Published: March 17, 2021

Buffs, this week marks the halfway point in our spring semester and I want to check in with you all—how are you doing? What are you needing right now? 

As you continue on, and in thinking about what you may need, I have some advice this month to help you make it through the rest of the semester and continue to keep our community safe.

JB BanksUnderstand and prioritize your needs

During challenging times, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. However, sometimes it’s not always easy to know what we need in a given moment or how to prioritize our needs. 

In my experience, especially in the winter months, I have found that the simple act of getting outside during the day has been very beneficial in meeting some of my self-care needs. It helps me to focus on gratitude that I think is so key to having a productive day. Spending time outside gives me a change of scenery, a mental health break in my day and a chance to move around. For these reasons, I prioritize getting outside each day—even if it’s for a few minutes to get some fresh air.

To help you prioritize your needs, Health and Wellness Services has created a free self-assessment tool that allows you to evaluate your current habits and create a plan. They also have a list of ways you can practice self-care—I encourage you to try a few of the self-care ideas this semester and prioritize what works for you. 

Be considerate and safe

Knowing that many of us are experiencing feelings of frustration, stress and anxiety, be considerate of others. This includes your peers, neighbors, faculty members, co-workers, friends and family. Our actions often have an effect on those around us, whether we realize it or not, so I encourage you to do what you can to be kind and thoughtful. Check in and stay in touch with your friends and family. Find productive ways to take a break and de-stress. If you’re looking for things to do, there are many upcoming student events to help you connect with others. And wherever you are, remember to follow health and safety measures to help protect your friends, family and neighbors. 

Ask for help

If you’re struggling with something—maybe it’s your coursework, finding a summer internship or making friends—I strongly encourage you to ask for help. Asking for help is not always easy for many of us. But if we can take that first step in finding support, it can make a difference and help the rest of your semester be a positive experience. 

The Division of Student Affairs is here to help you. There are a variety of resources to help you with whatever you may be struggling with, including:

  • Peer Wellness Coaching. Peer Wellness Coaches are Buffs who are trained to help students navigate resources, set goals, get connected on campus and more. If you need help navigating CU Boulder, finding ways to meet new friends or improving your self-care, Peer Wellness Coaching is a great free resource to try.
  • Let’s Talk. If you’re concerned about stress, sadness, worry, relationships, academic performance, family problems or financial struggles, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is here for you. They provide free and confidential consultations through their virtual Let’s Talk program. Let’s Talk counselors can help provide insight, solutions and information about additional resources.
  • Academic Success and Achievement Program (ASAP). If you live on campus or are a first-year commuter student, ASAP offers free peer-tutoring support and one-to-one sessions.
  • Career workshops and programs. If you’re looking for an internship or job after graduation, Career Services offers weekly workshops with tips on resumes, gaining experience, networking and more. You also have the chance to ask career development advisors specific questions.

And if you aren’t sure what you need or where to find help, I’m here for you. I’ll be out again this month as a “dean on the go” and would love to connect. Stop by my pop-up office hours or send an email to to ask questions and learn about resources; no appointment needed. 

Take care of yourselves and each other, and let’s make the rest of the semester great.

JB Banks
Acting Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs