Welcome to the F+S+S blog! This blog is a space where basic needs student leaders share what they are learning and doing in the context of food and housing. Our content ranges from topics like saving money on textbooks, making food last longer, growing vegetables, and self-care routines. As college students, we understand the struggles of food and housing insecurity, and we are here to help empower our SF State family to achieve success with practices that can be applied to everyday life!
New Blog Post
Authors: Raine Yenlinn and Cindy Chu
Hello Gators! We wanted to check in with you all as midterms are around the corner!
Take a moment to breathe and give yourself a little pat on the back for getting through the first half of fall semester because from here on out, it’s gonna go by so quick — from Thanksgiving to winter break. Don’t forget to utilize TASC that is hosted at the library and virtually through Zoom!
Spending little as 30 seconds or a minute to check in with yourself and to breathe can be good enough!
Below are some quick meditation and guided breathing videos to help relieve stress:
If you’d like to become more active and get involved in something to really get that blood flowing (and maybe even meet new friends!), don’t forget to check our Mashouf Wellness Center! There are many fun programs - like BARRE, body combat, and pilates - available for free for all students (except CEL and ALI students who are offered a membership fee). Check out all that they have to offer here!
We would also like to take this time to remind you that Food+Shelter+Success is here to help all students who are currently facing an unexpected crisis that risks impeding on academic success. If you are searching for that support, fill out our form here, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. For general information about our Food+Shelter+Success department, check out our website here!
Aaand join us for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week happening from November 14th-18th. Stay tuned for events and prizes!
Here are some upcoming blogs to look out for:
- Maximizing Your Grocery Shopping
- Journaling 101
If there are any other topics you’d be interested in learning more about, feel free to reach out to us through our email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You’re doing amazing, we’re halfway done!!
Tips for School
Author: Janaveve Solis
Welcome back! With many of us preparing ourselves for the semester ahead of us, some of us are still struggling with how we can better manage our time and reach our goals moving forward. While we can’t change that we only have 24 hours in a day, we can find ways to manage ourselves throughout each day.
Here are some helpful time management and goal setting tips to keep you grounded, organized, and productive throughout the semester:
- Have a way to track or plan things that work for you
While notebook planners are very popular and useful these days, I was never able to keep a planner for more than a few weeks. I loved the idea of them but was never consistent with using one. If something doesn’t work out for you, try something else that does! I found that using online calendars and apps, like Notion, worked best for me. Using your phone calendar or the Outlook calendar is a great way to track important events and dates that also come with the option of setting up reminders. Even using a blank notebook can be perfect if you want to create your own planner!
If you’re interested in a physical planner, we have a limited number of academic budget planners, courtesy of Mstrpln, founded by Aja Dang. Email email@example.com to request one! (subject to availability)
- Make realistic goals
I think we’ve all had the experience of wanting to get X, Y, and Z completed and ending up only finishing a fraction of those things. Sometimes, we take on more than we can actually handle which can make us feel more overwhelmed. Start by making realistic and measurable goals that you know you can get through, that way reaching the bigger goal in mind won’t seem so far away. Even if you don’t get everything done when you wanted to, you can at least feel accomplished for completing the smaller goals. Here’s more information about goal setting using the SMART method!
- Take Breaks!
If you feel like you’re having a hard time focusing on the task at hand, it’s not a bad idea to take a break. Even with our hectic schedules, breaks are essential for our brains to continue to work efficiently throughout the day and to avoid burnout. Even a 5-minute break can make a huge difference!
- Reward Yourself
After a long week of school and work, I usually dedicate my Saturdays to relaxing and recharging as my reward. A reward can look different to everybody, just make sure it’s something that you look forward to and that you will enjoy! Give yourself some credit for getting through the week and doing the best that you can.
Be patient and kind to yourself in the process when working on time management and reaching your goals. Not everything will be perfect and that’s okay! Keep at it and have a great semester!
Author: Nazareth Bereket
We did it! We’ve made it to the final few weeks of our fall semester! I know at this point in the semester we’re all extremely tired and ready to go on break, and trust me, I feel the same way.
As we head into finals, I just wanted to offer a few tips to make this finals season go as smoothly as it can for all of you.
Studying ahead of time:
Believe me when I say, if you have any exams coming up, studying for them in small increments will help you remember the material better! I completely understand wanting to cram it all during one study session, but trust me, if you split up your work, you’re more likely to retain it for the exam.
Taking small breaks in between your work sessions:
I understand wanting to work through your break to get as much work done as you can, but in all honesty, this just might lead to more burn out. Allow yourself to take a break, reassess your situation, and when you’ve fully reset, go back into your work. Your mind and soul will thank you for this!
Taking a nap:
I know I've pulled enough all-nighters to last me a lifetime, and I know I'm definitely not alone on this one. Usually, medical professionals say that we need a full 8 hours of sleep to feel reset, but sometimes that’s just not realistic if we have a stack of deadlines to get through. So, if you’re planning to pull an all-nighter, please, please, PLEASE do yourself a big favor and make sure to give yourself some time to take a nap. At Least 2 hours just so you can get some work done and not feel half asleep while doing so.
Listing out all of your final assignments:
I’ve found it super helpful that when I feel stressed about finals, I just sit down and list out all of the final work I need to do, along with their due dates so I can complete the work in order of the due dates. This way, you won’t miss any deadlines, and you can get your work done in a timely manner!
Finals season is definitely no joke, and I know we’re all feeling exhausted at the moment, but please give yourself a moment to take a deep breath, drink some water, eat some food, and allow yourself some rest, because you deserve it. I’m wishing all of you the best of luck this finals season, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break! I’ll see y’all next year!!
Author: Nazareth Bereket
Now by the time you see this, you’ll either be starting midterms, in the middle of your midterms, or finishing up midterm week. Regardless, I wanted to share some tips on how to make it through midterm season (and if you already had your midterms, you can save this for next semester!)
First Tip: A planner is essential!
You definitely don’t need to have a planner, but it sure helps make a busy week feel more organized. I use my planner to write out any and all assignments for the week, work schedules, and planning for meetings. There’s two ways to go about getting a planner.
The first option:
- Getting a bullet journal and creating your planner from scratch (for all my creative folks who love to draw, this ones for you!) This sort of journaling not only helps people stay organized, but it’s a great way for you to be creative and customize your planner however you’d like.
The second option:
- Getting a planner that’s ready to use. Planners like these will have calendars you can refer to, and huge spaces to jot down all of your assignments and projects you have to do.
Second Tip: Office hours are beneficial!
I get it, sometimes the week gets way too busy and we don’t want to go to office hours because it’s time consuming. Or we’re afraid that our professor is going to be super intimidating and avoiding office hours sounds like the best choice. Office hours can be a great way to A). be able to ask your professor any questions/comments/concerns you may have and B). get to know your professor!
Final Tip: Don’t wait until the last minute to do your work!!
I know how tempting it is to want to leave your work until the last minute, especially if the due date isn’t for another couple of weeks. Trust me when I say, if you work through your homework in fragments, it will save you so much time and stress! By the time you finish your assignment/studying, you’ll have a bit more time for yourself since you did it early.
Good luck with midterms!
Author: Yazmin Hernandez Luna
Every year, college students spend on average $1,200 on textbooks and supplies for an academic school year and the cost of textbooks has been increasing for the past 30 years. The textbooks required for our courses are essential in succeeding academically, but the cost of textbooks can place a student in a sticky situation wondering if it’s worth purchasing. As a student, I have explored numerous sites and found two websites where I can obtain my textbooks for free!
Disclaimer: I recommend using the two websites if your device has Anti-Virus protection.
Z-Library provides a variety of books & articles for free in PDF form. The book can be searched using the book's ISBN or for a better search use the Title of the book.
Library Genesis is a file-sharing site with journal articles, general books, textbooks, images, comics, and magazines in PDF form for free. Simply enter the author, book title, or subject into the search bar, find & download the textbook. Once the textbook is found, click on the title than on the new redirected page, click on the title again, and press the “Get” link to download.
Some of our textbooks might not be available on Z-library and Library Genesis, but that’s okay! Textbook Nova, Slugbooks, and Chegg are alternative resources for buying or renting textbooks at a great discounted price. Our SFSU Library is a great source for searching for books and recommends websites that may have the book you are looking for. Purchasing and/or renting books can affect a student’s budget. If you are in need of financial assistance, I encourage you to check out Food + Shelter + Success economic support or the Hope Crisis Fund, a fund that assists students financially to stay on track with their academic success.
Editor’s Note, September 27, 2022 (Raine Yenlinn):
Our school’s Associated Students implemented a service that provides up to 2 free textbooks for students per semester, called Project Connect. Do note that it is on a first-come-first-served basis, so be sure to keep a lookout for application deadlines. Also, certain students are considered for priority like EOP, GSP, AB-540 students! For more information, check out their website here.
Author: Isis Fields
Hey there fellow college students! Here at Food+Shelter+Success, we are so proud of you for taking the initiative towards higher education. We recognize you are at SF State making a difference while benefiting your future, life, and career. Keep up the hard work and check out these study skill life hacks to help maximize your academic skills!
What's your learning style?
School can be challenging; exploring more about how you learn can empower you to be your best student self. Part of improving your academic experience is understanding your preferred learning style. Several learning styles influence the way students retain knowledge. A common learning model is “VARK” which stands for visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. Knowing how you most effectively learn can help guide your study habits, teacher choices, and which programs and tutors could be of assistance to you. Finding opportunities to connect with other students that have similar study style can help you excel, and working with someone who learns differently can help challenge you to grow.
