Feel Great · Get Well

DIY Face Masks

As we slowly but surely, start to approach spring, it’s time to put some “spring” back into your step, and more importantly, back into your skin. Just because it’s still the dead of winter and pretty frigid out, doesn’t mean your skin has to look dead too. These quick and easy homemade face masks are the perfect products to brighten you up. With little time and few ingredients needed, these quick and easy homemade face masks will make your skin feel bright, fresh, and airy.

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Avocado and Honey
Winter can make your skin dry and cause it to peel, and sometimes no matter how much you moisturize, lotions can only do so much. Avocado is loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids which will reenergize your skin and help keep it smooth, while the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are key to reducing redness and swelling. This is something to keep in mind whether you’ve been battling the winter cold, or it’s just the morning after a rough night out.


  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Simply mash and combine the ingredients in a small bowl and apply to your face.
  2. Let sit on your face for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse with warm water.
  4. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

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Organic Banana Face Mask
This face mask is for those who want the results without all of the work. With three basic ingredients that can be found in anyone’s kitchen, this mask has been praised for leaving skin silky, smooth, and glowing, and it works great on all skin types. It only takes five minutes to make, and the results are worth every second.


  • ½ Banana
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey


  1. Mash ½ banana.
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of honey.
  3. Apply to the face and keep the mixture on for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.

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Egg White Mask
An unusual twist with something you usually have for your morning breakfast, egg white masks are quite common, and are known for their stellar results. They are great for reducing breakouts and clearing up those nasty acne scars from our teenage years. Even better, they help soak up excess oils on the skin and help rebuild damaged skin cells, so you can start your day off clean and glowing.


  • 2-3 egg whites 


  1. Separate two to three egg whites from the yolks and whisk until frothy. Let them stand for a few minutes while you rinse your face and pat dry.
  2. Apply a thin layer with your fingers and allow it to dry a few minutes.
  3. Continue to apply layers until you have three or four in total.
  4. Let the mask dry for 20 minutes then rinse completely and pat skin dry.

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Baking Soda Mask
As odd as it sounds, baking soda is great when used on the skin. It cleans out bacteria in pores, dries up excess oils, and removes dead skin cells. Feel free to add drops of lavender or any other scent your prefer to help you relax or make your skin smell as yummy as it feels.


  • Equal parts baking soda and water to form a thick paste


  1. For an acne mask, mix equal parts baking soda and water to form a thick paste.
  2. Massage onto skin in a circular motion for 2 minutes, then let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat skin dry.


By Annie O’Sullivan

Feel Great · Get Well

Animals on Campus

Syracuse University is experiencing an increase in students living with animals on campus, according to the Office of Residence Life.

Terra Peckskamp, Director of the Office of Residence Life at Syracuse University, said that having animals on campus is something a lot of campuses are talking about, seeing more of, and figuring out how to navigate.

“We’ve had more of them on South Campus in the apartments, where it’s a little bit easier to do that, but they can have them in the residence halls too,” said Peckskamp. This year, there are two students with animals in residence halls, and many more on South Campus.

Neha Rauf has an emotional support animal in the University Village Apartments. Her family moved to Wales so she was feeling very lonely and started going to counseling. She brought up the idea of an emotional support animal to her therapist, who also thought it would be beneficial.

“There’s a lot of therapeutic benefit from just taking care of something,” said Rauf. “I enjoy being busy and having responsibilities.”

Peckskamp said that, for students who need emotional support animals, they “can be incredibly beneficial and can really help them thrive on campus. However, having animals in residence halls does create challenges.

Rauf plans her schedule around her dog. She has to go home at some point during the day or have a neighbor check in on her dog. Because of this, Rauf only took twelve credits this semester.

Rauf’s dog, Jill, is a mix of a laboratory retriever and a pitbull, which she says sometimes raises some eyebrows. “Fix It gets nervous,” she said. Still, Rauf said that her dog is one of the best decisions she’s ever made.


Neha Rauf and her dog, Jill.

In a study ran by Theresa McDevitt and others at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 95% of 449 student participants considered interaction with therapy dogs to be a means of stress reduction.

“I think there’s a greater understanding now of the impact of animals on people,” said McDevitt. “If you pet a dog, a hormone is released that makes you calmer and, if your heart was racing, it brings your heart rate back down to normal.”

Timothy Reid is a graduate student in the Psychology Department at Syracuse University, who said that it’s possible that some of the students with animals could be faking mental illness so they can bring their pets to school. “I think it is possible in any field that people will try and cheat the system in some way. With enough research, you could probably fake something,” said Reid. “There are scenarios where it would be advantageous for someone to get a diagnosis that maybe they don’t actually have.”

C.W. Von Bergen, a professor at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University and an expert on animals in society, said that it’s hard to identify mental disabilities so it’s easy for college students to claim they have one. “It’s particularly true in dorms and housing situations, where the federal housing administration has approved bringing animals as a mental accommodation,” said Von Bergen.

