Welcome–and welcome back–to Barnard! We’re excited to be starting another semester here in Well-Woman. Over the summer we spruced up the office, purchased some awesome new books (recent faves include The Feminist Activity Book, Living for Change, nejma, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, Afro-Vegan, Eat Drink Vote and Mindfulness for Beginners), renewed our magazine subscriptions (to titles like Vegetarian Times, Ms, Bust, and Yoga Journal), and started to prep for the new year. The office is open for both staff (Monday–Friday, 1-4pm) and peer educator (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 7-9pm) drop-in hours, and our weekly 7pm Wednesday craft nights start back up this week with arm knitting. Stop by any time we’re open to check out our space, browse our resources, have a cup of tea, use the massage chair, talk and learn about health and wellness issues, and just relax in our comfy space!
Name: Emma Toner
Major: Psychology and Sociology
Hometown: Belmont, MA
Favorite WW workshop/program/event: “Let’s Talk About…” (a sex positive fair previously called Cuntfidence) — I know that speaking so candidly about sex, sexuality, menstruation, etc. can be intimidating for some people, so I was really excited to be involved in creating a space and event that (hopefully!) made those conversations feel a little bit easier.
Favorite WW office resource: Can I say the couches/overall comfiness? It’s amazing just knowing that there’s always a comfortable and welcoming place where I can hang out on campus between classes or after a long day. I’ve also had the opportunity to have so many thoughtful conversations on those couches during workshops and life with other peer eds and students!
Favorite way of practicing self-care: I like doing different breathing exercises or guided meditations, especially at night when I’m falling asleep. Also, I know those adult coloring books are everywhere, but they’re seriously very soothing!
Part of an ongoing series–see previous entries here.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to our awesome student peer educators, starting with senior Sarika Kumar:
Name / year / major /: Sarika Kumar/ 2016/ Urban Studies and Environmental Science
Where you’re from: Syosset, New York
Favorite WW program: Wednesday Craft Nights!
Something you enjoy about being a peer ed: I enjoy being apart of a community that places self-care and love at its forefront. Whether I’m in the office with peer-eds or other students, everyone collectively helps create an energy that channels learning, curiosity, and appreciation.
Favorite WW office resource: The stress sticks and amazing library! Overall, whenever I’m in the office, Well Woman’s calming ambiance just makes my day better.
Favorite way of practicing self care: Releasing emotion and tension through writing and drawing! Daily, I try to stay hydrated and get enough sleep.
Flu and cold are on the rise in New York and in our community, so we’ve invited Dr. Marjorie Seidenfeld, the Primary Care Health Service’s medical director, to share some info about cold and flu, and how to tell the difference:
Is this a cold or should I be worried about flu?
In winter, viruses flourish, especially those that cause both the common cold and the flu (Influenza virus). We often intermix the terms, but it actually is important to distinguish between the two, because the severity, the treatment options, and the potential complications are actually quite different.
Here are the basics on the common cold: Continue Reading
this is definitely one of those “easier said than done” things and definitely not an “be all end all” method to calming anxious thoughts but sometimes just the process and patience of asking + answering questions to yourself is helpful.
for those moments that we are our own best friend:
sometimes neglecting your basic bodily needs is the final straw. consider these questions and tend to them accordingly. this isn’t a to-do list, but rather to draw your attention to what your body might be asking for.
- When was the last time you ate?
- Did you have a piece of fruit today?
- Have you taken a moment to yourself today?
- When was the last time you took a shower?
- Have you seen a friend today?
- Have you moved around in the last few hours?
As the leaves finish falling, many of us head home to our hometowns to see old friends and family. Being reunited with the people we’ve known for so long may make us forget how long it took us to build such intimate relationships. In our last installment of “And that’s the story of how I met…” peer eds shared how they met their friends in college. But as graduating seniors know, life continues after college. It may seem daunting to have to make friends without the comfort of a shared living space or classroom struggles. Below a few Barnard staff share how they made their first “grown-up” friendships. Check back again next week to read more stories from staff members about how they met their friends!
Dean Grabiner, First-Year Class Dean and Dean for Academic Assistance
One way I’ve found to make friends post-college is to be my authentic self when I interact with people at work, to the extent that it’s professionally appropriate. For example, I was in a meeting some years ago where a topic came up that related to my own identity politics, and I made a comment that began, “As a gay woman, I….” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman at the far end of the table swivel her head over to look at me, and I saw a look of recognition on her face. The next time I ran into her, she made a point of coming up to me to talk about how she always attends the Michigan Women’s Music Festival and used to visit the West Village as a teenager from Long Island because it made her feel free. These moments of connection were the beginning of our friendship.
Mary Joan L. Murphy,Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness Programs
I would say that I made many of my post college friends from volunteering and graduate school.
Immediately after college, I worked for two yearsa as a teacher volunteer in Belize, Central America with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps-similiar to Peace Corps but much smaller and has some value components attached with it. I made a group of life long friends from that experience. I also joined the group Team and Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society when I moved back to NYC and completed a marathon and a couple triatholons with them and made a great group of friends through this. I also have a few friends (one of whom I just went out to dinner with last night) from my graduate work.
My advice would be to get involved with groups and topics you are interested in where you will find like minded people!
Jenna Freedman, Associate Director of Communications & Zine Librarian
My core group of non-professional friends are folks I worked with as a lighting technician at the Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park. Long hours, hard work, danger and lots of fun build intense friendship.
I’m also close to a lot of librarians, online and in person, IMing daily with my BFF from grad school. You might be surprised at how social librarians are.
Over the last few years I’ve gotten back into letter-writing. I can spend an hour writing someone a letter and decorating the envelope. Doing that, and getting similarly crafted mail back makes me feel close to people, one of whom I’ve never met and probably never will.
I still consider my college roommate my lifelong bestie though she lives in Connecticut and I rarely see her.
Welcome–and welcome back–to Barnard! We’re so thrilled to be starting another semester, and are already looking forward to helping our community to “be well” this year. Over the summer we spruced up the office, purchased some awesome new books (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, Trans Bodies Trans Selves, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, Redefining Realness, Bossypants, and Hyperbole and a Half to name a few!), renewed our favorite magazine subscriptions (to titles like Vegetarian Times, Ms, Bust, and Yoga Journal), and started to prep for the new year. Our regular programming and special events will be starting up soon, and in the meantime the office is open for both staff (Monday–Friday, 1-4pm) and peer educator (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 7-9pm) drop-in hours. Stop by to check out our space, browse our resources, have a cup of tea, use the massage chair, talk and learn about health and wellness issues, and just relax in our comfy space!