The Importance of World Mental Health Day

A majority of our time as a student at RIT is spent going to classes, catching up on homework, studying for quizzes and tests, and busying ourselves with extracurriculars that largely consume our days. Have you ever woken up just truly feeling tired from it all? It’s extremely important to acknowledge the truth about mental health and how it is just as important as your physical well-being. World Mental Health Day is just one day out of the year where we can spread awareness of mental health and advocate for mental health education and against social stigma.

Years ago, many people were not really aware of mental health and how negative experiences and constant strain could really wear a person down. It’s significant to note that since 1992, World Mental Health Day has been observed around the world, while many countries celebrate an entire week dedicated to spreading the awareness of the importance of mental health.

At RIT, there are several places on campus to go if you or someone you know needs someone to just talk to. The mission for several groups is to provide every student with a safe place so that you never feel alone and provide a great amount of resources. Mental health is incredibly important and if any student ever feels like they cannot talk to someone, if the stress of school is weighing them down, or anything in between, RIT has several different groups to assist any student that reaches out for help.

On campus, RIT’s Counseling and Psychological Services located in the August Center is just one of the places a student can go to talk to an assigned therapist. In their own words:

Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS) provides short-term counseling to registered full-time undergraduate and graduate students on the Henrietta campus as well as registered part-time matriculated students.  Services provided are based upon a determination of your goals for counseling.  If CaPS is unable to meet your needs, they will work with you to identify an appropriate resource.

If you are unsure if CaPS is a right choice for you, there are more answered questions in their FAQ – CaPS has been a helpful group on campus for students. Whatever you need to talk about, CaPS will work with you or help you find another group at RIT that is more suited to you.

One group is the Center for Women and Gender located in the Campus Center, room 1760. Their mission is to “foster an educational environment in which all community members can be personally, academically, and professionally successful without regard to gender, racial/ethnic origins, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or spiritual beliefs.” Some people may not know that the Center for Women and Gender can provide counseling and/or refer you, if appropriate, to another group on campus such as CaPS, the Student Health Center, or Planned Parenthood. Unlike CaPS however, the Center does provide some counseling for relationship concerns.

In school, many can struggle with stress in the face of challenges such as moving to a completely new place and being away from home. Students may have problems with roommates, they may feel like crumbling under a heavy class load, or you’re feeling under pressure from becoming more independent. It is difficult to handle that kind of stress – feeling insecure, having relationship problems or problems at home, especially as students are trying to find their place. The most important thing is to know to never give up! Stress management is difficult for college students, and acknowledging your mental health is just the first step to learning how to handle whatever is in your way.

To find more resources on campus, check out the Tigers Care page!

If you need help, or are concerned for a friend, reach out to Public Safety at:

Call: (585) 475-2853 | Text: (585) 205-8333| Emergency Only: (585) 475-3333

Grilling essentials

Among other things, July is National Grilling month. You can see why – long days, amazing weather, and of course the Fourth of July. If you ask me, grilling is nothing short of an art form. You need practice, patience and most importantly having the right tools for the job. You can make due, but grilling is one of those things that when it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

Basic Tools

There are a few things that you’ll need no matter what kind of grill you are using:

  • Steel spatulaWhen it comes to grilling, you can expect higher heats that what you would get on a stovetop. This makes it important to have a steel spatula without any plastic coating, which could melt.
  • Grill brush: An often neglected part of grilling is keeping the grill clean. There’s nothing worse then opening up a grill only to find a crust of month old charred beef on it. So be a sport and make sure to clean off the grill when you finish.
  • Steel tongsSome things, like hot dogs, bratwurst, or vegetables, are difficult to get with a spatula
  • Food thermometerA grill is inherently less precise than an oven. It’s always a good idea to check meats you put on the grill before eating them.
  • Apron (optional)Preferably with a dad joke or pun written on it.

Finding a Grill

If you live on campus, you are not allowed to bring your own grill with you. However, charcoal grills open to all students are located throughout Perkins, Colony, University Commons, and near the Residence Halls. There are no restrictions on when you use them, just be courteous with noise levels and remember to clean off the grill when you finish.

If you are off campus, make sure to talk with your landlord or other housing representative about what you can and cannot have. A grill may already be provided. If you need to purchase one yourself, most hardware stores carry several models of grills.

Operating a Charcoal Grill

If you are used to a propane grill, it’s always a good idea to know how to use a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills are commonly used in parks and other public places. More importantly, these are the grills you will have access to on campus.

  1. Get the Materials

Your first step is to go out and get the stuff you need to actually light the grill. You’ll need several things.

