The year 2020 redefined the word, “essential.” Home essentials, health essentials, work essentials, but most notably essential workers. Though the Fight for 15 movements began in 2012, the COVD-19 pandemic brought a new wave of unionizing movements to fast-food chains across the nation. After years of unsafe working conditions, low wages, lack of accessible healthcare, sexual assault, sexism, and racism, fast-food workers of the Sacramento area are fighting back.
Many college students struggle to find a healthy balance in their academic lives. Between staying in shape by going to the gym and pursuing higher education, students will often compromise their living for schoolwork. It can feel like an impossible endeavor considering the amount of coursework being piled on students during the average college semester. But students can learn some simple truths of healthy living from professionals.
Exiting the center stage of the octagon, a professional Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter and full-time fitness coach training out of Rocklin CA, Orion “Galaxy” Cosce shares his knowledge of how to take care of your mind and body as a busy college student.
“It doesn’t matter how busy I am, I need to try to get at least one gallon of water a day, I need to be able to eat the proper nutrition.”
There is no doubt that finishing college coursework is important, but when it starts negatively affecting a student’s mental health to finish an assignment, it raises the question of how students can incorporate a healthier lifestyle into their schooling. The answer to this question is complicated and imperative on the individual, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it by motivating themselves to go to the gym.
Schoolwork and Health, Evaluating Priorities
Motivation is the keyword when students apply every ounce of energy into completing classwork. Many students are highly motivated in pursuing and attending college but at a cost. Common examples highlighted by the award-winning publication LiveScience found frequent health defects like sleep deprivation, depression and stress are present in dangerously high quantities among college students. And it’s no wonder students are having these health defects when everything, sometimes even eating, has to be put aside in order to finish an assignment.
“A lot of kids, they, you know, survive off of like noodles and stuff like that, they start to eat only once a day…They’re not really getting the water intake that they need… they kind of lack on the sleep because they’re, you know, most kids are taking Ritalin to try to help them stay awake and do all their academic studies. But the problem is they’re actually taking a negative health turn,” Cosce said.
There needs to be a new evaluation of priorities. While turning in school work on time is important, sleep and nutrition are vital parts of a student’s success. The benefits of a healthier lifestyle aren’t just in a student’s physical well-being, but also a mental one. For example, the most common effect of sleep deprivation is a disruption in the brain’s ability to perform and carry out tasks such as studying for that upcoming exam. A healthier outlook to a student’s living would help their academics in the situation, not just get in the way.
These health defects are common enough that students have surely noticed them on their own, and some students reading this are probably experiencing them at this moment. So where are the solutions? Here is our professional fighter’s advice.
Multiple Paths to A Healthy Lifestyle
How do you go to the gym when you are constantly busy? What exactly should I be doing at the gym or at home? Do I have to be there for hours? Students who may not be initiated in the land of exercise have all of these questions and more when they think of going to the gym. Cosce has answers to many of these questions:
“If your college has a gym, take one hour of your time, or 30 minutes of your time. If you’re doing a high-intensity workout, no more than 30 to 40 minutes. If you’re doing a strength program, no more than an hour to an hour and a half and literally, that’s all you need once a day, and you’ll feel a lot better and a lot healthier.”
So the expert fighter tells the average college student to start with thirty minutes a day, that’s the time needed to begin. What should a student be doing in those thirty minutes? Well, that’s the more personal part as every individual’s needs and health goals will be different. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Gym goes down the list of times to go, what to wear, explanations of the machines in a typical gym, and even personal health conditions to consider when deciding to exercise.
Although the article presents material for beginners, it includes valuable information on specific machines and when to use them, as well as tips for any aspiring health nut. Almost everything is handed to you when analyzing this information, the next step is to apply these forms of guidance into action, and Cosce has lots of guidance on action.
“You just want to get a good workout in and just find yourself a good area where you’re going to either A) have friends to go with you to help push you if you need that or, you know, maybe a potential personal trainer, or B) if you have that self-motivation already, you just got to remember, take 30 minutes to an hour every day to get that training session in.”
