National self-care awareness month

September is National Self-Care Awareness Month, and in the wake of such unprecedented times, taking care of ourselves is becoming not only a valuable skill, but a necessary one. So what exactly is self-care and what are we supposed to be doing to take care of ourselves?

According to the World Health Organization, self-care is defined as “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness.” This refers to physical and mental health, and everyone has different strategies for both.

According to the International Self-care Foundation (ISF) there are seven foundational pillars for being an active participant in one’s own self-care.

Knowledge and health literacy is about knowing your body and knowing enough about the health world to be able to advocate for yourself when needed. Mental wellness is about checking in with yourself mentally and being proactive about known mental health concerns. Physical activity is about keeping yourself active enough to maintain a sense of health and control over your body. Healthy eating has similar goals, but is more focused on what you give yourself as input than the output you produce. Risk avoidance is about sustainability, and looking at what you can do today to make life better for your future self. Good hygiene is about taking care of yourself both to prevent unnecessary health risks, but also feel good in your own skin. And rational use of services and products is about learning how to do things in moderation. 

While self-care places an emphasis on taking individual responsibility for one’s well-being, the “self” part of the word is not all important. In fact, ISF notes that knowing when to consult a healthcare professional and implement “collaborative care” as the ISF puts it, is an important self-care skill related to health literacy and mental wellness.

Senior Psychology major Nancy Mullins wants to make sure people know that self-care isn’t synonymous with selfishness. “Something I really wish people understood about self-care is that it’s not about going on a shopping spree or doing something impulsive. Self-care is about getting your needs met. When you’re in a state of depression or high stress/anxiety, it’s hard to do things just for yourself. But it’s crucial to make sure you’re doing those things.”

There are many things you can do to take care of your physical and mental health, and they don’t have to be time-consuming to be effective. Something as simple as a five-minute walk around the block can be a useful palate cleanser, and flossing your teeth can be a relaxing task to help wind down after a long day. In the end, the specific tasks and strategies you can implement are all up to you, but please take care of yourself.

By Miranda Morris

Enjoying a sleepful semester

This fall, many students are excited to be back on campus (or nearby) to enjoy an in-person college experience once again. As we delve into this semester, it is important to recognize the little ways in which academic performance and overall well-being can be improved. One significant component of a healthy college career that is often lacking (if we are honest with ourselves) is sleep.

Throughout the summer, many students adjust to various work, family, and personal sleep schedules. It is not uncommon that sleep may vary day by day during the summer months. However, now that Greensboro College students are back to academics, athletics, extracurriculars, and work-study, a normal sleep schedule becomes increasingly crucial.

In one American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) article, Dr. Clete A. Kushida states that being routinely tired during the daytime in classes or other activities is an indicator that a student is not getting enough sleep. He goes on to say that sleep quantity and quality are two equally important factors that affect the degree of daytime alertness.  

What are the consequences of poor sleep quality or quantity for students, you may ask? The same AASM article describes how college students with insomnia have significantly more mental health problems than those without insomnia, and poor sleep quantity or quality is shown to affect grades in math, reading, and writing courses.  

Some students may dispute these facts by saying that they stay up late on school nights but make up for it on the weekends. This, however, has also been proven to lead to decreased academic performance because it makes it more difficult to readjust one’s biological clock to an earlier wake time at the start of the new week.  

There are numerous, feasible ways to improve your sleep hygiene this semester. One tip is to identify your own personal sleep needs, as this varies between individuals.  

Some students may need a full eight hours of sleep each night to function optimally, while others may need less. In order to make this determination, sleeping without an alarm one night will help you discover your body’s natural rhythm.  

Regular exercise (30 minutes of moderate physical activity, 5-7 hours before you go to bed) will also benefit sleep quantity and quality. Winding down before bedtime, such as by reading a book with a cup of decaffeinated tea or journaling your thoughts from the day, without the distractions of Netflix or TikTok, is something most college students can easily change to improve sleep.  

Other tips offered universally by many sources include avoiding caffeine at night, maintaining a dark bedroom, and creating a consistent sleep schedule. We can all benefit from better sleep. My advice is to identify where you can make doable adjustments, so you are sure to have a successful and healthy semester!

By Carly Uhlir

The Pride welcomes home one of their own

The Greensboro Pride men’s soccer team welcomes Manbi Nyepon home. Nyepon, a native of the Greensboro area, attended Page High School before beginning his athletic career at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina.

After playing there for two years, he transferred to Greensboro College where he spent his final two collegiate years as the Pride’s starting goalkeeper. Nyepon still holds the current record for in-conference shutouts and clean sheets. He was elected to the all-conference teams both years he was a member of the Pride, leading his team to the conference finals his junior and senior year, winning in 2013.

