Undergraduate Admission Blog

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January 24, 2019

Why We Love SCelf-Care (and You Should Too!)

This weeks blog is brought to you by Krisi Caloyeras.  While Krisi is new to our office, she’s not new to bringing calm and peace into her own life and the lives of her students.  Read on for some tips on how to take care of yourself during stressful times.


Professor Beauregard a 2-year-old wellness dog keeps hours at the Engelmann Student Health Center helping students with stress.

My own wellness and self-care journey is, like most people, a work in progress. In my previous role as a school counselor, one of the major expectations of my work with students and families included developing prevention and intervention strategies that worked for them. In the process of helping others, I too had to balance the multilayered demands of the profession through developing my own prevention and intervention plans for self-care. By day, I taught students different breathing techniques to calm their bodies, to practice strategies for emotional control, and to recognize feelings. By night, I was putting my own teachings to the test. These are still strategies I continue to practice in my role as Assistant Director of Admission through both recruitment and file review seasons. During my work travels, I make it a goal to drink a lot of water, get enough sleep and spend some time outside exploring my territory whether it means hiking the gorge in Niagara Falls or watching the sunset in Monterrey (shout out to Upstate NY and Santa Clara). When I’m feeling off-kilter, I organize my things, make to-do lists and have real conversations with people I love and trust. And on Sundays– I face mask.

First off, let’s just put it all out there: you have submitted your application, you have met the deadline–you are a rock star! Give yourself a little pat on the back.

Welcome to your first –Post College Application Process Self-Care 101.

The college application process is a source of stress for many high school seniors – it’s exhausting and a lot of work. Due to the many moving pieces, and in the midst of all the excitement, students are also left feeling stressed, confused, pressured, and full of angst.

You are not alone. And here are some words of wisdom from one Trojan (Will Ferrell) to all the prospective students out there:

You have gone from test taking to writing essays, chasing after letters of recommendation, requesting transcripts, and hours of putting together an application that best represents who you are and what you’re all about. On top of it, your daily responsibilities haven’t gone away: you’ve had to balance your academics, sports, activities, family and friendships. Phew—I’m tired just thinking about it. But hey,

You– DID IT! You actually did it!

And now, the grind has come to a halt, the deadline has come and gone, and your application is now awaiting review by Admission officers. Maybe you’re feeling relieved or maybe you’re still stressed for what is to come. Let us be the first to say:

Not to get all technical on you, nor is this a news flash, but I’ll just reiterate, feelings of worry are natural. Actually, worry helps us survive in dangerous situations. Luckily, the college application process, does not fall under that umbrella. But, after all, you are human, and those feelings are very much still there. I came across a quote by Jonatan Martensson that reads “feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to surf.” So, I’m not here to tell you to ignore, hide or make those feelings go away, but what I am here to say is that practicing your own self care should be more than a sporadic luxury but rather the forefront of your health. This of course means different things to different people, and there is no right answer on how to do it:

Does napping make you feel better and rested?

Does exercise help you improve your mood and you love running, hiking, being outdoors, competing?

Do you love to just hang out with your family or friends and laugh together?

Do you like watching movies or playing games?

Do you have a hobby you’re passionate about that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world?

Does volunteering and helping others also help you decompress?

Are you a person who loves to practice mindfulness or yoga?

Do you write how you’re feeling and can journal for days?

Do you focus on your breathing and find it calming? (If you haven’t already, try 4-7-8 breathing, it’ll put you straight so sleep!)

Does eating healthy foods make you feel better on the inside and out? (It sure does!)

So many options—and all are strategies that help put the worry monster to rest. Find what works for you, block time off in your day and do it! For information on Wellness, you can also visit the USC website and check out a previously posted blog on wellness resources at USC. You will find our campus self-care resources from physical health, to mental health, social health, nutritional wellness and anything in between. Though the center offers a plethora of resources, I will highlight a few of my personal favorites below. Make sure to check them out:

Feel better workshops: offered to all undergraduate and graduate students, they are a great fit for anyone who would like to learn basic skills or consider new approaches to improve their ability to manage stress, cope with adversity or improve their life including topics of mood improvement, resiliency, procrastination, emotional management, preventing perfectionism—you name it, they address it!

Have you heard about one of our most popular professors? He is cute, he is smart, he is calming, and he also happens to have four legs and be a hypoallergenic golden doodle. Beau is a facility dog who is trained to work with people on a regular basis and is a wellness-ambassador. Students love visiting Prof Beau during office hours and are calmed as he walks though campus. Professor Beau loves his Insta, Twitter and Snapchat followers and can be found @Beau_USC

And for all you APP lovers out there, the Mindful USC app is free and can be found on iTunes and Google Play stores! Mindful USC is an all-encompassing resource providing class sign ups, meditation timers, tracking your own journey, guided meditation, and so much more!

But wait, what about your application? It’s with its new friends in an admission officer’s queue waiting to be read and in the meanwhile, you keep doing you. That means continue to work hard in your classes, continue to give your best and be YOUR best “SCelf.” This is your time to fully enjoy the rest of your high school career, it’s your time to have fun with your family, and it’s your time to make memories with your friends. It’s your time to be kind to yourself.

Patience. Grace. Fight on!

By: Krisi Caloyeras
Assistant Director of Admission


  1. Stefano Cafatti says:

    This was very helpful! Thank you so much! I really can’t wait to hear back!!!

  2. Carolyn Mason says:

    This was such a good reminder for me and I definitely needed to hear it!! I can’t wait to be a Trojan!!!

  3. Jack Mullen says:

    This was so helpful! Reading this definitely helped. Thank you!

  4. Lexie Shamir says:

    This was really nice to read, and I didn’t know I needed this little pep talk until I read it. Despite the stress, I am looking forward to hearing back from USC!

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