Mental Health: Simple Ways to Stay Healthy as a Blue Hen ​

Mental Health: Simple Ways to Stay Healthy as a Blue Hen

They tell us that college is the best four years of our lives. New friends, clubs, activities, and learning more about yourself every day.  This is exciting, but sometimes all of these things in our already-busy schedule can become a bit overwhelming.  As someone with a mental illness, I understand that it can be a challenge to juggle all of what our amazing school has to offer at once.  My freshman year here at UD was definitely a challenge.  I have struggled with anxiety for my whole life, and when it came to the large amounts of exams, assignments, and extra-curricular activities, anxiety always found a way to get the best of me.  But, as blue hens, we cannot let mental illnesses win the fight to success.  I can confidently say that I have conquered my anxiety here at UD, and I would like to share my methods to having a stress-free school year.

1. Eating Right

One of the most important components of a stress-free lifestyle is eating right.  This semester I have discovered that breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day.  Getting a healthy meal in your system, whether it is a bowl of cereal, a plate of eggs, or even a cup of yogurt, they all have one of the greatest effects on your mood throughout the day. However, eating a balanced meal cannot only take place in the morning – should stay consistent throughout the day.  Growing up, our parents constantly reminded us to eat three meals a day, and I cannot stress how important that is.  What we are eating throughout the day is what gives us the energy we need to keep going when we have those two exams the next day or those three papers to write by the end of the week.  Eating three balanced meals a day also reduces stress, mood swings, and anxiety, which are some of the things that can be a harmful distraction when it comes to balancing schoolwork. 

2. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

You have a huge exam tomorrow morning, and you’ve only studied for a couple hours yesterday plus a few hours today.  You feel like you aren’t prepared, so the best thing to do is stay up all night studying.  WRONG!  Sleep is one of the most important parts of how we function throughout the day, including how we perform on exams.  Getting around seven to nine hours of sleep every night is crucial, especially for college students.  We have a lot of tasks to accomplish every day, some days more than others.  So, when I know that I have to get a lot of things done tomorrow, I would make sure to get a good amount of sleep tonight.  Along with eating right, sleeping well can also reduce the amount of stress, anxiety, and mood swings we have throughout the day.  Reducing these feelings can help us stay more on top of school work and push us to be more motivated to get involved on campus.

3. Plan Out Your Week

Keeping a visible set schedule is so important when we have those busy college weeks.  I don’t think I could live without my planner.  Every Sunday night, I get out my planner, a pen, and a few highlighters and make a set schedule for the week.  I highlight my exams and due dates in different colors to keep everything organized.  Keeping your brain organized is essential for mentally health and can reduce that overwhelming feeling that we get when large amounts of work and activities build up in our schedule.  This also helps to get yourself motivated and excited to get everything done during the week!  Also, I have found that crossing out things that you have finished is a great thing to do to clear your head.  Getting things done is definitely self-rewarding and, ultimately, boosts a student’s confidence. 

4. Tell Yourself That You Can!

This semester, I’m taking a psychology course, and one of the lessons that I learned was about positive thinking and it’s outcome on how we perform on exams.  I have not always been the best at taking exams, so whenever I sat down in class to take an exam, the only thoughts that were circulating through my mind was how terrible I was going to do on the exam.  I now know that these anxious and negative thoughts that I would experience before my exams caused me to forget some of the information that I studied.  Preparing for and taking exams is definitely stressful and overwhelming, but having a positive mindset can easily affect the way we perform on our exams.  Just simply tell yourself that you know more than you think, and you can do it!  Whatever the outcome will be, will be, and there is nothing that you can change after the exam is over.  Think positive, and perform positive!

