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Ryan Glover

Ryan Glover grew up on the Southside of Chicago, IL. He attended a private elementary school in Blue Island, IL called Salem Lutheran before going to St. Rita a Catholic all boys college preparatory school until the second semester of his sophomore year when he transferred to Luther South. As a high school student he excelled academically winning various math awards and national academic honors. Upon graduation from Luther South he began attending Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in History. Ryan Glover also served active duty in the US Coast Guard from 2006-2009. Ryan Glover performs under the stage name of Kaisor Sosa and has opened for groups such as Digital Underground, Dead Prez, Camp Lo, Slick Rick, Chino XL, and Bone Thugs and Harmony. He has also acted in several commercials, television shows and films. He has been featured in the Indie Grind section of Hip Hop Weekly and been a guest on several national television shows. In addition he has published articles in publications such as College News and Pro Boxing Insider. He holds an advanced MA History degree from American Military University.

Understanding Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. The date was first observed in 1949 by the Mental Health America Organization to spread awareness about mental health.

Mental health, as defined by Webster’s dictionary, is “the condition of being sound mentally and emotionally that is characterized by the absence of mental illness and by adequate adjustment especially as reflected in feeling comfortable about oneself, having positive feelings about others, and being able to meet the demands of daily life.” With this definition, it can be difficult to define who is suffering from mental illness. The truth is, every person perhaps experiences some degree of mental illness during their life.

There has been a negative stigma attached to mental illness in society, but many organisations are begin to challenge this. For instance, the Department of Veteran Affairs has been at the forefront of treating mental health issues such as PTSD with veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. Unfortunately, mental health problems have become more prevalent in society. There are many speculations about why people may suffer, including health factors where studies have shown that processed foods may be linked to depression.

Options

Budget cuts after the great recession forced many states to make cuts in the healthcare system, including in the mental health sectors. The recent replacement of the Affordable Care Act by the House isn’t positive news for the country’s mental healthcare system, either. However, there are many affordable options for counseling and various non-profit organizations that offer mental health services.

The big debate

One of the biggest problems that the country has is the large number of people who are feigning their mental disability in order to receive Social Security Disability payments from the government. While it can be easy to detect some people who are faking mental illness, it can be more difficult to detect others when the symptoms for these disorders are easily accessible online. While there are services out there, the fact remains that some people who are affected by these issues aren’t able to access them. Another debate at the forefront of the media, is the rise in mass shootings across the nation. These have sparked conversation about if people who commit these crimes are effected by mental health issues.

Diagnosis

The most common types of mental health issues are anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, substance abuse and addiction. The difficulties remain in diagnosing some of these illnesses and the reality of mental health is that a lot of people can suffer from illness and not realize it. Also, mental health issues are sometimes difficult to diagnose if the person who is effected is regularly using drugs or alcohol as this could be the cause of some of the symptoms that they are experiencing. Sometimes, some individuals just work through their illness not realizing that they could be suffering in the first place. In the black community, more than any other, there is a huge stigma associated with mental illness. This social stigma tends to deeply affect black men who are more prone to suffer from depression and anxiety but are less likely seeking help because they fear societal repercussions.
Another issue going on, particularly in the US, is the debate of this country having the highest incarceration rate, housing 22 percent of the world’s prisoners. One must question how many of these prisoners are actually suffering from mental health issues, and while there have been some efforts made to reduce the high incarceration rate, it isn’t enough.

Get help

If you feel that you are suffering with mental illness, you can visit mentalhealth.gov or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you need a referral for mental health services you can call 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727). The important thing to remember is that there are people who are available to help and it may be difficult being vulnerable and talking about what is going on with you, but if you are experiencing symptoms of mental health illness reach out for help. #HereForYou

Further reading: Coping with Exam Anxiety

Five Cheap Date Ideas

On the fifth day of Christmas, CN gave to me, five cheap date ideas!

Your pockets may be empty but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time with bae, especially with one of our five cheap date ideas. A lot of the time you might think that without money, you shouldn’t—or can’t—date. But the truth of the matter is that love has nothing to do with what’s inside your pocket. If somebody is feeling you, you can reciprocate those feelings without maxing out your credit card. These five cheap date ideas are definitely Instagram worthy—because if it’s not on the gram, it didn’t happen!

