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.

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:
Nick Antonicci, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

My name is Nicholas Antonicci, I use the pronouns he/him/his, and I'm the Director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity here at Duke University.

Yesterday, I woke to the news of tragedy of 50 innocent people killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, a gay bar on a night celebrating Latinx people and communities.

I struggle to put feelings and emotions into words, to put pain into soundbites that appease and comfort those around me.

I struggle with balancing immense sadness for the lives lost, with anger at the forces which allowed this to happen and will continue to happen, namely homophobia and transphobia. I balance wanting to care for others, with frustration in the ways many of those who are responding are centering the feelings of heterosexual and cis peoples.

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:
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.

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Blog Author:
Jo Supernaw, DUWell
Thumbnail Could you spend 1 minute looking directly into a friend's eyes without speaking.
Students attempt the effort at the Wellness Wednesday tent by DUWell.

Day in and day out, we rely heavily on communication for making connections and reaching goals, but often we encounter struggle, instances of miscommunication, particularly during difficult conversations. Miscommunication happens for many reasons: