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Finding A Healthy Balance

College life is all about balance. Balancing classes, social life, clubs, and spending time with friends. For me, the hardest thing to balance is being healthy. Healthy has a different meaning to everyone, but I tend to focus on eating/drinking, exercising, and mental health when thinking about my overall health. College has proved to be a challenge when trying to balance my life, especially these three different aspects. There are so many different things going on in our daily lives that make it hard to focus on all aspects of our health, so I am here to tell you the small things that I try to do to achieve this balance.

Balanced Meals

Eating a balanced diet is so important because we need to fuel our bodies with the proper foods to keep going throughout the day, but it is almost impossible to resist eating all of the amazing food around us. As I have been trying to navigate my diet in college, I have found a couple of ways that work for me in maintaining balance. First, I love going out to dinner and it is one of my favorite ways to treat myself and spend time with my friends.

Freshman and Sophomore year I really wanted a change of pace from the dining hall, and now that I am a Junior, I can get too lazy to cook some nights. When I don’t feel like cooking or I just want a change of pace, I go out and order what I want, simple as that. However, I do not make a habit of going out every night. I go out when I want or need to and try to pick a healthier option!

In addition, I love sweets and eating dessert after I make dinner. Something that I like to do is put chocolate on my fruit and freeze it. I also love the cookie brand Sweet Loren’s because they are gluten and dairy-free, have a lot less sugar, and clean ingredients. Creating and maintaining a balanced diet is hard and I am still trying to figure out different methods that work for me, but I have started feeling better physically and mentally as a result of small changes I have made in my diet.

Balancing Exercise

Exercising is crucial for college students because it not only strengthens our bodies but also improves our concentration and performance on assignments. I have found it very hard to make sure that I have time in my day to exercise because we have so many different responsibilities and sometimes exercising is put on the back burner. I find that the best way to get exercise is moving your body in a way that makes you happy, not that necessarily burns calories. If I am excited about exercising I am happy to make the time in my day.

My favorite way of exercising is walking. I think the best part about walking is getting to be outside and getting away from being in a classroom or the library. I love the change of scenery and getting to appreciate how beautiful nature is. Another way I like to work out is through workout videos. In my Freshman year of college, I was terrified of the gym. Although I warmed up to going to the gym and really like doing group fitness classes like cycling, I still like to do workout videos from the comfort of my room. My favorite workout platform is Peloton because I found that I like the classes, music, and instructors better than other things I have tried in the past, but there are so many different options online.

My suggestion is to try different things and see what works for you whether that be an app or a fitness instructor on YouTube. Working exercise into our daily schedules is so important and there are so many easy ways to get some sort of exercise every day, keeping us moving and healthy.

Mental Health Balance

Lastly, mental health is really important and often we forget about checking in with ourselves. Sometimes I feel like my schedule is in control of me rather than me controlling it, which leaves me with little time for myself. Although it is great to keep busy, it can get to be too much too quickly. I didn’t start to take time for myself until recently and I have noticed such an improvement in my mental health since.

Something that I love to do as I mentioned above is walking, and when I’m walking I always listen to my favorite podcast. This distracts me from thinking about all the tasks I have to do later, dwelling on drama, or how I should start studying for my next test. I forget about myself for a little bit and focus on what other people have to think and talk about.

Another thing that has made a difference in my mood is writing down three good things that happened to me that day before I go to bed. This can be as big as getting an A on a test, to as small as my coffee being particularly good that day. I end my day with positivity and reflecting on what has gone right for me in the last 24 hours rather than going to bed thinking about what went wrong. This has made me appreciate the little things in life and put me into a positive mindset.

These small changes that I have made in my life have improved my mental health and brought me into a happier state of mind.


Balance is hard to achieve in college, but with these changes I have made in my life, I hope you are able to see how small actions can lead to big changes. Creating changes in our physical and mental health will allow us to be better students and give us the motivation to do all the things that we need to get done in a day. As you progress through the semester, I hope you can take some of my tips and start to determine what works for you in achieving a balanced and healthy life in college.

– Alexa S.

Final Reels of March 2023 (1)

Happy April, everyone! Please enjoy our final March Reel from Dez!

Miss the previous Reels? Find them here!

Advice For High School & College Students!

Therell shares some advice for new high school and college students. Good luck to everyone this school year!

My College Experience

A couple months ago I graduated from community college.  I wanted to talk a little about my college experience, so as Mario would say, here we go!

I took many classes throughout my four years of college, and there are only two that stand out as my favorites.  Those classes would be Public Speaking and General Psychology 2.  The environment in those classes were very good, from my fellow classmates to the professors; it was a good experience all around.