He worries that it’s getting easier and easier to get someone classified as having a mental disability. He mentioned that there are a number of companies on the internet that, in exchange for payment, will write a letter to your landlord or university saying that you have a mental disability and that an animal would be beneficial treatment.

However, Peckskamp is confident in Syracuse University’s Office of Residence Life’s system to make sure that the animal is a legitimate need for the student. “It’s not just, ‘Hey I want to bring Fido from home,’… Those are the ones that end up getting turned down.” However, Peckskamp said that most of the cases she’s been involved in have resulted in the student being able to keep the animal.

Still, the Office of Residence Life is still struggling with issues where students have animals who aren’t there legally and try to say it was approved by a therapist, but they haven’t been approved by the school. “We kind of work with them on that process, so in the interim there’s a little bit of limbo where we’ll say the animal can stay for two days but they need to be able to provide the documentation,” said Peckskamp.

“It’s more of the students who actually are just there with pets where we have to say no, that they have to find somewhere else for their animal,” which Peckskamp said happens a lot on South Campus.

Sometimes students will remove the pet, but a few months later the Office of Residence Life will come back to check and the pet will be back again. At that point, they may move the student out of the apartment and into a residence hall, which affects meal plans and financial aid.

“We have students sign a notarized form that says I understand that I’ll be moved if I have my pet back again because it’s not just the student that’s impacted but it’s their roommates, and it’s also the pet. Because our residential facilities may or may not be well equipped for animals,” said Peckskamp.

The Office of Residence Life also keeps a close eye on South Campus apartments because of the wild cat problem. Once people graduate or leave, they sometimes just turn them loose.

“There’s a lot of trickery going on, a lot of faking kind of activities,” said Von Bergen. “I think it does a disservice to people who actually have a mental or emotional disability.”


By Abby Rose Sugnet

Get Well

10 Small Ways to Improve Your Happiness

Life can get extremely stressful and overwhelming. Staying consistently happy is something we often overlook in the midst of all of our daily distractions. It can be hard to pull yourself out of the dazed feeling that your head could possibly explode at any minute. However, you have the power to make little changes throughout your week to escape this mental instability that we all experience as humans. Take a deep breath and try to remember that life is about being happy, and your mental state should be a priority.

1) Change of scenery. Stuck in your dorm studying all day? Move around! Making a change of scenery every so often helps keep your mind awake and can help prevent that feeling of being trapped in the on-campus prison we call Bird Library. Even if it’s walking across the street to grab yourself a cup of coffee, a little change of location and a quick chat with a friend can help boost your mood.

2) Put something up on your wall that inspires you. It seems stupidly simple, but looking up at my wall filled with pictures of my friends and places I aspire to go genuinely makes me feel happier by bringing my mind elsewhere.

3) Go to a puppy shelter. When we’re at college we forget how nice it is to come home to a pet that is more enthusiastic to see you than anyone else in your household. Playing with animals is definitely a stress reliever and will certainly increase your mood when you’re having a bad day. I mean, who doesn’t love puppies?

4) Go adventuring! Whether you are looking to stay on campus or go for a little excursion, make an effort to accomplish something that has always been on your bucket list. Never been to the top of the water towers? Make it happen. Ever wanted to visit friends at their college? Make a quick plan, and scavenge for a car to take the fun little spontaneous trip you’ve always dreamed of.

5) Spend time around people who are generally motivated and happy. Being constantly surrounded by or living with people who look at the negative side of everything can really affect the way you feel. Try to find people who make you feel excited and passionate about life. When you find those people, never let those friendships go.

6) Have a set time every week for quality “you” time. Love doing yoga? Taking bike rides? Going hiking? Take a look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and see when you will have an hour or two to yourself where you won’t feel stressed about having to be somewhere or getting something done. Make this your time of the week to really focus on yourself, your mental state of being, and reflect on yourself. Use this time to improve your quality of life.

7) Watch something you know makes you laugh. This is such a simple thing that can instantly be a game changer for being stuck in an “I hate my life” mood. Go on YouTube and type in your favorite video of someone hilariously falling off a table or Anderson Cooper giggling like a small child (cracks me up every time).

8) Listen to music that brings you back to a happier time or place. Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need to take a step back and chill out. Close your laptop, turn off your lights and just have a moment or two to listen to some great music and think about your happiest moment or favorite place to be. Whether that’s home, the beach, or somewhere halfway around the world, visualizing yourself back in that moment brings your mind and body to a better place.

9) Get Vitamin D into your diet. In the dead of a Syracuse winter, we tend to get discouraged out of doing things because of the harsh temperatures in the double negatives. With the lack of sun, it’s common for people to be deficient in Vitamin D. Try adding dairy into your diet or talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplements.

