What’s Batman got to do with body image and eating disorders?

Reading Time: 3 minutes The unrealistic “Batman body” is the male equivalent of the Barbie doll. Find out what this type of modern imagery means for disordered eating in boys and men.

Tune in: 6 podcasts to expand your world

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Are you scrolling helplessly through your playlist? As you’re walking to class, commuting, or wishing you had a kitten to photograph in your coffee cup for Instagram, why not try a new kind of phone fix? Podcasts help us become more mindful of our downtime. Choose one that shakes up your perspective, tells a gripping story, or makes you laugh (good stress relief). We asked students and SH101 staff about their favorite podcasts, and it turns out that a lot of you listen in.

1. Serial

For brain work that won’t get graded

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“Everything from the cadence of the narration and simple soundtrack to the relentlessly dedicated host and riveting story make it easy to binge on.”
—Savannah G., third-year undergraduate, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado

Dun dun duuuuuun

If you like crime shows but you find most scripted series too predictable, Serial will keep you enthralled. Follow the twists and turns of a reporter’s investigation into a real-life murder in Season 1. Two high school students’ lives have been ruined; one murdered, another jailed for life on weak evidence. Did the suspect do it?

2. Welcome to Night Vale

For when life feels too predictable

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“Virtually a mash-up of an audio book and a podcast. It has silly moments and rather serious ones. It may not serve an academic purpose, but the music coupled with the calming voice of the host helps me clear my mind and relax.”
—Kaitlin H., second-year undergraduate, Mount Ida College, Massachusetts

Now go get weirded out

Listen in to the fictional local radio station of Night Vale and find yourself in a small desert town where there’s a blinking red light coming from an unknown source and a five-headed dragon who wants to be mayor. The superficially conventional townspeople get involved in plots that wouldn’t be out of place in Stephen King’s novels.

3. Rooster Teeth

For when we wish our best friends had a radio show

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“Hilarious, sometimes crude, and talks about a wide variety of subjects.”
—Caitlin B., first-year student, Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts

It’s OK to be a gamer or pop-culture nerd

If you’re a gamer or movie buff, this podcast is a must. The Rooster Teeth panel dissects, discusses, and parodies everything from Minecraft to Hellboy to popular trailers and blockbusters. As addictions go, this one’s way fun and almost scarily harmless.

4. His & Hers

For when we need to reinvent the sports fix

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“Most sports podcasts will do a Super Bowl mock draft or dream team, but His & Hers did a ‘Best Super Bowl party snack draft.’ Cue: a heated conversation about whether hummus worked.”
—Tom Haley, relationship manager, Student Health 101

Anyway, how did Batman get into baseball?

Hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill add a pop-culture twist that takes the conversation far beyond stats and typical talking points. Discussions might (and often do) include whether or not Batman is a superhero. They aren’t afraid to turn the spotlight on themselves by discussing the media’s mixed influence on sports.

5. Stuff You Should Know

For when we don’t know everything already

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“There’s one on almost any topic so you can find what you’re interested in. Or if you just listen to all of them, like I do, you will learn about topics that you didn’t know existed.”
—Alex C., fifth-year undergraduate, Drexel University, Pennsylvania

How to get smarter & livelier effortlessly

Think of it as an encyclopedia you would relish reading. Learn the intriguing history of PEZ (those weird-headed candy dispensers), how spiders work, what’s the deal with blood types, and a squillion other things you didn’t know you needed to know. This is a podcast that will make you smarter (and a riveting conversationalist) without you even noticing.

6. 99% Invisible

For looking through a funkier lens

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“It often feels like you’re being let in on a secret about the world of design. Roman Mars and his team provide insightful storytelling, which makes listening a break from my day and offers an opportunity to learn something new.”
—Drew A., fifth-year student, University of Guelph, Ontario

New angle, new details, new you

99% Invisible deals with art and architecture, focusing on features that we often fail to notice or think about. Navigate through history with a fresh perspective, discovering new connections all around you. You might learn about the use of sound in the Hannibal TV series or the how the design of Sigmund Freud’s couch influenced his psychoanalysis.

Bonus! Time to get your happy on

Happier

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Happier is a podcast by Gretchen Rubin, who researches happiness and the habits that lead to it. She and her sister chime in on what makes us happier and how those strategies are working (or not) in their own lives. Each episode, they award a gold star for taking a step toward happiness; e.g., if they said no to something they didn’t have time for (speaking of, see in this issue Can’t say no? 8 ways to take back your time).


