Health & Wellness

Self-Care for Students

By Nehal Motiwala

Upon entry through the unusually heavy doors of Berkeley City College, you’re presented with a diverse range of students whose hectic lives are easily detectable with one quick glance. An overburdened backpack on one shoulder, a yoga mat rolled up and hanging off of the other. In one hand, a leather-bound weekly planner crowded with sticky notes of all different colors, in the other, a 32-ounce hydro-flask brimming with coffee.

Being a student comes with a significant load of responsibility. Being a college student, adjusting yourself into a lifestyle of self-sufficiency and working a part-time job, all while getting used to more rigorous academic courses, only adds to that weight. Whether you’re working on your associate degree, taking general education courses to transfer to a four-year college, or just taking classes for fun, it’s never just school.

Here is the life of a BCC student with an overwhelmingly busy schedule, and how she manages it.

Allyson Flores, a second year student at Berkeley City College is currently working towards transferring to a four-year college. This semester she’s taking five classes, seventeen units altogether, while working 20 hours a week at her job as a theater technician. Some of her classes are even at a different campus. “On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I wake up at 5 a.m.,” shares Flores, “I leave the house at 6 a.m. and don’t come back home till 9 p.m. at night.”

Often, BCC students don’t take advantage of the resources they have that are provided specifically to make their lives as students easier. For example, many students have no idea they are eligible for an AC Transit EasyPass, a free transit card usable on all AC Transit buses. The pass holds $41 in value, and you can pick yours up from the student store whenever you want. The cost of the pass is included with your tuition, whether you take advantage of it or not.

The BCC Wellness Center is also included in your tuition fees and has free massages and acupuncture every Tuesday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.. If you’re stressed out and need a break, that’s the place to go. The Wellness Center is located at 2000 Center St. Ste. 100, right next to K’s Coffee. For more about the BCC Wellness Center, see “Who Wants a Free Massage?” from our Fall 2016 Issue.

Yoga to the People, located at 64 Shattuck Square in Berkeley, next door to the PIQ Berkeley cafe, is a donation-based yoga studio, which follows a “pay what you can” system. Classes are an hour long and are held every two hours. If you don’t want to lug a yoga mat around, you can borrow a mat from them. It’s the perfect way to incorporate a workout between classes to keep you from feeling sluggish in the afternoon.

Going to school is a huge responsibility, and when we’re trying to keep up with our grades, we can forget to take care of ourselves. Take advantage of the free resources available and remember that your health and wellness matters!

Helpful tips to keep you fresh and energized throughout the day:

  • Eat breakfast every single day!
  • Keep healthy snacks like fruits and nuts in your backpack.
  • Do breathing exercises. Whenever there is time to kill, just take a few deep breaths.
  • Limit sugary foods and caffeinated beverages.

At the top: Sustenance for the mind and body. Photo Credit: Nehal Motiwala

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