Steps to Manage Stress in College

By: OSI Blogger Jacki Licciardi

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to positive or negative situations in your life. Again, stress is normal… really everyone at some point will be stressed out for one reason or another. Some stress can actually be beneficial to you. You’ve had a lot going on with finals approaching, papers, involvement, and of course personal life so learning how to manage this stress is vital to being healthy and of course happy.

slow down, relax, take it easy

There are ways to handle your stress in the moment and help you relax. As a graduate student myself, managing coursework, working, my internship, and personal stuff I can get stressed. I have come up with some ways of getting everything completed with a smile!

I made a list below of some short term ways to handle your stress today! These are not permanent fixes but can be used as temporary coping strategies to get you passed the negative stressors. I am not a doctor however, I am a full time student so I get it.

Close your eyes and breath: The action of closing your eyes and breathing allows your mind to center and your body to become relaxed. In other words… take a minute. It can also be helpful to sit down in a comfortable position with your eyes closed and allow yourself to breath in and out a few times.

Prioritize: Remember that you do not need to get everything completed at this exact moment. Take a few minutes to priorities what needs to get done first and start from there.


This might include a To Do list or just a note in your planner about all the things you would like to accomplish. Either way, allowing yourself to see that you are only human and can only complete one task at a time and be in one place a time can be helpful in allowing yourself to relax. You cannot conquer the world in one day…no one can!


Take a breakreally just take some time for yourself: Walking away from the task or stopping something momentarily will help in the long run.

Talk it out: I know how this may sound but really just try it. Remember that you do not have control over everything that happens around you and sometimes just thinking that or saying it out loud can help. You might want to say (or think) out loud, “It’s ok” or “I can’t control this”… these are just examples of what you might say in the moment. 

I hope these tactics can be useful in managing your day to day stress. Remember these are short term solutions that can be incorporated today. To truly handle stress you will want to learn techniques that you can help you long term as well.

… Jacki Licciardi is currently working in the OSI office as the Program Assistant for Social Media and Leadership Development

It’s the FINAL’S Countdown

By: OSI Blogger Jacki Licciardi

So the fall quarter is just about over… and finals are starting! Naturally this can be a stressful time for students. Especially since some of us will be managing 3-5 final exams and/or papers to be completed before break. So, knowing how to properly prepare for your exams is the key to lowering your stress level and acing your exams.

I know you are waiting for me to dish the secrets on how you can do this but really it will just take some simple steps for you to be finals ready.

  1. Thinking of cramming the night before the exam? Just say No. Really, it is more beneficial for you to study in intervals of 30 to 60 minutes and give yourself 5 to 10 minutes breaks throughout. This method will help you actually retain the information long term.
  2. Utilize your resources on campus to change up your study environment. Just the new scenery will help you feel refreshed and allow your mind to focus on the material. Some study spots I would recommend would be the DePaul Library, the Student Center at both the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses, or the Office of Student Involvement.
  3. Review your notes and textbook for key terms. It can be overwhelming to figure out what areas of the material are the parts that will be on the exam. The best way to get a good overview of what to know for the exam is to review the key terms in the chapters. Also, utilize the summary or takeaways at the end of each chapter for further help.
  4. Eat and snack healthier. I’m sure it’s not news to you that eating healthier will boost your immune system, increase your energy, and let’s face it –make you feel better. Just choose healthy options… you can do it, I believe in you. Research suggests that high-carb, high-fiber, slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are the best options. When you are in need of a quick snack? Grab some almonds, fruits, or a yogurt.
  5. Sleep. Yes, just getting a good night’s sleep can improve your chances of doing well on your exams. Pulling an all-night study session is not the answer. Getting the sleep you need will fuel your energy for your exams.

Remember to use these tools and any others that may help you be better prepared for finals. You’ve done great this quarter so let’s finish it out with a bang.


Good Luck DePaul and Stay warm.

Be Thankful for OrgSync

      If you are a returning student you may have noticed that OrgSync had a total upgrade over the summer.  (#TheNewOrgSync)  If you are a new student, welcome to DePaul Student Involvement!  OrgSync has revolutionized student organization making being in a club more efficient and exciting!

Since this is the time of the year when we all look back and count our blessings, here at OSI we are thankful for OrgSync and this is why:

  1. No More Paper Forms

Once upon a time creating a student organization meant filling out stacks of paper forms but thanks to OrgSync, you     are able to do it all online!

Check out this video on registration:


***If you are not an active student organization at DePaul, registration reopens in the Spring Quarter.

  1. Easy Funding Requests

Filling out a funding request can be daunting but not anymore! Once you fill out the budget form, you are then notified via OrgSync once your request has been processed. Don’t forget: you already pay for the student activity fee in tuition – so take advantage of it!