5. Finally, Give Yourself a Break

Sometimes, we all need a break.  No matter how many things you have to get done, you should always give yourself a break.  During your relaxation time away from studying, do something that you love!  Invest your time in something that makes you happy.  My favorite thing to do when I’m on a study break is to watch an episode of my favorite television show, but some other things that I invest in that I recommend is painting, going to the gym, cooking, cleaning, or writing in a journal.  I always go to the gym before I study or do homework. It is one of the best ways of relieving stress and boosts memory retention as well as the cognitive functions in the brain, and keeping a journal also has a lot of positive outcomes when it comes to relieving stress.  An important activity that I learned is called flow journaling, and the point of it is to just let your mind wander.  During this activity, you start to let anything that is on your mind flow onto the paper, and the only rule is that you cannot erase anything because the point it to just let your mind run.  After you write one page, you will feel a sense of clearness in your mind, which will result in more efficient studying.  Taking breaks like this while studying can help remind us that everything is going to be okay!

Stronger Not Skinnier

Stronger Not Skinnier

Find your own happy medium

Do you ever pass the mirror, stop, look, and not like what you see? Do you ever beat yourself up about the way you look? Do you ever feel gross and upset with yourself for munching out on a bunch of cookies and cake? Or are you simply insecure and uncomfortable in your own skin? If you answered yes to any of these, I hope to change that for you! I am going to empower you to feel comfortable in your skin and confident in your body. Imagine if you stopped obsessing over “fitting in” to a tiny pair of jeans and started “fitting in” to things that make you feel GOOD. Women should feel confident for who they are and who they want to become. We shouldn’t be uncomfortable and insecure in our own skin.

Picture Credits: Madeline Costantino

Today, society molds the negative perceptions of ourselves. It starts with the way we look at ourselves. The way we look at ourselves in the mirror every morning. The way we compare ourselves to others constantly. The way we judge others so harshly and judge ourselves even more. There’s a lot more to a girl then her cute clothes, boobs, butt, and stomach fat. our views have changed tremendously, especially in this area of life. I once felt the way that many girls still feel today. However, now I have a passion for fitness and nutrition. I used to focus on being smaller but now I focus on being STRONGER-both physically and mentally. I have learned to look in the mirror and love myself. I don’t look back and see how much I’ve lost, but how much I’ve gained. I stopped striving to be the smallest version of myself and started striving to be the strongest. Stop looking in the mirror and always seeing what is missing, rather than what’s there. Stop using exercise as a punishment, rather than a pleasure. Embrace the happy and healthy person you are!

Picture Credits: Madeline Costantino

Workout because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to. However, you should feel damn good if you do and not bad if you don’t. It’s not about the toned arms, slimmer thighs, and big butt. It’s about that big smile and rewarding feeling at the end, knowing that you have cherished and challenged your body. Give your body tools to empower it, rather than restrict it. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you stop being your bodies biggest critic and start becoming its biggest fan. It’s your body you make the rules.

I guarantee you weighing LESS won’t make you think MORE of your body. What will make you think more of your body is confidence. Gain strength, gain happiness, and gain back that smile that you’ve lost. Your motivation to feel and look better shouldn’t come from hatred it should come from love. I have created an Instagram account (@maddiecostfitlife) that helps inspire and motivate people to become the best version of themselves that they can be. Through this I have helped so many people grow and simply feel comfortable in their own skin. I have learned recently that everyone is obsessed with the way they look on the outside, instead of focusing on how they truly feel on the inside. Society, specifically young girls, needs to stop focusing on wanting to be skinnier and start focusing on becoming stronger. This means both physically and mentally. Happiness isn’t a size, shape, or number on the scale. It’s a huge smile and feeling on the inside.

Picture Credits: Madeline Costantino

Stop focusing on what you aren’t and focus on what you ARE! I use fitness as a way to encourage others to do what makes them happy and feel good about themselves. Working out shouldn’t be a punishment for the way you look or something you ate. My healthy and happy lifestyle doesn’t come from cutting things out, it comes from adding things in. Add in food for fuel, add on weight for strength, add in cardio for the happy heart. Life should be about living, not limiting. I express this through a series of dance cardio workouts called “MAXOUT with MADDIE”. I encourage girls to feel empowered and strong!