  • a bag of charcoal
  • A long grill lighter
  • a poking stick
  • possibly lighter fluid (I say possibly need lighter fluid because you can buy easy-light pre treated charcoal

All these materials save the poking stick are available at Wegmans or the hardware store. The stick can come from the woods.

It’s always a good idea to have a bucket of water handy, just in case.

  2. Find your grill

Grills on campus are located near Grace Watson Hall and Res Hall B as well as in all RIT apartment complexes.

  3. Clean the grill

Take your grill brush or your steel spatula and THOROUGHLY scrape down the grate. You don’t need to operate on it and the heat will kill any and all germs, but crusty old meat is just nasty on its own.

  4. Add charcoal

You’re going to want a roughly pyramid-shaped mound of charcoal to start out. You will need to spread it out once it is lit.

  5. Light the charcoal

With pre-treated charcoal, all you need to do is drop in a match in and stand back. With untreated charcoal, you are going to want to liberally apply lighter fluid to the pile of charcoal, with particular focus on the center of the pile. From there, light the pile and stand back. The lighter fluid is extremely volatile, so it will burn vigorously.

If you can’t get the charcoal lit on the first try, reapply lighter fluid and repeat the process.

  6. Let the charcoal burn

The charcoal will burn like a campfire for some time once lit. This is normal, you just need to wait it out. You know the charcoal is ready when the flames die down and the coals glow red.

  7. Spread the charcoal

Take your poking stick and spread the charcoal evenly across the grill. This will ensure what you are cooking gets even heat.   

  8. Begin Grilling!

  9. Add more charcoal when necessary.

Once you have these basics down, you are ready to grill! Just find a recipe and grab some friends, and enjoy the summer!

Men’s Health Week

June is Men’s Health Month, and this week (6/12 – 6/18) is International Men’s Health Week! According to Menshealthmonth.org, one of the main goals of Men’s Health Week is, “to increase the physical and mental health of men so that they can live fuller and happier lives.”

In the spirit of that, here are some resources and places on campus that can help (any and all) Tigers stay healthy and fulfilled.

Student Life Center

RIT’s Hale-Andrews Student Life Center features any and all of the recreational, athletic, and wellness related resources you need. In the SLC you’ll find:

  • Five multi-purpose courts
  • Seven racquetball courts
  • Squash court
  • Two dance studios/fitness rooms
  • Mini-gym (basketball, volleyball, multi-purpose court)
  • Elevated 200-meter jogging track

And that’s not even everything! Adjacent to the SLC you’ll find the Judson/Hale Aquatics Center and the Wiedman Fitness Center.

Let’s talk about the Wiedman Fitness Center. This two-story 16,000 square foot gym features a full range of selectorized machines, free weights, cardiovascular equipment, and a large stretching area. As an RIT student, you have unlimited (within open hours of course) access to this incredible fitness center, so why not use it! If you’re not sure where to start, or have never been to a gym before, you can schedule an appointment with one of the Fitness Center Supervisors. You can learn more about this free service, as well as nutrition education, personal training, and other fitness services here.

Healthy Eating (and Drinking!)

You can work that core all you want dude, just remember… “abs are made in the kitchen.”

Eating healthy takes a bit of habit forming (or breaking), but will improve your health and overall well-being in the long run. Many people think that they’re all set with their health goals for the week because they hit the gym a couple times. Making sure to consume “good” food and drink is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What is “good” food?

Be sure you’re getting enough protein and fiber, eating lots of greens, consuming good fats (like avocado and olive oil), and limiting sugar intake. Empty carbs, like cookies and Doritos might make you feel happy, but they won’t benefit your health in any way (especially if you’re trying to lose weight)! Everything in moderation of course, it’s okay to enjoy yourself and satisfy your sweet tooth every once in awhile.

Plan out your trips to Wegmans (because what other grocery store is there?) ahead of time. Create a shopping list that includes broccoli and excludes Mountain Dew!

Plan your meals ahead of time too. It’ll make it easier to purchase healthier choices. You can also practice financial wellness at the grocery store and limit your spending! Make sure you check out the Market at Global Village for organic, local, ethnic, fair trade, and sustainable foods and beverages.

Another important note: don’t drink your calories. Soda and other sugary beverages contain large amounts of sugar and other unhealthy syrups in each bottle or can. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men. An average can of Coke contains 7 teaspoons (35 grams) of added sugar. If you’re drinking a few sodas or other sugary drinks every day, try changing it up. Stick with water, milk or natural, no-sugar-added juices.

Mental Health

Taking care of your body is important, but never forget your mind. Mental health is an often overlooked part of wellness, and directly contributes to your success in college.