 Check out this video on funding:


  1. Social Networking

Finding something fun to do is so much easier on OrgSync. You can organize your calendar based on genre like social events or pre-professional development.

Check out this video on creating events:


My First 30 Days by: Spencer Albin OSI EDGE Team

Hi everybody, my name is Spencer! I’m originally from Bothell, Washington, which is about 30 minutes away from Seattle (Go Hawks). Having now been at DePaul for over two months, it’s about time to look back at everything that has happened so far. I don’t know about your experience, but my freshman year fall quarter has kept me very busy, to say the least. Between orientations, involvement fairs, myriad other groups vying for your participation, and the pace of the quarter system itself, if you don’t stop every once in a while to check what day it is, you might find that a whole month has gone by. That’s how I felt when my first thirty days were up.


Chicago is completely different than what I’ve been accustomed to for the last eighteen years of my life, that’s for sure.

For the most part, the cities in the Seattle area consist of many suburban areas with a ‘downtown’ area that consists of twenty or thirty high rises grouped together. Some don’t really have a downtown at all. Other than Seattle itself, the cities don’t really feel like cities. Chicago on the other hand is huge! Even the area around Howard red line stop still feels very urban and still part of the city. Everything is a lot closer together here than it is back home. Here it’s possible to walk reasonably quickly to a wide variety of restaurants, stores, and other resources. From my house I could walk to a few stores and restaurants, everything else requires a car or bus ride. Yet there are some comforting similarities between my two homes. Lake Michigan, for instance, is a suitable replacement for living near the Pacific Ocean and other bodies of water in Washington. The weather, at least this fall, is quite similar to the weather in the Pacific North West. I understand that it’s been unusually wet for Chicago, which is unfortunate because I really like the rain.

This is Bothell’s ‘downtown’ area.

            I’m so glad that I was able to come here to DePaul and live in the city of Chicago. With the transportation systems here it is possible to easily access every part of the city without a car. There are almost endless possibilities that exist within the city, and it’s just a matter of finding which CTA stops you need to use and you’re there! One objective that is very important to have while living in Chicago is to try all of the food. The number of restaurants here in Chicago alone is staggering, but the fact that so many are so good becomes mind-blowing! In my first two weeks, before the meal plan dining options were available, I consumed quite a few slices of pizza, notably from Lou Malnati’s which, if you somehow have never been to one, is the best pizza place around. During that time I was also introduced to Insomnia cookies, a delivery cookie service! I am barely past the start of my food journey here in Chicago and I love it so far. Although the Pacific North West will always be my real home, Chicago will have a special place in my heart.

There is a lot to like about DePaul itself as well. Obviously one is being located in Chicago. It’s a huge city with many opportunities for students. It’s probably the best college town ever. Another is that it feels like a small school even though over 25,000 students are enrolled here. Another is that in general the people here are pretty friendly. I’ve said hello and shot the breeze with people I run into while walking around or eating.

This could be partly attributed to the awesome shoes that I wear sometimes, or even the cool shirts that I have, but for most part it’s the fact that everyone wants to meet new people.

I did get a free drink for wearing my Star Wars shirt once, which was pretty sweet. Another thing that I love is that there is a student group for almost everything, so there are no worries about not having a way to meet people with similar interests. The quarter system may force you to work like crazy, but DePaul is a really great school. Don’t forget about the month and a half long winter break either.

My awesome shoes get a lot of compliments!

            I’ll be the first to admit that it is hard to move from the place that you have lived for your entire life where all of your friends are to a new and different place like Chicago and having to create a new group of friends from scratch. I didn’t really know many people the whole first month I was here. Combine that with the fact that there was a lot of time to kill before classes started and I found myself sitting in my room with my roommates more often than not. By now though I know about ten people that I’ll become good friends with. It starts off slow, but give it time and you’ll find the people that you get along with just fine.


I spent quite a few hours here during the first two weeks.

My First 30 Days by: Melissa Bellew OSI EDGE Team

 My first 30 days at DePaul have been an experience to say the least. Getting adjusted to college life has been much more difficult than I originally expected.

The best thing I’ve experienced so far is getting to know the city and meeting new friends. Chicago is a huge city with so much to do… I am never bored. Meeting new friends is interesting but I really miss my friends at home. My friends and I all go to different schools. Most of them go to Penn State and University of Delaware so they get to see each other often. The friends I’ve met so far at DePaul are great but I would much rather be exploring the city with my best friends from home.