Run farther, lift heavier, swim faster, bike harder, and jump higher. Do more, but for the RIGHT REASONS. Do it for you, nobody else. It should come from a happy place in your heart. Workout to become a better you and celebrate all that your body can do. I run long distance because I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. Not as a punishment for eating cookies. Cookies should be served with a scoop of ice cream, not guilt. Do what makes you happy. That may be running miles, dancing around in your room, lifting insanely heavy, swimming or anything you want it to be. Just do it with your whole heart and for a good damn reason…YOURSELF! To be a strong woman is to be beautifully in love with yourself. I want to bring women together and create this power. However, there’s a happy medium for everything in life. Sometimes you have to take a break and not be so hard on yourself, where other times you need to force your lazy butt to get up and go to the gym.

Picture Credits: Madeline Costantino

Now go find your own happy medium…just don’t forget to love yourself a little along the way.

2019 Spring Launch Event

2019 Spring Launch Event

On April 28th, 2019, the spring issue of UDress magazine launched. This year’s theme was “Perspective”, and UDress held a lunch event to celebrate the release of the new issue. Before the fashion show began, guests enjoyed hor d’oeuvres, browsed among the vendors, participated in raffle giveaways, and had a chance to flip through the Perspective issue.

All Photographs: Marissa Cuka

Blue Hens in Blazers is run by UD’s Student Government Association. They collect gently used business and professional clothing for students to have easier access to when preparing for interviews and internships.

Campus Reps from Rent the Runway were also at the event, and had tons of goodies like hair ties, stickers, pins, and cute pencils for guests to pick from. Rent the Runway is an app that allows you to select four clothing items to “rent” for the month with a membership, and then return at the end of the month.

Hayden Boutique had a selection of clothing and accessories for sale at the event. There were a ton of different options to browse through, from jewelry, tops, rompers, and 2 piece sets. Guests were able to do a little shopping before the fashion show started, and could even purchase some pieces featured in the show.

For dessert, guests had D’Astoli’s Cannolis. The cannolis were homemade by a UD student and were delicious!

For entertainment, guests enjoyed music by DJ Tyler Licata, acapella performances by the CresHENdos, a dance performance by the dance group Afrodisiac, saxophone covers by Khayden, and live music by Corn and the Husk. Each entertainment group did an amazing job performing, and the guests were able to get a look into the talent on UD’s campus. 

Five Self Care Ideas

Five Self Care Ideas

Students can easily get caught up in the stress and pressure of college, so it is important to take time and focus on wellness. Practicing self-care doesn’t require a glamorous night of pampering; it can be as simple as focusing on your breathing. Self-care helps you do the best that you can for yourself, and in turn helps you do your best every day.

Students can easily get caught up in the stress and pressure of college, so it is important to take time and focus on wellness. Practicing self-care doesn’t require a glamorous night of pampering; it can be as simple as focusing on your breathing. Self-care helps you do the best that you can for yourself, and in turn helps you do your best every day.

1. Stay Hydrated

There are so many health benefits to staying hydrated, but it also helps with clearing skin and even improving your mood. Investing in a cute water bottle is an easy way to stay motivated about hydration.

2. Journal

This is a great way to de-stress and can take as long as you want. Journaling about your whole day is one option, but keeping a gratitude log, writing down one good thing that happened that day, something that you learned, or just a good memory are easy ways to check in with yourself daily. Even if you need to rant or let out your feelings, writing is a great outlet.

3. Take a Break

Everybody gets tired and needs a break in order to recharge and be able to tackle the rest of the day. During your break take a nap, go on a walk, or listen to some music.

4. Do Something You Love

It’s easy to forget about the things you love when there is so much that needs to get done first. Taking at least half an hour to do something for you is extremely beneficial to your mood, happiness, and wellbeing.

5. Talk to a Friend

Whether you need to vent, get advice, or just talk, turning to a friend (or anyone you trust) is a way to relieve any stress you may be dealing with. This can help you see things from a different perspective and let out any frustrations. This tip is also a reminder that it’s okay to turn to others instead of solely relying on yourself.

