Trust me, I know your pain, the start of a new semester is hectic and stressful.  Sometimes, in the scholarly slew of activities, those New Year’s resolutions– your commitment to hopeful, newfound positive habits– can slip away as easily as they came. But we can make this year different! Remember, nothing is more important to your success as a Scholar than balance, and maintaining that balance requires prioritizing your own health and safety. A few small changes can help you to find that perfect balance in your life, but how can you fit health and safety into your busy to-do list?

I am dedicated to improving the balance in my life this year, and here is how I am working hard to do it.  Welcome to a day in the life of your NLC President as I do my best to #TakeControl of my success as a scholar!

When I leave in the morning it is still dark and I am thinking about my safety.  My new favorite app to keep safe is LifeLine Response; it has a mode where can I hold my finger to the screen when I feel unsafe. If something were to happen, an alarm would sound and the light on my phone would flash. My app would alert a call center like a home alarm would, and if I need help the app will call in the local police to help me in my distress. It will also connect me to anyone I setup as a LifeLine.

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Not-so-bright and early, LifeLine Response has helped me to get to the gym to meet my friend. We have just started going to yoga classes, and I love it! Does your University’s gym offer classes?  Make yourself stronger and healthier and relieve stress all at once! Bonus points if you team up with a friend and hold each other accountable for your workouts!

Now, off to classes… Look, new chalking on Grounds! My chapter will have to add some ‘Go Geek!’ art to the sidewalks very soon!

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Hold on, I’ll be right back- time to focus on class. Even sitting in a lecture hall, there are things you can do to achieve balance on your way to scholarly success! Try to surround yourself with positive people you find in your classes, and you will find yourself happier, healthier, and smarter too! You never know when you meet someone who will influence your life for the better.

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Even when you’re in one of THOSE classes… Sigh, here we go…

And I’m back…That wasn’t so bad! I  across Grounds, oh and look, I spy some geese! It’s a sight to see in this weather- the pond’s almost frozen over! Take a moment to stop and smell the roses, Scholars, to regain some clarity of mind in the middle of a hectic day.

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Now off to lunch… take-out is certainly quick, but try to take advantage of the well-prepared, healthy options in you cafeteria.  Take a breather by eating in the cafeteria, too, and you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of the day!

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Sautéed fish and veggies, yummm!

Next, I meet up with some friends for a study group. We hit the grindstone, but inevitably, conversation strays to making plans for our upcoming weekend. Wanting to have fun and be safe, we start to talk about how we can be proactive about protecting ourselves and the peers around us. We wonder how, if the need arises, be active responders rather than passive bystanders.


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I recommend LifeLine Response to them because it not only empowers me #TakeControl of my personal safety, but also the safety of my campus community, too! That’s a powerful idea worth sharing with my friends!

…which reminds me, before I head out to the bus, I should set the timer mode on my LifeLine Response app! It’ll be about a twenty minute bus ride home, so I’ll set for my app to ask me to check-in by about thirty, and I’ll head out to the bus stop with a great peace of mind! It’s so empowering to know I can keep tabs on my own safety!

As I wait for the bus to take me home after my long day of class, I take note of the other measures on University Grounds that help keep me safe, like this Blue Light. In the event of an emergency, I want to be prepared to utilize all the safety measures provided by my campus, my community, as well as my personal safety solutions too!

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Finally, after a late-night conference call at home with the rest of the NLC, it’s time for bed! While I know a good night’s sleep is critical to being a healthy successful student, I’ll admit that I’ve found this to be the most difficult component of health and balance to make a good habit of… how’s my time?

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It is a little late… so I get right to bed to prepare for another day and a chance to do better!


There you  have it, Scholars. Now, what will you do to be healthier and safer on campus? How will you find scholarly success through balance?

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Emily Schutzenhofer is the President of the NSCS National Leadership Council and a three-year member of NSCS, having served as Treasurer, STAR Status Coordinator, and VP of Community Service at her Gold-STAR Status chapter. Emily is a fourth-year Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, studying Biochemistry and Global Development Studies with a concentration in Global Public Health. Emily is an aspiring physician and as such is passionate about health, wellness, and service- she volunteers at the Charlottesville Free Clinic and Remote Area Medical Clinics, has conducted research on cardiovascular disease, leads the Women in Medicine Initiatives at UVA, and founded a service organization, the Virginia Cyber Leo Club at UVA, to help people in her area with disabilities.


Want to learn more about LifeLine Response and using it to #TakeControl of your life on campus? NSCS and LifeLine response are teaming up to make you campus community safer!

Check it out and get the app: and