Dear Zoe, 
How do you like to relax on campus and where are some sweet study spots?- Maia
Hi Maia! With classes and extracurriculars starting all at once, the weeks can really fly by. It’s very important to incorporate relaxation into your schedule. Some activities I enjoy are painting, coloring, or watching movies with my friends. Don’t forget that your new and old friend groups are here to support one another! 

Although chilling with friends throughout the week is great, I also value my alone time. It’s always okay to express a need to be alone. At the same time I would avoid leaning into isolation. If it seems that schoolwork is making it impossible to relax or spend time with your friends, try to make studying more fun. Try to create a study group and find a nice spot in the Roy O. West Library. There are tons of awesome study spots for group or individual settings, as well as private study rooms that can be rented out. Keep an eye out for random spots all around campus, too. For instance, you can find some cool dark academia-themed spots in East College. If multitasking is more your vibe, Café Allegro offers seating where you can eat and study simultaneously. A third option is setting up a hammock in Bowman Park; a great place to get some quiet reading done. Overall, balance is truly the key to relaxing and studying throughout the semester.

Dear Zoe,
How can I stay safe on campus while going out and staying in? -Katie

Safety is super important, considering how it was a major concern of mine when I was a freshman. The first recommendation I have is to make note of safe spots on campus like the Women’s Center. The Women’s Center on E. Hanna Street is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays. There are plenty of resources at the Women’s Center ranging from contraceptives to people you can talk to who are trained in trauma support (Sarah Ryan is wonderful in this position). It’s also a great place to study and stay cool on hot days. 

Moreover, it’s always a great idea to go out in groups when it's getting dark outside. Setting a safe word and sharing your location with trusted individuals is also great. Have emergency contacts available and ready, just in case. On DePauw’s website you can find a list of emergency numbers that should be kept in your contacts for immediate need. There is also an Instagram account that many of my friends follow to learn more about Sexual Violence Prevention on DePauw’s campus (@depauwsa_preved). 

My biggest piece of advice is to listen to your gut feeling. If something feels off, exit the situation.