Studying smarter, not harder, can help avoid burnout. Once you explore which VARK learning styles work best for you, engage with some study practice! Reflect on your school, work, and test results to create study goals for yourself, integrating useful VARK strategies. Tip: Don’t forget to consider your time, deadlines, and group cooperation.
Create Your Space
Improve your study experience by trying these best practices:
- Allocate a set time, dedicated to only doing your schoolwork.
- Create an environment that best helps motivate you.
- Consider putting on some classical music or sounds of rain to keep you calm and focused.
- Before getting into anything serious allow yourself to transition into a mind-frame. I encourage you to engage in a five to ten-minute meditation to minimize anxiety and to increase calmness.
- Mindfulness is the name of the game, it is a self-assessment of the mind and the body working together. Being aware of how your physical needs are important to stay on track with the flow of work.
- A simple walk around the block can be great to reintegrate your mind with your body to listen to its needs.
- Eating healthy foods is necessary to fuel your body to take great action.
Fuel Your Mind
Your experience as a student is influenced by many factors, both challenging and helpful. We recognize that the basic need of having access to food impacts overall performance of work and daily life. Our desire is to best support you where you are. Food+Shelter+Success provides the opportunity to benefit from the three food programs; CalFresh Help Clinic, Associated Students Gator Groceries, and Emergency Meals. CalFresh Help Clinic may provide students with funds to buy groceries every month, while direct access to foods is available through the other programs. Please take advantage of these services, as they are meant to keep you sufficient as a developing student!
Author: KC Agramon
After this long and unusual semester, we are all looking forward to finally getting a relaxing break. There are a variety of ways to enjoy your time after the semester is over. Here are some things you can do to make this holiday break as productive as possible!
But First Errands
For me, the first step to destress is to accomplish everything on my to-do list items; like going grocery shopping. Getting my errands done for the week gives me relief, because I know after I finish everything on my to-do list I can relax! Though getting my shopping done early can be a relief, if I do not have enough resources that week it can actually be more stressful than relaxing. If you feel the same or find yourself not having enough money to buy your groceries reach out to the CalFresh help clinic! CalFresh gives eligible students free grocery money. Do you need help applying? The CalFresh Help Clinic can help you with the application process if you don’t know where to start.
Once you get your errands done you could also explore your city! I live in San Francisco and like to bike and walk to different locations in the city and enjoy the scenery here are some of my SF go-to’s.
- Lake Merced where you could enjoy nature and the lake.
- Ocean beach where you can hear ocean waves and scenic views!
- Embarcadero where you could see the bay bridge and if you walk far enough you could enjoy the pier.
- You could also walk to Marina Green/ Crissy Fields where you could see the Golden Gate bridge, marsh, and the beach all within close location from one another!
- If you’re feeling like you just want to stay in one place and enjoy the views Palace of Fine Arts or Dolores Park might be the place for you. These two locations both have great picnic areas where you can sit by yourself or with family! You could also have your picnics on previous locations stated above (just make the most out of it)!
There are a variety of ways you can enjoy your break. These are resources and locations you can come to relive that stress and check off those items on your to-do list this break! Remember to follow the COVID guidelines and keep 6 ft away from each other during the break. Make sure that if you are not feeling well; make the choice to stay in and help reduce the rate of COVID. For more information on wellness and relaxation resources visit wellness.sfsu.edu. For more information for students facing housing or food insecurity visit basicneeds.sfsu.edu!
Author: Victoria Haynes
As the spring semester comes to an end and as finals are quickly approaching, it is important to remember that eating nutritious meals is an important part of your student success. Being a college student means always having a busy schedule, but with a few meal prep tips, you can save yourself time and stress! There are so many benefits to meal prepping, such as saving money, reducing food waste, and saving you time throughout the day and week. Let’s start with these tips that will help you with the meal prep process:
1.) Remember the nourishing 4: Starch/carb, protein, fat, and fiber (fruit/vegetable) are the four food groups that are part of a balanced meal. You can use the Nourishing 4 as a template for creating a healthy meal by aiming to include at least three of these food groups for meals, and two for snacks. Healthy eating is going to look different for everyone depending on your needs, lifestyle, culture, and food preferences. Aiming to include at least three of these food groups for meals, and two for snacks is a great way to consume all the nourishing four. Check out the Nourishing 4 handout that goes into more detail!
2.) Write a weekly grocery list so that you only have to take one trip to the grocery store. This process will help you to save time when it’s time to start cooking. When you're running short on time, the last thing you want to do is make several trips to the grocery store! Try and pick a day where you are the least busy.
3.) Limit yourself to meal prepping only one day a week. Meal prepping is all about investing time at the beginning of the week, so it saves you time later in the week. Limit your meal prepping to just one day a week (I personally love getting my meal prep done on Sundays, which is when I have the most time!), then keep your daily cooking to under 20 minutes a day (reserved for reheating and quickly cooking last-minute items). This will help make sure your meal prepping time is paying off!
4.) Opt for pre-made foods instead of completely homemade. Homemade marinades, broths, and sauces are amazing, but they take additional time. When time is short, use store-bought broth, herb pastes, pre-made sauces like tomato sauce and salsa, and canned beans. Not only will it save you time, but there are so many options available that you’re sure to find something you like (or maybe try something new!).
5.) Plan out what you will be eating each day of the week. This will help you when grocery shopping for specific ingredients and you will be sure to consume nutritious meals throughout the week. Check out this meal planning tool to get you started! And don’t forget you can always add in meals that you think you’ll eat/order out for.
I encourage you to try meal prepping and see if it works for you! At San Francisco State University, Health Promotion & Wellness offers nutrition resources where you have access to healthy recipes (try and use these recipes for your meal prep!), nutrition and cooking demo workshops and videos, free food resources, and so much more!
You can also maximize your food resources by applying for CalFresh! CalFresh provides qualified applicants with free money for groceries each month. For application assistance, visit the CalFresh Help Clinic.
Author: Janaveve Solis
Let’s all take a nice deep breath because the semester is finally over! No more waking up at 9 am to sign onto a Zoom class or speed walking across campus to make it to class on time. We can breathe a sigh of relief knowing we have a nice long break ahead of us. While many of us still have other responsibilities like work and possibly even winter classes, we can still use this break as a way to maintain our wellness and prepare for the upcoming semester. Here are some ways that we can make the most out of our winter break!
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
While it's very tempting to stay up late and sleep in the next morning knowing we don't have to get up early, this can make you feel more tired throughout the day. I know this because I've done this way too many times. One extra hour of staying up or sleeping in won’t make a huge difference but try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This helps to regulate your sleep schedule and ensures that you will have restful and efficient sleep. There's nothing better than waking up the next day feeling well-rested and energized for the day.
Move your Body!
During the winter break, I usually just want to be a couch potato and binge-watch shows which is totally acceptable but other times I know I should get my body moving. This can be in the form of going for a nice walk outside, going for a hike, or even doing a workout at home. Physical activity can be in any form that you enjoy and doesn't have to necessarily have to be something like going to the gym. I enjoy doing yoga most times because you can do it in the comfort of your home and it helps me feel more relaxed. Not to mention it's free! Here are some of my favorite beginner-friendly yoga videos!
- Beginner Yoga Strength Class by Patrick and Carling
- Everyday Yoga Full Body Stretch by Yoga with Bird
- Total Body Yoga for All Levels by Arianna Elizabeth
Indulge in Your Favorite Leisure Activities
In your free time, what do you usually like to do? Some of us like to spend time with family and friends and others like to stay home and work on our hobbies. I certainly love crocheting while watching my favorite show in my free time. Whether you like to do art or read, take this winter break as a time to engage in your favorite leisure activities. This will help to lower your stress levels and boost your moods during the holidays while giving you a much-needed break before starting the new semester.
Winter break can look different for everyone but maintaining our wellness throughout is a great way to recover from our studies and prepare for the upcoming semester. Enjoy your break and happy holidays!
Author: Nazareth Bereket
Look, I get it. You’re super busy with school, work, your own personal life, and I'm sure a million other things, so much so that you forget you haven’t eaten since 10 am. Being a college student can get extremely hectic, and sometimes you just want to buy yourself a meal, even though it would be smarter financially to make it yourself. Here are a few food hacks for when you’re extremely busy with your week!
Prep your food the day before
While it might take a bit more time to do, prepping your meals ahead of time can help save you time for your busier days ahead! You can practically prepare any sort of meal, like a salmon or chicken bowl, or pasta. Prepping the day before leaves you extra room to handle other things that may need more attention the day of, and keeps you organized overall!
Make meals that can be eaten continuously throughout the day
Smoothie bowls, yogurt parfaits, pasta, breakfast sandwiches etc. are meals that can be made in bigger quantities and can be eaten throughout the day! It’s easier to make meals that can triple as breakfast, lunch and dinner, that way you’re not having to spend as much time making the food.
Carry snacks with you when you can
Our bodies need as much energy as it can hold to help us get through the day. Snacks like pretzels, plantain chips, granola bars, etc. are all great snacks that fill you up until it’s time to eat your meal. Being able to fit snack time in whenever you can not only give you an excuse to take a break, but it helps you refuel quickly so you can get back to work mode!
I understand that as great as these ideas might sound in theory, it might feel a bit hard to do at times! But being able to prep your food ahead of time can become a great way to not only implement a routine, but have extra time to yourself. Food is one of the top important sources for energy, and to help the body refuel, and I only hope that all of you make sure to eat when you can, and to try out these hacks if you haven’t already! For more information regarding nutritional information , please feel free to check out our nutrition resources down below!
Wishing all of you good luck for finals!
Author: Nazareth Bereket
We’re all extremely busy people. We have tasks to take care of and let’s be honest, we aren’t spending as much time taking care of ourselves like we say we should. And when we finally have time to sit back, relax, and reflect on the week, we’re way too exhausted to focus on self-care. I think regardless of how much we have to do, fitting in time for a self-care hour, or even a self-care day is extremely important for our well-being. We need to take the time to reset for the next week! So, here are some ideas for self-care that could be helpful!
Taking a Nap
I know it sounds too simple, but simplicity can be super effective. We need sleep in order to function, and taking a nap gives you the time to reset from the world and come back fresher, more energized, and ready to handle life’s responsibilities.
The cool thing about working out is that you can work out however you like! Whether it's bike riding, yoga, Zumba classes, or lifting weights, working out can help boost your energy, and of course, keeps you healthy. Working out is a form of self-care, and if you have the time to do so, give it a try!
Watching a favorite Movie/Reading
I know when I need to de-stress from all of my daily tasks, I love putting on my favorite movies to watch, especially while I eat my dinner. Taking the time to do things you enjoy adds to the relaxation factor and allows you to not think about what you have to do at that moment. It gives your brain a break and brings a bit of fun into your day/night.
With that being said, I hope all of you take the chance to have a self-care day when you can. You all are deserving of quality relaxation and remember that taking a break is NEVER a bad idea!
Author: Janaveve Solis
Sometimes life can feel as if it’s passing us by, and it can be hard to stay present with ourselves and with each day. I feel this way quite often. Many of us students are focused on things like school, work, and our responsibilities. We put in so much energy every day to keep up with our academics, with our financial needs, or with our familial and social expectations because they’re important to us. However, many of us get caught up in our responsibilities and expectations that we forget to take care of ourselves and enjoy each day in the present moment. In times like these, it’s important to recognize when you need a break. I’m not saying you need to take the next week of work or school off and completely drop everything on the to-do list, although that would be probably be a dream for many of us.
Something that has helped me get myself back on track time and time again is regularly practicing mindfulness. Although mindfulness might make you think that you need to meditate every day and be completely Zen, you don’t actually need to do that to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness can be incorporated into anything you do throughout the day even if it’s for a few minutes while you’re walking, eating, or even showering. Any activity that you do throughout the day can be an opportunity to be mindful.
Here are some ways you can practice mindfulness in your everyday routine:
This is one of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness because I tend to scarf down my food when I’m distracted by things like my phone or work which upsets my stomach most of the time. Mindful eating is a way to bring awareness to the sensual experiences of food and can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. During your next meal, pay attention to the different smells, flavors, textures, and even sounds that each food has when you’re eating. Examine how you feel after before, during, and after eating. Eat with the intention of nourishing your body and giving it the energy it needs. You don’t need to do this every time you eat or even the whole time you’re eating but taking a few minutes to practice this while limiting distractions can really make a difference.
Walking with Intention
When we walk around, we’re usually walking for the purpose of reaching a destination. Although this is considered a walking meditation, this is an easy practice that you can do in the comfort of your home or when you’re outside. Try to notice how each foot reaches the ground or how your hips and body move to get you to your next step. Let yourself walk around without reaching a specific destination, just walk for the purpose of walking. Slow down your movements or speed them up and notice how you feel when you’re taking each step. You can even try this when you’re walking on campus!
Using Your Five Senses
We use our senses every day to gather information and respond to the environment around us. With mindfulness it can help us notice the environment around us by keeping us in the present moment whether that’s when we’re outside, when we’re brushing our teeth, or even when we’re just sitting down. My favorite way to use my five senses to practice mindfulness is when I’m in nature. I usually notice the colors of the trees and how they move, the feeling of the sun or the breeze on my skin, the smells of fresh air outside, and the sounds of the trees. Next time you feel like you need to slow down, try to use your five senses to connect with and be mindful of the environment around you.
Although life can sometimes get the best of us, regularly pausing for a moment to be mindful of your experiences can really change your perspective and help you remain present in your day-to-day life. Here is more information about different mindfulness activities that you can practice throughout your day.
Author: Janaveve Solis
Do you ever feel like your home and space are making you feel more stressed? I definitely feel stressed just looking at my pile of clothes on the floor or the sink full of dishes. When we have long days at school, work, or in life in general, it's important to feel relaxed and tranquil in our home environments. When our spaces feel hectic, it can further affect our stress levels and emotional well-being. These tips might be the perfect solution for creating a more calming environment at home.
Here are some steps we can take to create a stress-free home environment that you can be sure to thrive in:
Clear the Clutter
Studies show that clutter in homes can increase stress hormone levels. Cleaning may not be at the top of your list but clearing any clutter will help keep you feeling at ease in your space. In addition, it can be a very therapeutic task! Ever heard of delayed gratification? Well, this is a perfect example since after finishing a not-so-fun job, you can take pleasure in seeing the beauty of a clean room and feel good about your space.
Become a Plant Parent
Adding greenery to your scenery and space, even if it’s just one or two plants, can brighten up the atmosphere and change the overall ambiance. Various studies have shown the benefits of having houseplants which are similar to the effects of being in nature. This includes reducing stress levels, boosting moods, and even improving focus and productivity. Be sure to check out any local plant nurseries or flea markets that have a wide variety of plants to fit your needs at home. Here’s a list of easy plantsto take care of for beginners!
Open a Window or Door
Pop open a window or door to allow some fresh airflow into your space. This will help to remove any stuffiness and increase air quality. I love doing this especially when my room feels hot and stuffy or if I just need some fresh air to wake me up. Try this for at least 10 minutes a day and you’ll be sure to feel a difference in energy around your home. Breathe it in and breathe it out.
Let the Sunshine in
Letting in some natural sunlight is a great way to brighten up your space and get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Sitting in direct sunlight can also be a very relaxing activity to improve your mood at home! If you can’t get an adequate amount of sunlight, opt for a lamp that can keep your home well-lit and bright.
Dedicate a Space for Relaxing
Dedicating a safe and comfortable space that you can relax in will help you unwind from the stressors of everyday life. Creating a comfy place like a spot on the couch or a corner in your room can do wonders when you want some space from your chaotic life. My favorite place is next to my window where I can bathe in some sunlight and get some fresh air. Check out these free mindfulness and breathing meditations you can do in your comfort spot!
Although life tends to get in the way of taking care of our spaces, following these tips can help you feel less stressed in the midst of our stressful lives. Give gratitude and love to your space and it will give you back so much more.
Author: Elia Azazel
As I grow older, I learn more and more tips and tricks about buying, storing, and cooking food. My freezer used to be very empty, but I’ve become more aware of how useful my freezer can be for storing food because it saves me time, food, and money. Before my fresh produce starts to go bad, I can save it by putting it in the fridge! This lets me make the most out of the money I spend on food. This blogpost is a list of ways you can use your freezer to make your fresh food last longer!
A general tip to know is that if you wash the food beforehand, make sure you dry it thoroughly so that there is not any excess ice attached to the food.
Freeze Leftovers / Meal Prep
This is the most useful method for me because I sometimes want a cooked meal, but do not have a lot of time to cook. What I typically do is cook a large amount so I can freeze the leftovers in small meal portions. When I want to use frozen food, I take it out from my freezer and place it in my refrigerator the night before to give it time to thaw. You can freeze soup, rice, ground beef, and more! But DO NOT immediately put steaming hot food into the freezer, as this can lower the temperature of the freezer or other items next to the hot food, which could cause surrounding food to partially thaw and refreeze. Cool it down in the fridge overnight first. Small portions of hot food can go directly into the fridge. To quickly and safely cool large batches of hot food, separate it into shallow containers. Refrigerate or freeze within 2 hours.
Storing frozen food in Ziploc bags is the easiest and most efficient way of doing this. You need to freeze food in small portions, and Ziploc bags are perfect for that. Make sure you remove as much air from the bags as possible! (Tip: Reuse your Ziploc bags by washing them after using them!)
In terms of freezing and storing liquid meals like soup, what I do is freeze them flat. Once they are solid, I can stack them on top of each other or line them like books on a shelf. This makes storing meals easier and more compact.
Meat is very tricky and I recommend looking into it a little more before doing it. But I wanted to touch on it briefly to give you insight on how useful it is for me! Because I put ground beef in a lot of my meals and cooking raw meat takes a lot of time, I cook a large amount and store small portions in my freezer. I wrap handfuls of ground beef in saran wrap so that when I need to defrost some, it is already proportionate to the amount I need for my meal.
You can freeze both cooked meat and raw meat. Do not refreeze meat that has been defrosted and left outside of the refrigerator for 2 hours because they will be vulnerable to getting bacteria. However, if food is thawed in the refrigerator you can still refreeze it, but some of the quality will be lost. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any food left outside of the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours.
If stored properly you can freeze fruits for a year! This is especially great for fruits you miss when they’re out of season. Wash your fruits, dry them, and slice them before putting them in the freezer. To prevent the cut fruit from sticking together, you can line the slices on a baking sheet or cutting board and let them freeze. Once they’re solid you can transfer them into a Ziploc bag or sealed container. I also use this cutting and freezing method for vegetables like carrots and squash!
Freezing raw vegetables is great for me especially because I sometimes don’t get around to eating them before they start to go bad. Vegetables can be frozen as they are or in slices. For some vegetables, it’s better, but not required, to blanch them before freezing. Blanching is boiling or steaming the vegetable for 30 seconds to 10 minutes depending on the type and proportions of the vegetable. After blanching them, cool them, pat them dry, and freeze them. For more detailed help on blanching, here are two sites that I found very useful.
I really, really find freezing food to be extremely helpful, especially during the pandemic because it lets me go outside less frequently. Before I would accidentally let my food go bad and I would be frustrated with the loss of a meal and money, but using these methods let me save my food before that happens.
Want to try these freezing methods? Why not try it with free food! Food+Shelter+Success can connect you to resources that can get you free groceries, free grocery money, and free meals! Find out how on our website!
Author: Yazmin Hernandez Luna
When was the last time you paid attention to your breathing and gave your body the chance to relax? Many of us may be unable to recall because it is easy to ignore our needs and forget to practice simple acts of self-care like breathing. When we stress about certain events happening in our lives, we can forget to live in the present moment.
As a first-generation college student at SFSU, I’ve had my fair share of struggles and uncertainty, many surrounding food and housing insecurity. The stress of constantly thinking about my next meal and/or if I will have enough to pay next month’s rent has been overwhelming and has affected my schoolwork at times. When I am feeling stressed or uncertain, one thing that has really helped ground has been meditating. Meditating can help center you and reduce stress, which is important for college students. Research has demonstrated that academic-related stress can decrease motivation, increase the risk of dropout, and the risk of mental health challenges. Now I am not saying that meditating will be the solution to all our problems, but it is simple, easy, and can work towards positive health outcomes and academic success. Not sure if meditation is for you? Check out the benefits and give this super easy meditation a try this week!
Benefits of Meditation
A simple 5-minute meditation every day can help ease your mind and body. The benefits of meditation consist of:
- Reduces stress levels, anxiety, depression, lower blood pressure, and cortisol levels
- Helps you learn to live in the moment in training the brain to stop focusing on past traumas/future stresses
- Helps sharpen the mind as we age
- Strengthens the neural circuits that we use the most, pruning away the least used connections
- Can improve memory, self-awareness, and goal setting
- Helps with sleep
- Hypo Metabolic State allows the body to rejuvenate
Anyone can do mediation! Give this 5-minute meditation a try this week! Here are a few tips:
- Meditation can be challenging at first but practice makes perfect! Practice frequently to build-up endurance and confidence
- Find a comfortable position [Sitting down on a chair or laying on the floor/bed]
- Begin by taking slower and deeper breaths; Inhale through your nose & hold for a few seconds then exhale through your mouth and hold for a few seconds and keep repeating
- Tune into your body and notice any feeling of tension or tightness and allow your body to relax in those parts
- Does your mind wander? That’s ok and common. Try bringing your attention to the body by picturing one thing that made your smile or thankful today & rest at that moment
- Smile if you want, allow it!
- When you are ready, come back to your awareness on your own time and open your eyes
- Lastly, enjoy the rest of your day!
Meditation is the time to connect with oneself. Be patient, be kind, and don’t forget to live in the present moment!
Author: Isis Fields
Appetites and periods, it’s bloody brilliant that food and the menstrual cycle are related! Sometimes you may feel more satisfied after eating a piece of cake rather than an apple, and indulging is absolutely ok! It’s normal to experience cravings, sometimes it can mean we are experiencing nutrient deficiencies, or sometimes it's just that time of the month. Let’s dive in and talk menstrual cycles.
What is Menstruation?
The menstrual cycle includes hormonal changes that a person with an uterus experiences each month. Menstruation, or having your period, is when blood and tissues shed from the uterus and exit the body via the vagina. The menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of someone’s last period up to the first day of their next period. The outer lining of the uterus begins to regenerate within 21-35 days. Hormone levels change throughout the cycle that can cause menstrual symptoms including mood changes, irritability, trouble concentrating, fatigue and physical discomfort for some folks including bloating, headaches cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. These symptoms are common and for some, it’s possible to manage the severity of these experiences through mindfulness and food.
Did you Know…
Some cultures believe that the moon can influence a person's menstrual cycle?
The Benefits of Food
Overall healthy eating can promote wellness and when it comes to relief from menstrual symptoms, certain foods can offer benefits. To help decrease bloating and fluid build-up skip the salt and sodium! Try to limit caffeine and alcohol, they can impact mood and sleep. Foods high in fiber such as grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables can help limit reabsorption of excess estrogen and increase estrogen excretion. Overall, try to choose foods that provide calcium, such as low-fat milk or yogurt, almonds, kale, beans or fortified foods, such as soymilk and tofu. Additionally prioritize vitamin B6, which can be found in pistachios, turkey, garbanzo beans, bananas, potatoes and fortified cereals. Lastly don’t forget about physical activity! Staying active can help with fluid status and improve mood.
Keep a Moon Journal
In my personal experience, I have benefited from keeping a “Moon Journal”. This has helped me to keep track of my period cycle so I can have an idea of when my premenstrual cycle will be. Keeping a journal can not only help you stay up to date with the days of your period, but also of the foods that feel good for your body. I would recommend that you write your diet and symptoms during your PMS and menstrual cycle. Focus on how you feel and how much you ate. Allow for you to be honest with yourself as you are figuring out your needs. This can be beneficial towards understanding if personal experiences are related to the direct foods that are consumed. As time progresses, you’ll be able to create a diet that is unique to your wellbeing.
Don’t Break the Bank
Paying for menstrual supplies every month can be a financial burden and as students, it is important to be budget friendly. The good news is, Health Promotion and Wellness provides FREE tampons and pads to students. Students can pick up kits with tampons and pads at the HPW office on select days or from AS Gator Groceries weekly for more information visit the HPW website.
Author: Elia Azazel
As I considered doing yoga, my thoughts were: “Where do I start? How do I start? What do I need?” Yoga is a method for relaxing your body, mind, and spirit, but for beginners, it can be overwhelming to get into. Money was a big factor that prevented me from looking into yoga. If you find yourself in need of financial support the Basic Needs Emergency Funds is a resource that can help you out! At the time, I was too afraid to start yoga because my perception of it was that I needed an expensive mat and accessories, and paid lessons to get the “proper yoga experience”. However, I found out that yoga is a lot more financially accessible than I thought! I’m not a yoga expert, but as a beginner here are my answers to these questions!
Where do I start? How do I start?
When you search “yoga” on YouTube you are immediately overwhelmed with thousands of free yoga instructors. Not only that, but there are so many different types of yoga, it’s hard to know which video to click on which can be really difficult to navigate through as a beginner. It’s not enough to subscribe to one yoga instructor because many of them delve into a variety of yoga. Yoga instructors on YouTube are aware of this barrier and title their videos in a way that is more accessible to beginners!
The first thing you want to do is ask yourself what kind of yoga you are looking for. Are you looking for fitness yoga that requires a lot of movement? Are you looking for yoga that focuses on meditation and stillness? Are you looking for yoga for your back pain or maybe meditation for sleep? Once you’ve identified your goal, you can type in keywords into the YouTube search bar and find the video you’re looking for!
As an example, here’s some key words I have searched on YouTube:
- “Yoga for back pain”
- “Yoga for upper body strength”
- “5 minute yoga”
- “Yoga to stretch whole body”
What do I need? Do I have to spend money?
To start, no you do not have to buy anything special to start yoga! This is definitely something I was concerned about as someone who was not sure how often I would do yoga and did not want to spend money for it. The materials you need will vary depending on the type of yoga you want to do, but the cool thing is that you can find alternatives to yoga accessories with common materials at home! Yoga videos will typically let you know in the beginning of the video what materials you will need, so do not worry about needing to know what you require beforehand.
In general, you will need a good amount of space to move your body. Having space to do yoga can be difficult if you do not have stable housing. Providing Assistance To Housing Solutions (PATHS) is designed to assist unhoused and students at risk of losing their housing with resources, support, and guidance!
Some yoga positions will not require a mat, but for those yoga positions that require you to sit or position your body on a hard surface, you’ll want something to cushion your body for more comfort. If you do not have an exercise mat some alternatives are towels and thick blankets. For towels I recommend folding it or layering for more cushion.
Yoga blocks are small, sturdy blocks used in poses that support your back, head, hands, and hips. Again, yoga videos will let you know when you require this for the yoga session. Some alternatives for this are firm pillows and folded thick blankets.
Bolsters are bigger than blocks, but the alternative is typically the same. Firm pillows and folded blankets work as an alternative, but a really good suggestion is to use the removable cushions from your couch.
Yoga Belt or Strap
Yoga belts and straps are typically used in positions to stretch parts of your body. A regular belt, scarf, tie, or even a sock can work as an alternative!
Personal Yoga Instructor Recommendations
All of these YouTube instructors have really chill vibes and a calming voice which is essential for the relaxing yoga that I need. On top of themed playlists such as yoga to do in the morning or yoga for mental health, their channels have useful playlists. Some channels are categorized by length and style. Additionally, some have playlists categorized for beginners, intermediate, and advanced yoga!
Part of being mindful with your body, mind, and spirit is reducing stress. It can be difficult to manage your stress when you do not have consistent access to food, and stable housing and money. The Food+Shelter+Success team at Health Promotion and Wellness has a variety of resources for free food, housing assistance, and economic support at your disposal! You can read more information at our home page.
Author: Yazmin Hernandez Luna
As students, we are always trying to be cautious of our budget which can make the cost of buying healthy food unsettling. Paying our bills is expensive and sometimes it can feel like spending money to eat healthier isn’t an option. I’ve had my fair share of eating unhealthy foods for a long period of time before learning what foods are healthy and fit my budget. When I first began eating healthy, I had no idea of which foods fit my budget and were nutritious for my body. In this blog, I want to help other students by sharing my top five budget-friendly foods that helped me in my journey!
- Oatmeal - Provides health-supporting benefits such as fiber that supports heart and gut health and can help you feel full and satisfied for longer. Tip: For tastier oatmeal, I include strawberries, bananas, and blueberries with a hint of Peanut Butter.
- Eggs - Are one of the few food sources of Vitamin D! They are a quick and easy way to add protein to meals. Tip: A dozen count is cheaper at Target! Add egg to avocado toast.
- Lentils - Is a plant-based source of protein, containing fiber that supports a healthy gut. Tip: When lentils are boiling, crack an egg and cook until served.
- Brown Rice - A few cents expensive than white rice, but it is very healthy. It contains more fiber than white rice and can help you stay fuller over a long period of time.
- Chicken - Consuming chicken is beneficial because it is rich in protein and good for the heart! It is a source of lean protein for those who choose to consume meat. I like to add paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper for seasoning. Tip: Chicken Breast is cheaper at Target ($8-10) compared to Safeway ($15 & higher).
Being a student is expensive but these are a great start to eating healthy meals. Making new changes takes time to adapt, but if you stick with it these changes can benefit your wellbeing.
To learn more about how to stretch your food dollars, Check out the Food + Shelter + Success Affordable Grocery Stores List and Calfresh, a program that gives qualified applicants free money for food. To learn more about healthy eating on a budget and other cooking and nutrition services explore the HPW Nutrition Health Educationprograms.
Eat Right [Oatmeal, Lentils]
Today's Dietitian [Brown Rice, Eggs, Chicken]
Author: Janaveve Solis
Wondering what financial wellness is and how it can benefit you in your current life and in the future? Financial wellness is an essential part of personal well-being since money can determine how “well” you live your life. Of course that doesn’t mean money is the road to happiness, but rather money is a way to maintain your wellbeing just as self-care is to maintaining your health. Building good money habits and implementing ways to maintain your financial wellness can really benefit you in the long run and ensure that your quality of life remains healthy. Furthermore, let’s go over some ways that we can put financial wellbeing into practice and get you started on your journey to financial wellness.
Track Where Your Money Goes
By familiarizing yourself with what you typically spend your money on, you can decide if you need to either make a change with the way you spend or see what you need to prioritize such as bills, food, transportation, etc. This allows you to see how much you’re spending and determine how your bank account is doing overall. Simply checking your bank account online can really give you helpful insight. Some mobile bank apps and budgeting apps give you the option to track the amount you spend on a given week or month and to track what you spend your money on. A great app that I would recommend using is Mint Budget Tracker & Planner which allows you to easily track updates or changes in your bank account and create categories for what you’re spending. If you’re not into using budget or banking apps, here are some great resources that you can use to track your expenses!
Set up a Budget that Works for You
Budgets are a really great way to maintain financial stability and allow you to have enough money to pay your bills on time, to save for future things like a car or a home, or to have emergency funds for when unexpected events occur. After tracking your expenses, try to create a budget that works for you. There’s a common budget rule called the 50/30/20 which is a percentage-based budget that divides your income into 3 categories. 50% is spent on needs, such as rent, food, or other bills, 30% is spent on wants, and 20% is spent on savings. Here’s more information about the 50/30/20 budget rule and a budget calculator! Additionally, you can use budget tracking apps, like Mint Budget Tracker & Planner that was mentioned in tracking expenses, to set up specific budgets for different categories which allows you to track your budgets and how much you spend based on your bank account activity. There are so many other ways you can set up a budget system so choose one that will work for you. Check out these links for more ways to manage your money!
Use Credit Wisely & Build it Up
Credit cards can be convenient for purchasing things now and paying off the card at a later time, but the way you use your credit card can determine your financial health and your credit score. Credit scores are used for many things like buying a new car or a new phone, borrowing loans, and in the long run qualifying to get a new home so it’s important to practice good credit usage habits to build up your credit score. There are many ways to build up your credit score including making payments on time, keeping your credit spending to a minimum of 30%, or ensuring that you pay off any monthly bills like rent or utility. Here’s more information on building your credit score!
Save Early for Retirement
It’s never too early to start saving for retirement! Opening a retirement savings account will set you up for financial wellness in the long run. Starting early can really make a difference in how much you save when you retire. There are a few options for setting up a retirement account which can either be with an employer-sponsored plan, often known as a 401(k), or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Here’s a breakdown of different retirement plans that you can choose from that will work for you. If you haven’t checked it out already, iGrad is a really great financial wellness resource that really breaks down all you need to know about financial literacy, including retirement savings. Don’t wait to start saving for retirement, start now!
I hope these tips help you on your journey to financial wellness! Don’t forget to check out iGrad
for more resources including repaying student loans, career development, investing, and so much more!
Author: Nazareth Bereket
First and foremost, I hope everyone had a good and restful winter break! Although we’re already deep into the semester, it’s never too late to figure out your perfect balance of work and fun! Of course, we’re all trying our absolute best to make the most of the spring semester, especially because more classes are back in person, but sometimes our work can get in the way of having fun. It’s super important to try and sustain your social, mental, emotional, and physical wellness while handling your education. Here are a few ways you could incorporate more social time in a busy schedule!
Attending meetings through different clubs/organizations at school
Health Promotion & Wellness provides a series of events/workshops that tackle different topics like financial advice, where to get free/affordable meals, sex education, and so much more! For more information, head over to the events and workshops page.
Head to the event fairs we have near the Cesar Chavez Student Center, and get to know the different organizations and resources on campus! More information on University Calendar.
Designate a specific day(s) in your week to do an activity you love, whether that’s watching a new movie that just came out in theaters, or going to a park in the city with friends to enjoy the good weather and fresh air.
Join a Zumba class or group workouts down at the Mashouf Wellness Center and focus more on physical wellness.
Try taking a course on a subject you love, even if it doesn’t correlate with your major.
Join a club/organization that you’re passionate about, we have plenty of them at state.
Whatever your definition of fun might be, make sure to try and incorporate it into your schedule. Occupational wellness is extremely important, but so are you! I know that’s easier said than done, but making small additions like these into your schedule can add more time for you to relax and reset, and have a good time throughout the busy semester!
Be patient and kind to yourself in the process when working on time management and reaching your goals. Not everything will be perfect and that’s okay! Keep at it and have a great semester!
Author: Janaveve Solis
With the holidays rolling around the corner, many of us are starting to think about different gifts to get for our family and friends. For me, this is one of the most exciting times since I love wrapping and decorating gifts while watching the reactions of my friends and family when they open their presents for Christmas. Though I love the holidays, one thing I don’t like is how expensive it is to buy gifts for everyone. To avoid overspending and remain on a budget during the holidays, I came up with different gift ideas that my friends and family still loved without taking a toll on my wallet.
Bring out the Paint Supplies
You can never go wrong with a handmade art project. I’ve gifted many art pieces from previous years and not only was it a loved gift, but they were also really fun to make. The art piece can reflect what the person means to you or it can just be an easy and beautiful decoration. Dollar tree is a great place, and also my favorite store, to get art supplies like canvases that are only $1 each. Also, don’t forget to check out your local Michaels to pick up some affordable acrylic paints! Here are some easy and fun painting tutorials for the perfect gift.
Whip up Some Baked Goods
Who doesn't love cookies for Christmas? As a person with a sweet tooth, I'd accept some homemade baked goods as a gift any time of the year. Maybe someone you know really likes snickerdoodle cookies or chocolate fudge brownies. Baking something delicious will surely show that you put in the thought and effort into your gift. And if baking isn’t really your thing, try making some recipe jars filled with dry ingredients and a personalized message with steps on how to make the baked goods.
Make a Gift Basket
Gift baskets can be a wonderful gift to give someone, especially because you can customize them with different things that a person likes. Again, Dollar Tree is a great place to get little Christmas-themed items and supplies for a gift basket. Target also has a section called the Bullseye Playground, or the dollar section, that has amazing products that are perfect for a gift basket. The prices range from $1-$5 and have some cool finds based on the different seasons. I recently found a peppermint grow kit there for only $1! Whatever you choose to put in your gift basket, it will surely be a special gift.
The Gift of Kind Acts
Not all gifts need to include material things. Actions can mean a lot to some people so doing something thoughtful or nice for somebody might be the perfect holiday present. Some ideas might include offering a massage, a spa day at home, breakfast in bed, or even babysitting someone’s pet or kids on a day that’s needed.
Although the holidays are about giving to others, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. Have fun with these gift ideas and maybe even use them for other special occasions!
Author: Elia Azazel Wee
A quick google search on what can help you save money on your housing expenses will give you answers that ask a lot of time, effort, and money for you to do it. Although those methods do help you save energy and money, this blog post is a compilation of advice that only requires you to alter your behaviors and methods for tasks we already do on a weekly basis.
Unplug When Not In Use
You might have already heard of this one before and hopefully, this blog post can be the one to encourage you to make this part of your daily routine! Unplugging is the easiest method for saving money. One thing that always me unmotivated to do this was that I didn't want to unplug everything in my house, but unplugging when you can and for the devices that take up a lot of power still helps a lot!
Some electronic devices continuously use a lot of power even when you turn them “off”, and they usually have a light or display that shows that they are on standby. Some examples of these devices are computers, printers and scanners, video game devices, and devices with a remote control.
Unplugging other devices saves energy, but requires a lot of unplugging and re-plugging. Power strips are an easy way to avoid this hassle because when you turn off the power strip, the devices are actually off and not using power.
Change How You Do Laundry
When you wash your clothes in hot water, it requires a lot of energy to heat up the water. As an alternative, you can wash your clothes in cold or warm water! Before I started washing my clothes on the cold water setting I was really hesitant and worried, but modern washing machines are designed to effectively use cold water to remove stains, and they even make cold water detergents!
However, there are times when it is better to use warm or hot water such as washing things to prevent germs (like if someone is sick), during the winter when the water temperature is too low, or when fabrics are specifically marked on the tag for warm or hot water.
Similar to the washing machine, use a lower heat setting when trying to save money and energy. You can also hang dry clothes! I hang dry clothes outside in the sun, on the bar for my shower curtain, or the bar for my window curtains! Lastly, cleaning the lint filter and the dryer’s vent will increase the dryer’s air circulation, help your load dry faster, and prevent any mechanical issues. Frugally Blonde shows how to properly clean your dryer vents with a vacuum and lint remover!
Alter Your Fridge Temperature
One time my almond milk froze in the fridge! Looking at the temperature your fridge is set to and set it to the proper temperature will help you save money year-round! The fresh food area of your fridge can be set to 36-40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer 0 to –5 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information on fridge temperature, you can read the FDA’s page on food storage safety.
Use Your Dishwasher
Personally, I always thought dishwashers wasted a lot of energy, but they can actually save money and water if used properly. Make sure you pack your dishwasher with as many items that can fit in that way you don’t use the dishwasher too often.
Air dry your dishes instead of using the heat dry feature on your dishwasher. As mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of energy to heat things up so air drying is a better alternative.
Did you know that you can also save money by running the dishwasher after 7 PM to avoid using energy during peak hours when there is a high demand for energy? I did not know this was a thing! And this applies to using the dryer and washing machine too!
Let frozen food thaw on your countertop for 1-2 hours before cooking, or place it in the fridge to thaw overnight! But do not refreeze any food that has been left outside of the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours! Giving your food time to thaw before cooking means that you will need less time and less energy to heat up the food! I actually wrote another Basic Needs Blogpost solely on Freezing Food that you can read afterward!
Use lids when you’re cooking! Honestly, I never use my lids, but now I’ve been convinced to utilize them. Lids keep the heat inside the pot/pan which will reduce the amount of energy and time you spend cooking!
Unblock Heating/Cooling Vents
The last tip is a quick one. When furniture blocks your heating/cooling vents, you block the air from circulating, and your heating/cooling system will actually use more energy in an attempt to change the temperature of that area. So not only is that area not being heated/cooled down, but it’s using a lot of energy and money.
I hope this blogpost helps you find more ways to conserve energy and save you money! Other ways to save money is by using some of the free student resources we have here at Basic Needs! Find out how you can get free food, housing assistance, and economic support such as The Basic Needs Emergency Funds, and check out the Basic Needs website!
For more ways to reduce your electric bill, check out these articles:
Author: Elia Azazel Wee
I’ve had two sets of roommates in my life; one group was really difficult for me to communicate with and we engaged in constant passive aggressiveness, and the other I was more comfortable bringing up issues I had around the house. So what was different? Why was it easier for me to be honest and engage in conflict resolution with this set of roommates?
Having a good relationship with your roommates is important to your mental and physical health and the overall functionality of the household. There is a lot of roommate advice out there, but in this blog post, I highlight what I’ve learned and things I am still working on.
Healthy communication is essential when you have roommates, which seems like it should be “common sense” and yet is difficult to actually do. I often found myself passive aggressively trying to hint at problems or making snide comments instead of actually addressing the problem. Additionally, I was too afraid to confront issues privately with them. This was mentally tiring, and in the end, did not make any changes around the household. I’ve learned to remind myself that (1) they cannot read my mind and will not know if something is wrong if I do not clearly communicate that to them; and (2) they live in the same home as me so they will naturally want a happy, functioning home environment too.
Having House Meetings may seem too formal at first, but they’re just casual conversations and check-ins with each other. There are different ways to hold house meetings: designate it to be a specific day of each month, tell everyone you want to hold a meeting when something comes up, or whatever the preference is for you and your household.
In these house meetings, I suggest writing a contract, discussing everyone’s boundaries, and making a chore list. Contracts typically include house rules such as:
- When can we start being loud in the mornings?
- What items can everyone use? What items do we need to ask permission to use?
- How long and how often can we have guests over?
- Let everyone know when you plan on using the bathroom for a long time
It is important to make that contract written digitally or on paper so that no one forgets what they agreed to.
Boundaries are important to establish in any relationship you have. And sometimes boundaries change over time, and it’s okay to bring it up in a later conversation with your housemates. For example, let your housemates know the best way to communicate with you, when you need your space and alone time, and if there are any words or behaviors that make you uncomfortable.
A chore list is truly the best thing to ever happen to me. I am less stressed about when the trash is being thrown out or feeling like I’m the only one cleaning. We discussed what chores we thought were necessary and how often each needs to be done. Then everyone chose which chore they preferred. Chore lists work best if you keep each other accountable. If one of my housemates forgot to do their chores or the dirt is beginning to pile up, we kindly remind them through their preferred method. Some want a text message, some want a sticky note, and some want a verbal reminder.
When you want to bring up something in a house meeting or in a private conversation use “I” statements. By doing this you are expressing how you feel instead of putting blame on your housemate. For example, in one house meeting, I’ve told my housemates “I feel really frustrated by the amount of dirty dishes we have because even though I wash dishes, sometimes there aren’t any clean ones for me to use. I’d really like to talk about this and come up with some solutions together.” The solution we agreed upon: the sink can only be ¾ filled with dishes and to text a reminder in the group chat.
That was a lot of information but here are the key takeaway points:
- Speak in “I” statements
- Write a Contract
- Have House Meetings
- Chore List + Accountability
- Be Clear, Honest and Solution Oriented
If you’re currently unhoused or at risk for losing your housing, check out our housing resource PATHS. Providing Assistance to Housing Solutions (PATHS) will help you towards stable housing by giving you assistance, guidance, and support. Additionally, there are multiple ways for getting free food and economic support such as The Basic Needs Emergency Funds.
More in depth advice about communicating with your housemates can be found here:
Author: Elia Azazel Wee
Our phones and laptops are some of the most valuable devices we own. We use it for our work life, social life, personal life, and more! That being said, it’s important that we take care of them so that they last as long as possible and without any need of expensive repairs. And as someone who has replaced their phone battery twice and paid for multiple repairs, this is something I personally want to work on.
Below are some suggestions for maintaining your laptop and phone battery life.
SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR LAPTOP
Keep your laptop in room temperatures to avoid burning up the internal hardware.
Elevate your laptop on a cooling pad or use it on a flat surface to avoid blocking the built in ventilation system that keeps your laptop from overheating.
Hold your laptop with two hands on each side or with one hand in the center (but be careful in case you lose your balance and drop it). Do not hold the laptop with one hand on the edge, and especially do not hold it by the laptop screen.
Use a microfiber cloth to clean the screen and keys while your laptop is off.
Wash your hands before using the laptop to minimize the dirt and oil that gets on it.
Don’t overcharge your laptop! When it is finished charging unplug it. Using your laptop while it’s charging is ok, but constantly doing it will build up and harm the battery life!
Don’t eat and drink near your laptop. (Honestly, I am guilty of doing this, but I make sure to avoid eating food that leaves behind a lot of crumbs)
Shut down your laptop as frequently as you can instead of putting it to sleep.
SF State understands how vital having an electronic device is for students so if you find yourself in need of a laptop, there is a resource available for you! Whether it be because you do not have a laptop or your current laptop is in need of repairs, you can rent a laptop for free from the SFSU Library and have it shipped directly to you!
SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE
Keep your phone at room temperature. Heat damages the battery permanently. If you notice your phone heating up while using it, when it’s charging, or because of the temperature, give it a break and turn it off.
Avoid putting it in confined spaces that attract heat such as underneath your pillow or in your jeans pocket.
Only charge when you need to. It’s recommended to stop charging at 80%. Our phones actually go into a “trickle mode” after it reaches 80% to reduce the stress being put onto the battery. This means charging overnight can be particularly harmful.
Don’t let the battery go below 20%.
Avoid constantly using wireless, fast charging pads because they run hot and wear down the battery and other components in the phone. Occasional quick charges during your work break is alright, but for long periods of time like an overnight charge puts a lot of stress on your phone.
If you have a phone case, take it out and clean it with a microfiber cloth often.
Use touch screen buttons to turn on/off your phone and change the volume instead of the physical buttons on the side of the phone. The Assistive Touch is a feature that lets you do that; activation and customization of Assistive Touch can be found in your settings.
Even knowing this information, I still lay my laptop on my bedsheets and charge my phone overnight, but it’s still really helpful that I follow these maintenance suggestions as often as I can. When my phone is at 70% before I sleep and I know I do not need 100% battery for tomorrow, I turn it off and let it take a break. Practicing these maintenance suggestions when I can puts me in the habit of doing it more.
If you’re experiencing a situation where you have to choose between paying for rent, food, and other expenses there are some resources available to you that can help lift those worries off your shoulders! There are multiple ways for getting free food, housing assistance, and economic support such as The Basic Needs Emergency Funds. You can find more resources and information about Basic Needs here.
Read more about maintenance for your laptop and phone from these articles!
Author: KC Agramon
As COVID regulations start to lessen, and the likelihood of in-person classes becomes more realistic, students living far away from San Francisco may be considering moving closer to campus. Pandemic or not, moving can be stressful! Check out these tips that can help make the transition back to the Bay a little easier.
First things first, explore your options:
If you’re not planning to live with family or friends, you will likely be considering renting. Here are a few websites that you can check out for rentals:
- University Housing – On-campus housing at SFSU
- Roommates.com helps you find roommates and rooms for rent in your area.
- The Student Renters Guide for general information and guidance on the process of renting off-campus and with roommates.
- Facebook Group | San Francisco State University Off-Campus Housing
- Facebook Group | SFSU Apartment Roommate Group
- Craigslist is a site where people can post available rentals and rental needs filtered by price and area. NEVER send money, security deposits, or personal information without meeting someone in person, and vetting their listing is real. For more information on avoiding scams, visit Craigslist's Avoiding Scams
- Airbnb offers short-term or longer-term rentals available in most areas.
- Hostel World offers short-term room and bed rentals in most areas.
Preparing for Your Move:
When moving consider planning your packing beforehand:
- Create a schedule or moving checklist
- Keep important items out of the moving trucks and into an “Open First” box
- Clearly label boxes by room
- Make sure boxes are full but not heavy
- Take photos when taking furniture apart
- Know your contract and pick your move-in date that aligns with your availability to move belongings
Leverage Your Resources
Moving back to the Bay can be exciting, but let’s be real, it can get pricy. Being a student has its perks, you can use the resources SF State offers!
- For example, if you want to have extra cash since you’ve just paid for your rent and movers, use Associated Students Gator Groceries for free food for the week, so you don’t have to eat out and spend extra money.
- Another resource could be signing up for CalFresh. CalFresh is a government program, if qualified you’ll be given free grocery money depending on your current situation. If you have any questions, feel free to Visit the CalFresh Help Clinic. Here you can set up a meeting with a CalFresh Navigator if you need help with the process.
- When moving, unexpected events and costs can happen. If you are experiencing a financial crisis and aren’t able to buy food, pay your bills or pay for shelter, you can apply for Basic Needs Emergency Funds.
Moving can be stressful, but with the right planning and tools, it doesn’t have to be! Do your research, plan ahead and take advantage of resources! With everything opening up again and restrictions being lifted we may be back to “normal” soon! For now, let’s plan ahead and hope for the best!
Author: KC Agramon
Sitting behind a desk for more than 2 hours can be exhausting. Zoom fatigue is real, and sometimes all you need is fresh air and great scenery to gain that momentum of doing your schoolwork. Before COVID, I did most of my homework at the library. Now that, that isn’t an option I had to find creative ways to get my homework done. Having access to WiFi is a basic need that every student should have. Without WiFi, it can be harder to access assignments and take zoom calls.
Finding the right place to do homework could be challenging, and for students who are experiencing housing insecurity, it can feel impossible. When COVID started, I created a workspace near my window where I feel like I could get most of my work done. This worked for a few weeks, but suddenly I found myself sitting behind my desk all day. Self-care is important to me and I decided to listen to how I felt; I knew there has to be a better way! Because of this, I had to find other ways. For me, getting my work done outside my home was self-care, for students who are living in their vehicles or couch-surfing it can be the only option. Here are some life hacks on how to access free WiFi around SF; while keeping the social distance guidelines.
San Francisco has free wireless internet access for everyone. WiFi services vary depending on selected areas and parks throughout San Francisco. When you want to connect to the WiFi network all you need to click on the “#SFWiFi” and further instructions will be given. Locations that provide Free Wi-Fi varies around the city. Some places that I go and do my homework at are the Marina green, Mission Dolores Park, Hamilton rec center, etc. Another option for students who do not have a stable and safe place to engage with their schoolwork online is to book a room reservation at the SFSU library.
Now, here are some guides on how to use public WIFI in a safe and secure way. So, what does secured, and unsecured networks mean? Open network lets you log on without authentication details. This means all you have to do is click connect; I advise you to refrain from this option or use it for a short time. The other WiFi network requires you to enter information such as phone numbers or email addresses. An example of this could be a needed username and password before getting WiFi access.
Here are some ways to be safe while using public WiFi:
- Stay away from using internet banking, online shopping, or anything involves financial data.
- Stay in secure websites
- Use VPN
- Make sure your firewall is on and updated
Finding creative ways to do homework can be difficult. Remember to listen to yourself and take breaks when you need to. Looking for WiFi access can be hard; I hope this blog gave you options for a new space to do homework or a new place to take a break. Keep in mind that you should still be cautious while using secure or insecure WiFi!
Author: Elia Azazel
The idea of growing vegetables in my apartment sounds healthy and cost-effective. Sometimes I only get 4-5 vegetables at the store but it can add up to $15.00-20.00 all together! By growing vegetables, I could save myself trips to the grocery store and money while learning to incorporate vegetables into my daily meals. But I already struggle to keep my succulents alive so I often felt too discouraged to try. I was shocked to find out from my housemate that you can easily grow vegetables on your patio or by a window! For this blog post, I’ve asked my housemate (and the internet) some questions and tips on keeping your plants alive!
E (me): “What vegetables are best for beginners?”
L (my housemate): “Beans grow super fast! I started off with sugar daddy snap peas. Squash is easy to grow for beginners, and so is any herb like thyme, sage, and basil. If they’re outdoor and on your patio make sure they have direct sunlight. If they’re by a window, don’t put it directly in front of the window but near it so that the sun and heat don’t dry up the plant.”
If you’re like me and don’t really eat herbs, you might not see the appeal of growing them because you have no idea how to use them when you cook. After some reading, I found out that herbs are nutritious and perfect for adding flavor! You can easily add them to any meal. For example, I like to add thyme and basil onto my frozen pizzas, and my housemate likes to add them to their soup.
E: “Any tips on watering? I had a lot of trouble with watering in general.”
L: “Water weekly for both indoor and outdoor. Listen to your plant. If you’re overwatering the tips of the leaves turn yellow and if they’re underwatered the leaves start to droop and look sad. And on really hot days give them a little extra water to drink.
I follow the finger rule. Stick the top-notch of your finger into the dirt and if it’s still wet, don’t water it. If you do overwater, give them time to dry out. But don’t wait too long because they still need to be watered.”
E: “Is there any difference between growing a starter plant or starting from seeds?”
L: “Starting with seeds is much cheaper like $1.00-4.00 (which you can buy with CalFresh!). It’s intimidating, but it isn’t as difficult as it sounds. If you’re planting with seeds, know that seeds need more water. They need to be moist more often, and make sure they have direct sunlight.”
Make sure to get pots that are big enough for the plant to grow into. You can buy pots for ~$1.00 a pot at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, or any store with a home improvement section. When buying a pot, a good rule is to match the space of its height with root space or replant if it’s growing too big. A common beginner mistake is getting pots that are too small.
You can start seeds in solo cups with holes in the bottom and then replant them into pots.
Pay attention to the plant, look at photos of what it’s going to look like so you know what to expect and you don’t harvest too late.
I do not like eating vegetables, but I’ve noticed that there’s something about growing your own that makes me more inclined to eat them. I’ve certainly become used to eating vegetables a little more than before, whether it’s adding spinach to my sandwich or adding squash to my pasta. Growing my own vegetables gives me a sense of fulfillment and saves me some money!
While waiting for your vegetables to grow, why not check out the resources Food+Shelter+Success has to offer that can get you free food! We have Emergency Meal Cards, CalFresh help clinics, Gator Groceries, and more.
SF State Resources
Author: KC Agramon
Let’s talk about Food+Shelter+Success (FFS). This is a program that is accessible to students who are currently enrolled at San Francisco State University (SFSU). We help students who are currently facing food and housing insecurity. Now, as students, we have this stigma that these resources should be used for those who are “really” struggling. We start to question if we’re taking away from other students who truly needs the extra help. However, this issue is far from the truth. As students, we pay tuition for classes and the resources offered by the institution. This includes AS Gator Groceries, CalFresh Help Clinic, Basic Needs Emergency Funds and etc.
An example of this issue was when a friend of mine was hesitant to sign up for CalFresh. She worked outside of school, a full-time student, and needed help paying for groceries. CalFresh is a government program where depending on your income and living situation you could get up to $204 free money for groceries. Now when I asked her what’s stopping her from signing up for the program, she said that she thought the program was for people who “really” needed it. Then, I added to the conversation that the program actually decides if you are qualified or not. So
, if you are qualified, you’ll get some money from the government based on your financial situation. And if you are not approved, at least , you tried and knew that you weren’t able to qualify.
Now if you don’t qualify for this program, SF State has other programs that could help you with getting fresh produce. AS Gator Groceries for example is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 1 pm. All you have to do is sign a health badge beforehand regarding COVID precautions and you’re all set to go to the Cezar Chavez building on campus to pick up a box of fresh produce!
Lastly, if you are facing a financial crisis and in need of extra cash for food, rent, or any other financial responsibilities you may have, you could use the Basic Needs Emergency Fund. This is a one-time fund given by the Basic Needs department depending on your current situation. All you have to do is sign up and answer a few of these questions.
There are so many more resources FFS offers! All you have to do is reach out and ask questions. No matter what your situation is, we are here to listen and help. There is no harm in seeing if you qualify for these programs. So I say DO IT and see if you do! Learn more about campus resources!
Author: KC Agramon
With midterms coming up, everyone has become more and more stressed. Being a student is a lot but at the end of the day, we still have to take care of ourselves, our payments, and a bunch of other things that add stress to our mind and body. As a student I worry about my grades, paying my bills on time, getting to work, and having time for myself. With that said, I have very little time to look for resources that can help ease my stress.
As a SF State student, there are a bunch of resources given to us to use. However, since we have such busy lives, we forget to utilize these resources simply because we either don't have time or we don't really know about them. As a student, we pay tuition every semester but what we don't do is make the most out of the tuition that we pay for.