As a professional fighter, Cosce goes through the motions of training and exercising in preparation for a fight knowing that his health is imperative to his success. In the form of a role model, he wants students to be aware of the benefits of going to the gym as a whole, not just for the octagon.
He knows what it takes to achieve goals that at first seem out of reach, with each and every fight preparing him to move on to the next step when a new opponent appears. He applies the same principle to a college student’s time management and constant planning to prepare them for an upcoming assignment.
It takes more than the average work of consistently going to the gym to be a fighter like Cosce, but not everyone has to train or religiously go to the gym. It’s important to take care of both your mind and body by practicing good habits now, such as having a proper sleep schedule and eating three meals a day.
Cosce lives by a schedule that is best suited for him to eventually knock out any opponent that comes his way. From proper sleeping habits to meal prepping, he takes calculated steps in preparation for upcoming fights. As a personal trainer, he helps others achieve individual goals by guiding them to success.
As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
Only students themselves can make the change to a healthier lifestyle. Remembering to eat and sleep are necessities to continue living a happy and hopefully, less stressful life through college. Cosce hopes that his example can help others looking for success in health and college achieve their goals.
If you’re looking to improve your own health while enrolled at Sierra, the College has athletic facilities to support its many student teams and they typically have open hours for general student use. There are also classes to support holistic learning such as yoga and meditation that are offered every term. Find them offered online and on-ground in the class schedule. Turn to the Kinesiology department and the course listings under “KIN” for courses like these along with weight-lifting, dance, and others. Students have access to health services through the Health Services department that offers support for mental, emotional, and physical health. Sierra College provides assistance with immunizations, injury evaluation, mental health resources including counseling, as well as food aid to support a healthy life-style through the on-campus food pantry. Most students also qualify for CalFresh and a Wolverine Meal Deal.
Written by Angel Chavez | Featured Photo by Katelyn Vengersammy
Written by Angel Chavez | Featured Photo by Katelyn Vengersammy
Everyone has rough days, everyone has hard times, and everyone is more than happy to share them. But these seem to be all we talk about now! So, in an attempt to bring about more good feelings in everyone, we here at SilverLinings have devoted our show to seeking out peoples’ internal optimists.
We asked people for their real-life silver linings on a range of topics all in the hopes of brightening up the day. So whether you’re listening for a good feeling morning wake-up, or a late-night boost of optimism, you’re sure to find something here in peoples’ SilverLinings.
In this 5:32 minute video, Enjoy Life: A Teaspoon Story, married couple and owners of Teaspoon Roseville, Asa Yuan and Leo Ji, discuss the successes and challenges they have faced this past year while opening. The couple talks about their inspiration for opening Teaspoon Roseville, how they separate and share responsibilities, the effects of Covid-19 on their timeline, and the biggest struggle they have faced as Asian business owners in America.
Rock climbing, snow sports, and anything semi-dangerous was what fueled my childhood. Living in Sacramento allowed my family and I to be just an hour and a half away from some of the coolest places, such as Lake Tahoe and John Muir Woods. Choosing to study at Sierra College allowed me to stay close to amazing places like these, with the opportunity to take classes even closer to the mountains at the Nevada County Campus.
The Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECOS) is a club at Sierra College that I was lucky to join. It helps educate students on the importance of sustainability and the principles of Leave No Trace. Thanks to ECOS, I was able to participate in outdoor activities and meet people who feel just as passionately about the earth as I do.
Written by Alexis Young
Working as an electrician in Tennessee was something that grew old for Charles Armistead Reeves. This prompted him to travel from Tennessee to Hawaii in search of work and new experiences. Here is where he met Rose Lokalia Miguel in the 1900s. The two married in 1902, having nine children together.
Becoming a mother at 17 was scary to me. I thought that I would ruin my children’s lives before they ever had a chance. Following in the footsteps of my mother and determined to break a cycle. Just a teenager not knowing myself or even who I would be. I did not understand the responsibility that I was taking on, not for just one child, but six.