About half of my time at college was in person while the other half was online due to COVID.  While I enjoyed being in person very much as I am someone who craves social interaction, the downside was that my grades weren’t the best.  I had to retake classes a couple times and there were classes that I barely passed.  However, the move to online classes helped out my grades tremendously.  I earned a lot more A’s and it brought my GPA up quite a bit.

During the in-person portion of my time at college, I made a lot of connections.  I got along with nearly everyone that I met and I made some good memories with them.  Unfortunately, when COVID hit, I fell out of contact with all of them.  

Other positives about my college experience would be that there were a lot of support services to help me pass my classes.  If I didn’t have those support services, I may not have passed those classes that I mentioned in which I barely passed.  It was also pretty affordable; I don’t have any student loans to pay back.

Now I want to talk about some of the benefits of a community college.  For one, you can have a pretty flexible schedule.  I always scheduled my classes when it was convenient for me, and it always worked out. 

You can also live at home if you’d like, which is what I did.  Or, you can live close to campus.  Since I lived at home, I took public transportation to get to school; the train and then a bus.  I didn’t mind this at all as I looked forward to going to (most of) my classes so the train and bus rides were a breeze.

Lastly, as mentioned before, it is quite affordable.  And, you can transfer your credits to a 4 year school.

Overall, I would give my college experience a 7/10, which is much higher than what I would give my elementary, middle, and high school experiences.  Even though I mostly enjoyed my time at college, I probably would not do it all again, as I feel I am done with school (for now at least), and am ready to enter the world of working.

Going To College… Again.


This past Summer, I finally decided that I was going back to college. It’s been 5 years since I’ve been in school and wow, that’s a long time. I can’t even begin to tell you how nervous I was feeling about going to school again. I was worried I wasn’t going to do well but so far, it’s going pretty great. It’s been a long road but one that’s going to be well worth the trouble. Before I can get into what college is like now, I want to tell you about my real first year.

My first year of college began August of 2015 and came to an end May of the following year. This year was everything but easy. I’m currently pursuing a psychology degree but when I went to college the first time, I was went for nursing. And let me tell you, the nursing program was no joke. I took every possible science, health and psychology class you could think of. I was in class all day and my labs practically all night. It was exhausting and I barely slept. I didn’t feel like I was going to survive the whole year.

While my classes were exhausting, I enjoyed campus life. I stayed on campus in a dorm with the world’s best roommate, who eventually became an even better friend. She made my first year a little more fun. She really got me out of my comfort zone. There were so many new experiences that I had during my first year. I know you’re reading this and you’re probably wondering why I didn’t go back after my first year. While my first year of college was wonderful, there were a lot of things I didn’t share including why I never went back.

In the Spring of my first year of college, I was dealing with not one but two sexual assaults. These assaults broke me. I was afraid to leave my room, I couldn’t walk across campus at night without panicking. I even made up excuses so I didn’t have to go to class. Fortunately, the year was almost over but I couldn’t wait to get back home where I felt safe. After this, I just couldn’t bring myself to go back. I considered commuting but the thought of having to run into this person was too much for me. Honestly, I even thought about going to school that was closer to home but then I thought, well it could happen to me there too.

I couldn’t bring myself to go back because of those assaults so instead I just put it off. Instead, I worked various jobs while avoiding the trauma that needed to be acknowledged over the next few years. Eventually, I began to feel like I wasn’t going to get anywhere in life. I knew that I was going to need more to get ahead but that also meant going back to school if I wanted a degree. Unfortunately, I was beginning to feel like it was too late to go back even though I knew it very much wasn’t.

Those sexual assaults took so much from me, physically and emotionally. They made me feel like I’d never be able to step foot on a college campus again. It took a lot for me to come to terms with what happened. Sometimes I feel like I will never get over it but I keep pushing. I keep going because I know that I need to if I ever truly want to move on from it. I missed out on so much because I let my trauma control me but not any longer. It took everything in me but I did finally go back to school.

I’m currently enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s online Undergraduate Psychology program. I have never done online schooling before and was worried that I wouldn’t get much out of it. It’s nothing like going to class physically. Most learning in this program is done at your own pace, which I like. I don’t feel like I have to rush while trying to retain the information provided within lessons.

Going back to school has been one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. If you think that it’s too late for you to go back, I promise you that it’s not. It is never too late for you to continue your education. You can do anything that you put your mind to. I encourage you to put in the effort to reach your goals even if it might not happen right away. It will happen and you will get to where you need to be.

Read NPR’s In ‘Never Too Late,’ Finally, A Guide For Adults Going To College here!

Listen to our project coordinator, Kailey’s podcast The Struggle Before Getting To My New Major here to learn about one of her struggles in college!

The Struggle Before Getting To My New Major

**this episode contains explicit language

What Does it Take to Recover from Mental Health Issues?


