Category Archives: Intellectual

Our minds need to be continually inspired and exercised just as our bodies do. The intellectual dimension encourages openness to new ideas, motivation to master new skills, a sense of humor, creativity, and curiosity. People who possess a high level of intellectual wellness have an active mind and never stop learning. Striving for personal growth and a willingness to seek out and use new information are also characteristics of an intellectually-well individual

Make goals for National Money Smart Week

Set your goals for National Money Smart Week!

Last week was Money Smart Week.

It’s like January 1st for your finances! A week where we can all reflect on our money saving – or not saving – habits, loans and other debts, and budgeting skills. Then, we can make a resolution; not the “I’m going to hit the gym for 3 hours every day for an entire year and never come near to chocolate,” kind of goal. But a SMART goal. One that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely!

What’s the point of making a goal if you can’t accomplish it? At UND Financial Wellness, we believe when this method is followed, the likelihood that you will accomplish your goals will increase greatly.

Let’s first do some brainstorming. Where in your financial life do you need a tune up? Perhaps you know nothing about your student loans or how you are going to pay for school. Or, while it may be hard to believe from looking outside, summer is just around the corner. Have a plan for summer employment or summer classes? Maybe you are scrambling to find money for groceries and to pay rent at the end of the month. Whatever it is, you know your struggles – don’t hide them, use this week as a time to make changes!


When you determine this goal, make sure it is specific. A goal such as “I want to pay for more of my school instead of using loans,” has little merit. While the overarching idea is spot on, it lacks specifics to make it accomplishable. You can’t fix every financial problem in one sitting; instead, take one problem and create a solution. To revise the previously stated goal, let’s try, “I will pay half of my tuition out of pocket.”


How about a measurement? If you are trying to pay for half of your tuition, what is the dollar amount? To revise this goal, “I will pay $2000 out of pocket for my tuition,” Setting your goal so that you can measure it is vital to tracking your progress and success.


Now that you have a specific goal that can be measured with simple math, ensure that the goal is attainable. When trying to pay $2000 out of pocket, don’t plan on picking dollars off the money tree in your backyard. Determine if this goal is attainable. For the tuition goal, does this require some extra hours of work in the summer or applying for scholarships? Include this in your goal so you have the means to accomplish this. “I will pay $2000 out of pocket for my tuition by working 40 hours a week this summer.”


We can have all sorts of financial goals. Some people may hope to travel the world or own a house. For our goals for Money Smart Week, we want to focus on something relevant to our lives. As students, our financial resources are likely tighter and many of our goals are focused on necessities. Purchasing a large house or planning an extravagant trip may not be relevant to our lives at this point. Instead, a goal focused on what is pertinent to our life, such as tuition, is most important.


Finally, make your goal timely. To check up on your progress and ensure success, set a deadline. For example, “I will pay $2000 out of pocket for my tuition by working 40 hours a week this summer and saving $500 each month from May to August.”

Now that you have the steps to make healthy decisions, determine what it is that you want to change in your financial life, and take a stab at it! Track your progress and revise for your circumstances! If you need help, feel free to make an appointment:

Good luck and Happy Saving!


*Blog written by Kaitlin Bezdicek.  Kaitlin is a student at UND and a peer educator for Financial Wellness.



KNOW How to Help

Many students think that partying ONLY leads to a great time. Unfortunately, sometimes people take it too far and drink way too much, which can lead to some serious issues. It is important for all of us to KNOW How to Help if a dangerous situation were to arise. Check out more information on the KNOW Campaign!

Here are some great tips for knowing how to help your buddies out when they drink.  One helpful acronym that we use to remember the signs of alcohol over dose is C.A.N.S. CANS

Now, sometimes students in North Dakota are afraid to seek medical attention for themselves or a friend if they have drank too much because they do not want to get in trouble with the law. Fortunately, North Dakota passed a law called the North Dakota Medical Amnesty Law. This law states that if you contact law enforcement or emergency services for yourself or someone else, who is underage because there is a need for medical assistance due to alcohol consumption, AND you wait for and cooperate with emergency responders, up to five people are immune from criminal prosecution in North Dakota. Although a person may not get in trouble with the law, they could get in trouble with the university if they are a student.

Last but not least, know that every minute matters. If someone needs medical attention due to alcohol overdose do not hesitate to get them help! Some important numbers to have in your phone include:

  • The ambulance, fire, and police (9-1-1)
  • The Care Team (day: 701-777-2664, night/weekend: 701-777-3491)
  • Campus Police (701-777-3491).

Keep these helpful tips in mind so that if you or a friend ever find yourself in a serious situation, you will KNOW How to Help.