After graduating, Nyepon stayed on with the Pride as assistant coach to former head coach Tony Falvino. He spent two consecutive years as an assistant coach before moving to Washington D.C., coaching a year at American University and eventually settling at George Washington University.

After his tenure in the nation’s capital, Nyepon returns to his alma mater, assuming the role of head coach following the exit of six-year head coach Tony Falvino. Falvino led the team to 3 regular-season titles (2015, 2018, 2021). In addition to those titles, he also won twice (2015, 2021) in his time here, and was elected USA South coach of the year in 2015. Following the conclusion of the 2021 spring season, Coach Falvino joined the Mercer University Bears, with Nyepon filling his place at GC, assisted by an alumni of the team, Camden Brooks.

“It feels good to be home.” said Nyepon. “This is my first season as a head coach, and we have got a good, responsible group of guys that I am excited to get to know. I think we have the chance to do something special, it just takes effort and trust in each other, and if we have those, I do not think there is anything that can stand in our way.”

According to the USA South coaches’ poll, the Pride is listed in third place to win the regular season, despite being the previous season’s champions. With players transferring, the change in coaching staff and a packed game schedule, the men’s Pride soccer team faces new obstacles. Now listed with 18 games, compared to the 12 played in the spring earlier this year, they look to defend their title and bring another championship home.

Returning senior Jordy Briceno who led the team in goals and assists this past year has given word he fully intends to end his college career on a high note. “We will be facing a much tougher scenario than last year, given that we have a new coach as well as a larger roster and more out of conference games,” said Briceno. “But nothing has ever stopped us from achieving what we want to when we put the work in.”  

In addition to the new coaching staff and recruits, the Pride is also presented with the chance to play night games, with the new flood lights that were recently installed. Bringing back the possibility for Friday night light games, many members are excited to take on opponents at home after a long year of empty stands due to Covid-19. As the men’s soccer team prepares for their first conference game, they will brave this new atmosphere.

New men’s soccer head coach Manbi Nyepon looks over his squad during one their first practices.
Photos courtesy of Alex Trepper

By Keita Ikenna-Gresham

Remembering 9/11

The date September 11, 2001 will forever live in the minds of Americans and forever be cemented in history. On that morning, 19 members of the radical Islamic terrorist coalition Al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and flew them to specially designated targets in the United States.

Within 20 minutes of each other, two of the airplanes slammed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, with both towers collapsing in quick succession shortly after. One hour later, another airplane hit the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The fourth aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93, with a planned target of either the White House or Camp David, crashed in a rural area near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its crew and passengers rallied against their hijackers and attempted to regain control of the aircraft.

By the end of the day, according to the 9/11 article on the History website, a total of 2,996 people were dead in the largest foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. 2,763 were killed in New York City, including 400 firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and port authority employees. At the Pentagon, the result was 249 killed, along with the 44 passengers and crew of Flight 93.

September 11, 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the attack, which has become known simply as “9/11.” While most students currently attending Greensboro College were infants or young children on 9/11, there are faculty and staff still working at the college who were here on that day. They all tell different stories of where they were when they first heard and what their initial thoughts were. Even so, they all expressed feelings of shock, horror, fear, and uncertainty for the future.

Yet, the events of 9/11 also hit much closer to Greensboro than most know. As a stewardess aboard Flight 93, Sandy Waugh Bradshaw called the Gate City her home, having worked for United Airlines for 11 years. In a phone call with her husband, from the Flight 93 Friends website, Bradshaw explained that she had snuck into the plane’s galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water in preparation for the revolt, saying before hanging up, “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go.”

Recovered amongst the charred remains of the aircraft was Bradshaw’s flight handbook, severely burned by jet fuel. Today, that handbook has been preserved and is on display at the Greensboro History Museum.

According to the 9/11 Memorial website, for the anniversary, at the site the towers once stood, a commemoration was held where family members of the deceased read the names of those who were killed in the attack. It also included six minutes of silence at the times the planes struck the towers, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Along with this, there was a citywide commemoration at galleries and museums around New York City. At sundown, the memorial began its “Tribute of Light”, where two spotlights shone up into the sky at the spots where the towers stood.

The hope of these commemorations is to not only remember that terrible day. But to also rejuvenate a spirit of “9/12”, the day after the attack, where Americans came together in hope and compassion for what had happened in the aftermath. This is something that will hopefully be felt not only by New Yorkers, but throughout the nation. As President Bush said that night in a live broadcast, “These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

By Ethan Wilson