NEW with AzSOC!

Students, you can now schedule a one-on-one meeting with your AzSOC counselor!

We can help with questions about college, career, goals, study skills, navigating friendships, mental health strategies, and more!

To schedule your meeting, go to: https://calendly.com/azsoc-counselors or access it through the AzSOC Counseling Center in Canvas.

Choose a date and time that works for you to meet with an AzSOC Counselor.  Select your preferred slot and schedule your appointment today!

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week – Feb 14-20

February 14-20 is the week of Random Acts of Kindness, with February 17 being the official day. The amazing thing about kindness is, it doubles when shared. This fact is backed by science. Research has shown that performing just one random act of kindness per day can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, your body will experience a flood of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, which encourages healing, relaxation, and happiness. Endorphins, which reduce pain, and oxytocin, which reduces blood pressure and promotes love, are also released. As a result, both you and the person you helped will feel more energized, confident, and less prone to aches and pains. Studies also suggest you could even live longer! And, if others see your act of kindness, they will also experience a boost of these feel-good hormones, making them more likely to pay it forward. It doesn’t take much to make a difference.

Here are some FREE and simple ideas of Random Acts of Kindness

  • Smile and greet the people you encounter
  • Hold the door open for someone entering or exiting a building
  • Leave positive and uplifting notes in unexpected places
  • Give a genuine compliment acknowledging someone’s strengths or positive qualities
  • Offer to help a friend or neighbor with a task, i.e. carrying groceries, cleaning, etc..
  • Help a classmate with homework or teach someone a new skill you possess
  • Take the time to actively listen when someone needs to talk
  • Send a positive and encouraging text message to a friend or family member
  • Donate items you no longer need to a local charity or organization
  • Help keep your community clean by picking up litter when you see it
  • Write a thank-you note to someone who has had a positive impact on your life
  • Leave supportive comments on posts or send kind messages to online friends
  • Offer words of encouragement to someone facing challenges
  • Share study resources, notes, or educational materials with classmates who may find them helpful

 

Remember, the beauty of random acts of kindness lies in their simplicity and sincerity. These small gestures can create a ripple effect, making the world a kinder and more compassionate place. Choose some Random Acts of Kindness above or create your own and try them out during Random Acts of Kindness Week. You just may find you want to practice Random Acts of Kindness all year long!

Check out these 50 fun Random Acts of Kindness Week ideas:

https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-stories/113-50-ideas-for-random-acts

 

2024-2025 FAFSA Application is Now Available

The time has come! The 2024-2025 FAFSA application is now available. High school seniors can check out our AzSOC FAFSA 2024-2025 Canvas Course for detailed instructions on completing the application and more information. Remember, the FAFSA is the key to obtaining free college funding, so it’s critical to complete it as soon as possible. Start today! Additionally, join us for Zoom FAFSA presentations.

Career Highlight: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Median Salary: $75,380    Projected Growth: 10%

Diagnostic medical sonographers are important in healthcare. They work closely with other healthcare experts to provide accurate and quick diagnostic help.  They work with ultrasounds, CT scans and MRI machines. 

What do they do? 
They use machines to take pictures inside the body, helping doctors find and understand health issues. These professionals can specialize in specific body areas like the heart, reproductive system, or abdomen.

What are some examples of what they do? 
Some focus on checking the heart, while others work on imaging the stomach area. Their job is crucial for spotting problems, especially during pregnancy, and supporting doctors in medical procedures. They work closely with other healthcare experts to provide accurate and quick diagnostic help.

What kind of schooling do I need? 
You can earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science. There are programs at Gateway Community College in Phoenix and Pima Medical School in Phoenix and Tucson. 

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

February marks the start of International Boost Self-Esteem Month – an annual event to improve self-confidence and worth worldwide. Self-esteem refers to how we feel and think about ourselves, abilities and value as a human being. High self-esteem creates positivity and confidence, whereas low self-esteem leads to negativity, and self-doubt. Self-esteem is correlated with achievement, good relationships, and satisfaction. Low self-esteem can cause individuals to fall short of their potential, tolerate abusive relationships and situations, or even suffer from depression.