The best thing I’ve done in Chicago was go to the Porter Robinson concert. He is an electronic DJ and all summer my friends and I went to several electronic shows so it almost made me feel at home. Being a DePaul student is not that much different from my high school. The amount of school work I have is about the same and the work is not that much harder. I do have a lot more free time in college than I did in high school, which for me makes it harder to manage my time. In high school I had school from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm, went to practice, and then most nights went to work. However, in college I only take 4 classes and have hours in-between them to do basically anything I want. I am a part of Chaarg, a work out group that motivates you to stay healthy and active. In my first 30 days I did get to go home for the weekend.

         Going home was probably my favorite thing I’ve done in college so far as bad as that is to say. At home I got to see my family and friends and also do some of my favorite things. I like being in Chicago but sometimes I wish I was closer to home. I did not think I was going to miss my family in college but I talk to them everyday. Somedays I feel extremely homesick and other days it feels like my family is right here even though they are 800 miles away. I already cannot wait for winter break so I can go home again. Chicago is extremely different from Pennsylvania and Delaware. My house is in Pennsylvania but my high school, job, extended family and friends are all in Delaware. Chicago is a huge city and because it’s so big it feels like you don’t know anyone.

At home it was rare that you go to the grocery store and not see someone you know. Also Chicago is extremely urban and my town is not like that. At home there is a beautiful area called the valley where you can take nature walks and sit by the river. You can’t do that in Chicago. The biggest difference is not driving everywhere. I would consider driving my alone time or “me” time and I looked forward to my drive to and from school everyday. In college it feels like you’re always surrounded by people and you never really get the time to relax by yourself. Personally I thought I was going to have a really smooth transition from high school to college but that has not been the case. I really do like DePaul but it’s going to take a lot more time before I can call Chicago my home. Like I said earlier someday’s all I want to do is go home but other days it feels like I’m not far enough away. Luckily my aunt lives downtown so it I do have someone I know in the city. I know this essay makes it sound like I do not like DePaul and all I want to do is go home but in reality it’s just taking me a lot longer to get adjusted than I originally expected.

I hope when we come back from winter break it gets a little easier for me. My first 30 days have been very busy with school and adjusting to college life but I really hope the adjusting period is almost over.

My First 30 days by: Christina Han OSI EDGE Team

            Coming to DePaul has been one of the best decisions of my life.

I had no idea what to expect considering the fact that I never had an official tour, I knew no one, and I had absolutely no idea what living in Chicago was really like. To my surprise, I fell in love with the Lincoln Park area along with the Loop campus downtown, I made friends instantly, and I caught on to the fast city life of Chicago. Fortunately for me, I was matched with the roommate of my choice along with the dorm of my choice and it has only been great since then. Not only was I lucky enough to have such an awesome roommate, considering all the roommate horror stories I’ve heard so far, I’ve gotten very close to a group of four other girls on my floor along with a girl from Corcoran. We’re all so different and come from all over the country, but we were able to click in the matter of a few days and I know that they have my back no matter what. I was lucky to find this group of girls because they definitely made the transition into college a lot easier for me.

Aside from the great group of friends I consider myself lucky to be able to live in such a great city. I’ve visited Chicago numerous times with my family but actually having to live here is a different experience. I have always been a person who loves big cities and luckily for me, the city is only a 10 minute train ride away. From the past 6 weeks that I’ve been here in Chicago, I can honestly see myself living here and hopefully finding a job based in Chicago after graduation. The people here are friendly; there are so many different cultures, and most importantly many business opportunities.

Living in Chicago has a lot to do with being a DePaul student. Seeing as we are in the city of Chicago, and we don’t necessarily have a traditional college campus, it is harder to make friends than it would be at a state school. Since Chicago is a fast paced city, everyone is so busy and caught up with their own lives. In addition, the freshman class is the only group of people that live on campus which is a limited group of people. However, being a DePaul student consists of a lot of different things. There are endless amounts of clubs and organizations on campus such as Greek life, campus ministry, volunteer groups, and student government associations. For me, I think DePaul emphasizes the individuality by encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone and delve into their interests. Aside from discovering our individuality, I’ve learned to become an independent person. I’ve been so used to depending on my parents for everything.

I’m going to be honest and admit that doing laundry was something new for me, but with the help of my roommate, I quickly learned how.

In addition, being at DePaul requires you to get accustomed to city life. I’ve successfully learned how to navigate the CTA and find my way around downtown.

Being a student at DePaul is unlike any other experience because the city of Chicago is our campus and we have to take on the responsibility of adults a lot faster than usual.

Even though I’ve grown up in the suburbs, I’ve always been a city person. I feel as if St. Louis is similar to Chicago but on a smaller scale. Chicago is great because it is a good representation of America because of how many cultures thrive in one city. I love being able to visit parts of town that are specific to one culture or country such as Greektown, Ukrainian Village, Korean Town, China Town, etc. The amount of different cultures is not that prevalent in St. Louis which is why I love living in Chicago. In addition, St. Louis does not have as an efficient public transportation system. I would always have to drive my car everywhere even if it was only for a few miles.

