Save Lives During AHA Month, By CA Stevie

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With midterms and finals in the daily college student’s life, the stress faced is a detrimental blow to the most vital organ of the human body, the heart.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America; it is estimated that one person dies of heart disease every 39 seconds, and that is why the American Heart Association (AHA) dedicates the entire month of February to raise awareness about heart health.  The AHA funds their donations towards research, community, health care, and education, aiming to find cures for and ways to prevent heart illness and take preventative measures against it.  Since 1949, the AHA has spent more than $3.3 billion on research to increase awareness and knowledge about cardiovascular diseases and stroke, reaching milestones such as assisting in the development of CPR and improving open heart surgery.  Their advocacies are part of the reason why there are smoke-free public places, more walking and biking paths, and appropriate nutritional information on food labels.  The accomplishments made by the AHA could not have been made without the funding from their dedicated supporters, but seeing as heart disease is still the leading cause of death, the support is needed more than ever.

So, what can you do?  Luckily, being students at UC Irvine, the Orange County Division of the American Heart Association is located on campus, on the corner of California Avenue and Campus Drive.  You can drop by, call 949-856-3555, or visit www.heart.org to find out about events near you such as the Orange Country Heart Walk, UC Irvine Alpha Phi’s Red Dress Gala, and Power to End Stroke, or about volunteer opportunities such as being a survivor speaker, Wear Red Day coordinator, Health Fair volunteer, Physician speaker, and many more.

Do yourself a heart favor too!  Control your stress; studying for too long and staying up late to cram have long lasting effects on the heart.  Take a break from your studies to find pleasure in something you enjoy.  Snack healthy when you study and try to avoid midnight cravings.  Get plenty of sleep and try walking or biking to class instead of relying on the shuttle.  Make yourself a smoothie instead of toaster strudel and save In-n-Out trips for special occasions.  Turn “I can’t” and “I don’t have time,” into “I can” and “I’ll make time,” because your heart could really use the favor.

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Keep Calm and File FAFSA! By CA Chelsea

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA deadline is fast-approaching. Due every March, FAFSA provides grants, loans, and work-study funds for college or career school students. To ensure you meet the California deadline, check out the following tips to help you prepare.

 

1)  Remember your PIN! This PIN allows you to sign into and submit your FAFSA electronically.

 

2)  Gather the documents needed to apply! You might need the following information or documents as you fill out your FAFSA:

  • Your Social Security number and your parents’ Social Security number if you are a dependent student
  • Your Driver’s License number
  • Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information for you and your parents if you are a dependent student 
  • Records of your un-taxed income
  • Any information on cash, savings and checking account balances, investments, and assets for you and your parents if you are a dependent student

3)  Get help! There are a number of free tools online on the FAFSA webpage like the live chat feature, or you can contact the Financial Aid Office for specific questions.  

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Martin Luther King, Jr., By CA Theza

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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Strength to Love

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, 1929, and he was born into a family of pastors.  King attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduated from high school at fifteen years old, and then received a B.A. in 1948 from Morehouse College.  He was awarded with a B.D. in 1951 from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was elected class president, and completed his residence for a doctorate in 1955 from Boston University.  He met his wife Coretta Scott in Boston, and they had two sons and two daughters together.  King is nobly known for his work in civil rights; he was a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke hundreds of times, as well as writing five books and many articles for the progression of civil rights.  King was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at age thirty-five, and he donated his prize money to the civil rights movement.  On April 4th, 1968, King was assassinated before he was scheduled to lead a protest in striking garbage workers of Memphis, Tennessee.

Source: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most notable and timeless figures in U.S. history, and perhaps around the world.  Not only are we celebrating one person’s accomplishments, but the impact that those accomplishments had on his generation and future generations to come.  His name is very well-known, and it may be over-looked because of its familiarity, but I wanted to remind you that we should reflect on the influence he had on the civil rights movement, and how much that meant to the people that believed and fought for the rights we all have today.  One of my favorite quotes is, “I don’t plan on changing the world, but I hope to inspire the mind that will.”  Not only did King change the world, but he has inspired others to do the same.