1. Volunteering is a great opportunity to get to know someone

Nothing is sexier than civic responsibility and it comes under one of our five great cheap date ideas. There are dozens of opportunities in your local community to volunteer for things you haven’t even thought of. Whether it’s at a soup kitchen or stocking items at your neighborhood food pantry. It gives you the opportunity to focus on helping others for once and builds some good karma for your future relationship! There’s an endless list of volunteering activities to do as a couple and the best part is that it won’t cost you a thing besides transport, which might just be a short walk in some instances.
Besides this, you will be around other like-minded people who want to improve society. It’s a great opportunity for networking and meeting new friends together. You can really learn a lot about someone working in a volunteer situation such as how good of a team player they are.
This is one of the cheap date ideas that will show if your date is selfish or not. If your date isn’t willing to volunteer for one day, I would make the argument that they aren’t a good mate.

Read: Seven Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

 

2. Hot dog with a walk is another cheap date idea that comes to mind

Some hot dog vendors offer two hot dogs for under five dollars—thus making our list of cheap date ideas. Look for hot dog vendors in downtown areas or hot dog stands in your local neighborhood. You can enjoy a great hot dog while going for a walk where you both have good conversation. Enjoying the sights of whatever city you may be in on foot while eating a great dog is priceless. A bonus of this date is that hot dogs can be very filling so you don’t have to waste money at a restaurant like Applebee’s or Red Lobster!

3. Mini matinee’s for $1

Most cities have theaters showing movies that have been released but aren’t on DVD yet. Catch up on the movies you missed out on because you were studying. It’s got to be something that you would both like to see. Paying less than five dollars for a quality film is priceless in experience and a great cheap date idea. Movie dates are cool because you don’t have to have a lot of conversation and you can get a good idea if the person you’re on a date with is vibing with you. The movie itself creates the perfect conversation piece once finished; you can talk about what you liked about the movie or what you didn’t.

4. Free yoga class

Your first week with CorePower Yoga is free so why not sign up together and give number four on our cheap date ideas list a go? Yoga is great exercise that’s relaxing for the mind and body. Practicing yoga will definitely bring two people closer together intimately and otherwise. You get to work up a sweat and have some great conversation about the experience; who knows, you might just find yourself a new hobby!

5. Netflix and chill

This is number five on our list of cheap date ideas because sometimes you simply don’t feel like leaving your apartment. So why not just watch something on Netflix? Catch up on “Game of Thrones”—I know you both want to. There’s no need to tell you that we’re living in a golden age of television. If you’re like me, with so much quality television to choose from, there are shows I don’t even have time to watch that are probably great. Watch something that you’ll both enjoy and get some microwaveable popcorn in from the dollar store. It’s great way to spend time together without breaking the piggy bank.

Do you have any great cheap date ideas for the holidays? Share with us!

Read: College Life Hack: Earn Extra Money on the Side

You’ll also enjoy: Nine Best Christmas Movies

What to Do After Graduation

Finally, commencement has come and gone and like many students, you may be wondering what to do after graduation. Being a recent graduate can be a little scary but even if you don’t have an internship or job lined up, don’t sweat it. If you’re wondering what to do after graduation, there are a lot of opportunities available to you and this is the time to be proactive.

First and foremost, make sure that you have a professional resume written for the jobs that you intend on applying for. Some schools may even allow you to use their career center after graduation—but this varies by institution. Some colleges also hire recent graduates, so be on the lookout for those opportunities, too.
With your resume in hand, I recommend filling out as many applications for the field you are interested in as they appear online. One other thing to do after graduation, is to keep in touch with your college advisor and other department heads and let them know you will be using them as references in the future.

The “real world” is very different without the safety net of college

Some students find themselves looking for employment in the town they went to college. Others relocate to a bigger city for more opportunities when thinking about what to do after graduation. You don’t have to move right away, but definitely assess the prospects of building a career where you are now before you decide to make that move. If it’s possible, you may even consider moving back in with your parents or finding new roommates.

