Upcoming Event: Candlelight Vigil

The candlelight vigil is an annual event held on campus and sponsored by CAPS. The event is beautiful, in terms of both appearance and impact. During the vigil, the Porter squiggle is lit by many candles that have been placed there by participating individuals. The purpose of the event is a chance to reflect and light a candle to remember those lost to suicide and affected by mental health issues. It is a touching moment for those that come together to light a candle and share their experience but also for everyone that passes by the spectacle.

The Vigil will take place this Wednesday, May 1st from 6-8 pm on the Porter lawn.

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CAPS Student Hero: Janely Cardenas

What makes someone a leader? Some may list traits like caring, brave, insightful or responsible. Janely Cardenas, one of our peer educators, is all of those things. Janely is the administrative coordinator for the CAPS peer education program. She is a dedicated individual in all her endeavors, including many organizations she participates in outside of CAPS. All of us at CAPS are proud to work with someone as inspiring as Janely and happy to share things about her with you all!

What do you do regularly to relieve stress?

I tend to always be stressed out, whether it’s from school, family, friends, extra curricular activities, or just my own inner funk; I constantly have to calm myself down. In order to relieve some of that stress, I like to do breathing exercises at ocean views on campus. I also like to journal and write down what has been on minding before I go to bed or if I have time in between classes. But, if I do end up having any extra time, I also like to go to the gym and run on the treadmill, then finish off with some yoga poses.

Tell us something you’re passionate about outside of school (clubs, hobbies, interests, volunteering, activities, etc.)

I am extremely passionate about social justice and fore coming social change. Within this advocation for social change, discussions about inaccessibility to mental health care services, the decolonization of everything, the tearing down of white supremacy, the dismantling of patriarchy, the understanding of collective well-being, and the brainstorming of how militant sisterhood can be achieved, fuel my spirit and overall existence. Aside from being a social change advocate, I love to write, take photos (of myself + others), dance cumbia, cloudy beaches, and spending time by myself (as well as with family, especially my mom).

If you could share one thing you would like your peers to know about CAPS, what would it be?

As a low-income Latina, I know that CAPS can be intimidating and even scary! But one thing that I’d like you all to know is that CAPS is here for all types of students! They are here to help, support, and assist you with different aspects of your life – not just academics! As a Peer Educator of CAPS, I am here to help you locate resources in order to make sure that your mental, physical, and emotional health are in great shape; but, I am also here to advocate for adequate representations of marginalized experiences and narratives. With that being said, I am not only a part of PEP to help reduce the stigma around mental health, but also to be a friend to you and be someone whom you can trust and rely on!

In Moments of Sorrow

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Life in college can be very demanding, making it difficult to balance academics, family, friends and even basic needs like sleeping. On top of that it may seem impossible to overcome past trauma in a healthy way. One way to do this is to reflect on your feelings with a poem. Our peer educator, Janely Cardenas, does just this in her poem on reflecting, creating and expressing in the face of life’s tribulations.capsgraphic4

In Moments of Sorrow: Reflect, Create, and Express

By: Janely Cardenas

I wrote this piece with tears in my eyes. I was actually having a really rough night; I was up late trying to study for a midterm while also trying to balance out my social and personal life. I felt so overwhelmed sitting at my desk. I had to leave my dorm. I grabbed my headphones and my phone and left. I didn’t know where I was going but I knew I needed to cry and I didn’t want to cry while my roommate was sleeping. I headed to the parking lot outside of my dorm, sat facing the trees, and sobbed. In the midst of this sobbing, I heard myself saying out-loud, “I’m tired, I’m tired.” That’s when I knew I needed to write out my thoughts. So, I opened up the “Notes” application on my phone and just typed away until I had nothing more to express. Here is what came out of that moment of sorrow.

That is what I am tired of… I’m tired of having to ask for validation, for opinion.. of caring for what others think about me, my presentation(s), my expression(s), my choice(s) My body feels tired, she feels exhausted Keeping and holding the opinions of others upon her flesh She is feening for freedom My spirit is wanting, begging for my body’s authenticity My body holds so much pain, years of violence, years of bad self talk, years of judgement, years of fearing rejection My spirit wants to be free in my body… I feel her reaching and almost having a full grasp every time she does decide to try… but my body seems to slip at the fingertips of my spirit like the sweet nectar that drips from my flower every time you touch me… “The body holds trauma,” my therapist said And she’s right. My body withheld, withholds, and remembers every experience Of childhood stress, sexual violence, assault, victim blaming, invalidation, gender stereotyping, misogyny, shame My body is TIRED. She wants to be herself, she wants to dance with my spirit…but she can’t… her insides are already full with vitamin trauma… there is no room for liberation

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But I will make room… I will work with my body…love her tenderly My heart will whisper sweetly and gently to all of my body’s senses… Together: mind, body, heart, and spirit will thrive cohesively We will soon be at peace We will soon love ourselves endlessly We will soon be free The hands of my loved and dear ones will carry me there but I will be the one to lay my every essence on the bed of eternal serenity Finally able to breathe and finally able to be me