Spring Break Survival

Spring Break Survival is an exciting event encouraging UND students to make safe, healthy, and informed decisions over Spring Break. The event will include Bear Pong (not a tHUB_SpringBreakSurvival_Screen_Portriatypo!), condom races, booths, activities, and presentations on a variety of health and wellness topics, as well as a FREE taco in a bag. The topics that will be discussed at the booths include date rape drugs, drinking games (and protective behaviors!), alternative activities to do in Grand Forks over spring break, calories in alcoholic beverages, STD’s and STI’s, sun care, and staying hydrated. Students will be given a passport when they enter the event.  Students will visit each booth and activity at Spring Break Survival, where they will receive a stamp for engaging in each activity. Once they have received a stamp from every station, they can get their free taco in a bag and be entered into a drawing for VISA gift cards!

This event is sponsored by the Health & Wellness Hub at UND. We hope to see you there!

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook to learn about more exciting Health & Wellness opportunities and events this semester

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are becoming more and more prevalent among college students. According to the American Journal of College Health, 40% of students and even parents think that prescription drugs that are taken for non-medical reasons are not as harmful as cocaine, LSD, heroin and other illegal drugs. However, abusing prescription opioids such as Valium and Xanax has caused more deaths in college students than cocaine and heroin combined. The harmful effect of non-medical use of prescription drugs is something that all college students should be aware of.

More than 97% of UND students do NOT engage in this risky behavior (2012 UND CORE Alcohol and Other Drug Survey)

There are two most common types of prescription drugs that college students are using for non-medical reasons. First, central nervous system (CNS) depressants are drugs, such as Valium and Xanax, that have a calming effect, make you a little drowsy, and mostly bring you down. Second, drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall (usually prescribed for patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD) can produce a euphoric effect and keep you focused. Some students have reportedly used them to get through heavy study sessions instead of learning effective study habits when they arrive at college.

Even though these prescription drugs taken non-medically are dangerous by themselves, they are even more harmful when taken in combination with alcohol. For example, when students take CNS depressants they depress the central nervous system. When you combine these drugs with alcohol, which is also a depressant, it actually brings your body even further down. So you could say your body is experiencing a 1+1=3  effect!

So, do you want to suffer mentally and physically from abusing the prescription drugs, or even die from them? If not, think twice when putting medicine in your body that it does not need!  Think about alternative healthy choices for staying focused, energized, and relaxed. Here are some ideas for you:

  • Clarify your goals and the steps you need to take in order to reach your goals; this will help you feel focused
  • Sleep and exercise daily to increase your energy
  • Take a walk or mediate to feel relaxed

Find your way to stay away from the unnecessary dangers of prescription drug abuse!

Tips for a great spring break- without breaking the bank!

Spring break is two weeks away and you can’t wait to relax! But while you’ve been studying and stressing over midterms exams, you might not have made any big plans- or have a ton of cash set aside.

Don’t worry. UND financial wellness has got your back.

You don’t need to drain your life savings and sell a kidney to afford a fun spring break. What you do need is a place to travel, a way to get there, somewhere to stay, cheap grub, (and for those of the appropriate age, maybe a drink or two).  So here are some tips to have a great spring break without breaking the bank.

  • Plan ahead. With two weeks to go, it might be a little late for extensive planning and advanced ticket purchasing but it’s important to plan what you can. Knowing where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what you need will lead to you being less stressed and less likely to spend more on last minute rate increases.
  • Getting there. Whether you are planning to drive or fly, money can be saved. If you’re driving, take the most fuel efficient car you can get. If you fly, you need to be flexible, especially this late in the game.  Mid-week or middle-of-the-night flights are often the cheapest. Also flying out of Minneapolis can save you hundreds over flying out of Grand Forks.
  • Look for deals.  Groupon and LivingSocial can provide deals for areas you are heading to or traveling through. It is also a good idea to look for online promotional deals when you are booking hotels or looking for places to eat. Hotels also often provide deal books in their tourist information area- you’ll find both things to do and coupons for them!
  • Be outgoing.  When you’re traveling, it is no time to be shy. Talk to the locals you meet. First of all, meeting new people can be fun and secondly, they can tell you what places are worth checking out and which places are the overpriced tourist traps.
  • Don’t buy cheesy souvenirs. We like to cut loose on vacation, and sometimes we do so with our wallets. It may be fun to be impulsive on the places you visit, but don’t give in to the tourist junk. Most likely it is poor quality and way overpriced.
  • Know the local laws. Whether you are visiting a different state, or a different country it is important to know the local laws. Some laws like speed limits are obvious, but other places may have different rules about driving that could get you pulled over. Many states have laws against talking on the phone and driving. The last thing you want on vacation is a brush with the law a heavy fine. There also may be noise ordinances and restrictions on what you can carry with you.  The one place you don’t want to save is with free lodging at the local jail.
  • Your Friends.  Traveling with your friends can be a blast no matter where you go. Spring break will also be more cost effective with your friends. Cost sharing is a great way to cut car, hotel, and other travel expenses.
  • Bring all the necessities.  If you’re the kind of person that waits until the last minute to pack, you might end up forgetting something. Make yourself a list of stuff you know you’ll need throughout the week prior to leaving. Remembering to pack important stuff like your sunglasses, swimsuit, sandals, and camera will keep you from having to buy them at your destination.
  • Pack groceries. Save some cash by cooking/bringing a couple of meals and snacks. Especially if you’re driving, bring a cooler. You can pack water, pop, lunch meat, and other goodies for the trip. This way you can avoid frequently stopping and convenience store prices.

