. Go to Burdick Hall.  You know that student services fee on your TU bill?  Well part of those fees went towards your membership to the TU Fitness Center in Burdick. You paid for it, so go use it! From treadmills to stationary bikes, tiny free weights to hardcore 1weight machines, the fitness center has whatever you need to stay active and manage stress.  Does the thought of running on a treadmill bore you to tears?  Campus Rec has some amazing group fitness classes that should peak anyone’s interest.  The group fitness instructors are no joke and will make working out fun.  Check out the group fitness schedule here.
  2. Eat food that fuels your body.  At home, mom and dad made sure you got your balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but they aren’t here to make sure you are eating something green at least once a week.  It’s now on you to make sure you are making healthy food choices and that can be a tough transition.  If you feel yourself start to develop some not so healthy eating habits, check out ChooseMyPlate.gov where you will find many resources on healthy eating habits such as the food pyramid so you can make informed and healthy decisions in regards to your diet.
  3. Make physical activity a part of your schedule.  With studying, reading, writing papers, hanging with college friends, and still keeping up with high school friends, your weekly schedule can get really full really fast.  Just like you use a planner to write out when and how long you should be studying, pencil in when you think you can work out.  And just because you aren’t at the gym, doesn’t mean you aren’t being active.  Live in West Village but have class in Stephens?  Wake up a few minutes early and walk there instead of taking the bus.  Take a longer route than normal to squeeze in some extra active time.  Tackling all those campus hills will be worth it in the long run.
  4. Avoid late night snacking.  A trip to Taco Bell always sounds like the best idea ever at 1 AM, but come morning it doesn’t sound (or feel) so smart.  It’s hard to say no to quality time with your friends, especially when you are in the ‘still getting to know you’ phase with everyone.  You should still go and hang out with your friends, but the late night junk food raids can really mess up your health fast.
  5. Drink more WATER.  We all know how many variety’s of drinks there out there to choose from. From sodas, to sports drinks, to every fruity concoction you can think of, the options are endless. The same goes for all the “healthier” diet or sugar free varieties, lot’s of choices. However don’t forget, by far and away the healthiest option is always water. 60% of our bodies are comprised of water and there are so many benefits in terms of health and well-being. Check out six of them here2
  6. Treat yo’self! Tom Haverford’s immortal words of wisdom never rang more true.  When trying to survive a stressful semester at college, it’s ok to indulge every now and then.  Just kicked butt on your midterms?  Grab some ice cream after dinner.  Did you exercise and eat balanced meals all week?  Treat yourself to some pizza with friends.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t about restriction, it’s knowing when to say yes to a sweet treat because you deserve it and when to say no to a late night Chinese food delivery from Towson’s Best because you are bored.

Making the transition from home cooked meals to dining halls, regimented high school schedules to most of your days being open after class can be difficult when trying to maintain a healthy balance.  Remember, college is about discovering who you are and that also includes figuring out how to take care of yourself on your own. Don’t beat yourself up if turning over a new leaf is harder than you think.  We all go through highs and lows when trying to figure what it means to be healthy and happy.  But there is a silver lining to this process:  the healthy habits you establish now will help you out for the rest of your adult life.

Caitlin Duda
FTP Advisor
Community College of Baltimore County

With input from:

Kasey Serdar, PhD
Staff Psychologist, Eating Disorder Services Coordinator
The Counseling Center

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Feeling Lost @TU? Get Involved @TU!!

Maybe the Fall 2013 semester is your first at Towson, or maybe you’re a seasoned Tiger. Whether you are just settling into your new residence hall, live off-campus (or at home), it is never too late to get involved on campus! While a tremendous amount of learning occurs in the classroom during your years at TU, getting involved with groups/organizations on campus can create opportunities to improve your self-care while building new relationships. 

Getting involved has so many benefits, not just for the improvement of the campus community at large, but for individual well-being and satisfaction as well. First, and this is especially important for freshmen and transfer studInvolvement_Fair0002ents, joining an organization or club gives you a solid foundation to build positive friendships. Often, students find that joining a club or organization that you are passionate about makes it easy to meet people with similar interests.  This can be a great way to begin building relationships on campus.