Even though the CTA is not perfect, I think it helps you appreciate the city a lot more than you would if you were driving. You get to see city’s beautiful landscape, listen to some of Chicago’s musically talented people, and know that you’re going to be where you need to be at a certain time.

As I stated before Chicago is a fast paced city, and I personally prefer that to the pace of the suburbs. Personally I think Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world and provides endless opportunities to find something that you enjoy doing. I consider myself very lucky to be able to attend DePaul and live in such a great city and I know I made the right decision and I could not be happier at this point.

My First 30 Days by: Alden Knight OSI EDGE Team

Winston-Salem, North Carolina is one of those places where everyone knows each other and their entire family lineage. You could’ve peed your pants on the playground in 3rd grade, and someone would bring it up every year until you graduated from high school.

It’s very cookie-cutter suburbia — the white picket fences; the two parents with two and a half children; the golden retriever in the front yard; the whirr of yellow school buses with Nancy Sinatra’s Sugar Town faintly playing in the distance. Everything’s separated by at least a 10-mile radius, so every child is expected to own a car at age 16. The central hub of the town is a row of small outlets malls where Trader Joe’s is treated like Marshall Field’s. You can imagine everyone’s faces when my family arrived — a single parent with an overly sarcastic daughter, a severely autistic son and his 24/7 staff, and a dog who we’d found off the streets in tow. It could’ve been a great screenplay.

I knew from 6th grade onward that Winston-Salem would never be the place for me. I could never subject my future children to a place where the guy in my high school math class was my next-door neighbor. It had its moments where I enjoyed it, but I never loved it. The thing you’ve got to understand about this particular community is that everyone wants to stay there. Everyone wants the same group of friends they had in 3rd grade all the way through to college graduation. To give you some perspective, I was only one of nine people in my 400-person class that left the state. North Carolina is a great college state, sure, but I knew I had to leave that life behind. I needed a blank slate. I didn’t want the “Alden tripped up the stairs during 9th grade graduation” story following me forever.

That being said, the best thing I’ve experienced at DePaul so far is literally “living life to the fullest”. As cliché as it sounds, it’s completely true.

I’ve never had so much freedom in my entire life. I’ve travelled alone before, but actually living in a place where you can get to places on your own without someone’s parent acting as a chaperon is such a breath of fresh air. I still find myself walking down the street and mentally noting that, even after 30 days, living here doesn’t feel real. It feels like I’m at a prolonged summer camp where I have to take classes. I’ve wanted to live in here my entire life. Chicago was like one of those far out childhood dreams where your 4th grade teacher asks where you want to live when you grow up on the first day of school and you say the first, most unrealistic thing that pops into your head.

Something struck me the other day, though. My friend had asked me for advice on shipping a winter coat to herself for the irrefutable beginnings of ‘Chiberia’ (perhaps the scariest name I’ve ever heard) and, being a suburbs kid, she was wondering whether she should ship it to her house or ship it here. I told her to ship it to the Student Center by saying flatly that, “when I ordered mine, I shipped it to my mom’s house. She’s bringing it with her when she visits”. That hit me like a ton of bricks.

Subconsciously, I was now referring to my childhood home of nine years as “my mom’s house”. Looking at it objectively, that was the first time I realized that living in Chicago was very real.

Just a month before, I was in hysterics because I was so worried that DePaul wouldn’t have that “college feel” since it was so urban. I was convinced that I’d be thrown into this city-like situation where I’d have to fend for myself.  There wouldn’t be the “college-y” things I’d seen in the movies — the classic hangout that was open until 3 AM; the school wide rivalry between the neighboring universities; the ultimate betrayal when your friend went out with a guy in one of the said universities. I was so worried about it, in fact, that I literally stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house in Evanston on the first day of school and in an episode of mass hysteria, vowed that I would be a commuter student because I wasn’t going to fit in. The thing is, though, all of that exists here. There’s Devil Dawgs and Loyola, Jam n’ Honey and Columbia, and the crown jewel of it all: Insomnia Cookies. I’ve already made so many friends — more than all my friends combined in North Carolina.

This isn’t a place where the “there’s nothing to do here,” thought crosses your mind… it’s the third most populous city in the United States, for God’s sake. Everyone wants to be here. Heck, I met my celebrity crush on week 2. This isn’t Winston-Salem. I could walk out the front door and meet someone new every day or head over to the aquarium and spend a day there. I could try a food I’ve never had before or take the best selfie ever in front of the Bean. There’s still so much to explore, and I’m dying to find out what this city still has to offer.


A picture of me enjoying bubble tea from Duck Walk for the first time!