Now you’re ready to go! Just don’t do anything UND Financial Wellness wouldn’t do: In other words, don’t waste your money.

Ballenger, B. (2013, February 25). 26 Tips to Save on Spring Break 2013. Retrieved from Money Talks News:

But how do I know?

Last time you heard from me, I talked about change; specifically, why I resist it with everything inside of me. I’ve never really been a risk taker, and so far it’s led me down a pretty decent “safe” path.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more I have moments of “Let’s do this!” They come out of nowhere, leaving a giant pit in my stomach, and shortness of breath, and a desire to move. Sometimes those moments are for little things, like deciding to workout when I don’t feel like it or trying a new recipe. And sometimes those moments are for big things, like zip lining through a rainforest* or starting a new job. (*Full disclosure: I’ve never ziplined through a forest. Let’s be real.)

A few months ago, I decided to try something new in my professional life. I have a very unconventional path when it comes to the workplace. I graduated with a degree in Dietetics (the science of food) after dabbling in secondary English education. My first “real job” was as a NDSU Extension Agent in Benson County, focusing on things like youth development, living on a budget, overall health, and 4-H. It was a great mix of teaching and wellness.

About 2 years later, I took the job as the first Executive Director of the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. This was a brand new arena for me, filled with new obstacles and experiences. I joked that I was still using my degree, because I had many coffee and lunch meetings, so I was still involved in the “food part.”

Two weeks ago I started a new position as Events Coordinator for Scheels in Grand Forks. A much larger store is opening in June, and it’s my job to find fun and useful ways for our store to be a part of the community. I have to be honest; this is another BRAND NEW place for me to be. As Executive Director, I did get some experience in event planning and execution, but I have a feeling this will be a bit different.

While attending a pretty intense job training recently, it hit me:

This feels right.

We all wait for that moment after deciding to try new things because of that possibility of failure. Sitting in the unknown can be almost unbearable, so when the moment of “ahhh…” hits, it’s pretty awesome.

I feel fortunate for my newest professional opportunity, and even more for that “ahhh…” moment. For several months I’ve thought “I THINK this is the right move… But how will I know??!” It has taught me patience, the beauty in courage, and confidence in myself and my abilities.

I can’t promise you every ending to a new adventure will be smooth or comfortable or even pretty. But unless you take a chance every now and then, you never have the opportunity to grow!

When was the last time you had an “ahhh…” moment?

Save Some Money On Your Honey

money heart

Valentine’s Day or National Single awareness day.  It’s either a day to spend with a loved one or another reason to complain about how Hallmark is making more money.  February 14th is right around the corner and it might be time to think about how you are going to be spending—both figuratively and literally—that Friday evening.

Many may choose the traditional theme: dress nicely, buy a dozen fresh roses, splurge on an expensive two-person dinner package, and possibly a movie.  Just thinking about this makes my wallet burn my back pocket.  Valentine’s Day seems to require spending a lot of money in a short period of time to prove your love.  Being a college student myself, it is apparent that many of us are not always able to fund this.  Do I really have to spend $50 on a meal to show someone that I love them?  If you feel like you are in a similar situation, why not try something new this year?

1)  Avoid the waiter

Spending the night at your place not only greatly decrease your urge for impulse spending, but it will be a more personal night for you and your loved one.  There will not be the annoying waiter who disrupts your conversation just to ask if you would like a refill on your empty glass of water.  Clearly you want that refill.

Purchasing food and preparing the meal yourself will also show that you put more time and effort into the date, even if you end up over-cooking the pasta and the bread is a little stale.  Chances are both your significant other AND your bank account will appreciate it more.

Not looking for the stereotypical dinner at your kitchen table?  Try setting down a blanket near a fireplace and making it more of a picnic.  Do you live in a boring apartment without a fireplace? Search YouTube for “Yuletide Fireplace” and hook it up to your TV – or just though your computer—for that extra light and comforting crackling noise.   The video is posted year round and it is acceptable to have it playing after the holiday season.

