Student Lookout: Summer suggestions, a possible top-tier burrito, and Mental Health Awareness month

Noeli Perez, director of program development at NAMI Santa Cruz County.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

What up, everyone,

It’s hard to believe that you all are getting close to wrapping up your school years already. I’m sure you’re feeling the same way, especially if you’re an upperclassmen. You’ve heard it before, but that last year or so really zips right on by.

But since summer is almost here, that means Student Lookout will go on its annual hiatus — or partial hiatus. Come July, you’ll be seeing only one of these a month until the school year starts up again. There will be more recreational entries and news write-ups to keep you caught up on the latest as the upstanding citizens I choose to believe you all are.

So feel free to shoot me a text and let me know what you’d like in the summer editions. I’m looking forward to hearing from all one or two of you. 🙄

If you haven’t signed up for your FREE Lookout membership, enter your phone number below to register. In addition to unlimited access to all of Lookout, you’ll receive exclusive Student Lookout text alerts every Friday with deals, recommendations and more.

Off we go …

Deals Download

Check out these student discounts:

  • Students (and teachers) get 10% off at Well Within on Thursdays.
  • HoM Korean Kitchen offers 15% off for students.
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center offers free admission to UC Santa Cruz students and 25% off for all student tickets.

BEST DEAL OF THE MONTH: Student tickets at Kuumbwa Jazz

Located in downtown Santa Cruz, Kuumbwa Jazz is a nonprofit providing Santa Cruz the full spectrum of jazz music through live performance and education. Check out an upcoming show and take advantage of discounted student tickets.

➤ Want to share these deals with your friends? Have them sign up for Student Lookout texts with this link.

Good Eats

La Katrina Mexican Kitchen ($$)

Obligatory “I have never been here but I have heard that it is very good” disclaimer here. Anyway, a fellow Lookouter has said very good things about this new-ish spot across the street from CVS on Mission Street. I implore y’all to try it out and let me know — is it the real deal? There is apparently a pretty eye-catching menu item that consists of seafood and bacon stuffed into a pineapple, for the more adventurous folks out there.

Recently, Jessica M. Pasko — one of the writers filling in for Lily Belli while she’s on maternity leave — let local foodies know about “The Rhubarb World Tour” at downtown taproom Lupulo Craft Beer House on May 13, which features rhubarb-centric food and drinks, along with a pie-making contest. She also reminds everyone of the June 17 Summer Sustain Supper, a big fundraiser for the Homeless Garden Project.

Take this week’s news quiz

Inside Santa Cruz: Mental Health Awareness Month

Written by Kaya Henkes-Power, newsroom intern

The County of Santa Cruz Behavioral Health Services website has extensive lists of support and services. They include everything from clinical and behavioral services for adults and children, to a mental health guide to Santa Cruz, to online non-local mental health resources. The county’s behavioral health services aren’t just limited to mental health resources. The county also offers employment and vocational resources, substance-use disorder services, and a South County mobile crisis response team.

We’re closing in on the end of the academic year, which is arguably one of the most demanding times of the school year. Students make daily sacrifices in order to meet the pressures of school and its deadlines, which increase dramatically nearing the end of the academic. For students who have mental health struggles, this period of time can become even more mentally taxing. I know for me, I have a hard time engaging in daily tasks and social life outside of the pressures of school. So when the end of the school year rolls around, I am definitely not at my peak. With the conversation surrounding mental health becoming more positive, resources and events have become more prevalent than in previous decades. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are resources and events you can access throughout the month and beyond.

UCSC’s Mental Health Awareness Month events

UC Santa Cruz’s Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are hosting a series of events and providing resources throughout the month. Here are just a few of the events happening this May; be sure to check UCSC’s website for more events and information.

CAPS Peer Team events

CAPS’ Peer Education Program (PEP) plans to offer a traveling collaborative art project called “Leaf Your Stress Behind.” In order to help “grow” the conversation about student mental health, students will write a stressor on one side of paper cut in the shape of a leaf, then write an affirmation on the other side. The leaves will be attached to a poster that looks like a tree. Throughout the month, students can watch the tree grow, as a “reminder that you are never alone in your struggles or in your strength.” Along with that, CAPS will be handing out green ribbons at all its events.

Peer Team Tabling

Students can learn about the services CAPS offers, grab a self-care starter kit and add to the art project. Dates and location will vary.

May 5 and May 19: 9-11 a.m.
Location: Student Health Services, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz

May 12: 1-2:30 p.m.
Location: Stevenson College, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz

May 26: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Bay Tree Campus Bookstore, 500 Steinhart Way, Santa Cruz

Stress Less Workshops

Students can learn about the impacts of stress and the role stress plays in their lives and receive tips about how to manage school stress through art.