Podcast: Gratitude

Hey guys! We’re back with another podcast… this time we talk about gratitude. We will be talking about what we are grateful for, and what we are thankful for overcoming. Also, we discuss what we are appreciative to have on our horizons and how gratitude affects our mental health. Here you can read studies on how giving thanks can actually help your mental health. It can create an optimistic outlook and positive change.

Also, during our holiday party we ran off to the side to record a quick podcast together and reflect on the things we are grateful for.
Joining us today are Cindy, our other Cindy, Dri, Nahjeera, Jonathan, and me- Eliza!
Check it out and let us know what you’re grateful for!

Click here to check out an older discussion on gratitude I started two years ago!

Want to practice appreciation yourself? Gratitude has real benefits towards your mental health- but sometimes its hard to practice when the world seems dark or overwhelming. Looking for something in life to feel grateful for having (or for not having) can help change your world, and self view for the better. Check out this article on gratitude journals and tips for starting one here.

Calendar for Mental Health Awareness Days: 2019

TurningPointCT.org’s 2019 Awareness Calendar is here!

Every month there are awareness days that celebrate and recognize different things relating to mental health and advocacy. Have you ever wondered when all those awareness days are?

If so, check out ours below! Scroll down to find it!

Download the PDF or save the PNG to your desktop. Print it, share it, and enjoy it! #YouAreNotAlone

So, if you ever have felt like you are the only one experiencing your struggles, you are not alone. These awareness days exist to remind us of that fact. Together, we are strong. Love yourself, spread awareness, and fight stigma.

Make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter to see our posts on each awareness day. You can also find out if there are any events happening in honor of the days.

Questions? Ask the forum!

Did we leave out any awareness days that you want us to include? Or, do you have any suggestions? Then let us know in the forum!

You can scroll down for the PDF!

Here is the PDF link:
2019 awareness calendar PDF

And scroll down for the PNG! Hint: you can save these by dragging them to your desktop. If you are on your phone hold down your finger and save the picture!

Here is the entire calendar, month-by-month in PNG form:
January 2019:
January 2019
February 2019:
February 2019
March 2019:
March 2019
April 2019:
April 2019
May 2019:
May 2019
June 2019:
June 2019
July 2019:
July 2019
August 2019:
August 2019
September 2019:
September 2019
October 2019:
October 2019
November 2019:
November 2019
December 2019:
December 2019

If you want to check out last year’s awareness calendar, click here!

Announcing Pride 2017

It’s around that time of the year again. Pride, Fairfield County will be held this year on June 6th at the same location in Norwalk as last year, on the fields of Mathews Mansion.

Sign up to Volunteer with Triangle Community Center or just come out for a fun day.

Location: Mathews Park, 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT

Date and Time: Saturday, June 10, 12 PM to 8 PM

Free Admission, open to all ages

Find more info here (including information about volunteering): http://www.ctpridecenter.org/pride_2017

Norwalk Community College Fresh Check Day

NCC never disappoints! We’re here at the Fresh Check Day event in the west campus cafeteria and just as we expected, it’s super lit (really fun and exciting)! There’s tons of booths with a lot of great activities, the music is blasting and everyone is dancing. This is the perfect way to celebrate mental health and to spread awareness about it on campus. This year we’re holding down the uplift booth. When life is busy, it’s hard to remember to take care of yourself… especially as a young adult with everything that’s going on. Practicing self care and wellness can reduce stress and improve your physical and mental health ! Remember to build those healthy behaviors and find things to do for you!

For pics and more from the event, check us out on instagram: turningpointct_org !

Gay Santa

LGBTQ youth this is for you!

TCC is hosting a Gay Santa program this December. Its their second time hosting the program. Basically you sign up to receive a gift at a Christmas event on December 21st at the center in Norwalk.

“To qualify to receive a gift from the Gay Santa program, one must:

-identify as LGBTQ
-be in need (homelessness, at-risk, on hard times, etc)

If you or someone you know qualifies for this program, please reach out to TCC staff via phone, email, or in-person.”

To learn more about the event, please click here: http://www.ctpridecenter.org/gay_santa_2016 or contact the program coordinator at TCC @ 203-853-0600 x 103

Introducing Our Newest Blogger: Kelly!

Introducing Our Newest Blogger: Kelly! – Learn more about Kelly and join her in discussion as she talks about life in college and dealing with anxiety, depression and OCD in her blog, “Daily Life as a College Student.”

She recently shared her inspiring story, which you can find HERE or at https://turningpointct.org/story/kelly-r/. In her story, Kelly tells us about her past and some of her future plans as she sets out to complete college and help other young adults who are struggling with mental illness.

“From getting through a panic attack to resisting the urge to do more than she really should, Kelly has been forthright about her everyday college experience and all the challenges that comes with being a passionate and dedicated student.”