Blog

Blog Author:
Danielle Oakley, CAPS

Dear Duke Families,

It is a pleasure to meet you! I am the new director for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a unit on campus that supports your student on a path toward academic success. I am excited to be here given the commitment Duke has made to student wellness. Many institutions across the country are working to address mental health issues based on the fact that mental health is the number one factor in lowering retention and is a better predictor of college grade point average than ACT or SAT scores. The 97% four-year retention rate to graduation at Duke demonstrates that retention is not a significant issue on this campus; highlighting that Duke’s focus is supporting mental health services because student wellness is valued.

Blog Author:
Elizabeth Hoyler, '16

Midterms are alive and well. As students, we’ve all realized that the hard way, unfortunately. In an act of solidarity, I’m gonna share some wisdom from Jean Hanson and Jo Supernaw at the Wellness center. With these myths busted you’ll, in my opinion, be able to kick midterm’s a** better. (Hint: It involves more sleep.)

Myth #1: The effects of my all-nighter only impacts me.

You may be the only one who gets to sport the Dukie-meets-phantom-menace look, but your worsened mood? Lack of focus? Degree of inefficiency?  You can’t be as productive a teammate, as present a friend, nor as pleasant an acquaintance.

All-nighters don’t make you cool or more impressive. They make you tired. 

Myth #2: Staying up those extra few hours to cram will help my GPA.

Blog Author:
Isabella Kwai, '16

Let me be entirely honest and open in what I’m about to say. Honesty after all, is so little found in conversations about mental health and yet so powerful when it is. I have, like 1 in 4 other young people my age, struggled with my mental health on and off. There have been times when I’ve been sick with hopelessness and misery, consumed with self-loathing and hatred. Likewise, there have times when I’ve been ecstatically happy and grateful. My emotional health is a mental rollercoaster and contains the best and worst memories for me. But it is not all of me.

Blog Author:
Elizabeth Hoyler, '16

(Entry #3 in the series) Recently, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Associate Director for Outreach and Development Programming for CAPS and all-around nice guy Gary Glass. The topic: relationships. Relationships in general, with no particular person in mind. It was the first time I'd discussed the topic at length, ever. My conclusion? We should do this more often. Here's #3!

Blog Author:
Jake Schapiro, Peer For You Peer Responder

In high school, I was team captain of the volleyball team. We had practice, games and weight training most of the time and it was easy to stay in shape. I would go home and my parents would cook a healthy dinner while I "wrote my essays", "researched" and "did my labs" (or Facebook messaged my friends about someone's new status, which in fairness sometimes seemed like an essay due to extensive stalking). I would have dinner with my family, which, since my sister is a vegetarian, usually consisted of steamed vegetables and fresh tofu and like good California hippies there was usually quinoa or some other strange grain my Tennessee roommate has never heard of.

Blog Author:
Jake Schapiro, Peer For You Peer Responder

Peer For You is now welcoming applications for Peer Responders to serve Duke students for next year.

Applications due March 16. Apply now.

We are a student-run resource that provides the space for undergraduate students to reach out for support and referrals in times of struggle. Any Duke student can send an anonymous message to one of our Peer Responders about a struggle or challenge that they are currently facing. The approached Peer Responder will respond to the message within 24 hours.

Blog Author:
Isabella Kwai, '16

I heard once that it takes 21 days to kick-start a new habit. Stick to something for 21 short days, every day, and hey, presto, you’ve found yourself a new habit. Want to lose weight? 21 days of eating right. Feel like quitting coffee? 21 days of resisting Von der Heyden. Fit in an episode of New Girls every day? Definitely 21 days of post-class watching (or more). See, the idea is that after 21 days, it becomes easy. Repeat anything enough times and you’re bound to get stronger, both physically and mentally at the appointed task. Well I’m not sure if entirely believe that 21 is the be-all end-all magic number, but having attempted it myself, I’ll admit there’s some truth to the rule.

Blog Author:
Chris Heltne, Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Duke Student Health will pilot a consolidation of their clinical services by closing the East Campus Clinic for Spring Semester, 2014.

"There is a combination of reasons for our decision to close the East Campus Clinic," said Dr. John Vaughn, director of Student Health at Duke, "but first and foremost is that we feel doing so will better allow us to deliver the standard of medical care that students deserve and the Duke University Health System demands."

The East Campus Health Clinic was established in the 1990s.  According to Jean Hanson, RN, MPH, administrative director for clinical support services and outreach, it was initially staffed by a nurse only and was intended to handle “simple” cases for the freshman campus. 

Blog Author:
Sheila Broderick

Great Sexpectations loves to hear questions…all questions…any question.  I take them all and answer them honestly with accurate science based information. I do not judge, yell at or shame the questioner. However, there is one thing that will get me on my soapbox and my voice elevated and it’s this:

“Me and this guy, this girl, this friend (insert whatever nomenclature fits here) are having sex but we are not in a relationship.”

I find this is usually said in one of two contexts. The first being an attempt to absolve the speaker of responsibility of acting like a human being.  Me and X are “hooking up” and the next day she/he texted me and I haven’t responded.  That was 3 days ago.  I mean, it’s not like we are in a RELATIONSHIP!” (insert derisive tone of voice here).

Blog Author:
Toni Apadula, Duke Student Health Dietician

Eating right is really quite simple. Remember back when you were a kid? You ate when you felt like it. You felt hunger, you ate, and then you felt satisfied and stopped eating. Yet as you’ve gotten older, you may have noticed that it’s not that simple any more: you’ve been bombarded with contradictory messages about healthy eating (what to eat, what not to eat, when and where), your weight has changed and you blame your diet, that food relieves boredom or stress or helps with many other “feelings”. Truth is, just as the science of food and nutrition is continually evolving, so is your relationship with food. Ask yourself “what would you like your relationship with food to be?”

Here are our suggestions for the best ways to nourish yourself and nurture your relationship with food (minus the rules):