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Are you social or nocial?: Take the quiz

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Taylor Swift, the ice bucket challenge, and Justin Bieber’s Calvin Klein ads have all “broken the internet,” but what would you do if the interwebs were really down? Would you feel lost without Instagram? Do you struggle to put down your phone? Are you among the 75 percent of students in our recent survey who admitted to texting someone in the same room? If so, you may be nocial. Both introverts and extroverts can acquire this 21st-century condition. Find out if you are nocial, why it matters, and what to do about it.

#1

You’re on a date with the person you like (a lot). Are you on your phone?

Yeah, more than twice

You’re nocial

Uh-oh, nocial alert. “Some students use their smart phone as a way to cope with [uncomfortable] social situations,” says Dr. Fjola Helgadottir, a psychologist at Oxford University, UK. “As a result…you miss out on an opportunity to confront your fear, which is the best way to improve.” In a recent survey by Student Health 101, one in five respondents admitted to checking their phone multiple times on a movie date.

Tips…

  • Before your date, wrap a thick rubber band around your phone. If you reach for it, the rubber band will act as a tactile reminder to leave your phone alone.
  • “Leave the phone at home. It’s scarier because you don’t have a barrier to hide behind, but it’s worth it,” says Amelia M., a third-year undergraduate at Utah State University. Less drastically, just keep your phone turned off so you’re reminded not to use it except in emergencies.
No...well, maybe once or twice, max.

You’re social

Congrats, you’re social.

Tips…

  • Before your date, wrap a thick rubber band around your phone. If you reach for it, the rubber band will act as a tactile reminder to leave your phone alone.
  • “Leave the phone at home. It’s scarier because you don’t have a barrier to hide behind, but it’s worth it,” says Amelia M., a third-year undergraduate at Utah State University. Less drastically, just keep your phone turned off so you’re reminded not to use it except in emergencies.
#2

You’re eating with friends.
Do they tell you to put your phone away?

Yes, unless they're on their phones, too.

You’re nocial

Guess what, you’re being nocial—you and 30 percent of the students who responded to our survey. Research shows that being around other people in person makes us happier than being alone. When you’re happy, you can make other people happier too, according to a 2008 study by researchers at Harvard University.

Tips…

  • Make the change. “Smile at them. Hug your friends when you see them. Be a human, just like humans before the age of smart phones,” says Ann B., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • Play the phone stack game. “When you’re dining out, everyone can place their phones in the middle of the table. The first person to give in and grab their phone has to pay the tab,” says Taylor F., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Hawaii. Come up with consequences for other situations.
No, my phone is already away.

You’re social

And your life is richer for it.

Tips…

  • Make the change. “Smile at them. Hug your friends when you see them. Be a human, just like humans before the age of smart phones,” says Ann B., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • Play the phone stack game. “When you’re dining out, everyone can place their phones in the middle of the table. The first person to give in and grab their phone has to pay the tab,” says Taylor F., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Hawaii. Come up with consequences for other situations.
#3

You have just been notified that you’ve made a team or been awarded a scholarship. How do you first share the news?

Post “I did it!!! :-)” on social media.

You’re nocial

Sharing positive experiences in person makes us happier in the long term, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (2012). We don’t get the same level of social support via Facebook, a study in the Public Library of Science journal suggests (2013).

Tips…

  • Long distance? Use Skype or FaceTime. “Video calls are often clearer and you can see their live reaction,” says Nicholas T., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Uninstall a social media app from your phone. You can still log on from your computer, but you won’t be constantly checking it when you’re out.
Hunt down your friends and tell them in person.

You’re social

You’re social on this one, like three out of five students in our survey. “Face to face [is best because] you can see emotions. Texting is emotionless, even with emojis,” says Catherine L., a fifth-year undergraduate at the University of Alberta.

Tips…

  • Long distance? Use Skype or FaceTime. “Video calls are often clearer and you can see their live reaction,” says Nicholas T., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Uninstall a social media app from your phone. You can still log on from your computer, but you won’t be constantly checking it when you’re out.
#4

When you’re in bed, do you text and check social media?

Of course, scrolling through updates is how I unwind.

You’re nocial

You’re a nocial night owl. In our survey, 4 in 5 students admitted to texting or checking social media in bed. You know it’s wrecking your sleep, right? And lack of sleep wrecks everything else. “Using a phone or a tablet sends a signal to your brain that says, ‘Hey, this is wake-up time,” says Dr. Shelley Hershner, director of the Collegiate Sleep Disorder Center at the University of Michigan.

Tips…

Place your phone out of reach overnight so both you and it can recharge. Airplane mode muffles notifications but not your alarm.

No, I don't want to sabotage my energy for socializing tomorrow.

You’re social

You’re keeping it old school—in the best way.

