Blog

Blog Author:
Duke Student Health Nutrition

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“Pasta demand wanes as health-conscious consumers see it as carb demon”. This recent headline had us shaking are heads. According to this article pasta sales are declining even in Italy! Pasta makers are busily working to change their recipes and creating “healthier” versions of their products in hopes of appealing to a more health conscious consumer.

Ever had those burning (no pun intended) questions about sex and relationships but were just too embarrassed to ask?! Well look no further!

The Sexual Health Advisory Committee (aka The SHAC) will be taking questions and responding to them via blog. 

Send your questions about sexual norms, sexual health, relationship advice, sex taboos, figuring out how to know what you like/what works for you, or anything.  Expect the unexpected, the truth and sometimes a good laugh.  We want to answer your questions and make sure you’re getting credible, honest, transparent information from professionals right here on campus.

Send your questions, concerns, comments, inquiries, suggestions, and master plans to greatsexpectations@studentaffairs.duke.edu and check out the blog to see what comes up!

Blog Author:
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Thumbnail With great sadness, we share that Savannah Goodman, T '18, passed away this morning, December 19th, after complications from a bone marrow transplant.  She was diagnosed with an immune deficiency disorder at Duke Hospital at age 6 and was fulfilling her lifelong dream of studying Pre-Med at Duke so that she could become a pediatric immunologist to treat children much like herself.  Savannah was active with Jewish Life at Duke, the Duke Student Wellness Center, was a tour guide for Duke Admissions, and loved Duke Basketball. 

Blog Author:
Counseling & Psychological Services

Dearest Students,

The election results and the end of the most divisive campaign season in recent history has had an impact on our campus. Reactions range from hurt and anger to confusion about why some are affected so negatively. Counseling and Psychological Services advocates for a campus climate that is supportive of all students’ mental health and this election’s focus on traditionally marginalized groups has exacerbated their lived experiences of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and other forms of oppression. Any form of oppression negatively impacts mental health and deters academic success.

Blog Author:
Dean Sue Wasiolek, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and

Dear Duke Parents,

Although most of you aren’t as old as I am, my hope is that you might remember or be familiar with John Denver, a songwriter and performer who tragically died in a plane crash in 1997. I used to listen to John Denver’s songs all the time and I recently came across a video of him reciting a poem entitled, “Ambulance Down in the Valley.” My attention went to one particular verse:

            Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
            For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
            To rescue the fallen is good, but ’tis best
            To prevent other people from falling….                                 

            Better put a strong fence ’round the top of the cliff
            Than an ambulance down in the valley.

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

You might think the signs of exhaustion are obvious, but sleep deprivation isn’t as obvious as you might think it is. Its effects creep up on us. Here are a few common manifestations of this sleep deprivation monster. 

You fidget a lot. And you don’t normally. 
You might think this is a reflection of your energy that just can’t be contained. But it can actually be a symptom of chronic sleep loss. Your body is going into to hyper-drive. Can’t stop moving might mean you need to stop. 

Blog Author:
John Vaughn, MD, Director of Student Health

Many of you have been dealing with allergies all your life. Some of you are new to the South and the abundant variety of plant life. You may find your face melting and your sinuses in revolt.

Welcome to allergy season.

What causes allergies?

Unfortunately, you have no one to blame but yourself.  Many different things (called “allergens”) can trigger allergies: pet dander, grass, trees, dust, mold.  But there is nothing inherently evil about any of these things.  It’s your immune system’s overreaction to them that causes all the problems.  For allergy sufferers, the immune system unfortunately perceives these benign things in the environment as a serious threat and activates a whole bunch of defense mechanisms to combat them.

What are the symptoms?

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:
Khalouk Shahbander, '18

How did NAMI come into being? What was that catalyst that made you start this organization?

I recently completed my first year at Duke University. And, just as it is for many freshmen, the first year of college was, in fact, an extraordinary and exciting experience. But it was also extremely difficult, tiresome, and anxiety-ridden. The environment coupled with personal circumstances left me fighting to maintain my mental health.

Last December, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type I, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Panic Disorder.