Press release: Utah Red Cross Calls For Heroes Awards Nominations

The American Red Cross Utah Region is accepting nominations for its prestigious annual Utah Red Cross Heroes Awards.

Utahns of all ages who have demonstrated extraordinary courage, compassion and service during the preceding calendar year are eligible for nomination.

Past awardees include a couple who performed CPR to save the life of a drowned child, a woman who took special care to supply much-needed meals and assistance to elderly neighbors, and a young man who traveled to India to help people in remote communities develop sanitation systems.

To submit a Utah Red Cross Heroes Awards nomination, visit utahredcross.org or contact Margie Woodruff at margie.woodruff@redcross.org or by calling 435-668-2210.

The nomination process closes December 7, 2012. Awardees will be recognized at the Heroes Award Recognition Event on April 4, 2013, at the Gardner Center at Dixie State College.

Students plan doomsday survival strategies

Imagine a regular routine life gone in a matter of seconds.

Dixie State College students brainstormed strategies as if the end of the world was coming tomorrow.

Lila Nelson, a sophomore biology major from Santa Clara, Calif,. said she doesn’t think an apocalypse is going to happen anytime soon, but if it did, she knows exactly what she’s going to do.

“If I found myself in the middle of an apocalypse, I would probably freak out and say a prayer,” she said.

With or without a prayer, Nelson really does have a plan if the end of the world were to come.

Nelson’s dad is an Eagle Scout and has taught her how to prepare for emergencies by using a 72-hour emergency kit called a “bug-out bag.” She would grab her bug-out bag that contains a fold-up tent, purifying water tablets, fire starter, emergency food, and two 16-ounce bottles of water, and make her way to her grandparents’ home in Toquerville.

“I think it’s important to have the necessary goods handy in case of emergencies, and that’s why I have my bag loaded and ready to go,” she said. “My dad taught me very well.”

In a time of chaos and destruction, some people plan to turn toward those they trust most.

Kylie and Griff Robles are a young married couple who have a 2-year-old boy and one more child on the way.

Kylie Robles, a senior communication major from Spanish Fork, is confident that her plan will work. Her first thought is to stay away from heavily-populated areas.

“I would stay away from downtown St. George, Costco and Wal-Mart because that’s where everyone else is going to go, and that’s just going to be full of chaos and danger,” she said.

Kylie Robles wouldn’t only be looking out for her 2-year-old and husband, but also her unborn baby.

“It’s scary to think about being pregnant because if I were to go out and try to fight the chaos, I would be putting two lives at risk: my unborn baby and myself,” she said.

Some may hurry and conquer while others may wait it out. The Robles believe it’s best to wait for the initial frenzy to pass, live off what they have, and then head out for survival when suitable.

Griff Robles, a junior business major from Spanish Fork, said he would be ready for the apocalypse. His first concern is to keep his family protected and sheltered.

“I would board up the windows of our home and make it as safe as possible,” he said.

He would make sure his guns were ready with plenty of ammo, and he would also find anything he can get his hands on to plant, harvest and eat.

“I would do everything I could to make our home safe and supplied with food, even if that includes leaving the house to provide,” he said. “Any animals that cross my path would be shot, killed and eaten.”

Whether it’s eluding town with a bug-out bag or surviving from home, DSC students have their plans for the apocalypse—if it ever comes.

Patience is key to gingerbread housing

As the Christmas season approaches, building gingerbread homes are a must.

The edible and decorative gingerbread is both fun and challenging to build. 

Whether it is snacked on immediately after its creation or displayed as a monument to holiday cheer, no Christmas season is complete without a gingerbread house.

Here are some simple steps to get the gingerbread house started.

Important questions to ask yourself before building a gingerbread house are as follows:

How big will it be? What will it be made of? What is going to happen to it afterward? Can this be done on a date instead of alone?

It’s important to know what you want the house to look like, so if you don’t already have a vision, you need to find one. A quick Google search of gingerbread houses can be inspiring.

If a gingerbread house is created to be eaten, focus on taste and don’t worry about appearance. If a house is created for display, focus on appearance and don’t worry about taste.

Once you know the intended size and look of the gingerbread house, you should sketch it out on paper. Then, with a vision in hand, you are ready to choose the materials.

You will need a platter or plate—something on which to build the house. The sturdier this is the better because any warping of the platter will disturb the walls and alignment of the house, maybe toppling it.

To make a small gingerbread house, a box of graham crackers should suffice. If a bigger gingerbread house is desired, baking real gingerbread is required.