Tips…

Place your phone out of reach overnight so both you and it can recharge. Airplane mode muffles notifications but not your alarm.

#5

When you’re talking to someone, are you more comfortable looking at your phone or looking into their eyes?

Phone

You’re nocial

One in three of our survey respondents chose this answer. Twenty-first century adults make eye contact 30–60 percent of the time during a conversation, according to data from Quantified Communications. To make an emotional connection, we need 60–70 percent eye contact.

Tips…

  • Become a phone-free role model. “I have implemented a rule: no gadgets of any kind [in social situations]. I set the example and people are catching on. I’m using this to get over being uncomfortable looking people in the eye and in face-to-face conversation,” says Anna E., a recent graduate of West Liberty University School of Professional Studies, West Virginia.
  • “Focus on your eyes in a mirror to practice eye contact. And if you randomly catch your reflection, rather than looking away, look at your eyes for five-plus seconds,” says Amy Nielson, a fourth-year undergraduate at Western Washington University.
Eyes

You’re social

Keep your eyes on the prize. You’re being social.

Note: If holding eye contact is very distracting or uncomfortable for you, a momentary eye-connection every couple of minutes helps the other person know that you’re still part of the conversation.

Tips…

  • Become a phone-free role model. “I have implemented a rule: no gadgets of any kind [in social situations]. I set the example and people are catching on. I’m using this to get over being uncomfortable looking people in the eye and in face-to-face conversation,” says Anna E., a recent graduate of West Liberty University School of Professional Studies, West Virginia.
  • “Focus on your eyes in a mirror to practice eye contact. And if you randomly catch your reflection, rather than looking away, look at your eyes for five-plus seconds,” says Amy Nielson, a fourth-year undergraduate at Western Washington University.
#6

You’re in class. Do you check your phone for notifications?

Often enough that I fall behind in my note taking and don't know the names of my classmates.

You’re nocial

Definitely nocial, like two in five students who took our survey. In a 2013 study, more than 80 percent of students acknowledged that their gadgets interfere with their learning, and one in four said this hurts their grades, according to the Journal of Media Education.

Tips…

  • Start simple. “Always say one word, even if it’s hello. It breaks the ice. Just ask how their day is going,” says Melissa W., a third-year undergraduate at the University of Saskatchewan. Before-class mingling can help you make friends in class.
  • Remove the temptation: “Leave your phone in the car charging, or put it in a pocket you don’t normally carry it in, and resist the urge to pull it out. After a while, your phone separation anxiety will go away,” says Tate F., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of North Dakota.
No, or rarely.

You’re social

You’re a double winner, socially and academically.

Tips…

  • Start simple. “Always say one word, even if it’s hello. It breaks the ice. Just ask how their day is going,” says Melissa W., a third-year undergraduate at the University of Saskatchewan. Before-class mingling can help you make friends in class.
  • Remove the temptation: “Leave your phone in the car charging, or put it in a pocket you don’t normally carry it in, and resist the urge to pull it out. After a while, your phone separation anxiety will go away,” says Tate F., a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of North Dakota.


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Thrifty Threads: How students dress well and spend less

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Having a hard time dressing without stressing about debt? Four inspired undergrads demo how it’s done.

Bianca-CooperBianca Cooper

Fourth-year undergraduate majoring in environmental biology at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland

“I love this outfit because I’ve put my twist on almost everything. I distressed the pants with a cheese grater and used a seam ripper to make the holes. The patterned tights are for the peekaboo effect. The tank top was originally a onesie; I cut off the snaps and sewed the hem. I took in the waist of the shirt and cut off the sleeves. I love feeling feminine while also being comfortable and realistic. I feel better about the day when I’m excited about my outfit. Shoes are the one thing I spend money on. I’ve had these for more than eight years.”

Collared shirt: $9, The Gap men’s sale rack
Sweater: $15, The Gap
Tank top: $10, Urban Outfitters, sale rack
Tights: $5, Marshalls
White pants: $20
Frye boots: $200

Clothes spending per semester: $50–75

Bianca's inspiration and affordable style tips

Style inspiration

Men’s sales racks “I’m 5’10” and I love looking different from everyone else. I have made men’s collared shirts into really cute dresses.”

Sewing machine, needle and thread, and scissors—and maybe a cheese grater “You can really reduce your carbon footprint by repurposing or fixing your clothing. You shouldn’t throw something out just because there’s a hole in it.”

Pinterest “It is a great source of ideas for clothing modifications.”

