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The Green and Gold Roundtable: ASCSU Director of Health

Taking an Active Role in your well being
By Conner Jackson
Director of Health


The first week of school was particularly draining for me, as it probably was for everyone else. I remember coming home around 6 p.m. on that Friday and basically sitting in a room by myself for the rest of the night because I desperately needed to gather myself.

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Such is the life of the extroverted introvert.

I had a counseling session at Counseling Services that afternoon, which was productive but always leaves me feeling emotionally exhausted.  After my session I had to meet with a couple more people before I could go home, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The meetings actually went really well because I felt in tune with the concerns and emotions of the individuals I was talking to.

Could counseling be working? Am I less of the heartless robot that I used to be?

While I pride myself on being highly skilled in the skeptical arts, I feel like counseling is actually working. I was certainly hesitant to accept it at first. It is difficult to think that you are shedding part of your core. The way I define myself is changing, and that is a scary thought. I liked being the cynical closed off guy. It certainly made life a lot less complicated. The reality is that living my life in such a way was really keeping me from moving forward and, through my time in counseling, I feel myself changing for the better.

Why am I telling you about my personal life? I assure you that it is not because I think I am the most amazing human specimen and I have a wealth of knowledge to share. It is really just my effort to preface our department’s theme for this year.

Before I go any further:

Hello,

My name is Conner Jackson (that’s Conner with an “e” by the way)

I am the ASCSU Director of Health

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I love walking, one-on-one conversations, and people who spell my name correctly.

I am an over thinker, neurotic (self diagnosed), and I am afraid of burdening people with my problems so I usually never talk about them.

I also love laughing.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, back to my point. My talented and dedicated department members, Alexa and Josef, along with myself are here to hopefully make your life just a little bit better and healthier.

The 2015-2016 ASCSU Department of Health Theme (I know you are filled to the brim with anticipation):

Take an Active Role in Your Wellbeing

I apologize if it sounds bland, believe me, I would much prefer “Free Puppies for all Fee Paying Students” but that didn’t get as much support as I had hoped.

We have an amazing opportunity here at CSU to invest in ourselves. Imagine if we can leave here not only as highly educated but also efficient and in tune with who we are. We can start learning about ourselves and investing in our wellbeing now so that we don’t have surprises down the road. Or at the very least, we can learn how to handle the surprises and challenges when they are presented to us.

I started going to mindfulness drop in sessions offered by the Health Network and I feel much more decisive because I am able to be more in the moment. I also do not lie awake at night for hours worrying about the future as much because I have learned how to let those thoughts pass and my thus my quality of sleep has improved tremendously.

Counseling has allowed me to work through issues that I ignored for years and it is hard work but I can tell that I am much happier as whole. There are definitely days with setbacks but I feel like I have the momentum to get to where I want to be.

My point is that we have resources here at CSU, free resources, that you should consider using. You have the opportunity to develop your social, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual wellbeing while you are here. I urge you to take advantage of these opportunities now before you leave because if you invest in yourself now, there will be less barriers for you to overcome once you do leave. If you take the time to learn about yourself and explore, I guarantee that you will be better off than your peers who have not. The momentum and confidence that come from being self-aware and active in your mental health and wellbeing will only allow you to reach your goals faster than you would have otherwise.

I encourage you to take an inventory of what is going on in your life. What is going well? What stresses you out? What makes you happy? We can all be better and we can all improve our current state. If things are going well for you, that is excellent, use this opportunity to check in on someone. Ask someone “How are you doing?” and be willing to listen to what they are saying. We say that phrase so casually without really thinking about it. I encourage you to say that phrase only if you have the time to really see where that person is emotionally and mentally, making the effort to show you are there to listen means more than you think it does.

Ask yourself, “How am I doing?” and see where you are. Maybe it is time to go to a counseling session (Walk in or call 123 NW Aylesworth Hall, (970) 491-6053) or maybe you need to go to a De-stress seminar offered by the CSU Health Network. Perhaps you just need to talk to a friend, or maybe a friend needs to talk to you.  Wherever you are, just know there are always options and ways to make your life better. Our job in the Department of Health is to make sure that everyone is aware of the amazing opportunities that we have to offer and hopefully encourage conversations that improve everyone’s wellbeing.

Just some final thoughts:

Your life and your mental health are not spectator sports, it is time to be active and participate.

When you ask, “How are you?” take the time to hear what someone has to say, you would be surprised how meaningful that can be.

When someone asks you “How are you?” try giving a thoughtful answer. It requires you to take an inventory of your life.

Take time to think of what you’re a grateful for. We get to live and work in a beautiful, positive and engaging environment.

Reach out when you need help, either to the resources here or to someone in your life that cares about you.

‘Like’ the CSU Health Network page on Facebook, that’s where the promote all of their amazing resources.

If you feel like you need someone to help navigate the resources here, please let me know: ASCSU_Health@MAIL.ColoState.EDU or just come by and chat with me in the ASCSU office.

I also want to push some resources, the first of which is very near and dear to my heart. The Chronic Health Mentoring Program through ASCSU and Resources for Disabled Students offers a peer mentoring opportunity for students who are dealing with chronic health conditions.

Check out the information page:

http://ascsu.colostate.edu/executive/health/chronic-health-mentoring-program/

Also refer to the CSU Health Network page for resources; this is a good place to start for mental and emotional health:

http://health.colostate.edu/resources/mental-emotional-health/

If you want to learn more about the power of “How are you?” visit the How Are You Project at http://www.howareyouproject.org/

Now that I have gone on long enough that even Tony Frank would be exhausted, I should probably sign off. Thank you for hearing me out and I hope you learned something.

Take care of yourself fellow Rams,

-Conner


 

 

For more posts from Green and Gold Roundtable, visit http://ascsu.colostate.edu/blog/.

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