I’ve only used graham crackers, and they work just fine. A well-planned graham cracker house can be a square foot, while gingerbread houses may be bigger based on the size of baking pans used.

Icing is also required. Store-bought frosting will work, but many people like to make their own, so they can customize the color with food coloring.

When piecing the house together, keep the vision in mind and plan ahead. Look at the plans and lay out the gingerbread pieces for each part of the house. Try to piece the parts together preliminarily, and make sure that everything will fit. Cutting down and re-shaping the gingerbread may be necessary to make things fit properly.

If you tend to create haphazardly like I do, fight the impulse. Rushing this process leads to unstable gingerbread homes whose looks reflect how poorly they were planned.

After everything has been planned out, it is time to use the icing.

The key with the icing is a minimalistic approach. The thinner the layer of frosting, the quicker it is to dry and adhere. 

Apply a thin layer on the edge of a corner piece and let it sit for a minute or two. Once it is tacky, stick it to the adjacent gingerbread piece and hold them together. Repeat this until the entire house is standing.

I am a long-time convert to the notion of if less is good, then more is better. Unfortunately, this principle doesn’t apply well to frosting. On my first attempt this year, I used far too much frosting and my house collapsed. I had to start all over again.

After you have the bricks and mortar, so to speak, you must decide how to decorate the house.

The smaller the decorations, the easier they are to manage. Peppermints, Skittles, Red Hots, Tootsie Rolls, etc., can be used to create a cute little cottage look. Of course, you are only limited by your imagination. 

On my second attempt, I created a long, rectangular house with a porch.    

Instead of Greek columns, my masterpiece had candy canes. I used blue frosting and some gold fish crackers to create a pond in the back and then lined the pond with Skittles. I used marshmallows to create a polar bear raiding the pond. Some gingerbread people tried to run off the bear, armed only with pretzel sticks. 

While gingerbread houses are fun to make by yourself, they are even more fun to do on a date. Create a competition and give awards for the best gingerbread house.

Share pictures from your creation on the Dixie Sun News Facebook page and let us know how your gingerbread house turned out.

To Boldly Go: Learning ABCs crucial during breakups

When you go through a breakup, it can feel like the end of the world.

Your other half is gone, your heart is broken, and your ego is in shambles. Humiliation and shock are all common feelings after a breakup, and that is one depressing emotional cocktail.

Fortunately, getting over a breakup requires only two things: the ABCs and time.

The A in ABC is Accept.

You need to accept the breakup immediately as it happens—no protestations or pleading. It should go something like this:

“Mary, we need to talk. I don’t want to hurt you, but I want to break up.” 

 Mary takes a minute to process and control her emotions.

“Okay, John, that’s fair. I’ll deliver your Michael Jackson Greatest Hits CD back to you tomorrow, and I want my leopard-print Snuggie back. Have a nice life.”

See how easily Mary accepted that? Even if she is feeling confused and betrayed, she doesn’t show it. In fact, the ease with which she processes and handles the breakup announcement makes it clear how mature and easygoing she is. John is expecting a messy breakup, and Mary’s measured response takes him completely by surprise—pleasantly.

Imagine how differently the scenario would have ended if Mary had begged, threatened or cried. She would have looked desperate and clingy.

By quickly and easily accepting the breakup, you assert your independence and reassert control over the situation.

Of course, it’s not just initial acceptance. This means accepting there are no more late-night movies or cuddle sessions and no more stolen kisses. Any rituals you might have held with this person, such as Thursday night dancing or Saturday bowling, have ended. Accept that.

Accept that there will be lots of depression and even boredom. All the time that you once dedicated to your significant other is now available, and there’s only one person to spend it with: you.

That leads us to the B in ABC: Branch out.

All that extra time is hard to handle, and the loss of self-esteem is too. Take some time for you. Remember all the things you liked to do before the relationship, and start focusing on those things again.

Trying things that you’ve never done before makes you feel more confident and helps you get back in the dating game quickly.

Start small. Get a book from the library, feed the ducks, or walk around your neighborhood. These excursions will help you get outside of your own head for a while and distract you from the heartache.

These are stepping stones to bigger changes like taking a self-defense class, learning to speak German, or starting a garden.

Right after a breakup is also a great time to start exercising. Exercise is a great way to burn off all of your negative emotions while simultaneously getting more fit.

If you don’t like routines, you’re like me. I go running when I am on an emotional overload and need an outlet. This is great because it keeps me out of jail and my ex out of the morgue. I come home feeling energized and empowered.

