Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Florida State

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By Abby Cloud

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Florida State’s campus is bustling with the excitement of celebrating the Day of Love with those they most adore. There are many opportunities for students to get out and have fun this week with friends, partners, and other students alike for a variety of different FSU clubs, organizations, and athletics. 

Check out some events that are taking place on campus and make sure not to miss them!

Donuts and Dog Treats, February 13. Alzheimer’s Project at FSU is hosting a Valentine’s Day Bake Sale on Landis Green from 10am-3pm. This organization at FSU will be selling Krispy Kreme donuts as well as some Valentine’s-themed dog treats for you to share with your favorite furry friend! 

A Lovely Local Comedy Showcase, February 13. Club Downunder/Union Productions are hosting a Valentine’s-themed comedy showcase in the Augusta Conradi Studio Theater from 7-11pm. Some of FSU’s most popular comedy groups, including 30in60, No Bears Allowed, and The Eggplant, will spend the night cracking jokes for their audience. Doors for this event open at 7pm, while the show starts at 8pm.

A Lisa Frank Valentine’s Day, February 14. Club Downunder/Union Productions continues their Valentine’s celebrations with a Lisa Frank-themed Valentines event on Landis Green from 11am-2pm. Come visit and make friendship/relationship bracelets, decorate a Valentine’s Card, decorate a donut, grab some cotton candy, and more! This event is free for FSU students. 

Valentine’s Day on the Red Planet, February 14. For those 21+, this event allows partners to “search for life on Mars” with a space mission simulator at the Challenger Learning Center. Through this simulator, guests can experience what true astronauts and space voyagers go through while on a mission. The Center will also serve champagne and light hors d’oeuvre. This event does require an admission fee and registration. 

FSU Baseball v. Niagara, February 14. If sports are your thing, then you’ll probably want to check out FSU Baseball’s Opening Night on Valentine’s Day! FSU Baseball will kick off their 2020 season against Niagara University at 6pm. Two more games are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday as well. Students get in free—all they have to do is show their Student ID at the gate.

Tips for When You Are Struggling Academically


By Mike Collins

Hello all! My name is Mike Collins and I am a junior studying biological science from Collierville, Tennessee. Being a STEM major, my classes are not always a breeze to get through. As a result, I have become an expert on where to go if you’re struggling in ANY class!

Office hours and utilizing your Teaching Assistant.

Every single professor and even teaching assistants at FSU is required to hold weekly office hours. This is time they have to spend on answering students’ questions. Moreover, this is a perfect way to develop a professional relationship with your professor and maybe seek out research opportunities of interest with them.

Late night tutoring at Strozier Library.

Perfect for the night owls out there: tutoring over a good number of introductory and intermediate subjects from 9pm–1am that goes from Sunday night to Wednesday night every week! Tutoring is administered by student-tutors who have earned at least a 95 or better in the classes that you’re taking and they are regularly tested on the material. Sometimes, the tutor has had the same professor as you and they can clue you in on what to expect for their exams!

English Reading and Writing Center.

Located right across from Academic for Center Enhancement (ACE)—which is also an amazing resource—this is a perfect way to get your paper proofread before you submit it! Fun fact: students have statistically performed an entire letter grade better on their papers by using this resource.{“type”:”block”,”srcIndex”:0,”srcClientId”:”cd20697b-ebf4-4ae6-80fe-6bc2ea47e09a”,”srcRootClientId”:””}

Prioritizing Your Student’s Mental Health: Where They Can Go on Campus


By Tamia Brinson

More often than not, academics can require a lot out of your student and be quite demanding. Between homework assignments and studying, it can be easy for your student to forget or find the time to take care of themselves. Encourage your student to utilize their resources that are dedicated to their mental wellness.

There are quite a few on-campus resources your student can use if they find they might be needing a little extra help with their mental health. University Health Services are located in the Health and Wellness Center, and there is a psychiatry clinic located on the 5th floor that specializes in managing mental wellness.

The University Counseling Center, located in the Askew Student Life Center, is where your student can go to speak to a counselor. They assist students with an array of issues ranging from homesickness and general worries to struggles with relationships and anxiety.

Lastly, there is the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness (CHAW) located on the 4th floor of the Health and Wellness Center. CHAW encourages students to make healthy lifestyle decisions that will lead to life-long health and wellness. Here, they can get a life coach that will help with tracking their progress and making sure they stay on top of their goals.

