While it may be difficult to know how to deal with mental health issues, such as a depressive episode, it may be helpful to read some suggestions from someone who has been in a similar situation. So read on to hear Peer Educator, Jorge’s suggestions about dealing with depressive episodes.

Coping with a Depressive Episode

by Jorge Roque

With a change in the seasons and weather, many people may find themselves going through a depressive episode. It can gradually return into your life or hit like a tsunami wave all at once. Depression can present itself to you in many shapes and forms. Some days it can be not completing assignments and other days it could be not getting out of bed for the whole day. A depressive episode can vary on how long they last but here are some tips and suggestions on how to try to get through them! Now as a reminder, not all of these may work for you. You should still find ways that work best for you.

  1. Make an appointment

Try and schedule an appointment with a therapist as soon as possible. Seeing someone for professional help can help you identify some coping strategies.

2 Find a reason to go out of the house

Set up sometime to leave your house, whether it be a group event or a simple one-on-one event. Whether it be going to the park, getting coffee, or maybe even going to a party.

3. Visit loved ones

Seeing loved ones may help keep you occupied and help in the process of recovery. It can also let loved ones know you may need a bit more support in the days coming.

4. Refill

Restock on your favorite things, from snacks to face masks, a simple treat yourself can raise your spirits. Also restock on your medication, if you take any remember to continue taking it.

5. Self care

Remember to set time to take care of yourself. Cook your favorite meal, watch your favorite shows, read your favorite book, or even maintaining a good sleep schedule.

6. Near Future

Plan things that you can look forward to. Plan things you enjoy to do as a way to keep you looking forward to something like hanging out with a friend or going to a concert.

7. Red Flags

Look for things that trigger you and once you find these triggers, work on coping strategies.




In order to understand any one person, it is important to consider their many identities and how they may intersect in order to create the unique person who they are. This idea is called intersectionality, and by recognizing our own and others’ intersecting identities, we may come to better understand both our connections and differences. Below, Peer Educator Janely writes about her thoughts on her cultural identity and how it intersects with her mental health identity. Read on to learn more!

The Intersectionality of Mental Health and Culture

By Janely Cárdenas Vargas

I sometimes question where the origins of my feelings lie. This article presents interesting thought-provoking questions and comments that make me wonder how my Mexican identity influences me in every aspect: culturally, socially, economically, and politically. When it comes to mental illnesses or mental health, we make it something very personal that shifts the focus or blame away from society and towards the individual. This article shines a light on how mental illnesses are perceived as something universal or homogeneous, when in reality mental illnesses are experienced differently, depending on the individual and their identities. This specific article means a lot to me because it focuses on the experience of mental illnesses in Mexican communities founded in the U.S. and in México. As someone who is ni de aquí ni de aya, this article really does a great job in showing how I personally feel as a Latina living in the United States. I am still greatly impacted by current events that happen on my family’s homeland (México). Then, in this context, it is important to keep in mind that the origins of some mental illnesses can also be produced by institutional violence and discrimination; founded both in the U.S. and in México or other países latinoamericanos.

To read this thought-provoking article, click here   



How do we learn to adapt to the tasks and demands that arise in college? These 4 years are transformative to say the least, and our ability to change and grow in the midst of all of these requests is pretty amazing. Read on to hear Kyle’s thoughts about the demands placed upon us and how we can meet them with resiliency.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

By Kyle Retzer

As the quarter is coming to a close and finals are fast approaching, it is important for us to be in the right mindset and good health to combat the intense stress we face in the last few weeks. I recently was chatting with a mentor who, after not seeing me over the summer months, was happy to see how well I was doing, praising my resilience.

Now, I do know what resilience means, but I did not understand his use of the word–psychological resilience–so I googled it. Google defines psychological resilience as one’s ability to adapt to demanding tasks in adverse conditions. My mentor reminded me to reflect on not even six months back, when I was facing a lot of negative emotion and many personal issues going on. At that time I had contemplated withdrawing from the university and he pointed out the work I had done to get into a much healthier state overall. One aspect of resilience he explained was the mind-body connection, where the state of one’s mind and one’s physical health are connected. As I progressed into a better mindset over the summer my overall health improved. This example of resilience has a much longer time frame than the few last weeks of a quarter and finals. However, it is important to take care of oneself and not get overwhelmed with work, in order to stay healthy and perform well on finals. Just in time to enjoy a nice spring break!



Inevitably, many of us UCSC students are graduating come this Spring quarter. This can be a time of excitement, happiness, and pride, but also a time of great stress and anxiety about all of the unknowns that the future holds. Whether you’re graduating this Spring, next Spring, or 3 Springs from now, how does the stress of preparing for your next stage of life affect your mental health? Read on to hear Peer Educator Aditi’s thoughts.