If you feel like you’re struggling with internal problems, or just need someone to talk to, be sure to find out more about Tigers Care. Housed in the Office of Student Affairs, Tigers Care is an RIT program that focuses on reaching out to those who are facing challenges and directs them to helpful resources on campus. It’s also about bringing people together through various programs and activities, to foster greater understanding and support.

College, if anything, is stressful. Effectively managing your stress goes hand in hand with a healthy diet and exercise. Working out can help take your mind off the massive test you have at the end of the week, and help to relieve some of that emotional strain from that girl who just won’t text you back. Most importantly, all work and no play only exacerbates stress levels. Take some time to treat yourself, relax, or hang out with friends. Everybody needs time to recuperate and socialize.

Keep your physical health in check and your mental health will follow!

RIT Wellness

As an RIT student, you are required to take a minimum of two wellness courses over the course of your education. The Center for Wellness Education is divided into 8 disciplines:

  1. Health & Wellness Seminars (WHWS)
  2. Dance (WDAN)
  3. Fitness (WFIT)
  4. Health & Life Support (WHLS)
  5. Recreation (WREC)
  6. Outdoor Education (WINT)
  7. Martial Arts (WMAR)
  8. ROTC (WMIL)

Within these 8 categories, RIT offers over 550 courses during the academic year! These include physical and exercise based courses like: Extreme Fitness, Functional Yoga and Indoor Cycling, to more mental and healthy lifestyle based courses like: Financial Fitness, Friends, Foes and Lovers, How to Become Smoke Free, and Stress Management. All of these courses can help you take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, and give you a baseline for your fitness and wellness goals.

Oh, don’t forget to try Swing Dance… and Ninja Training.

RIT Better Me

https://www.rit.edu/fa/betterme/

RIT’s Better Me program is a one-stop-shop for all your health related needs on campus. They offer various fitness programs and classes, nutrition counseling, and even cooking classes! The Better Me initiative is mainly focused on RIT faculty and staff. If you’re a staff member looking to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle but aren’t sure where to start, make sure to check out all that Better Me has to offer.

 

Stay stress-free at RIT

An inevitable part of student life, stress can easily get in the way of a successful semester.

However, RIT has a number of resources in place to help combat that stress. Whether you need to voice your opinion or are struggling with your co-op search, there’s someone ready to help you.

FoodShare Center

According to Feeding America, nearly 49.3% of college students must choose between educational expenses and buying food. RIT FoodShare aims to combat this issue by providing all students with access to free food. What originally started as a Facebook group  to share free food items across campus, turned into a physical center for distribution at Riverknoll. RIT FoodShare is a solution to the problem of food insecurity for college students. Open to all members of the RIT community, visitors can pick up free food items, donate, or volunteer.

Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education

One of the prime qualities of an RIT education is the integration of co-ops into the curriculum. When it comes time to finding that co-op, the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education is dedicated to helping you succeed in the job search. Career Services offers career counseling, career mentors, diversity initiatives, grad school information, and much more. Whether you need resume help or co-op advice, the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education will help you every step of the way.

Ombuds Office

During your academic career, you may run into situations that require outside intervention to come to a fair resolution. Neglecting to effectively resolve a conflict, “may cause further damage and lead [you] and your team or organization down a vicious path of negativity,” according to Creighton University. Filled with trained professionals, The Ombuds Office is available for all RIT members in times of conflict. It provides a safe and confidential place to voice any disputes, problems, or questions you may have.

Pawprints

Students are already making change on campus using Pawprints. You can, too. Created by Student Government, the goal of the site is to allow members of RIT’s community to converse on important issues. If you’re looking to support on-going initiatives students care about, view, sign, and share any petitions at pawprints.rit.edu/.

Naps.rit.edu

Best put by Teen Vogue, this RIT feature is “tired, tested, and true”. Naps.rit.edu brings you the best napping spaces around campus. Knowing where to nap on campus is perfect for those moments when you need to unwind between classes. Check out the website for a complete map of napping locations with the size and quiet level of each spot.

Tiger Center

If you haven’t already, it’s time to take full advantage of  the new and improved Tiger Center website. The site is equipped with your schedule, course enrollment information, grades, academic information and dining balances. The dining balances tab even provides you with a rough estimate of how much you can spend for the rest of the day and week. The grades section provides you with a GPA calculator, so you can always see how you’re doing academically throughout the course of the semester.

While these resources may help reduce stress for some, no two people experience stress the same way. If you’re experiencing stress and need help navigating through it, please visit Tigers Care for information about more resources that can help you find what works for you.