The more you focus on the future and self-improvement, the better you feel and the less the past can bog you down.

Leaving the past in the past leads us to the C of my ABCs: Cut all contact with the exes. Seriously.

Don’t call, text or look at their Facebook walls.

Don’t talk to or about them. As far as you are concerned, they fell off the face of the earth and were wiped from your memory. This cements your status as independent, which is important in a speedy recovery

After your heart has healed and a few months have passed, it’s OK to talk to them.

To keep yourself from getting involved again, treat them as very light and casual acquaintances.

Don’t try to get back together. They had their shot at something serious, and they blew it. There are so many people in the world to meet and date that when someone fouls up and is eliminated, there is no time to waste in giving him or her an extra chance. It’s that simple.

After three to six months, it is time to start dating again. If the relationship was not very serious, you might start dating even sooner.

There should be time between serious relationships. You need time to heal.

A serious relationship is made of compromises where you blend your personalities. After the relationship ends, you need to decide what is you and what was them. You rebuild yourself after serious relationships end.

The ABCs must be utilized immediately and without cessation. They are absolutely necessary to a smooth breakup and should become a way of post-breakup life.

Live the ABCs and I promise that breakups will be smooth and easy like they never have been before.

Red Storm ready themselves after Thanksgiving break loss

The men’s basketball team came home from the Thanksgiving break with two losses in place of turkey and stuffing.

The first game of the tournament was played on Nov. 23 against Fort Lewis College. The game ended in a close loss with an overtime score of 82-89.

“We were up three with nine seconds,” head coach Jon Judkins said. “I’m a big believer in fouling when you’re up three. We had a great opportunity, and we didn’t do it. We decided not to foul, and the kid hit a three point at the buzzer to tie to go to overtime.”

Judkins said it was his choice to refrain from fouling, and it was a mistake on his part.

“It’s something that I normally do, but I just decided not to,” Judkins said. “I told the team after the game that it was my fault, and it won’t happen again.”

Sophomore forward Zach Robbins had a career-high of 22 points with 10 rebounds, but Fort Lewis’ junior guard Nick Tomsick led his team with 27 points that led them into the overtime victory.

Judkins said Robbins played a great game on Saturday because of his double-double.

“I felt pretty good about how I played; it was just disappointing that we lost,” said Robbins, an integrated studies major from Upland Calif. “But it was bittersweet overall.

The second game of the tournament also ended in a loss against Colorado Mesa University with the score of 61-80.

The Red Storm had the lead at the half at 30-24, but the second half was a different story. After DSC had a 14-point lead, CMU went on a 14-0 run to tie the game at 41-41 with 12:02 left in the game.

The Mavs then continued on to a 23-0 run, which changed the score 50-41, with Dixie being scoreless for seven minutes.

“We had a big lead, and I think sometimes when we’re up we tend to just relax a little bit,” Robbins said. “Once we get our defense going, then I think we can go out on a run, and the buckets come a little easier. It all starts on the defense.”

CMU finished the half outscoring DSC 56-31. That ended the game with a 80-61 loss for the Red Storm.

“We grew a lot, and we learned a lot in that weekend,” Judkins said. “I hate losing, but sometimes a loss like that can help your team more than a blow-out win, so we’re using that to our advantage.”

Dixie State now prepares to play Saturday against University of Hawai’i at Hilo.

“It’s going to be a war,” Judkins said. “Hilo always plays well against us. We’ve gone in overtime probably three or four times with them, so we know it’s going to be a tough game. We need our crowd to get behind us. We need people here.”

The Vulcans are on a four-game losing streak, and they only have one win for their entire season so far.

Hawai’i-Hilo suffered a loss its last game against Montana State University-Billings 61-67, who the Red Storm beat back on Nov. 16 with the score 90-77.

“We’re going to be ready,” Judkins said. “So please come out and support us.”

Robbins wants to give a shout-out full of gratitude to his mother this holiday season.

“I love you mom,” Robbins said. “Thank you for your support.”

DSC plays Saturday at the Burns Arena at 7 p.m.

Administrators clarify longboarding use, skateboarding ban

Longboards and skateboards have a lot in common, but one area where they differ is their acceptance on campus.

Dean of Students Del Beatty said that while longboarding is accepted on campus, skateboarding is definitely not allowed.

Campus police said skateboarding on campus caused expensive property damage several years ago, and student government voted to ban skateboarding on campus because the majority of skateboarders weren’t even affiliated with the college.