Changing Perspective After Freshman Year​

Changing Perspective After Freshman Year

New challenges, exciting adventures, and changing perspectives after your first year as a Blue Hen 

For over 4,000 Blue Hens, freshman year is in its final stretch as May and UDRESS‘ Spring 2019 Launch Event approach. Though hectic and fast-paced, the end the spring semester is one of the most memorable times for students – especially for freshmen. Many first-year Blue Hens choose to rush sororities or fraternities, join clubs, and participate in community service events. It is normal to struggle with the transition from high school to college, but campus involvement presents opportunities to meet peers outside of class and challenge yourself. For many students, freshman year in college is the first taste of freedom and independence and though challenging at times, the first year at college allows for personal growth and development.  



Oftentimes, freshmen enter college coming from the top of their high school class only to find that they struggle to adjust to professors’ work load. Many are shell-shocked at the rigorous courses and e have difficulty navigating exams at the college-level. Freshman are not only challenged college academics, but first-year students also have to adjust to new peers and social scenes. Some freshman find their closest friends during the first week of fall semester, while others do not find their “crew” until late spring. 



Freshman year shows students that learning is done both in and out of the classroom. Juggling social life with school can be stressful and overwhelming. However, balance and understanding your personal needs and limits are keys to success. Many freshmen feel the need to compare their GPA or friend groups to those of their peers, but college is, ultimately, a personal journey unique to each individual.

Environment and Ethics in the Fashion Industry

Environment and Ethics in the Fashion Industry

Environmental issues are extremely important in today’s society. Recycling, conserving water, and saving energy are all great ways to be conscious, but the fashion industry- on a manufacturing and consumer based level- has a major impact on the environment as well. Clothing production and certain fabrics have damaging effects on the environment; the industry is the “second biggest consumer of water and is responsible for 8-10 percent of global carbon emissions” (UN Environment). Additionally, fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, and nylon release plastic into oceans, which is eventually consumed by living things.

Photo credit

With the rise of sustainable companies like The Little Market, Vitamin A Swim, Outdoor Voices, and Patagonia, the controversy and conversation surrounding the ethics of clothing companies has increased. The United Nations Environmental Assembly recently launched the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion in order to encourage a more ethical and sustainable industry. Other agencies have also taken action by creating programs such as Blue Fashion and The Ethical Fashion Initiative, which promote sustainable production of clothing.

Photo credits

Carbon emissions, water consumption, and materials used to produce clothing are not the only issues rooted in non-sustainability. The fashion industry can provide jobs for artisans and farmers. Providing these opportunities to victims of violence, people living in marginalized communities and areas of poverty and hardship allows the individuals to develop a variety of skills. This is not only an opportunity for a job; it is an opportunity to create a new path. Ensuring safe work conditions and fair pay is also a major component of an ethical industry.

Photo credit

Raising awareness of the impact that the fashion industry has on the environment will help advance the efforts toward producing and purchasing clothing in a conscious way. Consumers can make a difference by researching companies, production methods, and taking simple steps such as purchasing less but high quality clothing. By joining the sustainability movement, the fashion industry can help facilitate a healthier planet and empowerment for workers on a larger level.

Photo credit

Finding Balance as a College Student

Finding Balance as a College Student

When there is so much to do that you do not know where to start, it can be easy to get lost and feel stress. Practicing better productivity habits allows you to take control in the process of balancing your life.

College is about finding balance. Classes take up most of students’ time, along with homework, studying, assignments, and exams. Naturally, students also want to spend time with friends, dedicate time to other organizations, and simply need time to relax and recharge. Finding this balance requires time management and productivity. When there is so much to do that you do not know where to start, it can be easy to get lost and feel stress. Practicing better productivity habits allows you to take control in the process of balancing your life.

It starts with mindset. It is easy to feel like you are drowning in work sometimes. A way to conquer this is to focus on getting one thing done at a time. Write all of your assignments down in an agenda or a notepad. Lists are a great way to see everything that needs to be done, and checking off each task as you get them done adds a feeling of accomplishment and productivity to your day. If stress is still building up, keep reminding yourself that you will get it done. That small amount of reassurance can get you far.