8 Ways To Manage Your Time Effectively

Visit the Academic Support Centerasc

If you find yourself having trouble with a particular course topic, and can’t seem to grasp the overall concept, a trip to the Academic Support Center (ASC) may be worthwhile. Rochester Institute of Technology’s Academic Support Center provides assistance to members of our student body in a variety of ways. Whether you’re looking for reading support, academic coaching, tutoring, supplemental instruction, and much more, the ASC is a one-stop shop. The first step to effectively managing your time is to use be efficient, and the ASC is here to help you do that. To learn more about what the Academic Support Center can do for you, visit: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/asc/.

Go outside to studyoutside

As the weather gets warmer and warmer, it starts to get harder and harder to concentrate in the library. Instead of depriving yourself of Rochester’s beautiful spring temperatures, take your studying outside! Make sure your laptop is completely charged, and enjoy the sun. Great places to study outside include; Salsaritas’ patio, Crossroads’ patio, and the quad areas between dorm buildings!

Make time for yourselfmake

When it comes to managing time effectively, this may be the most important tip. Very often, students get so caught up in their studies, that setting aside time for themselves becomes extremely rare. If you aren’t in the right mindset, studying becomes much less effective. Getting in the proper mindset can take many forms. This may be going to the gym, reading a book for fun, or going on a walk. While you may feel as if you should be working on something school-related, don’t forget that personal time is equally as important.

Create a weekly to-do list/priority list

If you haven’t already been doing this, these final few weeks may be a good time to start. Managing time is much easier if you know exactly what you need to do, and by when. As final project due dates and final exams grow nearer, missing one assignment may affect your overall grade in a course.

Sleep!

Sleep is important! Some weeks we can be nocturnal, and other weeks our sleep schedules are semi on-track. Not only does a lack of sleep result in a weaker immune system, it also has a direct correlation with the amount of stress that you are able to handle. If you are tired and are running on little sleep, the amount of information you retain while studying greatly decreases. It is much better to study after a long night’s rest, allowing you to use your time efficiently.

Don’t study in your bedroomlibrary

Studying while laying in bed seems like a much more desirable option than walking all the way to the library, however, your overall productivity will increase greatly if you sit at a desk in a different setting with no distractions. The greater your productivity, the better your time will be managed. If you absolutely do not want to leave your bedroom, try your best to at least sit at your desk while working on homework and studying!

Exercise

Managing your time effectively can only take place if you have a healthy mindset.exercise

Setting time aside in your busy schedule to exercise is important. You’ll start to feel better physically, you will sleep better, and your memory may improve. Although working around your hectic schedule is tough, exercising daily will greatly improve your efficiency and overall time management skills.

Carry your work with you

Do you ever find yourself getting out of a class a bit earlier than usual? Those few minutes here and there will add up. Keeping your homework/class readings/laptop on you at will ensure that those few unexpected free minutes are put to good use.

 

It’s Time for Spring Cleaning!

As spring begins to roll around, our team here at Behind the Bricks encourages you to engage in spring cleaning! With endless consignment shops always looking for donations, it’s time to get rid of the things that have been sitting in the back of your closet for the past few months.

Donate to a Consignment Shop

Consingment

If you take a short trip down Jefferson Road, you’ll find yourself passing Plato’s Closet, Amvets, Salvation Army, Savers, and plenty more consignment shops. These shops are eager to take in your used clothing and home goods. Depending on the style and quality of your used clothing, places like Plato’s Closet are even willing to pay you for your lightly used items. If you have clothing and home items that are sitting in a pile on the floor of your bedroom, drop them off at a local consignment shop, as someone else would be eager to have them!

Save Items for Goodbye Goodbuy!

GBGB

As a new school year comes and goes, students here at Rochester Institute of Technology discard hundreds of items that could be used by someone else. Instead of throwing out your items, save them until the end of the school year, when donation bins for Goodbye Goodbuy! Start popping up around campus. Goodbye Goodbuy! is a campus initiative with a strong emphasis on decreasing waste.  Furniture, appliances, school supplies, art, clothing, and many more items are gathered and sold back to the Rochester Institute of Technology community for a steeply discounted price. And if you decide to volunteer, you get first dibs on the collected items!

Learn more at their webpage here!

Donate Food to RIT Foodshare

Foodshare

As college students, we typically find ourselves stocking up on canned and nonperishable food items. If you take a peak in the way back of your cupboard, I’m sure you’ll find canned goods that you haven’t touched in the past year. It’s time to put these untouched canned and nonperishable items to a good cause. Rochester Institute of Technology’s Food Share is located at 113 Kimball Drive (within the Riverknoll apartment area), and is always accepting donations. The program allows members of the RIT Community to pick up food items when in need. It’s a win-win situation! You can stay up-to-date by checking out RIT Foodshare’s Facebook page.