Although it might be a little intimidating to go to club or organizational meeting for the first time, we’ve come up with some steps that might make the process a little easier:

  1. Grab a Friend.  Having another person that is interested in getting involved on campus makes it easier to approach student and organization leaders. So grab a friend, and get going!
  2. Find your Passion. You are here to follow your passion, but we’re college students and might not always know what our passion in life is yet.  Trying out different clubs and groups on campus is a wonderful opportunity to explore your interests further, learn more about yourself, and see what truly lights you up. Think of the process as an experiment.
    To find out about some options, visit: https://involved.towson.edu/.  The Counseling Center also offers peer education programs related to body image, drug and alcohol use, sexual assault, and wellness and self-care. This is a great way to support your fellow students, learn useful skills, and help develop the TU community (http://www.towson.edu/counseling/peered/).
  3. Be Honest.  You might not like every club you try out, and that’s okay. Give it a shot and if it’s not for you, be honest with yourself and with the leader of the club.  Communicate the reasons you won’t be continuing to participate. It’s polite and better than never coming back.
  4. Be Brave.  One of our favorite phrases is “put yourself out there.”  Although this comes easier to some than others, taking risks and learning how to thrive in new situations are important pieces of the personal growth puzzle. Use your resources on the Towson website, your RA’s, older classmates, and professors to find out more of what Towson has to offer. It is even possible to start your own organization, if you so desire! (http://www.towson.edu/studentactivities/studentorganizations/HowtoStart.asp)

Look for opportunities to make positive connections with other people in your communities, starting now. You might make some new friends or discover a new passion.  Regardless, challenging yourself to grow is an important part of your individual development.  One of the best ways to do that is to put yourself out there and get involved!

Melissa Weinberg & Mary Rosekrans
Graduate Assistants
The Counseling Center

Terrible Excuses to Not Get a Part-Time Job

It’s that time of year. Whether it’s an on-campus desk job, an off-campus restaurant gig, or maybe even an internship, it seems like everyone i1303747612_192194727_1-Pictures-of--free-of-cost-online-jobs looking for a job. Everyone except… you.

There are definitely some good reasons NOT to be looking for a job. (See the bottom of this post.) But make sure you’re not telling yourself one of these terrible, awful, no-good excuses:

“I don’t have Federal Work Study!”

It’s a common misconception that you need work study (a financial aid award) to work on campus. But many student employees, such as TU Phonathon callers, don’t have it. It’s just a matter of checking Hire@TU, the Career Center’s online database of full-time jobs, part-time jobs, and internships. By using the advanced search option, you can pick what you want specifically. And as a Towson student, you automatically have a Hire@TU account. While you’re there, check out other useful features like favorite-ing job posts, adding profile information, and posting your resume for employers to see.

“I don’t have a car!”

While it is easier to drive to off-campus jobs, don’t ignore the option of using the shuttle. By showing your Towson student ID, you can use the Tiger Shuttle for free. Check the schedule to make sure you catch the bus.  There are also on-campus jobs, plus plenty of off-campus jobs within walking distance. If you have a job in mind and do need to drive, you can always utilize Towson’s Zip Car service.

“I can’t even put it on my resume!”

Wrong! While it’s great to have a career-related experiences on your resume listing all your experiences that relate back to your degree, it’s almost important to show you have general professional experience—and  yes, that means working at restaurants, in retail, or desk jobs. Experience is experience, and it’s how you describe what you did that counts. By showing you gained valuable skills in customer service, working as a team, or time management, you’ve proved that the job was useful.

“I don’t know where to find one!”

This is the big one. As a student, you have tons of resources available to you. As mentioned before, Hire@TU is great starting point for finding part-time jobs. Don’t forget about the informative bulletin boards located in buildings around campus. Definitely check out the ones in the 7800 York Road on the second floor!2013-09-12_0805

While most of us visit our department’s web page solely for academic reasons, some departments will post the names of local employers that have hired students with your major. This applies to internships, of course, but you might also be able to find part-time work that’s related to your field.

Of course, a part-time job isn’t for everyone. Here are some pretty good reasons NOT to get a job right now:

You’re a freshman or transfer student. Before you take on a job, you may want to wait and make sure you can adapt to the coursework and new environment.