The Graduation Situation

by Aditi Sheth

One day, I opened my eyes and woke up in 2018. It was kind of a shock. I could picture myself as a wide-eyed freshman stepping into the Leonardo Dorm in Crown College, unaware of what was to come. And now, in less than six months, I will walk across a different stage, diploma in hand, future unclear.

As a compulsive planner from a young age, I’ve been trying to embrace the uneasiness of not having a solid idea what my life after college will look like. The truth is, we may not be able to plan for unexpected events and situations in our futures, we can only embrace them as they happen. It’s easier said than done for sure, and the stress of wondering about your life six months from now, jumping to the worst possible scenarios, thinking of what to say to people when they ask, “Hey, what’s your plan?” can have an adverse effect on your mental health. The truth is, it’s stressful.

Throughout my college career, and as graduation looms, I’ve been thinking more and more about how to take charge of the future, not just because of the desire to meet professional ambitions, but to increase happiness and stability. Below is my advice for getting real with yourself about your future, what you want to do, and who you want to be. While this won’t solve all of your problems, and may not stop that nagging feeling of doubt about the future, it’s a good tool to feel more at ease with the framework through which you live your life.

  1. Be honest with yourself:
    1. What do you want? What do you really want? Is it remotely possible? Then go for it. Be honest about what truly makes you happy and then follow it. It’s easy to get caught between what you think you should be doing and what you actually want to do. If that internship sounds like it would be impressive, but boring, maybe reconsider it. Try to chase your bliss as much as possible.
  2. Prioritize what’s important to you:
    1. What’s important to you? Helping people? Being creative? Flexibility? Working outdoors? Working indoors? Working with kids? Working with animals? All these things can be figured out, and it may be beneficial if you listen to what you think is important to you. Don’t compromise on your core values and desires.
  3. Continue to assess:
    1. The truth is, it’s difficult to know EXACTLY what you want to do straight out of college. That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on whether or not you truly want to do what you’re doing. If you decide that your intended career path or major isn’t quite doing it for you anymore, don’t worry. There’s no shame in this.
  4. Understand your own capability:
    1. As a student, about to graduate with a degree, you are capable and worthy, and completely qualified for that job. Put yourself out there, even if you’re afraid you don’t know what you’re doing.

It’s easier said than done, but if you try to keep these four tips in mind, the future might not seem as nebulous and scary.



While we may not all be diagnosed with Imposter Syndrome, many of us may feel as if we don’t belong, or are not qualified for our varying activities from time to time. For many people, this feeling is a constant and legitimate threat that makes everyday tasks and accomplishments extremely difficult. Read more to learn about Peer Educator Priyanka’s experience navigating the University with Imposter Syndrome.

A Bachelor’s in Fraud: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

by Priyanka Kulkarni

Growing up means trying new things and developing new passions that we work hard to become good at. I want to be a writer. I swam around with that idea in high school, but since college I have been determined to reach my goal. Sometimes I feel like a fraud, like what I am writing is not good enough and the accomplishments I have had have all been fake. I have a tendency to be too wordy or have lot of run ons and confusing sentences that discourage me from believing that I could have a career in writing. It seems like a common issue that people juggle with when working on their goals and passions, but the doubts can feel very isolating and applicable to only you. I know I just have to keep working at it to reach my goal, but with the emphasis our society puts on creativity, it feels like you have to be “the chosen one” to actually become an artist in this world.

This idea of feeling like a fraud, also known as imposter syndrome, affects a lot of people, especially those who are pursuing a higher education, like us. We might not feel like we belong or that we are not smart enough to be part of such an institution. Everyone around you seems to be working at a much faster pace than you and it’s overwhelming. We want to achieve and society’s definition of achieving is, being better than everyone else, surpassing everyone in the career ladder. With that idea in mind, we tend to forget that we don’t need to be better than everyone else, that we are good enough just as we are.

Someone that struggles with imposter syndrome, generally has trouble understanding and accepting the achievements they have accomplished. We feel like a fraud because we begin to doubt ourselves in how smart we are for something or how talented we are for another thing. We cycle our heads with self-deprecating and disappointing thoughts causing us to believe in ourselves less and less leaving us feeling like a fraud. It is very common to feel the imposter syndrome. Most people with ambitions and goals deal with this because the environment around them is hard working. The rigorous atmosphere compels us to compete with one another naturally. In our individual perspective, everyone seems to be doing so much better than we are so we feel like we don’t fit into this highly intelligent and hard working world. As a result, we overwork ourselves, spin our heads through self-criticism, feeling anxiety and stress, wanting to be perfect, but then feeling useless. It is a cycle of thoughts that flood our brains, blurring the ability to see how smart and accomplished we actually are. But remember, we’ve all made it to UC Santa Cruz, that is quite the accomplishment. We’ve made it through various experiences in life from birth to now and it’s all quite remarkable. When we know we can’t be perfect, we unconsciously try and be perfect because everyone else is perfect because of the human body suit that we all wear that masks the hard work, stress, fear, and ambition in everyone. We are unique individuals that need to start taking care of ourselves, start being nice to ourselves. It is important to tune out the rest of society sometimes and focus on what you want and what you have done so far. There are a lot of accomplishments we don’t notice about ourselves. We have to start realizing them and congratulating ourselves for it. We should start seeing ourselves more like our loved ones see us. We are not frauds. We all belong here.



