Mental Check-In: First Week Back

October 04, 2019 4 min read

In the words of Sean Penn in some movie, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.” 

Welcome back, fellow Gauchos. We hope your summer had tasty waves and cool buzzes, and we hope that you can continue to catch both throughout the school year. As of now, we have been back and class for a whole week we just wanted to make sure everybody is prepared for the road ahead. Whether you’re newbies shedding a soft tear while saying goodbye to your folks -- even though you were sure this wasn’t going to happen -- or you’re getting ready to indulge in a bit of senioritis, it’s important to take your mental and physical well-being into account.

One of the best ways we believe you can take your well-being into account is by taking a step back. We can all get caught up in the fast-paced nature of college; waking up, going to class, heading to work, and then socializing is a super hectic schedule to try and keep up with. Not to mention there’s the added pressure of trying to get an actual career started and maybe find a little love somewhere in all of this. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by everything, I always find that just taking some “me time” is the best thing to do. You can practice a hobby, see a movie, meditate, or even just take some time and watch some t.v. and I promise you this will provide some relief. The key here is letting all the anxieties go while you do your thing; you can’t be focused on anything but the now, and I promise you the now will definitely help in the long run. In any circumstance, setting some time outside of your daily routine to do something just for you might be the difference between being overwhelmed or ready and at the helm. 

Another recommendation is making sure you have a strong support network. We’re all at the time of our lives when we are adjusting to the person we are growing into and sometimes this can be scary. A good group of friends to fall back on is paramount at this time. You can bounce ideas off of them, talk about what’s irking you, or just do as we do and hangout. They’re probably going through some similar growing pains so you’re probably going to be just as valuable to them as they are to you. It’s fairly easy to make friends here in the greater Isla Vista region. Whether you find them in class, down the street, or by happenstance, a kind demeanor is for sure the way to go. If you need someone outside your friends to talk to, however, UCSB does have a great program called CAPS located across from Storke Tower in the Career Services Building 599 which provides psychologist and therapist options for students. There is nothing to be ashamed of nor is there a stigma in our community towards seeking professional help, and we cannot recommend these services enough if you’re going through a tough time you don’t think you can overcome on your own. 

A final thing to keep in mind, and I promise I’m not joking here, is a good meal. Whether it be cold or hot, on the go or in your home, a good meal really can make a difference between letting the stresses seap in or dissipate. There are plenty of good restaurants in Isla Vista and Santa Barbara, but sometimes cooking for yourself might be the best thing as it combines factors from the previous suggestions. You get to break up your routine and you can do it with friends. A good meal and balanced meal plan can be the difference between feeling worn down since syllabus week and being ready to take on three finals in one day… which is just heinous but sometimes a reality. Taking the time out to get some food in your body will be greatly appreciated by both your immune system and your family--that I can guarantee. Rice bowls are quick and easy to whip up, as are grilled cheese and a variety of different salads. I usually throw together a three-cheese grilled cheese with a bit of turkey, avocado, and spicy mayo when I really need some food to ground me. Also, never discount how well a strategically placed pint of ice cream in your freezer will go over with your future self when you’ve just been having a rough day. 

Obviously there’s a lot more to mental health than this, so keep posted as we will be releasing some check-ups throughout the quarter. We fully believe in all our fellow ‘Chos and never be afraid to reach out if you need to talk. Much love fam. 

Brock Clark’s personal mental health routine involves listening to some music and dancing when nobody else is looking. 

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