10) Stretch and exercise. You can never go wrong with either of these. Stretching out your body or doing some basic yoga is great for when you don’t have a lot of time in between classes or studying. Five minutes of a few basic stretches or a quick ab workout can make your body feel refreshed and take the stresses away from your thoughts for a bit.

By Sarah Kinzler

Get Well

Staying Focused: The 5 Tips Your Grades Can’t Live Without

We’re living in a world where half of our generation seems to have ADHD and the other half is too engrossed in social media to pay attention to anything. As you head out for that pesky 8am class with your eyes barely open and your body craving caffeine, making it through the day seems impossible. But, have no fear friends! Here’s some tips that will make even the most prize-winning procrastinators focus:

  1. Make a list

Go back to the basics. Before having a mental breakdown about that chemistry quiz, take out the notes on your phone or a piece of paper and write down everything you need to accomplish. You can even put different categories on your list to separate personal and academic things. After you get your life down on paper, checking things off that list feels nothing less than liberating!

  1. Set a timer

If you are the type of person that thrives under pressure, set a timer for anywhere from 15-45 minutes. If you put the pressure of time on work you know needs to get finished, you are much more likely to want to compete to beat that timer. Once you start hearing that annoying ring tone you set earlier, pat yourself on the back and go take a five or ten minute break.

  1. Put your phone on airplane mode

It’s much easier to stay focused in class or on work when your phone isn’t lighting up every five seconds for that Instagram photo your friends keep liking. This helps to keep the temptation of checking all your social media, emails, and texts at bay.

  1. Find a good spot

Even though it’s tempting to hide under the plush covers of your bed to do work online, it’s also a good way to take an accidental three-hour nap. If you are a very social person, sometimes it helps to lock yourself in a place where you won’t get distracted easily by peers. Some great spots on campus include the lounge in Hendrick’s near People’s Place, private rooms in Whitman or Newhouse, and Café Kubal on Marshall.

  1. Exercise beforehand

Exercise usually leaves us with an optimistic outlook on life and generally make us feel more motivated for the rest of the day. By shedding your problems at the gym and immersing yourself in a fresh burst of endorphins, you will likely succeed at staying focused later on. Besides, who wants to work out after you’ve been stuck in the library for five hours? Netflix and chill, please.

By Sarah Kinzler

Feel Great

How to Get Back on that College Grind

As much as we want to be in denial about it, classes have started which means now is the time to slowly get your body, diet, and routine back on schedule for the school year. This can take some time since most of us have probably been sleeping till noon, having late night Chinese binges, and staying out until the crack of dawn. While I fully know and expect that this late night routine will probably still be instilled into next week and possibly the week after for a few (or most) students, I have come up with a few simple tips for how to slowly (but surely) adjust back into the college grind.

  1. Manage your sleep schedule. Never underestimate the power of a good night sleep. I know there are a few students who can properly function on 3-4 hours of sleep a night, but that’s not the case for most of us. It’s a fact that sleeping schedules get jumbled over the summertime, but if you try to change your summertime sleeping schedule into a more proper and regular schedule now, it will put you at an enormous advantage. The benefits are endless; you’ll be more energetic during the daytime and more cognitive during classes. In order to get on a proper sleeping schedule, I suggest trying to go to bed at a reasonable time like 11:00PM and attempt to get a full 8-9 hours of sleep.
  1. Set exercise times. One of the best ways to release stress from school and an overwhelming workload is to work out. It’s sometimes difficult to find the time to exercise, but if you set an exercise schedule that works well with your classes in advance, it will make planning your exercise time immensely easier.
  1. Diet. It’s easier to control your diet over the summer when you’re mostly relying on your parents to make your meals, but once you’re back at college, you have to put a conscious effort into what you’re eating. One of the simplest ways to try and contain your calorie consumption is to not to eat out/order out. Buying food from the grocery store and making it yourself gives you the control and knowledge of exactly what you’re eating. This makes it easier to know your calorie consumption and to keep your body healthy.
  1. Have designated going out nights. This one might be the toughest, but it really will be a lifesaver in the end. Having designated going out nights during the week can make everything a lot easier on you; you can be social and still have time to focus on your studies. It’s easy for people to get caught up in going out every night and trying to catch up on homework in the morning, but it’s not a healthy schedule to be on. Having planned nights where you know you’re going to be hanging out with your friends can be a good push to get your homework and studying out of the way in advance.
  1. Set balance. This one is also tough to fully get into action but living a balanced life is one of the keys to college. While you’ll probably never be able to achieve full balance between your extra-curricular activities and school work, at least attempting to create balance between the two can be beneficial. Part of the reason so many people go to college is the life experiences that come with it. Make sure that you’re putting school work first, but that you’re also not missing out on the opportunities that will be presented to you. Make sure to have fun, go to a few football/basketball games and hit up Chipotle on Marshall Street. Time goes by fast, so make sure you enjoy it!

By Nicole Shapiro