If you're stressed, I recommend using the Counseling & Psychological Services, also known as CAPS, to talk about whatever it is that you may be struggling with as a student. Since you’re a student, you have the right to use this resource. Midterms can be stressful and talking to someone about how hard it is could help you learn how to deal with this.
If you're struggling to buy food because you are either busy working or studying, you should check out AS Gator Groceries. This program is run by the Associated Students and they provide fresh produce, and food every week Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am- 1 pm on campus. For me having to work almost every day and studying at night it leaves me no time to go grocery shopping for myself. However, using the resources SF State has to offer helped ease a little bit of that stress, both mentally and financially.
Being a student can be difficult. We have a lot of responsibilities to take care of and sometimes we forget that there are programs that are willing to help us. We pay so much for tuition and yet we forget to use the things offered to us simply because we don't know about them. I would like to remind students that resources, such as CAPS and AS Gator Groceries, are just one of the few resources students can use simply because they pay tuition and attend classes. Learn more about campus resources.
Author: KC Agramon
What is CalFresh?
CalFresh is a nutrition program funded by the USDA. It’s a program that gives qualified applicants FREE money for groceries. The money is loaded monthly on an EBT debit card and you don't have to pay it back! Some things you can buy with your EBT card are fruits, bread, cereals, frozen means, and other fresh produce. However, there are things you aren’t able to buy with your CalFresh dollars including which is beer, cigarettes, vitamins, hot and prepared foods, and any non-food items.
How do I apply for CalFresh?
The application process for CalFresh is easy! If you feel comfortable you can apply on your own. If you need assistance, make an appointment with CalFresh Help Clinic. For the application, you will submit documents such as identification, living expenses, income, proof of student status, and proof of a student exemption. After you submit your application you will receive a phone interview from CalFresh and someone from that department will ask you a few follow-up questions. If your application is approved, you will receive and activate your EBT card!
Am I eligible for CalFresh?
To be eligible you must:
- Have U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, U/T Visa, or refugee status.
- Make $0-$2128 per month for a household of 1.
- If you are younger than 22 and live with your parents, you’ll need to apply with your family. However, if you are 18 and over and do not live with family; you can apply on your own and as a household of one!
- Meet a student exemption. Some student exemptions included being enrolled in EOP, GSP, approved for work study, EFC of $0 on FASFA, TANF Cal Grant A or B, Work 20+ hours/ week on average, or have a child under 12. You only have to meet one exemption!
What should I do if I am not CalFresh eligible or need food right now?
If you are in need of food, I urge you to use the free food recourses we have at SF State!
- You can go to Gator Groceries and pick up a free box of groceries each week! This semester (Spring 2021), it is located at SF State in Cesar Chavez Building on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to 1 pm.
- You can also sign up for an Emergency Meal Card; with this, you can sign up for up to 2 cards throughout the semester with 10 free meals on them. You can get the meals at City Eats Dining Hall.
- Lastly, if you are in financial need/crisis, unable to buy food, pay your bills, or other basic necessities. You can sign up for Basic Needs Emergency Funds.
I encourage everyone to apply for CalFresh; who knows you may get approved and that’s free grocery money each month! I hope this blog helped answer some questions you have about CalFresh and the resources SF State has to offer!
Guest Author: Mauriene B. Hilario
Have you heard of CalFresh, or thought about applying but weren't sure where to start? Well, you have come to the right place!
First, let’s tackle what CalFresh is, and common myths to help you gain a better understanding of this program.
- What is CalFresh? CalFresh is a government program that gives qualified applicants free grocery month each month! The money is loaded onto an EBT card, which functions like a debit card.
- Who can apply? There are some basic eligibility requirements including residency status and income. And if you are a student, between the age of 18-49, enrolled in 6 or more units, you must also meet one student exemption to qualify.
- Does it impact my taxes? One common myth around CalFresh is if you receive CalFresh benefits, you have to report it on your tax return. This is false! You do not have to report it on your tax return. To learn more common CalFresh myths, check out our CalFresh: Fact or Fiction video.
Next, let’s hear about some CalFresh tips and inside scoops from our current CalFresh Assisters.
Justin M. - What is one tip you can give to students interested in applying for CalFresh?
One tip I have is to utilize the resources that Health Promotion and Wellness offers at SF State such as the CalFresh Help Clinic, where you can learn more about the program, get assistance with filling out the application, and get answers to any questions you may have via email or through a virtual appointment.
How has COVID temporarily expanded CalFresh access for students? During COVID, two additional student exemptions have increased CalFresh eligibility, Work-Study eligibility, or an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on your FAFSA
Victoria H. - What is one tip you can give to students interested in applying for CalFresh?
Be mindful that they must meet at least ONE exemption to be eligible as a student according to CalFresh. Here is the list of the most common student exemptions!
- Enrolled in EOP, GSP, or MESA
- Approved for Work-Study
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on FAFSA
- Cal Grant A or B (TANF-funded)
- Work 20+ hours/week on average
- Have a child under the age of 12
What kind of appointments does the CalFresh Help Clinic offer?
- Application Assistance/Consultation Appointment: Students can expect to complete a short pre-screen form to determine if they are likely eligible for CalFresh and the CalFresh Assister/Navigator will walk through the CalFresh application with the student to ensure that they are filling out the form correctly.
- Post-Application Assistance Appointment: For this appointment, it depends on the student, but one could expect to have any questions or concerns that they may have about the next steps, including how to submit verification documents or what to expect from the interview. Additionally, students who are already receiving CalFresh may get support with their recertifications to help make sure their benefits continue.
To learn more about CalFresh application tips, feel free to check out our CalFresh Assisters’ Health Tip Tuesday video.
Now that you have a much better understanding of CalFresh, follow these steps to get started:
- 1) Learn about the detailed eligibility requirements by visiting the “CalFresh FAQS” section in basicneeds.sfsu.edu/calfresh-help-clinic.
- 2) If you think you need more help understanding the eligibility requirements, feel free to schedule an appointment with us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3) If you are ready to start your application, apply at https://www.getcalfresh.org/s/sfsu or reach out to us at email@example.com and we can instead help guide you as you fill in your application.
As always, if you have any questions about the CalFresh process, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for stopping by! And we hope this blog helps you with your CalFresh Application.
2022-23 Blog Authors
Hii everyone I’m Cindy (she/her) majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. Aside from contemplating my future, I enjoy cooking, finding new places to eat (!!), hiking, playing tennis, and staying in watching Netflix. I also have a fluffy standard poodle who loves dismantling tennis balls. His name is Fluffy. I adore him very much. Looking forward to being one of the F+S+S blog authors this year!
Hello! I’m Raine (she/her) and this is my first year at SFSU! I recently transferred from Las Positas College, initially pursuing Global Studies, but decided to do a little switch to Environmental Studies (nothing like a major change halfway through) because new city obviously means new major. I was born in Singapore, but grew up in the Bay Area and have since moved further inland towards Central Valley. Since COVID started, I’ve come to enjoy and fully appreciate just being in my own space — I’m most in my element when I’m napping in bed with my dog. That said, I do love ceramics, thrifting, going to the movies (just for the vibes), eating good food (send me the best Singaporean restaurants in the area please!), and exploring new places!
2021-22 Blog Authors
Hey everyone! My name is Nazareth (she/her), and I'm a 4th year at SF state. I'm a Public health major and minoring in Women's health. My interests include binge watching tv shows like The 100 or Manifest, trying new foods/drinks/snacks, finding new places to explore where I live, and singing. I’m so excited to be joining this blog for the year, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts and ideas with you!
Hi! I'm Janaveve Solis (she/her). I am a Nutrition and Dietetics major with a minor in Holistic Health. I consider myself an introvert, but I truly enjoy getting to know other people when I have the opportunity. I love finding different ways to express and practice my creativity through activities like crocheting, painting (on rare occasions), doing makeup, and cooking. I love food and trying new foods! Other times, I like to connect with myself and the world around me by meditating, exploring new places with family and friends, listening to music, and being in nature. I am very passionate about health and wellness, and I look forward to contributing to the well-being of others from diverse backgrounds.
2020-21 Blog Authors
Hello, I’m Elia Azazel! I am a Child & Adolescence Development major and one of the F+S+S assistants! I am a consumer of many types of media such as video games, comics, tv shows, podcasts, films, and anything horror. Some of my favorite things are Batman V Superman (the director’s cut of course) and The Magnus Archives podcast.
Yazmin Hernandez Luna
Ciao! I'm Yazmin Hernandez Luna, born and raised in Los Angeles California, and a first-generation college student whose major is in Public Health. I am a very introverted person but, once I get comfortable, the goofy side and very sarcastic me come to life. When I am not in school, I love to do activities like painting, reading books, learning a new language, and participating in outdoor activities. At a young age, I was always taught that I should always lend a helping hand to others and this lesson motivated me into creating beautiful and informational content that may inspire and help other SFSU students in achieving their goals.
Hey! I’m KC Agramon. I’m a junior, majoring in Public Health. I’m an adventurer; I love exploring the city as well as finding parks in SF to have picnics in or read books at. I love running before the sun comes out in the morning to start off my day. I think the best way to end my day is to watch the sunset or to go biking before the sun comes down!
Hi! I'm Isis Fields. I am a fourth-year public health student. I enjoy riding my bike and exploring all over the Bay Area. I appreciate attending art conventions and events of all kinds. A few of my favorite ways to express myself are through painting and dancing. I am constantly inspired by Frida Kahlo and samba, bossa nova music. I'm motivated to grow and learn with others through shared experiences and use that to shape my community-oriented career. I look forward to expanding my academic limits and meeting people from different backgrounds.