But there was a push to allow longboarding on campus about two years ago, and administration researched the idea and found that longboards, unlike skateboards, are built for transportation not stunts, Beatty said.

“[This is because] skateboards are for tricks, and longboards are for transportation,” said Frank Lojko, vice president of student services.        

Because of this, longboarding is allowed on campus.

While administration takes a definite stand against skateboarding, the rules seem to be widely unknown by both students and faculty members.

Julia Bell, a sophomore communication major from San Antonio, said, “I think skateboards and longboards are allowed—people ride them all the time.”

And Jordon Sharp, director of student leadership and involvement, said he thinks biking, longboarding and skateboarding are all allowed on campus.

There is no written policy or formal announcement to students about the ban on skateboarding, but Beatty said skateboards are on the list of things not allowed on campus, and there are signs around campus that read “no skateboarding.”

Beatty also said college employees should call campus police when they see skateboarders, but even campus police can’t do much when it comes to punishing skateboarders if they’re not damaging property.  

“I don’t want my guys to have to walk around with a ruler, measuring boards,” said Don Reid, campus police and security director. “We don’t like stopping people for no reason, and it’s not fair to stop a skateboarder but not a longboarder.”

However, student services said they have received positive feedback about the allowance of longboarding on campus.

Wesley Teitjen, a senior integrated studies major from Phoenix, agrees that longboarding isn’t a problem at the school.

“It’s a quick way to get around campus,” he said. “I don’t see it as a problem; most people are good about getting out of the way.”

And Sharp said it would go against DSC culture to ban alternative transportation like longboarding.

“We promote a physical lifestyle here at Dixie,” he said. “It would be wrong not to allow students other ways to get to and around the college, especially with the campus getting bigger.”

Some students do not agree with the acceptance of longboards, though.

“I get scared when I see them coming toward me,” Bell said. “I feel like they’re going to run me over.”

However, Beatty said it solves more problems than it creates.

“Longboarding alleviates parking problems and allows students to get to classes on time,” he said. “Plus the weather here is great for it.”

Written for Dixie Sun News by Kelsie Watters

Second smoking forum of semester present additional issues

The aroma of hot cheese and bread filled students’ noses, but tobacco smoke was the topic on their minds.

Members of the Smoking Initiative panel held another forum on Monday Nov. 26 to entertain comments and questions from the Dixie State College student body about the initiative.  

Some students who attended the previous forum on Nov. 7 returned with questions and comments, but additional issues from others took the stage.

“People that smoke have a right to smoke,” said Scott Williamson, a senior history major from St. George. “If I want to pick up a cigarette and go to a designated spot, then that is my right.”

Other students didn’t think banning smoking was against people’s rights.

Jordan Mathis, the health promotion director at Southwest Utah Public Health Department, is helping with the initiative and addressed the legal side of the issue.

“There have been cases, over and over again, where [the Supreme Court] has upheld individual cases where an individual said they have the right to smoke,” Mathis said. “[The Supreme Court] upheld [smokers] had no constitutional right to smoke. Race and religion…are protected by the Constitution, but we can go through case studies and show where the Supreme Court has allowed restrictions on tobacco use.”  

Another issue was that the minority of students who smoke are not being represented correctly.

“There are a lot of classes recognized by the government, but smokers are not one of them,” said Joe Pate, a senior nursing major from Provo and former health-science senator. “As long as this [initiative] is directly related to government goals, as an agency of the state, it has a responsibility to protect the health, responsibility and well-being of its community.”

Some questioned how smoking would be enforced if the policy is enacted.

Pate said Dixie already has a smoking policy with penalties, but it is not being enforced. As for the details of enforcement of a smoke-free campus, the penalties and enforcement are in revision right now.

“I went to officer (Don) Reid and he assured us that enforcement is doable,” Pate said.

The initiative has some holes to fill.

“We are still investigating electronic cigarettes,” said Jimmy Seely, DSC Student Association health-science senator and a senior nursing major from Morgan. “The policy is still in revision. There are reasons for and against it.”

Brody Mikesell, a senior integrated studies major from Henefer and DSCSA president, said, “I’m not in support of the campus coming completely 100 percent smoke-free, but I am in support of what this panel is doing.”

Mikesell said the panel needs students who represent both sides.

“If any of you are interested in being part of this group, then these guys are open to it,” he said. “They would love the insight and [to know] what areas they need to work on. If we can get some smokers on board with this, then we can set a precedence on how to do this correctly.”

Students can find the senators or Mikesell in their offices located in the student government room on the second floor of the Gardner Center.

