A Proposal For A Safe Space On Illinois State University's Campus

A Proposal For A Safe Space On Illinois State University's Campus

What they can add to our college community.
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Over the course of the three years that I have been attending college, I have seen some pretty interesting and progressive changes, especially after transferring to ISU. For example, I thought it was absolutely amazing that the Bone Student Center has a Diversity Center. However, I feel like, on the same premise of making people feel safe and wanted on campus, we need to pay more attention to safety--providing something for those who feel like they're being followed or harassed by another student or community member, or even if they need a place that's quiet to work things out.

My idea, in essence, is to have a safe zone on campus, whether it be a room in the Bone or a house like Encounter has.

Just somewhere for someone to go where a person of authority also is. That way they can feel safe and wait out whatever they need to, regardless of who they are or what is going on with them. I would love to see it away from the main entrances, nestled into a corner like the Diversity Center is on the second floor.

On March 20, I received a crime advisory email from the university rehashing the events of an altercation between a group of people in which a male suspect displayed an open pocket knife to a female in the opposite group.

On March 16, I was followed home by a stranger. Even though we were both in cars, his desire to get my phone number was so great that he tailed my car, flashed his lights, and made gestures at me through the windows.

One way that this could be accomplished is to have it headed by counseling services and be partially student-run, meaning students could volunteer to take shifts to be able to help run the safe zone. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a peer instead of a counselor, and it can give students at ISU a chance to be involved in campus life.

It may also be able to serve as service hours for majors like psychology, education, and social work, or even some extra credit for those who want to participate. If ISU's police wanted to be involved as well, that can help those who feel the need to report an incident if they feel the need to.

Overall, I think that something like this can greatly benefit ISU's campus.

Not only can it offer students a place of safety, but it can ease the minds of students and parents. With the rise of removing the stigma around mental health and ISU striving to accommodate all of its students, it offers something to further the work being done. Being safe is always a priority for colleges, so why not add to the measures already in place?

Cover Image Credit: inbal marilli

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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5 Ways Anxiety Is Controlling Your Life Without You Even Realizing It's Happening

Anxiety may come about in subtle ways, but it can negatively impact your life if you notice the signs too late.

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When anxiety says hello, you say goodbye. But anxiety doesn't understand the concept of boundaries, so it follows you everywhere. You may think you've escaped it, but it may be hiding in ways you never noticed.

1. In every situation, you are constantly worrying about what other people are thinking about you.

If you find yourself at an event where you only know two people out of ten, and with every handshake and "Hello, nice to meet you," you're instantly thinking "Oh no, they don't like me. They think I'm awkward, what should I do?" then anxiety might be playing a bigger part in your life than you may think.

Anxiety will come at very inconvenient times and control every single thought you have inside your head, and make you overthink and question everything. You could be the most perfect person in the world, but with anxiety, you feel like the worst.

2. You're often afraid to do things by yourself.

Alone time can be really cool, and it can make you feel like you have so much space and freedom. But if you're the type of person who never seems to have alone time because you constantly have someone right by your side, anxiety may be the cause of it.

Anxiety can make you feel like you must be busy all the time, in order to be "productive." It can allow you to think that being with people all the time is better than being alone part of the time. It can make you afraid of being alone or afraid of doing things without the assistance of others.

You may begin to crave someone's presence at all times because your anxiety is telling you to do so. Your anxiety is telling you it's not okay to be alone.

3. You are over-planning everything in your life.

Planning things ahead of time can be super helpful, but when it gets to the point where you're trying to control absolutely everything and everyone around you, it can become a terrible thing.

Your anxiety is saying that you must plan everything in your life in order for everything to work out how you want it to. But, the harsh reality is that your life may not turn out exactly how you want it to.

Planning everything so far ahead of time will only hurt you if those plans don't end up working out in the end.

4. You have trouble falling asleep because your brain won't shut off.

Everyone has those nights where their brain is moving a million miles an hour. They're thinking about their family, their career, what they're going to eat for breakfast tomorrow, or what their plans are for the upcoming weekend. This is normal.

What's not normal, is feeling like you can't fall asleep, every night of the week. When your brain is keeping you awake seven days a week, that's anxiety trying to control you. If you're up late at night thinking about what you could have said differently at the dinner party last week, or worrying about how clingy you're being with your significant other, this is a sign that anxiety is trying to mess with your head.

Anxiety will not let your thoughts turn off for any reason. Anxiety will make sure you're constantly worrying about things you can't change. Anxiety is making you feel less than a person.

5. You're having difficulty concentrating at work or in school.

Most people think of anxiety as a mental illness that affects your feelings, and nothing more. In actuality, anxiety messes with your brain in many ways. If you are finding yourself sitting in class, trying to concentrate on the lecture, but having no luck, it could be a sign of anxiety.

Anxiety can affect not only your concentration skills but your memory as well. When your brain is persistently worrying, you will have a hard time concentrating on things that matter greatly (such as your education or career).

If you're struggling with anxiety or mental illness, please know that help is available to you at any time.

National Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255


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