Opportunities to network after graduation

If you’re stuck for ideas on what to do after graduation,  recommend volunteering your time—specifically in the field you want to work in— which will potentially lead to a job or will simply further build your network. Find out about future-career fairs in your area and attend them. You could consider applying for positions with AmeriCorps, or, if you’re really bold, the Peace Corps. Perhaps a career in the military as Active Duty or a Reservist would suit you?

You may also enjoy: Internships and Work Experience

 

Take advantage of all the resources accessible to you in your community

USAJobs is a great resource for jobs and is worth creating an account with to apply for open positions after graduation. Local papers also host a variety of “help wanted” ads so keep an eye on those as well.
The industry you want to work in may require a higher qualification, so think about applying for graduate school and start preparing for the necessary admission test. Other tests to take that would be beneficial after graduation would be the Civil Service exam and the ASVAB. Most local libraries can be a great help in this regard, especially if you are trying to save money or are taking more than one admission test.

Ambition comes in many forms

You have earned your college degree and there are no set rules as to how one comes by success. When it comes to deciding what to do after graduation, it is up to you to have a positive mindset and to figure out how to overcome the obstacles you face.
If you’re deciding what to do after graduation and the traditional job route isn’t for you, perhaps you might develop your own small business. The most important thing to remember about this period in your life is that you cannot be afraid to fail. Now is a good time to take calculated risks and follow your passion. If you “fail” during your 20s, your life is much easier to rebuild and you’ll reduce any regrets later on in life. Don’t be afraid to be persistent if you really want something—figure out what it is that you want and go after it. College students can get discouraged about the job market, complacent about the jobs they have, or lack motivation. Never forget why you went to college and that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. Never stop learning and improving your skills.

Beyond this, take some workshops on proper interview techniques. Having a professional demeanor, resume and great interviewing techniques will certainly separate you from the pack and could help you get that dream job you always wanted. The most important piece of advice I will give you on what to do after graduation, is to be ready for that special opportunity—it could be right around the corner.

Further reading: How to Write a Cover Letter

Donald Trump Wins 2016 Election

What many experts thought couldn’t happen, has indeed happened; Donald Trump will be the new president of the United States. One of the closest elections since 2000—and certainly one of the most entertaining presidential campaigns of our lifetime—has concluded with scandal-prone Hillary Clinton losing the race for president against Trump. Clinton was close to setting a historical precedent by becoming the first woman elected US president. It was a hard-fought campaign for Clinton, who battled rumors about her health and allegations over her emails. However, in the end, Trump will be moving into the White House.

The result

Relief and despair alike washed over many Americans as the xenophobic businessman/reality-star and his former nude-model spouse, Melania Trump, begin relocation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue before moving into the White House. Clinton will not fulfill her lifetime aspiration of being the president of the United States as many had expected. A key reason for her loss was the underestimation of the rural vote. It would be very gracious on Trump’s part if the Clinton’s would be permitted a visit during his presidency to their former home, considering the vicious campaign ads that ran this election cycle on both sides.
Trump supporters are hoping that he lives up to his promise of creating a better economy, taking a hard stance on immigration and ensuring America has tougher foreign policy. These policies clearly resonated with white, male, non-college graduates showing in record numbers not seen since Ronald Reagan.

How Trump won

This historical moment in American history that saw Trump become president-elect, feels like a step backwards in the eyes of many Latinos, who showed up in record numbers to vote. This is one of the most important presidential elections in recent years as the winner could potentially shape the Supreme Court for generations. Websites like realclearpolitics.com had incorrectly predicted a Clinton win. However, she was unable to win the most electoral college votes as African-American voters didn’t show up in the same numbers that they did for Barack Obama. This lead to losses in key battleground states such as North Carolina, Florida and Ohio. Even more surprising, was that even with the endorsement of President Obama and the support of many high-profile celebrities such as Jay Z and Beyoncé, Clinton still could not win the election.
Trump, whom during his campaign insulted minorities, women and Islam, tapped into the anger of many Americans. He undoubtedly benefited from the Clinton’s’ unsavory reputation, synonymous with scandal and illegal behavior over the years. It is quite likely that the Democratic Party is regretting its decision to run Clinton as opposed to the more popular Joe Biden. Perhaps Clinton may regret overlooking New Jersey senator, Cory Booker, as a running mate considering the low African-American turn out.

