My name is Alena and I am your Director of Cultural and Community Affairs at ACADSA.
It’s that time of year again when the semester is coming to a close, which means exams, panel critiques and final class presentations are imminent. And even though this is one of the most stressful times of the school year, it’s important to be taking the time to care for yourself. Whether that means setting aside time for yourself during exams or using the break for self care, do what works best for you. Self care looks different for everyone and becomes especially important when needing to recharge our mood, physical health and mental health.
A few main things to keep in mind for the upcoming break to recuperate from a stressful semester:
- Sleep. This is a great opportunity to re-establish a healthy sleep schedule, as our bodies need 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Being a student myself, I know sleep sees a dramatic decrease as the semester goes on.
- Eat. Make sure you are taking the time to eat at least three meals a day. Winter break would be a good time to start meal planning for the next semester so you aren’t left going without meals to school. Eating foods that make you feel good are also important during this time, so it would be a good idea to increase your consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Exercise. Now that there aren’t any classes to worry about, taking up some casual activities such as yoga or walking would be a great way to improve your mood and physical well being.
- Create. Doing things that don’t relate to school, but rather something you enjoy as a hobby for a creative outlet. This could look like knitting or crochet, journaling, meditation, reading, or even catching up on a favourite TV show.
- Seek Support. Most importantly, if you feel as though you are really struggling after a hard semester, make sure you are reaching out to get some support. This could be either reaching out to friends, family, counselling services offered here at ACAD by Jason Bauche, or services offered outside of ACAD. Also through your Studentcare insurance provided by ACADSA there is a service called Empower Me (Phone Number: 1-844-741-6389 for 24/7 Access) They can also arrange for an appointment for a counsellor in Calgary within a matter of days if you prefer. This is 100% covered by your Studentcare Health + Dental insurance.
Here are some other important services offered in Calgary for individuals in distress, so please don’t hesitate to contact:
- The Distress Centre or 403.266.4357 (HELP). The Distress Centre has 24-hour support, and their motto is “no problem is too small to call.”
- The Calgary Counselling Centre offers counselling to couples, individuals, youth, and families, with services offered on a sliding scale based on income. 403.691.5991
- Access Mental Health is a provincial organization that can help you navigate the addictions and mental health systems. 403.943.1500
- More information on mental health, how to take care of yourself and other helpful tips can be found through the ACADSA website at http://www.acadsa.ca/healthy-habits/
This is also a very important time of the year to be checking your Planning Guide that is made available to you through our Academic Advisors here at ACAD. No matter what year you are currently in, make sure you are on track with what courses you need and updating ones you have completed. Students in fourth year should meet with Laurel Smith, the academic advisor to discuss graduation this upcoming May to make sure you meet all the requirements.
Most importantly – Don’t forget to congratulate yourself on all the hard work and amazing art you’ve done!
The Executive Committee at ACADSA has been working with the Student Leadership Council to make sure that student voices and concerns are being heard and addressed. If there are any health & safety concerns within ACAD, please bring them directly to ACAD security so those issues can be addressed right away. Any other types of concerns, contact myself or any of my fellow team members, our emails can be found on the ACADSA website. Make sure you are also getting in touch with your SLC department representative so they are able to bring any concerns or issues forward so they can be addressed.
Our team here at ACADSA has also been actively engaged in creating awareness and change surrounding sexual violence on post secondary campus. Just as a reminder, ACAD now has a Sexual Violence Policy as well as a separate form for reporting witnessed or experienced sexual assault. I highly recommend giving this policy a read so you are aware of your rights as a student within the ACAD community.
>>>ACAD’s Sexual Violence Policy
>>>ACAD Support Resources
>>>ACAD Critical Path Chart
>>>ACAD Sexual Violence Form
Please look out for your fellow students and don’t be afraid to speak up if something feels wrong. We are here to support all individuals.
If you would like to get in touch with us, you can find information about ACADSA, our staff and committee members at www.acadsa.ca/about. We are trying to limit the amount of emails you receive from us this year, so to stay up to date on what is happening at the Students’ Association please check out News and Events on our website (www.acadsa.ca) and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – @ACADSA.
Good luck on all of your exams, critiques and final papers. Congratulations on completion of this semester! We have exciting things coming your way next term!
Director of Cultural and Community Affairs
Alberta College of Art + Design Students’ Association
ACADSA Events and Deadlines
ACADSA Office Closed During Winter Break
Our office will be closed on Friday, December 14 and we will be back to regular hours on Monday, January 7. Students will be able to access ACAD services and the building till December 21 and ACAD will reopen on January 2. Click here for more information about ACAD’s Holiday Hours and Building Access
Call for Submissions: Hear/d Residency Program
Want to be a part of the ACADSA Hear/d Residency Program this semester? Now is your time to submit a proposal! The residency will have its own central theme of resilience, relating to the journey of mental health issues currently experienced by many post-secondary students. Participants are invited to explore and share their journeys in a creative and innovative way. DEADLINE: January 20, 2019! More information can be found at www.acadsa.ca/heard
Marion Nicoll Gallery: Call For Submissions
If you are interested in having a show between February – April 2019 in either of our Marion Nicoll Gallery spaces, submissions will open December 13, 2018. All current ACAD students are eligible to submit, as well as recent ACAD graduates within the last three years. Please read through our submission guidelines carefully and prepare to complete the online submission form. The form will guide you through the submission process. DEADLINE: January 20, 2019! More information can be found at marionnicollgallery.wordpress.com
Jury Members Required: MNG, Student Groups and Hear/d Residency Program
The ACADSA Marion Nicoll Gallery (MNG) Selection Jury, Student Group Funding Jury and Hear/d Residency Selection Jury needs volunteer members for the Winter 2019 Submissions! Help decide on funding for student groups or determine which artist will be selected for our gallery or residency. Find out about the positions and how to apply at www.acadsa.ca/2018/12/call-for-volunteer-jury-members-acadsa-2-2/
Now Hiring: ACADSA Hear/d Program Mentors
Hear/d Mentors are responsible for acting as a leader within the ACAD community while supporting the student participants of the Hear/d residency program. This year the program will focus on the theme of resiliency, to explore the process of dealing with a variety of mental health issues many post-secondary students face. For more information about the position, including how to apply, visit www.acadsa.ca/2018/12/now-hiring-heard-program-mentor-acadsa-4/