Taking steps to take care of your mental health can be intimidating, so be sure to encourage your students to go and let them know that you support them and that you are a resource as well. Academic life can keep your student busy, but it’s important that they prioritize their mental wellness along with their grades.

A Mental Health Checklist for Your College Freshman

By Melissa Fenton; Edited by Abby Cloud

Before your child leaves for their freshman year of college, you will find most of your time is spent making lists. There are lists of all the questions you want to ask at parent orientation. There are lists of financial aid forms to complete, and lists of student organizations they may want to check out when they get there. And don’t even get me started on the lists of all the STUFF you have to buy that they’re gonna need to have for their dorm room. That’s not even a list really,  it’s actually a fully filled out journal of necessary (and some very unnecessary) home furnishing items. Who knew there were 150 types of mattress pads? 

But there’s one college readiness list that you need to write and it may be the most vital list you ever write. I’m talking about a “mental health checklist,” and if you’ve never thought about making this kind of college preparedness list (or didn’t even know this existed or needed to be done), don’t fret, because I’ve put one together for you. 

Most college parents do a fine job of preparing their new freshmen to go away, but unfortunately they often overlook something mental health professionals call “A check up from the neck up,” (and preparing in advance the type of mental health checklist I’ve written for you).  

Where is the campus mental health/counseling center located? You and your student need to find out exactly where this building is located on campus, and when they’re open for walk-in patients. And I mean exactly where and when, because should they need to get there in the middle of a crisis, they may not be able to read a campus map, find a phone number, or research operating hours. In addition, FSU has a phone in counseling hotline option, where a student needing immediate help can reach a therapist by phone, so get that phone number (and hours of operation, building name too!) and program all of that into their phone. Again, in a crisis nobody wants to be looking for phone numbers. 

What services does the FSU mental health/counseling center offer? Now that you know where it is, what are they able to do to help your student when they need services? This will can and will vary by campus, so visit their website during the summer and go over with your student what they can help with, and if they will need an appointment to be seen or have walk-in hours.  Also, find out if they have any type of support groups or group therapy options available, and what is required to join. (Will they need to be seen first?) For example, these are the group therapy options offered by Florida State University’s Mental Health Center.

Where do I get medications filled? Do not even think about sending your kid away without having a pharmacy in their college town already picked out. Again, kids in a mental health crisis, or really when any type of illness happens mental or physical, trying to figure out where they can get meds filled last minute is a major inconvenience. There is a CVS pharmacy located steps off campus, so put their phone number in their phone (or find another of your choosing) so if they’re at an urgent care center, they can quickly tell the doctor where to send scripts. 

(**If your student is currently taking a medicine that has been classified as a controlled substance- like ADHD meds, then they may only be able to receive a 30 day supply at one time. They may also be required to have a doctor’s office visit every 30 days to refill their scripts, so if that is the case, you may need to acquire a physician for your student that is located near campus. Keep in mind if they don’t have a car, the issue of getting to off campus doctor’s appointments will need to be addressed.) 

Finally, there are a few other things that you and your future freshman should talk about before they leave. Try to encourage them to be able to recognize the difference between a bad day and a bad mood, versus a serious mental health concern. College mental health centers are referring to this as resilience building or distress tolerance, and are creating programs to help students differentiate between small and insignificant problems and large and very serious emotional concerns. By this I mean, situations like a fight with a roommate, a failed pop quiz, or a breakup with a boyfriend can all certainly contribute to a dark mood, but do they need to be addressed by a therapist? Or would a long phone call to mom or dad help that student process the situation more clearly and calmly? Make sure to also discuss the variety of physical symptoms that can appear that are directly related to emotional stressors, and vice versa. Is your student feeling suddenly physically ill? Headaches or upset stomachs?  Do they have loss of appetite? Has their sleeping been interrupted and insufficient? (More than what normal college kids endure.) Have they been going through a tough emotional time and now it is causing physical illness? They need to be able to notice that, and that is when it’s time to visit the counseling center.

Having a plan set in place before crises happen (and they will, trust me) is the smartest thing you can do as a parent and student, so do it before they leave. It will help reduce everyone’s stress in the end.