Immediate effect

Trump’s victory has already sent the stock market into a panic. Clinton, whom was associated with stability and considered good for the market, could be evidence of how sexist our country is according to some celebrities like Alyssa Milano on Twitter. Regardless, the power of democracy showed that the people refused to be hoodwinked by the corporate cabal that the Clinton’s seem to represent. Never in the history of American politics has a presidential candidate made such inflammatory comments and alienated so many groups of people and managed to win the presidency. This doesn’t reflect on Trump’s greatness, but instead shows making Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee a poor choice. In key Senate races, Democratic senator, Tammy Duckworth, defeated Republican incumbent Mark Kirk becoming the new senator of Illinois. Kirk quickly conceded and invited Duckworth to his traditional Beer Summit in Chicago. Republican Marco Rubio kept his Senate seat in Florida while Kamala Harris made history becoming the first black politician to represent California in the Senate. She also became the second black woman elected to the Senate, the first being Democrat Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois in 1993. Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada became the first Latina in the Senate replacing retiring Democrat Senator Harry Reid.
However, even with those historical moment for Democrats, it didn’t stop the Senate and the House (as expected) from being Republican controlled.

Recap the early days: The Biggest Winners and Losers: Round 2 of the Republican Presidential Debate

Frozen Favorites

Classic holiday flicks and specials to help you bring in the season

Christmas is a two-faced holiday. While some families celebrate it with merriment and apple cider, it also has a dark side and can be the most depressing time of the year. If you’ve got the holiday blues, don’t worry. Below are 10 movies guaranteed to uplift your holiday spirits and get you into a jollier frame of mind.

10. “Look Who’s Talking Now” focuses more on the lives of the pets as opposed to the Meisner-influenced performance of John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. This film could serve as a promotional video for the American Humane Society; maybe someone should have shown this film to Michael Vick before he was rehabilitated.

9. “Friday After Next”, this classic stoner flick not only is cheerfully entertaining, but also naughty enough to deserve a lump of coal. The third film in the series written by Ice Cube, it is a great film to watch while drinking spiked eggnog and sporting holiday socks with a Christmas sweater.

8. “White Christmas,” is an all-inclusive masterpiece. It’s a classic American film which brings out the holiday spirit and can remind you of the importance of friendship and appreciating the elderly. It’s tale about the importance of miracles and teamwork, coupled with an amazing soundtrack.

7. “A Christmas Story” is a comedic look at growing up in the Midwest. It’s full of iconic lessons that every drunk college student should heed – like remembering not to stick their tongues on telephone poles. Put the pellet guns down this season in favor of belly laughs. Who would think that blue-eyed and blonde-haired Little Ralphie would grow up to be an amateur CSI investigator?

6. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a certified classic Christmas episode which follows Charlie as he searches past the commercialized aspects of the holiday to the true meaning of the day.

5. “The Santa Clause” rounds off at number five because the phrase “It’s not a party until someone dies” rings true in this family film where Tim Allen takes over the duties of Kris Kringle.

4. “Mr. Destiny” stars hometown good ole boy Jim Belushi. You can forget about his family’s sordid past while viewing this family-friendly classic.

3. “Scrooged,” because no one loves a miser unless he’s played by Bill Murray. Watch Murray as he’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas past and present before the concept became clichéd. Rather than watch the classic version, opt for this hilarious version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” classic instead.

2. “It’s a Wonderful Life” The title says it all. If you haven’t seen it before, you’ll easily be able to catch it on TV. Considered one of the 100 best American Films by the American Film Institute, this film will make others realize the impact they play on others lives without even knowing it. The lesson? Good things are ahead of you; don’t give up and have hope.

1. “Home Alone” is number one on this list because there is nothing funnier than precocious Macaulay Culkin stopping burglars from his house while his parents are away on vacation.