Make sure you add due dates and take into account how much time you may need for each assignment, and then prioritize your tasks in the way you see fit. If it is a 250-500 word assignment, sit down a few days before and get it done so you have time to edit and polish your work. If you have a big exam, set a designated time each day to study and stick to it.

Get really specific about what you want to accomplish each day. The more flexibility that you give yourself, the less accountable you will hold yourself, which is why discipline is a major key. Finding the motivation to complete everything on your to do list can be hard, but sometimes you just have to get it done.

When you find it hard to put effort into things, remind yourself how hard you worked to get to where you are now. Whatever it is, it’s not worth it to not give your best effort. If you work hard on that paper or spend hours a day preparing for that test, the end product will be worth a lot more. Working hard ensures that you earn your success.

Hustling in college is important, but so is rest. Take a nap if you need to. Take a break to walk around campus, or watch an episode of your favorite tv show. Remember that rest is part of the balance you are working toward, and without it, it will be difficult to be at your best. If you’re doing your best but you need a break, don’t beat yourself up over it. Take the break and go back to what you were doing once you have recharged.

Having fun is important, as well. Life is not about working until you can’t anymore, or spending everyday stressing out about what is to come in the next week. After you’ve successfully conquered the week, plan some fun activities over the weekend. Work hard, but have fun and make memories along the way.

Finding that balance takes trials and errors, but is not impossible. Figure out what the best method is for YOU and stick to it. You’ve got this!

Humor Column: Freshman Survival Guide

Humor Column: Freshman Survival Guide

Of course, you’re excited to say “sayonara” to your bum high school, boring hometown, and toxic ex you still to run into at Target (yikes!). And you’ve finally made it to “the best four years of your life” as they say.

Or so you thought. Your psychotic parents, who you actually love to death, pulled out of the parking lot. Now, you just want to curl up in a ball and cry. You don’t have your best friend to rant to or your ex to hook up with (oops) to forget about all problems in the world. As my professor kindly put it, how do you respond when life hands you a “big bucket of suck?”

Like every other froshie, you’re probably lost as hell trying to find your way across a new campus full of big, scary college kids. You have a decent amount of common sense and avoid asking the druggie as to where the student center is, but that leaves you walking around in circles around the food court. Thankfully, we have Google Maps to solve this problem. If you crank up the volume, Google Maps can yell out where your next destination is for all of the kind upperclassmen to know that you are, indeed, clueless on campus.



The next step to survive as a college freshman is to limit time spent outside of your safe, secure dorm to only class and the library. Your rollercoaster emotions are draining enough. Why bother with healthy distractions – clubs, greek organizations, community-service groups – to take away time and energy from earning that 4.0 that every employer absolutely gives two craps about.



So you made the decision to devote the best four years of your life to the library. Though you have the willpower to memorize human anatomy from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., your brain cannot help but think of that cute boy sitting next to you and funny memes your ex sent five minutes ago. The solution? Addy, addy, and more addy! Don’t worry – you don’t actually need a legit diagnosis of ADHD. As long as you can study for those 12 hours, the super study tool did its job.



But enough about hitting the books – time for the meat and potatoes of why you came to college. For most students, going to college means endless nights of partying. If you’re a newbie, you’re probably fretting over what to wear and what to expect at your first night at Sigma Alpha Epsilon.



I mean, it is a frat party. This is the perfect occasion to whip out your nicest heels and cake on layers of makeup for everyone to admire in the basement. You were also looking at that cute guy at the keg, right? Don’t sweat it if you can’t scoop up Mike for the night as he’s grinding on Jessica in the corner.



College dating can be complicated, but only if you make it be. It’s great if you’re seriously trying to initiate a relationship with a special someone, but remember to make the most of your bachelorette days by hooking up with every brother in that particular frat before time runs out. Your special someone will understand. Brad himself is probably asking Britney to send it before he gets stuck with a stage five clinger like you.