There are SO many ways to de-stress. And given our beautiful location, hiking is a prime outlet for many people at UC Santa Cruz. The many different trails we have make our hikes accessible to people of varying abilities and hiking experience, so read on to learn about some cool trails you can check out while finding your zen!

Take a Hike and De-Stress

by Jonathon Tsou

As we near finals week, stress is a common factor in our lives. One of my favorite ways to de-stress is to do hikes around Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz. In 2015, Stanford published a research paper that suggests that natural areas may be vital for mental health. Below are a few hikes on our campus that students can try to de-stress.

The first beautiful hike at UCSC is the Koi Pond at Pogonip. Unlike the Koi Pond in Porter, this is a natural Koi pond. To get to the pond, you must follow McLaughlin Drive and the entry will be on the left-hand side. You then follow the path until you turn onto the Spring Box Trail. If you follow this trail, you will see the Koi pond.

The next hike is to the Porter Caves. This is a relatively easy find and well-known to many students. Just head to the Porter and Kresge Dining Hall and walk toward the meadow. Continue into the forest and there will be a path. Follow this path and you will see the Porter Caves.

My favorite hike is to the Buddha Shrine. You want to head up to the hill beside Merrill. Once you get to the top you will turn left. You will see a trail and follow it to the bottom. This trial will widen and when it meets a smaller trail, the Buddha Shrine will be on your right.

Near the Buddha Shrine is the Garden of Eden. This is a longer hike in comparison to the other trials. You want to head up the hill beside Merrill like you would for the Buddha Shrine. Instead of turning left, you want to turn right onto the trial. You will see a trailhead and go on this trail until you reach the bottom. You want to stay to the left. You will then arrive at the railroad and you want to turn left and you will arrive at the Garden of Eden.



Self-care is a popular topic as of late, and most of us agree that it is very necessary. However, how do you find the time to practice self-care when you are a busy, passionate person dealing with the devastating effects of our current political climate? Read more about how Peer Educator, Sareil navigates the balance between student activism and self-care.

Balancing Student Activism & Self-Care

by Sareil Brookins

*Trigger Warning: Police Brutality, Death

Being a student and an activist can be absolutely overwhelming, point, blank, period

Balancing one’s mental, physical, and emotional health can be even more overwhelming given the current political climate and current events. Opening up Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/etc. everyday and viewing fatal shootings by law enforcement, violent outbreaks at a protest, or homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist (the list can go on) language from those darn friends, family, and acquaintances you have can be so very detrimental to your mental and emotional well being. Cumulatively, the work you do as an activist, and the amount of time you spend reading, hearing, and watching ignorance spewed can take a toll on you.

This is where self-care comes into play…and no it does not make you selfish to practice it.

Self-care comes in many, many, many, many forms. You probably already practice self-care unknowingly. For example, that one time you achieved getting more than 5 hours of sleep? DAS SELF-CARE. Or that other time you did that assignment way before the due date, and then had time to take care of yo’self? DAS SELF-CARE. I’m sure you can think of at least one time you took care of yourself, but may not have viewed it as self-care. Nevertheless, there are endless possibilities for balancing your self-care, here is a list of self-care practices to try out:

  • When social media becomes too much (too violent, draining, triggering) EXIT ASAP, just take a break
  • Celebrate the little victories
  • When you wake up, say 3 things outloud that you will accomplish
  • Learn something new (every day, once a week, etc.)
  • Forgive yourself
  • Make a list of things you love about yourself & post it where you will notice it every day
  • Listen to music that brings warmth to your soul
  • Take a nice, long, hot (or warm, whatever you prefer) shower
  • Embrace nature that surrounds you
  • Practice breathing exercises
  • Take naps when needed
  • Hug someone you love (friend, family member or partner) for 12-15 seconds—studies show this boosts immune system function and prompts the release of calming hormones.
  • Let yourself cry if you need to (I’m still working on this)
  • Binge watch one of your favorite TV shows, vlogger, movie series, etc.
  • Practice daily grounding exercises
  • Call someone… who just gets you

All in all, self-care is key, it’s not selfish, and it is very necessary to succeed and balance your health and activism. Keep up the work you do. When you feel like quitting, remember why you started. Pat yo’self on the back. Remind yourself you will make mistakes, but will grow and learn from them.

Love yo’self. Treat yo’self. That is all.