What can we do to boost our Self-Esteem?

  • Avoid negative Self-Talk: Pay attention to your thoughts and notice if your self-talk is negative, critical, or judgmental. Then actively try to stop your inner critic and replace it with words that are kinder, more understanding and encouraging. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes, and you deserve the same understanding and forgiveness you would offer to others.
  • Stop Comparing yourself: Stop deciding your value based on others around you or on social media. As President Theodore Roosevelt wisely said “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
  • Accept Imperfections: Understand that nobody is perfect. Embrace your imperfections as part of what makes you unique. Focus on self-improvement rather than seeking an unrealistic standard of perfection.
  • Recognize and Celebrate your strengths: Take the time to recognize and celebrate your strengths and achievements, whether big or small. Reflect on your successes and give yourself credit for your hard work and accomplishments. If you’re having trouble finding your strengths, ask friends, family or even take a strengths assessment or personality test.
  • Prioritize Health and Exercise: When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These chemicals trigger a positive feeling. Even something as simple as taking a short walk each day can improve your mood. A well rounded, balanced diet with exercise will help you feel good in both body and mind.
  • Learn from Setbacks: View setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth rather than as failures. Analyze what went wrong, make adjustments, and move forward with newfound knowledge.
  • Develop Skills: Identify and develop skills or hobbies that interest you. Acquiring new abilities and improving existing ones boosts confidence and provides a sense of accomplishment.

Start today and practice these skills above to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence!

Standardized Tests and Dates/Deadlines: ACT and SAT 

Should I take the SAT or ACT? 

First of all, check with the college or university you plan to attend to see if they require either test for admission or scholarships. ASU, NAU, and UofA do not require them for admission. If you don’t quite meet admission requirements, in some cases, you can use the ACT or SAT to complete those requirements. It is important to check the admissions page of your university. You can get free test taking tips and practice tests on the SAT and ACT websites. 

SAT Dates and Deadlines: Register HERE

ACT Dates and Deadlines: Register HERE

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Feb 26-March 2, 2024

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is an important campaign that aims to raise awareness about eating disorders and provide support for individuals affected by them. It’s important to know that people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights can be affected by eating disorders. A report in 2020 estimated that 9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders involve obsessive, compulsive and/or extreme emotions, attitudes and behaviors surrounding weight, food, and size. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, and others. These disorders cause significant impacts on all aspects of a person’s life – physical, emotional and social. Physically, they can affect every organ system in the body and in some cases can be fatal. The earlier a person with an eating disorder seeks treatment, the greater the likelihood of full physical and emotional recovery.

What can you do?

Be a supportive friend if someone is struggling with body image or food-related issues and encourage positive body image by promoting self-acceptance and self-love. Emphasize the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and nutritious eating habits. And make sure to practice these habits in your own life as well. Challenge societal pressures and unrealistic beauty standards that can contribute to body dissatisfaction. If you notice signs of an eating disorder in a friend or peer encourage open communication, express concern, and encourage them to seek help.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, seek help from a healthcare professional or a helpline dedicated to eating disorders.

To find an eating disorder treatment provider near you go to:

> FIND TREATMENT

To find free and low-cost support options including support groups go to:

> FIND SUPPORT

National School Counseling Week – Feb 5-9, 2024

February 5-9, 2024 is National School Counseling Week 2024, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The purpose of National School Counseling week is to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do.

What do School Counselors do?

School Counselors work with students to improve or remove barriers within academics, college/career options, and social/emotional skills. Helping students examine their interests, strengths, and values, Counselors help students realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic goals for themselves. School counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master’s degree in school counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them a unique and valuable part of the educational system.

Connect with your School Counselor!

Hopefully you have been able to connect with your School Counselor and know the support and value they offer. If you haven’t connected with your School Counselor please reach out and connect today! If your school doesn’t have a School Counselor or would like more support, see AzSOC’s Counseling Resource Center, attend our AzSOC Counseling Zoom Session or connect with your AzSOC counselors at counselors@azsoc.org.