May 14: noon-2 p.m.
Location: Room 132, Cowell Conference Room, 257 Cowell-Stevenson Rd., Santa Cruz

May 28: noon-2 p.m.
Location: Crown Fireside Lounge, 628 Crown Rd., Santa Cruz


Students should check in with their school’s student health services to see if they offer any services through there. Here are the links to UCSC’s counseling and psychological services and Cabrillo College’s personal counseling services, where students can receive counseling, support and access the schools’ crisis line. Here are some other mental health services for May and beyond.

PEP Talks

Location: Rachel Carson College Room 212, 356 Rachel Carson Rd., Santa Cruz
Hours: Tuesdays 2-3 p.m. and Thursdays 10-11 a.m.

As part of the CAPS peer teams event series, this drop-in service is for students to talk to a CAPS PEP educator for support and recommendations to campus resources. The drop-in service is available weekly throughout May.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Santa Cruz

Location: 542 Ocean St., Suite F, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831-824-0406

NAMI is a nationwide nonprofit organization that seeks to destigmatize the conversation around mental health and provide support to those who are struggling. The organization offers services such as support groups for all ages and both English and Spanish speakers. NAMI also offers different resources that students,families and anyone needing assistance with their mental health can use. NAMI also recommends various crisis hotlines, such as the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline, where someone can call or text to talk to trained crisis counselors. Additionally, NAMI offers legal and housing resources.

County of Santa Cruz Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adults

Location: 1080 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz
Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 831-454-4000

Around Town - Events

Did you know that we have an events calendar? BOLO, which stands for Be On the Lookout, is our hub for the best events in the county. See all the listings here.

Here are a few events you should check out:

Birds and Bikes with Central Coast Birding Collective, Saturday, 9 a.m. - noon

It’s Bike Month, so get on your ride and meet at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center near Natural Bridges State Beach for a 7-plus-mile bike ride around wildlife reserves like Younger Lagoon Reserve, Antonelli Pond, Natural Bridges State Beach and more. Get outdoors and get your month and weekend off to a great start.

“Heap is Full” — UCSC Digital Arts & New Media MFA exhibition, Saturday, noon - 5 p.m.

An immersive exhibition put together by eight artists who developed their work over two years, “Heap is Full” includes a number of exciting displays, including an open-source game-engine tool for modeling forest dynamics, a series of performance experiments on masculinity, a variety of exhibits exploring queer identity, and much more.

Santa Cruz Mountains Makers Market in Felton — 10th anniversary, Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Make your way up to the mountains to celebrate 10 years of the Felton makers market. Local artists and artisans will be there with their unique work, including jewelry, clothing, flowers, food and much more. It’s just in time for Mother’s Day, too, so pick up something for the May 14 holiday while supporting local small businesses.

➤ Want more? If you’re still looking for great things to do, check out Wallace Baine’s Weekender here.

How I Got My Job: Tina Somers, artist and owner of Hawk and Hammer Creative Studio

This week, Kaya talked to Tina Somers — an artist and the owner of Hawk and Hammer Creative Studio. Somers spoke about her path from education consulting to full-blown artist, balancing the different styles she likes to explore, and the industry’s biggest challenges.

Tina Somers in her Santa Cruz art studio
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

This week, I watched: “Beau Is Afraid” (2023), directed by Ari Aster

A still from "Beau Is Afraid."
(Via Vulture)

In just five years, Ari Aster has become one of the most recognizable voices in American and world cinema, and one of only a handful of filmmakers who can fill a theater just by having his name attached to a project. His feature film debut, 2018’s acutely distressing “Hereditary,” was an instant, bone-chilling classic with some of the 21st century’s most memorably shocking moments put to film — I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about. 2019’s “Wicker Man"-esque “Midsommar” found similarly major success in theaters around the world, thus paving the way for Aster’s most original work yet, “Beau Is Afraid.”

Based on an old short film of his, the film, simply put, is a three-hour depiction of one man’s paranoid odyssey to get to his mother’s home. What “Hereditary” and “Midsommar” might lack in originality is nowhere to be found here, as this is about as Aster as an Aster movie can be. The anxiety-inducing, darkly comedic epic starts off with nearly an hour exploring the life of Beau, a broken man in a broken city, and gives us some of the most self-assured filmmaking Aster has offered us in his career thus far.

If only the rest of the movie maintained that same momentum.

At three hours, it somehow feels both overlong and rushed at the same time. You find yourself wondering whether the next scene will be a great addition to the themes of guilt and paranoia or just 20 minutes of filler — and the truth is, it’s about a 50-50 chance of either. Though Joaquin Phoenix is totally game all throughout his great performance as Beau, jarring tonal shifts and loose ends create a disorganized collage of a film that feels more like a few compelling short films roughly stitched together into a largely incohesive final product than a singular story.

It’s a mixed bag and a total mess that both provides a good argument for and against total creative freedom, as the film is Ari Aster at his least compromising, but most haphazard. That said, despite the lengthy run time, I promise you won’t be bored even once.

Rating: 3/5

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And that’s another week in the books. Those of you who are seniors will be graduating before you know it! Make sure to spend time with the friends you’ve made, because that last day of school sneaks up really quickly.

Enjoy your weekend!

— Max


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