 

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3 Helpful Tips for Fitness Outside of the Gym, by CA Cody

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1)      Chart your Progress – Keeping track of your workouts is one of the best things you can do.  Keeping track of your weights, reps, sets, or times is helpful for progression.  It is easy to fall into a comfort zone and not move forward, but by tracking your workouts you will be able to see no progress is being made and you will be able to change that.  Also it is a great tool, used to look back and see how far you have come.  Nothing promotes progress as well as seeing results.

 

2)      Eat your Protein – For some reason there has been a myth that protein is only good for men trying to gain huge amounts of muscle.  Protein is essential for recovery as well as muscle gain.  Men and women can both benefit from eating protein.  Protein also helps fat loss in multiple ways.  More muscle = higher metabolism, and protein can curb hunger.  It’s a great way to trick your brain into thinking you are full, therefore eating less calories.  Eating less calories than you burn during exercise is the only way to lose weight, so eat your protein!

 

3)      Carbs are not the Enemy- Your body needs carbohydrates to fuel your workouts, so reach for fruit or high-fiber crackers an hour before you exercise. The myth of ‘carbs are bad for you’ is detrimental to fitness.  Carbohydrates are necessary for the energy needed to have a great workout.

 

Source: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/quick-tricks/best-workout-tips/

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New Year’s Resolutions: How To Keep Them, by CA Alex

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It is tradition to make a New Year’s resolution along with ringing in the New Year.  Will you be making a new year’s resolution this year?  A resolution is a promise you make to yourself to start doing something good the first day of year.  According to Wikipedia, the origins of New Year’s Resolutions span across a variety of cultures.  Babylonians made promises to their gods that they would return borrowed objects and pay off debts.  In the medieval era, knights reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry.  In Mexico, rice pudding is served with a hidden almond inside.  It is said that whoever finds the hidden almond will receive twelve months of good luck.  In addition to present day New Year’s resolutions, the most well-known American tradition is to watch the ball drop in New York’s Times Square at midnight.  The iconic ball drop has happened almost every year since 1907.

Although there are no restrictions regarding New Year’s Resolutions, many people end up having resolutions covering similar topics.  Here are the top ten resolutions people had in 2013 according to Katherine Costello from Policymic:

  1. Eat healthy and exercise regularly
  2. Drink less
  3. Learn something new
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Better work/life balance
  6. Volunteer
  7. Save money
  8. Get organized
  9. Read more
  10. Finish those around the house to-do lists

Do any of these resolutions sound familiar to you?  About 45% of Americans make resolutions.  However only 8% are successful at keeping them throughout the year with only 25% of Americans making it past the first week!  Those statistics are not very high.  Many of us overestimate our ability to change a behavior and maintain it under all circumstances.  Many people forget to factor in stress and emotions when making a resolution, which often take over and lead us to revert back to an unwanted behavior.

In order to successfully keep a New Year’s Resolution, break down the overall goal and focus on a small aspect of it.  No one said you have to keep the same resolution throughout the whole year.  Look at the overall goal and figure out how you will get there using small steps throughout the year.  For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to get organized, it is not reasonable to think as soon as the ball drops you will maintain organized habits.  Start by making a rule that when you come home you will put anything away that takes less than a minute such as hanging up your coat, putting your shoes away and filing important papers accumulated throughout the day.  This will keep you from making your commonly used items even less organized and put you in the habit of keeping your things organized daily.  Next, set a goal each month to organize a part of your stuff such as your office supplies or shoe area of your closet.  Start small and once each section is organized use your first resolution to keep it organized.  Hopefully by the end of the year you have not only kept your resolution but also successfully completed it!

If you plan on making a resolution this year and want to be successful, set a goal and break it down into small reasonable steps.  You can achieve your resolution!  Good luck and have a safe New Year’s! 

