Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I need new friends! How to meet quality people

Are you moving into the residence halls as a freshmen? Are you transferring over from another school?  Moving out or moving in and looking for a roommate? Are you hoping to make new friends? With students from over 90 countries and 37,000 students, Cal State Long Beach is the place to be!

Here are tips and tricks to help you take that first step to meeting new people and establishing friendships that will create great memories!

Go to places that you enjoy and find interest in:  It would be beneficial if you shared some interests with your new friends. This allows you to initiate conversation and spiral into other topics that you are both excited about.

Explore!  Don’t limit yourself, get out of your comfort zone. Try something new to make new friends. Maybe you always wanted to learn to rock climb or surf. Take a class at the SRWC or a PE class.  

Get involved: Joining campus organizations, Greek life, or clubs has many benefits. Obviously, a group that interests you is super important and educational. But you also have the opportunity to meet others and network. Most organizations or clubs have volunteer opportunities, retreats, and socials that gives you a great opportunity to socialize and make friends.

Attend campus events: Many departments have their own events held on campus, which make it very convenient and fun. Housing always hosts events, which are usually free (since you paid for it in your housing bill), so take advantage of it! Associated Students Inc. (ASI) also sponsors multiple events throughout the year as well. These are usually free to students. Through ASI you may also find volunteer opportunities to get involved with and make friends!

Leave your door open: This is not only meant metaphorically but if you are living in housing, try to leave your door open when convenient for you and your roommate. Prior communication with your roommate is advised just so that both of you feel comfortable. Leaving your door open puts you out there, getting others to be curious and get the conversation going.

Sit with other people: Try doing this at the dining hall, at the library, in the USU or even on the bus. Introduce yourself, ask their major, or where they are from. It is a simple and effective way of meeting new people. Who knows, maybe you can meet up for lunch at the dining hall for the rest of the semester. Most people want to make new friends, so put yourself out there and smile!

Form study groups! Meet new friends from class and ask to meet up to study. This can be off campus or on campus, whichever is most convenient. Take advantage of study breaks and get to know each other but remember to be productive!

Surround yourself with positive friends that you can be yourself with and have fun with! Friends should help you grow and support you, especially during your college years where there is so many new things to experience.

Be open minded to the possibilities of friendship! 

By Yesenia Garcia

Monday, March 13, 2017

Step UP for Sexual Health

This semester seems as though it is zooming by with papers, exams, and all the other things we have to do. But it’s time to empower ourselves by taking care of our sexual health. Here are a few steps to gain control over one’s sexual health

    Step 1: Learn more about it
               Learning about your sexual health is important, but sometimes family and friends can give out false information. Also, if you use the Internet, you might find some unreliable sources. Try to stick to reliable information such as:
           Centers for Disease Control at:
      American Sexual Health Association at:
           Also the Student Health Services (SHS) offers a Sexual Health Awareness Workshop. This workshop covers safer sex, various contraceptive options, and information on sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Call today at 562-985-4609 to make an appointment.
      Step 2: Figure out your Plan
            Create a plan for your sexual health. Whether this means going to the doctor and discussing birth control or buying condoms and dental dams to keep in the nightstand, it is a plan of protecting your sexual health. When researching your plan, it is important to think about all options and what would work best in your life. There are health educators to talk to in the Student Health Services to help you figure out a plan and ways to be safer.
       Step 3: Get Tested
            Be responsible for your sexual health by getting tested for STIs and HIV. The SHS offers STI testing for: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and HIV. You can make an appointment by calling 562-985-4771 or go online to
            There are also testing facilities besides the SHS, like Planned Parenthood, and Out of the Closet. The Health Resource Center has a variety of outside referrals if you want to go somewhere else.
        Step 4: Create Boundaries
            Being in college allows us to an opportunity to grow! Discover what you are comfortable with. Think about boundaries you want to set, so when you do decide to become sexually active, you are aware of your limits. If you are currently sexually active, it is still the perfect time to set up guidelines for yourself and your partner.
Step 5: Communicate
          Communicating is part of being responsible regarding one’s sexual health. It is important for each individual to stand up as their own sexual health advocate. This means being able to discuss wants, needs and dislikes openly. Empower yourself- you are the only one who will advocate for your sexual health!

By Jessica Elderkin

Friday, March 3, 2017

How Your Thoughts Affect Your Health

If you’ve ever felt your heart pound prior to a big presentation or your face warm after saying something embarrassing, then you’re already familiar with how powerful that thoughts can be on the body. The “nocebo” effect (“I will harm”) and the “placebo” effect (“I will please”) have been regarded as such powerful forces that credible scientific research often require control groups to rule out results that may have been altered by them. Studies have shown time and time again that the effects of the mind over our bodies are profound. So the question arises; what implications does this have on our health?
When thinking negative thoughts, we can cause our bodies to release chemical signals that do harm. In a 1997 study conducted by neurophysiologist Fabrizio Bendetti, consenting patients were injected with normal saline but told that it was a pain-triggering medication. Some of those patients also received anti-anxiety drugs to block negative thoughts. Only the group that did not receive the anti-anxiety drug reported experiencing pain. This study highlighted the idea that our thoughts are powerful enough to impact our health in negative ways and lead to things such as stress and pain. Thoughts are powerful enough to trigger these experiences even if they would have otherwise not occurred. Although this can be a scary thought, the opposite is also true.
Thinking positively can have just as powerful an impact on our health as negative thought. In a 2004 study conducted by psychologist Dr. Tor D. Wager, patients who were already suffering from pain conditions were given a plain lotion and told that it was pain relieving cream. MRI studies indicated that they experienced natural pain relief from hormones that pain medications are artificially made to mimic. We all have the power within us to think positively and impact the overall health of our bodies in this way.
If you find yourself in a loop of negative thought, strategies exist to stop them: 
1. Try going shopping with your mind! Imagine a grocery store aisle and shop for things that you like. 
2. Occupying yourself with other thoughts can take your mind in another direction. If this doesn’t help, try reframing your thoughts. Instead of dwelling on something negative, think about what you’ve learned from it and how it helped you to grow. 
3. Make a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for like food to eat, clean water to drink, the opportunity to attend college, etc. 
4. Are negative thoughts becoming a more chronic issue? Try our Koru Mindfulness meditation classes or our Yoga for Mood groups! Contact the Health Resource Center by phone at (562)985-4609 or by e-mail at for more information.

By Clara Chang

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