Ask Val

Hey, it’s Val! The newest member of Viking News, here to aid you in combatting all of life’s issues. Honestly, to the best of my ability. I’m not a professional, but I am a psych major, which is as close as we are going to get. I want to be a resource for all you of you. It’s a crazy world, and for many of you, your world is just beginning. Mandela said it best, when he stated “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

All of you here at Westchester Community College chose education. So, let’s be Vikings together. Let’s become warriors. Let’s become the movers and shakers that shapes this world into becoming a better place. But, how do we do that when we’re stressed about being back at school? Easy, we try. We practice. We conquer. Dealing with stress is hard. But when you put in place effective coping mechanisms, you can begin a path to becoming stress free or dealing with stress better. I have come up with my top three ways of dealing with stress.

1)    Walk Away. I’m not saying walk away from your problems, because we will eventually have to deal with them. But sometimes it’s okay and very meaningful to just take a step back. To let yourself breathe. To take a moment of peace for yourself. Doing this also helps put many things in perspective for you.

2)    Time Management. You probably heard this before. But let me tell you, having a written calendar or bullet list of items helps you out. When you strategically use your time wisely to get assignments done, walk the dog, or count how many steps it takes you to get from the classroom building to the new gym, it helps. You will become less stressed, because you have everything written down, and you just check off as you go along. (i.e. use your smartphone, to be smart.)

3)    Eat Well. Scout’s honor, I’m on a diet. Because you really are what you eat. Changing eating habits has a huge effect on stress. But also, if pizza makes you happy, then eat the pizza. But put some salad next to it. The foods that you eat are a key factor in regulating your hormone levels which includes stress hormones. Your stomach and your brain are constantly talking to each other, and you don’t want your stomach to constantly send your brain some drama. So, by keeping your stomach in line, your brain feels less stressed.

So, you got this. As Jay-Z said, “Dust your shoulders off.” If you really feel like you don’t, WCC has an amazing personal counseling office, right here on campus. Located in the Student Center, second floor, rooms 225 and 226. They are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Just so you know, your voice is not alone. I would love to hear from you all. Send me emails with all your questions and concerns, and I will be answering them here in the paper. Completely anonymous.

Write me, don’t skype me. It’s Val.

To get in touch with Val, write to Not all entries are guaranteed to be printed. Feel free to sign your name or give an anonymous pen name.

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