 

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Alcohol & it’s Connection to Crime, by CA Cody

The relationship between alcohol and crime has not received as much public attention as drunk driving, but it is just as serious for both offenders and victims.  The relationship between alcohol and crimes including domestic abuse and violence, underage drinking, robbery, assault and sexual assault is clearly documented.

–         Federal research shows that alcohol use was a factor in the homicide for 40% of convicted murderers being held in either jail or state prison.

–         Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes today.  Based on victim reports, alcohol use by the offender was a factor in: 37% of rapes and sexual assaults, 15% of robberies, 27% of aggravated assaults, and 25% of simple assaults.

When it comes to consuming alcohol, most people only think of the negative effects on themselves and not about the possible negative effects on the people around them.   College happens to be a time when many decide to experiment with alcohol, which can lead to immediate dangers.  The best way to prevent crime due to alcohol is to be educated on how alcohol can affect you.  The following charts display the affect alcohol will have on your Blood Alcohol Level:

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The bottom line is this: Be careful when you drink.  Remember it is not just your well-being you are putting on the line when consuming alcohol, but also the well-being of the people around you.

Source: http://www.ncadd.org/index.php/learn-about-alcohol/alcohol-and-crime

 

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Holidays Around the World, By CA Kimi

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For people in America, the month of December is synonymous with Christmas. December is the perfect time to bundle up in scarves and mittens, hang up the stockings and decorate the Christmas tree. In fact, millions of people all over the world celebrate Christmas. This article is going to discuss some other holidays that happen all around the world in December.

Sure, a lot of people know about Chanukah in which people of the Jewish faith celebrate their triumph in regaining the Holy Temple from Syrian Greeks over 21 centuries ago. Every year Jews light a seven candle menorah that symbolizes a menorah lit hundreds of years ago. The significance of the menorah is that it remained lit for eight days on one cruse of olive oil, which is like a little pot or bottle that was meant to hold only enough oil to last one day. Every day of the festival, a single candle is lit until the entire menorah is finished. Popular foods eaten during this festival include latkes and sufganiot, which are pancakes and doughnuts fried in oils. A lot of people are familiar with the dreidel that people spin during this holiday. If you look closely at a dreidel, each side has a letter for an acronym that translates to “a great miracle happened over there.”

A lot of people may also know about Kwanzaa, which is a celebration a lot of African cultures take part in. Kwanzaa translates to “fist fruit” in Swahili and is a seven day long celebration that starts on December 26th and ends January 1st. On each day of the celebration one of the Nguzo Saba, or principles is discussed. These principles are a set of ideals created by Dr. Maulana Karenga which are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.  

In Mexico, many people of the Christian faith celebrate Las Posadas in which they reenact Mary’s and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. Traditionally a party is held every night for nine nights in which people participate in a procession and dress as shepherds. This festival lasts from December 16-24th and ends with a pinata in the shape of a Christmas star.

Another holiday that is celebrated in other parts of the world is Boxing Day. This holiday occurs the day after Christmas, December 26th and is more of like an extended Christmas holiday. However this day is said to have started when rich aristocratic members would give their servants gifts the day after Christmas. It is also said to have started when Anglican churches in England would put out collection boxes and distribute the collected goods to the poor the day after Christmas. In any case, today it is a national holiday in England, Wales, Ireland, and Canada. Each country celebrates the day a little differently. For example, in Britain, Boxing Day participants partake in a fox hunt. For some Irish, Boxing Day is known as Wren Day which is said to have started in 1661 in the Battle of Kinsale in which a loud wren had given away the Irish attempt at sneaking up on English invaders. In Canada, they consider Boxing Day as very much like our own Black Friday.

Other holidays that are celebrated around the world are Junkanoo and Hogmanay. Junkanoo is celebrated in the Bahamas and is a huge festival that celebrates African culture. This tradition started back in the 16th or 17th centuries as a day when African slaves were allowed to leave the plantations and celebrate the day after Christmas with their families. Hogmanay is a New Year’s Eve celebration that takes place in Scotland.

 

For more information on these holidays and more celebrated around the world you can visit: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/winter-holidays-around-the-world.html

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1868711,00.html

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