  • You have a heavy course load. Maybe this is your hardest year. You might be taking a ton of tough upper level courses, and your spare time might be dedicated to studying. That’s OK! Wait to get a job next semester, or whenever your classes are more manageable.
  • You’re a member of 572 student groups. If you’re overloaded with extra-curricular activities, it’s OK to focus on those experiences and make them be the best they can because You can put those experiences on your resume, too!
  • You’ve got family obligations. There are only so many hours in a day and you can’t stretch yourself thin. Focus on what’s important: family and doing your best in your classes!

Let’s say you’ve considered your situation, gotten rid of those excuses, and decided to start applying for jobs. Do yourself a big favor and get your resume and cover letter checked over by the Career Center! And if you have questions about job searching, feel free to call 410-704-2233 or drop by during Express Hours: 1-3 p.m., Mon.-Thurs.

Shelby Hillers
Career Center Student

Kacie Glenn
Internship Coordinator, Career Advisor

Making Your Dreams Become Reality by Planning Your Education: A Powerful Tool and Process for Success

Being spontaneous in social situations – going with the flow, living in the moment, carpe diem – carpe-diem-300x200can make life richer and more fun.  But in an age of texting, tweeting, and other forms of almost instantaneous and continuous communication, it can be difficult to step back, look at the big picture, and see where you really want to go.  Sometimes you have to get out of the moment and take a longer view.  Your college education is a big investment of money, intellectual energy, emotional energy, and all kinds of personal effort.  Isn’t it worth taking time to identify what you want to gain from your education and putting together a plan to achieve your goals?    Why sure it is!  Here are six parts of the planning process that should be in your toolkit for college success.

Identify and Explore Your Options:  College presents a myriad of opportunities – study abroad, an internship, social organizations, recreational programs, community service, leadership, etc. – and decisions that require weighing pros and cons.  Be a student of your environment.  Take time to find out what exists at TU that interests and could benefit you.  Not only do your courses require study but how to integrate other parts of your education into your life requires time and effort to understand.

Decide What You Want to Pursue: Time is a finite resource and the time that you will spend in completing your undergraduate degree is likely to be a small portion of your life.  So you have a lot of choices, but what are the things that will make the most difference and create the most good in your life.  Making a good decision is hard to do until you know what you value.  Take the time to consider this carefully.

Create a Plan for Implementing Your Decision(s):  So you think you know what you want to do, but how do you get there?  As the saying goes, “nobody plans to fail, but mUntitled-1any people fail to plan”.  Creating a plan that details what you want to do or accomplish in your college education and identifies the steps you will take to reach your goals and the people who will help you along the way is a key part of making your dreams become reality.

Monitor Your Progress Toward the Completion of Your Plan:  Periodically take some time to assess your progress toward fulfilling your plan. For example, if you plan to study abroad, make a checklist of the things that you need to do to make that happen and occasionally see how you are doing.  Are you on track or do you need some help to get back on track.  Every student should be working on his/her plan to complete a degree at Towson.  And every student has a great tool available to help her/him monitor their progress.  Called the Academic Requirements Report (ARR) and available in your online Student Center, this is the gold standard for keeping track of what you have completed and what you have left to do.  Learn how to use the ARR by viewing the tutorial here.

Revise Your Plan:  Even the most carefully researched and best laid of plans may need to be tweaked or modified. Having to revise your plan is not a sign of weakness or failure.  In fact, being able to honestly assess how you are doing with reaching your goals and then to revise your plan to address new conditions in your life or developing or changing interests is a sign of resourcefulness and adaptability, important life skills.

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Click to Celebrate!

Celebrate Your Successes:  Pay attention to the small steps that you take and the accomplishments that you complete along the way to your larger or longer term goals.  Take time to share and celebrate your successes with family, friends, teachers, advisors, and others who are important to you.

 

 

As you begin a new academic year, whether it is your first or your fifth at Towson or somewhere in between, commit yourself to planning and working toward success! 

And remember the Tiger Pledge

I will…

Take responsibility for myself and the choices I make.
Imagine success and work hard every day to achieve my academic goals.
Give my best in showing respect for myself and others.
Engage in my community to make a difference in the lives of others.
Remember to be active in building a welcoming community.

Go Tigers!!!
Football Nov0613

John McKusick
Director
Academic Advising Center

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