I had to strive to be better than I’d ever been and understand that mistakes would potentially put me and my children in a bad position. It was up to me, and only me, to ensure that my children had everything under the sun, no matter the curve balls thrown in my path.
In this 8:22 minute video, Journalism and Communications: Reaching your Dream Career, viewers hear from KFBK reporter with iHeart Media, Nikka Magahis, and Sierra College Communication Studies professor and consultant, Tara Franks, PhD, on their paths into journalism and communications careers. Each describes their unique journey into an evolving field that touches on radio, writing, multimedia, performance, teaching, and higher-education.
Video by Hayley Repetti
The picture of a student crumpling under the normal pressures of higher education is a worn cliché. Yes, being a college student is difficult in the best of circumstances, but couple the confusion of the freshman experience plus a global lockdown caused by a deadly pandemic and no one would blame a student for caving under the strain. But not Elijah Mendez, a first year history major at Sierra College and an aspiring teacher. He isn’t letting the pressures of COVID-19 overtake him:
It’s a test if anything, to make us stronger, to build connections through all this, to pass our first two semesters of college online.
Mendez has a surprisingly upbeat attitude for a student dealing with all of life’s challenges, and thankfully he is not alone. He has found a great Sierra family to guide him through the strange early stages of higher education by joining one of the once many, now few, Sierra College student clubs. This is where I met him and the rest of his Sierra family.
Stronger Together in the Sierra Puente Club
Sierra College has a long history with successful and active clubs, not only on campus but also in the general community. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the forced isolation of students has stripped much from these organizations, which now suffer in the pandemic alongside everyone else.
For Mendez, these effects arose in his own club, the Sierra College Puente (Spanish for bridge) club. An organization geared around guidance, fostering student leadership, and educational success, especially in communities underserved by the education system.
During one of their twice weekly meetings Mendez, the rest of his club, and co-advisors addressed the worst of their Sierra family’s adversities under lockdown. “Generally we have significantly more [students]. We have, you know, the whole lounge area full at the Student Engagement Center (SEC) when we have our Puente club meetings,” noted Darlene Preciado, one of the clubs co-advisors. “But that’s been the biggest challenge, attracting and drawing those Puente students in from the Puente classes, the Puente cohort, into the club now that it’s virtual.”
The many students described by Preciado that would gather in the SEC has dwindled to seven, with six arriving for this weekly meeting to share their perspectives. Alexander Garcia, the club’s vice president, highlighted the face to face nature that the Puente club is used to, with roundtable discussions and leadership workshops being a core part of their club’s communication.
Marixia Beber Piceno, the club’s past publicist, discussed how students’ course loads and the transition into online schooling could have driven some away from the club, denouncing the myth that online schooling is less effort. Piceno said, “It’s more work you have to do, more dedication that you have to input.”
Though most of them shared this feeling, everyone always came back around to how they’re staying positive together with their smaller, but closer than ever, familia. There was nothing in the zoom call but smiles and support for one another, as they discussed their passion for the organization they are keeping alive.
“It’s difficult to find the positive to everything when everything seems to be falling apart,” said Mendez. “But in reality, everything is sort of just building its way back up again … Like, the Puente Club is a great example of that. Still sticking together through what seems to be the worst thing possible.”
Overcoming Challenges for Members
The Puente Club’s plight is not wholly unique; other clubs have been facing similar challenges. Women in Tech Club CEO Heather Moore directly cited how her club would be much larger if students were rubbing elbows on campus.
“That’s mostly been the thing is getting the word out,” lamented Moore. “It’s difficult in a pandemic, even though email is all around you, it’s not the same thing as in person to advertise it.”
Still, a global pandemic didn’t slow her or her club down one bit and the Women in Tech Club was established right in the middle of student isolation.