Nadauld addresses tuition, food, housing at Direction of Dixie

Students may have questions and concerns about the future details of Dixie State College, and President Stephen Nadauld is fully aware of it.

Nadauld spoke about hot-topic campus issues Tuesday night at the Direction of Dixie forum held in the Gardner Center.

He spoke about multiple changes and plans concerning university status. After his presentation, he took questions from attendees. Many of the questions hit upon common topics: tuition, name change, housing and degrees.


Nadauld spoke about tuition first.

“Tuition will not go up because we are called a university and not a college,” he said. “Tuition has gone up in the past to offset the lack of funding from the legislature. It’s because the revenues of the state have not been there.”

The past tuition increases have been higher than administrators have wished, Nadauld said, but he doesn’t think there will be another one in the next year.

“Whatever happens to tuition will be a function of the legislative ability to help us and not university status,” he said.

What did change, and will continue to change, is the amount of degrees the institution provides. Nadauld said he and others met with consultants a few years ago to identify what Dixie needed to add to become more like state and national universities; the amount of degrees provided was an apparent hole.

After a few years of work, Dixie now has 38 four-year degrees in 22 content areas. With new degrees comes new faculty.

“We have added 50 plus faculty, and every one of them has a Ph.D.,” Nadauld said.

Master’s programs are also in the plans for the institution’s academic future.

“We will add some master degrees as we are able to hire the faculty and identify the needs of the community,” Nadauld said. “We will probably not add too many bachelor’s degrees since we have the complement…but we have 80 to 90 percent of the typical degrees.”

Name Change/Mascot

Nadauld addressed the recent interest in the name change. He used a metaphor of having a baby to explain his thoughts.

“We have had some fits and starts along the way and some tenderness relative to tradition and history of the name,” Nadauld said. “I have to keep reminding myself that this is not my baby, or the staff’s baby, but mostly it is the community’s baby. A long awaited baby. We are here to serve the needs of our community.”

He then talked about how people have had many different opinions of what the institution should be called, but he said that they are opinions.

“Names have lots of issues…so we put in place a process to see what people think about names,” he said. “People have strong opinions. If you like red and I like green, then am I better than you? Names are kind of like that.”

Nonetheless, a name will be picked and not everyone will think that it is the greatest, Nadauld said.

“I get that ‘Dixie’ has some baggage for some people,” he said. “I get that it’s absolutely beloved by other people; I get that it’s not my baby. I like that. All the talk about the name is good for us. We are a university.”

As for the mascot, that might be awhile.

“I don’t anticipate getting into mascot changes right away,” Nadauld said.

He then took a lighter side by adding some humor when he said: “I guess if you all thought we had to do that sometime down the road, then I would retire and let you do it. I have been there, done that.”

Student Housing/Food

There is an approach to new student housing that the school is entertaining, Nadauld said. The institution would do a public/private partnership where a private party would run a property for 30 years and then hand it over to the institution.

Part of these plans would include an apartment-style building designed to house more than 300 beds and that would provide a kitchen, which the current dorms do not include. It would be located at the space between the current dorms and the science building.

Nadauld said he hopes the old dorm buildings will be torn down and replaced by two more similar buildings to create a total of more than 900 total bed spaces. He said this could take place in the next five to six years.

In addition to the buildings, a swimming pool could be constructed in the midst of the housing area.

“I would love to have a swimming pool in the middle of the units,” Nadauld said. “That is my vision.”

Some students questioned if the current food services will be improved.

Nadauld said the issue is the volume of students who would eat on campus.

“We are still largely a commuter campus,” he said. “We do not have the volume of students to justify providing the variety of food that you could get on other campuses. If we get to 900 students on campus, then we might have the volume to justify diversifying the food offerings.”

He said the issue will be revisited in the fall, but the food services are always open to suggestions. Also, an email was sent to all students’ Dmail accounts, which contained a survey about food services.

Nadauld said he hopes students will help support the transition into university status.

“I just love students, and I want to build a student success institution,” he said. “I’m here because I believe in you. My objective is to see you succeed.”

A tentative date for when the Board of Regents officially vote the institution into university status will be Jan. 25.

Macklemore coming to DSC in 2013

Macklemore’s catchy songs about golden days and thrift store shopping are helping him gain popularity in the music industry and among the students of Dixie State College.

Though he may not be as commonly known as Yellowcard, last spring’s performance choice, the Dixie State College Student Association, as well as many students, are confident his concert will be a success.