2)  Get out the Snuggie

Your girlfriend really wants to go see that new romantic movie that night with you and says that you’ll be the best boyfriend ever if you take her.  There are a couple problems here though.  Your restless leg syndrome always kicks in after about 15 minutes into a movie, you can’t stand spending $5 for a box of candy, and you hate large crowds.  Or maybe you are just trying to be more economical.  Here is a very simple solution for your problem:  Figure out what her favorite movie is.  If you already know, then great, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask one of her friends what movie or genre she likes and ask to borrow a movie.  Alternatively, you could find a movie together on Netflix if you have a subscription.  Worried about a snack?  A box of candy is about a dollar per box at CVS, Target, or Walmart and sometimes they even have a deal where you can get 3 boxes of candy for $2.  That’s an entire box of candy for when you’re engulfed in Netflix sometime next week.  Finally what is better than watching a movie in your own place, on your couch, in a Snuggie or blanket, with someone that you really care about?  There isn’t some random person that you have to share an arm rest with or trying to rest their feet on your chair.

3)  Screw date night

Now for those of you who would prefer to look at this day as National Single Awareness day, UND Men’s hockey is skating in to save you.  There just so happens to be a series that weekend against Miami.  This will cost around $10 per game or $20 for the series for students unless someone is selling them for cheaper.  Get a group of friends together, make a couple pizzas, and then walk over to the Ralph for a good time watching some North Dakota hockey.

Whether you chose to spend the money on the meal out, spend some quality time at home and make a meal there with your loved one, or go with your friends to the hockey game, make sure to make this Valentine’s Day a great one and save some money while you’re at it.

How are you going to spend your Valentine’s Day?

valentines day single

Written by JT Knutson, Financial Wellness Peer Educator

Stressed by Finals?

If you’re like me with finals right around the corner your stress levels have gone up with studying for test, projects, or papers. DeStress Fest Poster - Dec 2013 (2)However there is a way to help you cope with these added stress levels, exercise.  Aerobic exercise is a great way to help lower your stress levels even if it is a thirty minute quick workout. Usually weekends are my days off from working out but I was starting to get stressed and couldn’t focus so I came to the UND Wellness Center and used the 30 minute circuit (located on the upper level). I felt so much better after that quick workout. I had my focus back and my stress levels I could feel were lowered. I finished my homework stress free and I could enjoy the night, while not having to focus on my homework instead.  stress2Head to the Physical Activity Booth during the FroZEN De-Stress Fest at the Memorial Union Loading Dock this Wednesday (Dec 11th, 2013 11am-2pm) to learn more about how Exercise helps improve brain function & take stress away during stressful times (like FINALS)!

-Kelsey Olson, FLEX Intern, UND Wellness Center

QR Code? Wait, What??

Have you seen the funny looking bar code squares around campus? You may or may not know what they are but QR Codes are very useful to get quick information on products, services and promotions.  The UND Financial Wellness Services team is utilizing these codes as well to offer discounts for businesses in the area. Check out a door hanger they used for the Student Discount Program that has a QR Code on it:


Most smart phones with cameras are able to scan these QR Codes and get directed to a specific website on your cell phone instantly.  Follow the steps and images below to get started using QR Codes:

1. Start by searching your app store for a QR Code Reader such as Google Goggles or RedLaser.


2. After opening up the app take a picture of the code by clicking the “SCAN” button and hover over your QR Code Square like in the image below:


3.Once your QR Code has been successfully scanned the link to the website of the QR Code will pop-up! All you have to do is click on the link:


4.And there you go! You have reached your QR Codes Destination:


QR Codes can be used with ALL types of Smart Phones.  There are a variety of scanners and they each have different features.  Explore which one makes the most sense for you and start scanning the world.

See if you can find a QR code for the UND Student Discount Program to test out your new skills.

Stuck at a Plateau??

Are you stuck at a plateau for exercising?

We’ve all been there with all different approaches on how to change up our routine or possibly not change up the routine at all and hoping that it’s just a minor phase in exercising.

After doing some research there is a fun new piece of equipment that can help in your exercise routine while helping to improve on your power and performance with weightlifting/powerlifting. This piece of equipment is called kettlebells. kettlebell1What makes a kettlebell so unique is the continuous and never-ending improvement which gives you a full body workout. The kettlebell appears to have something to do with the cannonball shape and the offset handle, which allow you to manipulate the kettlebell much differently than you could with a dumbbell, barbell, or any other training device. The shape and the handle allow you to perform ballistics and grinds. Ballistics are fast, explosive movements, while grinds are slow and deliberate. I have added kettlebell into my exercise routine and afterwards I feel the workout instantly. I wish I would’ve know about this piece of equipment before but now that I have I want to let everyone else in on this secret for a full body workout and to help improve on their exercise routine.


The best way to get started is to find a certified instructor KettleBell2and get qualified instruction from the beginning, if you can. This will ensure you get started off the right way and get results, faster and more safely than trying to figure it out on your own. For total body strengthening and conditioning, kettlebells are definitely a very special fitness and performance training tool to incorporate into your program.


– FLEX Intern  Kelsey Olson

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