Moore talked about how she wound up joining the startup, describing her response to Professor Malena Prizing offering her a position in the fall of 2020 as a resounding, “yes, please sign me up!” With the message of the club drawing her attention first, empowering women in a field that has historically not supported their involvement, she ultimately discovered more than that. She found others with her vision and a community to share the important message and goal.
“I’ve never been in a club before I joined this one,” Moore said. She explained:
I didn’t understand what the big draw and the big deal was, and now I get it. The sense of community, that sense of belonging, is absolutely wonderful: especially in a time of a pandemic.
She continued, “And I mean, what’s not to like? You get to hang out with your friends, you get to meet new people and you get to learn about opportunities and support one another in something that’s traditionally not considered a woman’s field.”
While the Women in Tech and Puente clubs discussed struggles with COVID-19 and its dampening of social interactions, another club has forged a unique mindset around its opportunities in the pandemic.
New Outlooks through Isolation
Christian Kenjee Koh surprised me with not only his enthusiasm for the completely online setting, but his opportunistic story on starting the Sierra College Young Investors Club. Koh said, “I really wanted to create a community for people with interest in investing and economics and business.
I saw the whole going online thing as the perfect opportunity, I don’t think I could have started at any better time.
Clubs like the Women in Tech and Puente Club have utilized the lockdown as well, with discussion programs like Discord and Zoom becoming their new highway for interaction, but Koh has taken the idea of isolation to another level, adding enthusiasm to the distancing.
Koh credits this unique intersection of interaction and isolation as the catalyst for his club’s quick success, even with how fresh the Young Investors are, and centered online interaction at the core of his club. Koh explained how his members are often active 24/7 and fostering a “different kind of discussion” through use of the constant contact between members, not limited by strict meeting times and places.
Like the clubs previously, Koh and his Young Investors realize the importance of in person interaction. Once he has students involved, keeping the engagement going is the easy part, though Koh does lament, “It’s very hard to get students involved with the club. Getting the word out there, it’s a bit difficult.”
Even though Koh concedes that getting everyone into a physical space is the “kind of interaction missing” for his club, he still rejoices that his club is, “blessed to be able to have it [club discussions] through Discord.”
Clubs and Community, even through COVID
These clubs, and many others, have taken the opportunity to build community despite of Covid-19’s challenges. They’ve built friendships, fostered discussions, and even formed second families all while being isolated away from one another. But, many clubs are still struggling. In March of 2021 the Sierra College website was updated to have an accurate list of all active student clubs, dropping from 36 actively listed student clubs to only nine. Though that number has been rising, back to 17 in total as of April 14, this is still only half of the pre-pandemic total.
The beauty of these Sierra clubs is that any student can join one. Any student can create one. Any student can reestablish one. When asked about what students hesitating about joining a club should do, Koh laughed and encouraged students to:
Just jump into it. It doesn’t really have risks, so to say.
Heather Moore described the process of building a club as like, “Climbing a mountain. You don’t have to climb the mountain all in one go.”
Adriana Lopez, a Puente Club co-advisor, described the Puente Club as, “A welcoming environment for students, one that they enjoy coming to and one that they feel safe coming to.”
For more information about all of the Sierra College clubs, like where to join one, students can visit the Sierra College Campus Clubs page or through the Sierra College app under Student Services.
Written by Johnathan Rutz
Written by Johnathan Rutz
On the morning of April 14, 1979 in Monrovia, Liberia, residents woke up to an organized demonstration by a group of progressive Liberians. The collective was opposing the rising price of the nation’s staple food, rice. This demonstration led to a massive destruction of property, looting, and even death. All because of the shortage of rice. Still, the government of that time increased the price. Continue Reading
Thirteen years of schooling spent looking forward to the dream “college life.” Meeting new people, experiencing new things, finding ourselves, and grasping for a small amount of freedom. What none of us expected was a global pandemic causing those 13 years of schooling to lead up to sitting behind screens. Continue Reading
Reported and photographed by Jessica Shona-Stewart | Photo captions by Katelyn Vengersammy