Clean your Space

GVMarket

Is your living space starting to look a bit dusty? In the hustle and bustle of everyday life here at Rochester Institute of Technology, we sometimes forget to clean up the area that we are living in. Whether it be your kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom, spring cleaning is the perfect excuse to start fresh in a clean living area. Luckily, you won’t even have to leave campus to purchase cleaning supplies. Crossroads, the Global Village Market, and Sols Underground supply a wide range of cleaning supplies. From soaps, to sponges, to laundry detergent, they’ve got you covered for all of your spring cleaning needs!

We hope that you find some of these tips useful when you embark on your spring cleaning endeavors! Spring is the perfect time for a fresh start, so what better time is there to declutter and clean your space?

11 Tips and Tricks to Saving Cash as an RIT Student

Saving money in college is something that doesn’t come easily. Textbooks, groceries, and other expenses quickly add up. To help you manage the costs of attending school, I have created a list of ways you can spend less, and save more.

  1. Bring your own mug to coffee shops on campus

CoffeeDid you know that if you bring your own coffee/tea mug to any coffee shop on campus, you will only be charged the price of a small drink regardless of the mug’s size? Well, now you do! Not only is this a great way to get your caffeine fix from Beanz, Midnight Oil, Javas and Artesano, it will also decrease allotted monthly coffee budget.

  1. Use RIT Tiger Center dining dollar balance

New to RIT’s Tiger Center, students can now check their dining dollars balance so see if they are on track or not for the semester. After logging in with your RIT username and password, your meal plan will automatically pop up, and you will be told what your daily spending budget is. Check it out!

  1. Sell your gently used textbooks back to Barnes and Noble

Do you have a stack of textbooks that you have only used for one seB&Nmester? Instead of keeping a pile of heavy textbooks in your room to collect dust, bring them to RIT’s Barnes & Noble (located in Park Point). Barnes & Noble will gladly purchase your gently used textbooks, and pay you cash on the spot. It’s a win-win situation!

  1. Take advantage of the free amenities on campus

GymThis is one of the simplest ways to decrease your spending (and increase your saving)! Don’t purchase expensive gym memberships when the Student Life Center is available to members of the RIT community free of charge. With a swimming pool, hot tub, track and various courts, the opportunities of free fun are endless. Also, attending an on campus sporting event is a low to no cost event that allows you to embrace your inner RIT Tiger spirit!

  1. Print on-campus (free prints)

Lab

While RIT is a large promoter sustainability and most assignments are submitted online, occasionally you will have to submit a physical copy of your work. Instead of purchasing a printer and ink at home, print on campus. Depending on your major and computer lab swipe access, many labs offer a large amount of free prints for students. NRH computer lab (located on the first floor) is open 24 hours, and has an industrial printer ready for your print jobs!

  1. Ask if there is a student discount before purchasing anything

It never hurts to ask! Many retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. do not advertise the fact that they offer discounts for students. For example, Amazon, The New York Times, Sam’s Club, AMC Theatres, and many more offer various discounts to students.

  1. Buy in Bulk

BulkPurchasing items in bulk is a simple way to decrease monthly costs for food and toiletries. BJ’s Wholesale club (located off of Jefferson Road), offers individuals with a valid RIT ID a free membership ($50 value). This allows for students to enjoy wholesale prices. Purchasing larger quantities in the beginning of each semester will not only save you money in the long run, but will decrease your amount of trips to the store.

  1. Don’t go grocery shopping while hungry

It’s safe to say that as college students, this is bound to happen every once in a while. Being actively aware that you are hungry and eating prior to going grocery shopping will reduce impulse purchases of items that you typically wouldn’t buy in the first place.

  1. Take advantage of RIT’s bus

Bus

RIT has an extensive bus schedule that runs seven days a week. Taking the RIT bus will save you money on gas, and is also environmentally friendly. The bus schedule can be found here. We’ve also put together a comprehensive RIT bus guide.

  1. See if library has textbooks before purchasing

We all know the struggle of purchasing textbooks on a semester basis. Prices are typically steep, and can add up quickly. Not only is it a good idea to wait until your professor states whether purchasing the textbook is mandatory, but checking if it is available in the library is also a good idea.

  1. Go to class

This may be obvious, but the cost of skipping class is immense, and definitely not worth it. Skipping/missing class will more than likely result in a lower grade mark for the course, and may lead to you needing to pay to re-take a class a second time the following semester.