Header Logo

Nov. 1, 2022

Week 10!

Look at you! It is week 10, and you’ve got this! It may not feel that way sometimes, but you do. If you are feeling strong and feeling confident, more power to you. Keep doing what you’re doing. Steady as she goes and you should find yourself wrapping things up shortly.

If you are struggling, you are not alone. By this point in the term, things are wearing thin for many. Students are struggling with stretched finances or with balancing family or work obligations or all three. I will say it again, if you are struggling, you are not alone. If you need academic support, reach out for tutoring or to your advisor. Need some other assistance but not quite sure where to turn? Connect with the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities. These caring people are here to help you. There are so many people whose job it is to help you make the most of these coming weeks. Don’t hesitate – reach out if you need a hand.

Sometimes, it is hard to know if we need a hand. It is hard to know if what we’re experiencing is normal or exceptional. If we should just keep on trudging or if we should reach out. One helpful question is to ask yourself whether you’d be OK if your child or loved one was feeling how you are feeling. Would you want them to reach out for help? If the answer is yes, then take your own advice.

If you are making it and have some room to help another, consider doing just that. Reach out to help those around you. Some members of our community here at UAF are struggling mightily and a small kindness to another can make a huge difference.

If you are feeling pretty confident in your studies, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room to make some improvements. It is never too late to ditch what isn’t working, find new solutions, or challenge yourself in new ways. The bottom line is that you are closing on the final weeks of the term. Reach out if you need help, and help others as you can. You’ve got this! Hang in there and keep improving your game.

At the same time, as winter descends, many start to struggle with the cold and dark on top of everything else. Alicia Hayba, counselor at the Student Health and Counseling Center, wrote up some thoughts and suggestions for dealing with a unique challenge related to life in the arctic. Take it away, Alicia!

It is getting darker. It is getting colder.

It started with our celebration of the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22. In Fairbanks at Latitude 65, this means we start to lose more than 6 ½ minutes a day of sunlight, and our days become colder. By the winter solstice in late December, we will only have 3 hours and 41 minutes of daylight.

No matter how resilient of a person you are, you may be affected by the cold and darkness. Not everyone is the same and many of us experience what is called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression related to changes in the seasons. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:

  • Feeling sad or down

  • Losing interest in the activities you usually enjoy

  • Having low energy or feeling exhausted

  • Sleeping too much

  • Overeating and weight gain

  • Feeling hopeless or worthless

  • Having thoughts of not wanting to be alive

These symptoms can feel overwhelming and scary, and there are ways to help combat them before things get too tough. Despite it being cold and dark outside, there are plenty of things we can do to manage our health during the winter. Some of the things we can try to do to overcome these feelings:

  • Prepare a morning routine: Wake up at the same time every day and eat breakfast.

  • Buy and use a Happy Light: A Happy Light is a light that will give you more exposure to light that is similar to sunlight.

  • Challenge yourself with a new hobby or activity. This is a great time to pick up your paintbrush or check out some skis at Outdoor Rec.

  • Write in a journal.

  • Move your body: Anything from light stretching to vigorous cardio. Do what feels good for YOU.

  • Find ways to improve your sleep hygiene. Have you made your bed or washed your sheets lately?

  • Surround yourself with things that bring comfort to you such as a soft blanket, a warm drink, and people you love.

It’s normal to have some days when you feel down. If you have noticed a change in your sleeping patterns or appetite (eating too much or too little), have turned to alcohol or drugs for comfort, or if you begin to feel hopeless or think about suicide, please ask for help. For further assistance, call the Student Health and Counseling Center at 907-474-7043.

This is great advice from Alicia at SHCC. Take care of yourself and look out for others!

Here are some other important reminders and points of information:

Our Fall Career Fair is coming up this Thursday, Nov. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Wood Center. We have over 65 employers coming to hire UAF students. That’s you!

Applications are being accepted for BLaST (Biomedical Learning and Student Training) program funding for the Spring 2023 Undergraduate Research Experience until Nov. 6, 2022, at midnight. If you are interested in biomedical research check out this opportunity!

Lastly, registration is coming up this month. Contact and connect with your advisor. Also, do your Title IX training! It just takes a few moments and it is really important for our community – it also opens the gate for you to be able to register for next semester. Do it.

As ever – please send me your comments and suggestions. I am at obguthrie@alaska.edu. Take care of yourselves, take care of our community, and have a great week!

— Owen Guthrie, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management


UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.