Student Body President Brody Mikesell was the first to suggest Macklemore as the entertainer of choice. After some discussion, he and the rest of the executive council decided to take a poll on Facebook.

“We put out a survey asking students yes or no to Macklemore,” said Sami Warninck, DSCSA vice president of student life and a senior business major from Wanship. “We only received positive feedback and decided to move forward.”

Because Macklemore is not as mainstream as some of the other performers who have attended Dixie, like Yellowcard or Andy Grammar, there was some speculation as to why the DSCSA decided to have him come perform. 

But Warnick said bringing Macklemore to the college was based on what the students wanted, and not on his price tag. 

“Funding is always a consideration, but was not the deciding factor,” Warnick said. “His growing popularity with students on campus was what prompted us to bring him.”

So why is Macklemore such a hit with the college demographic?

“I like how real he is,” said Paul Stevenson, a junior integrated studies major from St. George. “He doesn’t just rap about provocative or dirty things. They are all things you can relate to or listen to and think about; it’s poetry in music.”

For some students, Macklemore’s style is what appeals to them.

“His style is more underground,” said Jeremy Garcia, a freshman CIT major from St. George. “It’s more intelligent rap and intelligent music, where most of the music that is more mainstream isn’t very intelligent.”

Holden Thatcher, a freshman business major from St. George, said Macklemore’s music brings more to listeners than just catchy tunes.

“The way that he writes his music is definitely different,” Thatcher said. “But I feel like as people pay closer attention to what music is saying they are catching on to and appreciating more of the message than just the sound and the beats.” 

Macklemore will be here to perform with his producer, Ryan Lewis, on March 8 of next year. The performance is scheduled on the Friday before Spring Break.

“We have had many students from Dixie and other schools already express interest in the concert,” Warnick said. “The concert will be a great Spring Break kickoff for students.”

So if you need an incentive to stay and attend your Friday classes before Spring Break, or don’t have any money to go on vacation, grab tickets and go see Macklemore.

Load-bearing students reveal contents of bulky backpacks

College is a reason to break your bank; it shouldn’t be a reason to break your back.

Students around campus heave their heavy backpacks to and fro on a daily basis. But some students may be carrying more than the necessities, making achy backs and long-term difficulties a reality they may not be aware of.

It’s not all textbooks and calculators weighing Dixie State College students down. Some students unveiled what excess belongings—dull and exciting—they bring to campus with them, some realizing maybe it was more than they need.

Jordon Polatis, a junior accounting major from St. George, opened his loaded backpack, revealing a set of gym clothes, two packs of gum, and an empty Gatorade bottle in addition to his school essentials.

“I don’t really notice the extra weight,” Polatis said. “I guess it’s there, but it seems like the stuff I do need (books) are the majority of the weight.”

Haley Jeffery, a freshman general education major from Delta, unzipped her backpack to find a few things she didn’t even realize she was carrying: some candy wrappers, old birthday invitations, a half empty bottle of water, an old notebook, and her iPod touch.

“My backpack is normally not very heavy or exciting,” Jeffery said. “A few times I have considered those backpacks that roll, but I just don’t think I would ever buy one of those. But it probably would make it so I could carry more stuff.”

Backpacks that roll may not be the best solution for all, but some students are in constant pursuit of a way to lighten their necessary load.

Maddy Harmon, a junior health-science major from Mesa, Ariz., packs only the items needed for her daily class schedule and still finds the weight on her shoulders hard to manage.

“Books, notebooks, pens, highlighters, stethoscope and cuff are the only things I normally carry,” Harmon said. “It’s unreal how much it all weighs, but I need it all, and it’s easier to have everything with me instead of needing something and not having it.” 

Harmon said she tried leaving a few items in her car to lighten the load, but after too many forgotten essentials, she went back to her ways of carrying it all—all the time.

Gym clothes, stethoscopes and candy may seem like a priority now and not a significant amount of added weight. However, Scott Jeppson, director of nursing at Sterling Court Assisted Living Facility, said students tend to think short-term instead of long-term when it comes to packing around extra weight on a day-to-day basis.

“Students need to be careful and really think about what excess weight they choose to carry,” Jeppson said. “They may not feel the effects of it immediately, but just because they don’t notice it, doesn’t mean the damage is not being done.”

There are a number of things that may add to back pain, and carrying a heavy backpack should not be one of them.

“Trust me, just because you don’t notice it now doesn’t mean you won’t be kicking yourself when you’re 80 years old, wishing you’d left the extra stuff at home,” Jeppson said.