In short, college makes it hard to juggle boys, books, and booze all at once. Fear not! These foolproof pieces of advice will make it seem as if you’ve had your act together from the start. With this new confidence, you’re bound to be mistaken for a fifth year super senior.



Joking aside, college freshmen struggle to adjust to a new lifestyle. The discomfort stops many first-year students from wanting to meet new people and pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones. The freedom in college also allows for wild nights and great memories (or lack of) with friends, but it is important only do what you feel comfortable with and keep your goals in sight. A respectable GPA is important to your employer (and your parents, too). However, being a well-rounded student allows for more personal growth and shows more character than any number can. Though you will have bumps in the road over the next four years (and life after graduation), surrounding yourself with supportive peers and having a variety of interests both in and out of your professional industry will help you get through that “big bucket of suck.”



Chase that degree, get those internships, have fun, and be safe.

Three Ways to Make Overnight Oats – Easy and Simple Recipes

Three Ways to Make Overnight Oats - Easy and Simple Recipes

Students, often those who are stuck with 8 A.M.s, skip breakfast. Though convenient to simply roll out of bed and spring to Smith Hall, taking the time to eat breakfast should be a priority. Your body needs fuel to jump start the day, and breakfast gives you energy to last long classes and walks across campus.


Moreover, most of us lack the time to make breakfast. However, with these simple and easy overnight oat recipes, you can roll out of bed and shove something down to eat before rushing to your lecture hall.

Healthy Eating

Overnight oats

Oatmeal Recipe



Layer ingredients into a mug or mason jar and let it sit overnight and add toppings the following morning.


Strawberry Banana

  • sliced banana
  • quarter cup of cut up strawberries
  • chocolate chips

Oats Smoothie

  • sprinkle in oats in smoothies
  • smoothie: blend

Blueberry Banana

  • quarter cup of blueberries
  • tablespoon of peanut butter
  • sliced banana

How to Appreciate Valentine’s Day if You’re Single

How to Appreciate Valentine's Day if You're Single

As yet another Valentine’s Day approaches, you find yourself, once again, bitterly scrolling through anti-cupid memes on Instagram and eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that you impulsively purchased from the P.O.D. market. To say that it sucks not having a SO on Valentine’s Day is putting it nicely.


It’s easy to curl up in a bawl and whine to your roommate about cuffing season. You think it’s impossible, but turn this soul-sucking negativity into a wave of positive energy. At the end of the day, you’ll appreciate the healthy relationships, romantic or not, you already have in your life rather than wallow over couples in the media.  



Prior to romantic relationships, we experienced some type of love during our youth. From who did you feel love early in your life? Reflect on the important people – such as your parents, best friends, and siblings – and the impact each person had on you. Whether it’s through a phone call or simply telling someone face-to-face, let people know how much you appreciate them. Not only will this put a smile on their faces, but you’ll feel warm and fuzzy knowing that you made someone happy as well. Valentine’s Day is geared toward romantic partners. However, we can all commemorate the spirit of love by honoring cherished ones who showed us compassion and selflessness.



Even if you’re not in a relationship, celebrate Valentine’s Day traditions with friends and family. For example, western culture perpetuates the need to buy chocolate and flowers for your SO. For single people, alternatives are eating junk food with your roommates and decorating your dorm in Valentine’s-Day themed decor. Bonding over being single may seem silly to some, but the joy from spending time with any loved one beats pouting over the absence of a romantic relationship.



Finally, how do you coop if all of your friends are cuffed?



To start, props to you for surviving as a #thirdwheel. It sucks in the meantime, where it seems as if you have no one to hang out with on February 14. If all else fails, stay as busy as possible – finish all of your homework, update your resume, or simply take the day to fully focus on self-care.



Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – someone who truly despises Valentine’s Day because you believe that you’re #foreveralone – try to see February 14 as just another day on the calendar. Just a warning, it might suck in the meantime as you and your peers enter the peak of cuffing season. On the flip side, you should applaud yourself for not having to rely on someone else for your own happiness.