Affordable style tips

“Most girls on campus wear the typical North Face jacket with Ugg boots and yoga pants. Creating your own style opens up so many possibilities and you spend less money. I love when other students ask me where I bought something and I tell them I actually made it.”
  • Take an inventory of your clothes at the end of each school year: “If you haven’t worn something, brainstorm ways to make it cooler.”
  • Don’t be put off by sales items that are too small or too big: Think creatively about modifying them.
  • Modifying doesn’t have to involve sewing: Lots can be done with scissors, e.g., cut off sleeves or make a new neckline.
  • Invest in decent shoes: It’s worth it, since shoes get more wear and tear than clothes.

Jaysel ShahJaysel Shah

Fourth-year undergraduate majoring in biology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“This is the first blazer I ever bought, and it was to wear on my 21st birthday. I had a good time that night because I knew I was stylish and felt good about myself. I was one of the best dressed people out that night, but I didn’t spend a fortune.”

Blazer: $9, Everbuying.net
Shirt: $5, Champs Sports
Jeans: $17, Walmart

Clothes spending per semester:  $250–300

Jaysel's inspiration and affordable style tips

Style inspiration

The classy, clean, sophisticated look “I stand out from the crowd. When I go out with my friends, I’m often the only one wearing a tie.”

Other people “I first saw this classy look on people I knew and realized they were grabbing more attention this way. This is why I decided to begin dressing like this.”

Others’ perceptions “I dress this way because I became more mature and realized that no one will ever take you seriously unless you dress to impress.”

Affordable style tips

“If my peers can’t buy something really nice and expensive, they won’t buy anything at all. They don’t seem to think outside the box.”
  • Earmark a set amount of money for clothes: Jaysel allocates 10 percent of his earnings.
  • Look online for deals: Shop at physical stores only when they have sales. Try Macy’s or JC Penney for quality items at lower prices.
  • Look for compatible accessories: If you’re buying a watch or necklace, be sure it works with your wardrobe so that you’ll wear it often.

Connie MorelandConnie Moreland

Fourth-year undergraduate majoring in economics at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond

“In Korea it’s trendy to wear any item of clothing with English written on it. The funny thing is that some of the English words and sentences don’t make any sense! I went from Korea to Chile, where I was honked and whistled at on the street for wearing this tunic. They’re not used to seeing women wear short dresses.”

Tunic: $30, Street shop in Seoul where she studied abroad
Shorts: $25, H&M
Tights: $5, WalMart

Clothes spending per semester: $300

Connie's inspiration and affordable style tips

Style inspiration

Korean fashion “Much of the fashion in Korea is short and meant to be worn with something underneath. I like to wear their tunics with shorts and tights.”

Neutral colors, especially black and white “They mix easily with other pieces.”

Sewing machine “I received a sewing machine for Christmas two years ago and taught myself how to sew. I love that there is a huge online sewing community. I modify online sewing patterns from indie designers to create my own unique clothing items.”

Affordable style strategies

“Many of the students at my school aren’t very fashion-forward. They tend to rely on the typical college student staples: a hoodie and leggings or yoga pants.”
  • Use an app: E.g., RetailMeNot finds coupons and discounts.
  • Leave your credit card at home: Go shopping with cash only, so you’re conscious of how much you’re spending.
  • Spend money on classics that will always be fashionable: e.g., handbags or a trench coat with clean lines. Don’t get caught up in seasonal trends.

Betty-YuBetty Yu

Third-year undergraduate majoring in biochemistry & molecular biology at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon

“I would never have gone into those thrift stores that hipsters always rave about. But I fell in love with a morbidly overpriced velvet skirt at Urban Outfitters and thought I might be able to find something similar. After visiting two thrift stores I found something just like what I’d seen, and bought several bags of other cool items for the same price I would have spent on one skirt.”

Shawl: $5, World Market
Velvet skirt: $8, Portland thrift store
Socks: $6, Sock Dreams
Shoes: $28, Target

Clothes spending per semester: $150

Betty's inspiration and affordable style tips

Style inspiration

The varied, low-budget, “shabby chic” fashion scene in Portland, Oregon (Betty’s hometown): “Now I realize that thrift stores are not overrated, and I’m always exploring other inexpensive fashion options.”

Instagram: “This is what got me into fashion. I starting following people, seeing what they were wearing, and replicating their styles in a way that fits with my student budget.”

Affordable style tips

“Students don’t look for clothes in the right places. They seem to go to the big-name stores and spend too much money.”
  • Buy basics in bulk to spend less in the long run: Betty buys out-of-season items like shorts, skirts, and tops for winter layering.
  • Do your research: A few extra minutes searching online could save you a lot of money.
  • Follow fashion on Instagram: The web is full of clothing ads that offer coupons.
  • Talk with other people and explore the local shops to find great alternatives to brand-name stores.


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