As the snow began to swirl outside, the AC Hub filled with students eager to learn about winter weather in Canada with an event called Adulting 101.
Every month, an event put on by the campus safety team teaches students how to live life as grown-ups, with the month of November spent learning about SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and other winter-related topics.
On Nov. 27, health psychologist and health promotion and education co-ordinator Elizabeth Pena-Fernández talked with students about the importance of taking care of yourself to prevent the winter blues.
“It is very important to take good care of your physical health but also your mental health as well,” said Pena-Fernández, who moved from Mexico to Ottawa two years ago and had plenty of advice for international students new to the ice and cold.
“Don’t be scared, don’t be afraid of winter, just embrace it,” said Pena-Fernández. “Dress properly for winter that is the key part and then enjoy it because you can find lots of activities and just have tons of fun during winter.”
Topics covered during the event included taking care of yourself with winter colds, overall wellness and the importance of fitness and eating well. All the advice was given with practical tips and resources.
Students also went home with a hug in a mug. The gift came with a winter-themed mug, a toque, a tea and hot chocolate packet, cough drops and resource pamphlets for winter wellness for international students and what to do for a sore throat.
International student Sahib Vilkhu from India said the coldest weather he had experienced before coming to Canada was 8 C.
“I was expecting it to be more on seasonal affective disorder and while she covered that, she also covered most of everything I need to know about winter,” said Vilkhu, who is looking forward to trying outdoor ice skating for the first time.
Marketing student Meghan Kennedy says the hardest part of adulting is the adjustment from high school to being out on your own and these events help with the transition.
“I think the hardest part is they just don’t prepare you in school and then you get to the part of adulting” and that’s when the trouble starts, said Kennedy. “And then that’s where things like seasonal depression come in.”
More Adulting 101 events are planned for every month. The next event was scheduled for December about financial aid.
“Adulting 101 is a series we started planning in about August to start up in October. The whole point is to find guest speakers who are at the college to speak to expertise based on the student life cycle,” said Raivyn Halcro, the event co-ordinator.
“There are valleys and mountains that students experience, and we just want to address main concerns through the various themes each month.”