How Students Can Combat Seasonal Depression

January 24th, 2017

By Robert Parmer

This winter has already proven to be particularly extreme, as many parts of the country are facing unusually low temps and record snowfall. Aside from the obvious inconveniences associated with excessive snow, an often overlooked consolation to extreme winter weather presents itself when our mental health is hindered.

Seasonal depression also known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) hits students hard when winter is in full force. Many people don’t even realize that their levels of depression are greatly increased, but this is a very real occurrence.

This means a huge number of students will face seasonal depression this winter. And a major seasonal challenge is not letting the frigid temperatures and inclement weather affect scholastic success.

I was motivated to research ways in which students can defeat SAD before it defeats them, primarily due to the fact that I myself struggle with seasonal depression. The following tips will help you combat SAD. If you take this advice to heart, you’ll be more armed with the tools to stop depression in its tracks this year and beyond!

Avoid Indoor Isolation: Get Outside However You Can

Winter sports and activities such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, and even winter surfing, are all unique ways to get outside and stay active. For a more mellow approach to outdoor activity consider hiking and scouting out natural hot springs to soak in.

Even if getting outside just means going on a walk during breaks in snowstorms or building a snowman in your front yard, do something to get outside and avoid isolating yourself indoors.

Don’t Feel Ashamed For Seek Counseling or Mental Health Services

There are many negative stigmas in the world that may backtrack efforts to addressing mental health. Do not let these stigmas impact your individual mental health needs because there is simply no shame in seeking help.

I can speak from personal experience when saying that persistence is key in addressing mental health, especially during the winter season. It’s not always going to be easy to seek help and oftentimes requires visits to both general and mental health specific health practitioners.

An article by Regis College points this out and elaborates on the current state of the mental health field:

“In the United States, mental health practitioners are in short supply, where almost one in five American citizens seek mental health treatment annually. Due to the Mental Health and Addiction Parity Acts of 1996 and 2008, there is an increase in patients pursuing treatment for mental illnesses.”

While seeking professional help for depression is immensely important, it can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Stay determined and dedicated to putting your mental health first. Remind yourself that you are worth this effort, and you are not being selfish in any way by prioritizing these needs in your life.

Use Specialized Lighting In Your House

‘Light Therapy’ has proven to be helpful in alleviating SAD symptoms. Sitting in front of sunlamps, which replicate sunlight through the use of special fluorescent tubes, greatly elevates mood and gives your body essential vitamin D that it’s missing out on in the winter time.

These types of lights are widely available and are a simple way to help your subconscious mind steer away from depression.

Focus on Self-Care

Focus on yourself this year and especially this winter. When depression gets in the way of life, it can often distract people from recognizing and addressing their own self-care needs. Start by identifying what exactly is self-care.

An article by Case Western Social Work titled Social Work and Self-Care gives a fantastic definition of self-care:

“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first. Then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.”

Creating a self-care checklist can be an excellent way to combat seasonal depression and ensure that your self-care needs are being met. Either write it down or simply ask yourself a series of these types of questions. The following are some common examples of self-care questions to ask yourself:

 

  • Do I feel comfortable and warm enough? Have I taken a hot shower or bath recently?
  • Have I eaten today, or in the last couple of hours?
  • Have I been drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated?
  • What are the emotions that are detracting from my mental health? Could it be that I’m experiencing depression or anxiety, or something else?
  • Do I feel well enough to exercise? Would I benefit from exercising today?
  • What can I do to feel more safe and secure?
  • When did I feel excited last, and what was I excited about?

Budget A Healthy Diet

The old adage of ‘you are what you eat’ certainly pertains to a person’s mental health as well.

In the past, I’ve written about ways to maintain a healthy diet and focused on how save money while doing so. These tips are evergreen and overarching to college students. Preparing refined, healthy meals in advance, avoiding over-eating-out at restaurants, and shopping in the bulk section and at discount grocery stores are all gateways in achieving this.

It’s important to remember that a healthy diet doesn’t necessarily look the same for everyone. However, planning and consistency typically goes a long way and will likely help most people when it comes to making healthy choices on a budget.

Additional Tips for Fighting Anxiety and Depression

Looking for even more tips in addressing and combating seasonal depression? The previous College Puzzle article, How to Fight Anxiety and Depression in College Students may offer you some crucial extra support in the battle of overcoming seasonal depression.

Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow him on Twitter @robparmer

Don’t Just Exist At College, Live!

January 23rd, 2017

By Mikkie Mills

Attend classes, take detailed notes, write papers, study hard, and pass exams. Doesn’t it feel like you are cramming information into your head every second of every day? Though you may enjoy your curriculum, your coursework can feel demanding and overwhelming. College is like a beautifully decorated hallway, and at the end is a doorway to a fulfilling life with an awesome career. But sometimes you find yourself drowning in and consumed by the length of the hallway, unable to appreciate the walk you are taking and the decor around you.

While college requires a great deal of your time, commitment, and attention, you do not have to put your life on hold. You matter, and it is important to not let this amazing time of your life be replaced with memories of books and caffeine!

Tip 1: Don’t forget about yourself.

You want to please your professors, your significant other, your family, and your friends. But what about you? Selfishness and egotism do not need to be ingredients of a satisfying life, but you cannot put yourself on the back burner because you think other aspects of your life are more important. Take the time every day to appreciate who you are and what you stand for.

Tip 2: Strive for a positive environment.

Stress and other negative factors in life suck and are often unavoidable. Have you ever noticed when a happy person walks into a group, you suddenly feel happy too? Positivity is contagious. Surrounding yourself with negative people and negative influences can bring you down. In this state, the complex flavors of life are dulled and uninspiring. Keeping your environment positive and healthy can help you enjoy every bit of your experiences.

Tip 3: Get off your chair and go outside!

No, this isn’t an excuse to put down the books! But think about it: you spend a lot of your time indoors under fake sunlight and a thick ceiling. By confining yourself indoors, you may forget that there is a huge world out there. You don’t have to travel around the globe to take a breath of fresh air! Go outside, take a walk, and notice the little things that nature has to offer. A leaf floating in the wind or a bright green blade of grass growing in a cement crack might make you appreciate how precious life is.

Tip 4: ‘member relaxing? Perhaps you should take up this hobby once again!

Unfortunately we can’t go back to the time where we could come home to video games and mom’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. If it takes us hitting the store to grab a carton of cookies and us putting aside a couple hours for a game or two, maybe its worth the effort! We get so wrapped up in working hard and giving other people attention that we forget to give ourselves a break. Whether you take a long bubble bath or go see a movie, allow yourself to relax and unwind from life’s obligations.

Tip 5: Treat your body well.

Parents aren’t there to tell us to take a shower or come to the kitchen for dinner. We have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps like adults! Guess what? It is actually fairly fun too! Exercise releases chemicals that can make us happy and feel accomplished. Savory, healthy, lean meals not only fuels our bodies, but it can teach us to find enjoyment and pleasure in the things we once overlooked. If we take care of ourselves, we are in a better state of mind and can truly open ourselves up to the satisfactions of life.

There is no reason why you have to close yourself off from the world just because you are in college. Though your focus may be directed towards classes and your chosen field of study, you shouldn’t let academics smother you! Your life is too important to let it pass you by, so relish every moment! You deserve to be happy!

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.

Creating a Healthy Campus Lifestyle And Community

January 20th, 2017

By Lorraine McKinney

 

A lot of people think that being a college student gives them an excuse to live an unhealthy lifestyle. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you are not healthy, your studies are going to end up suffering. Your health is something that you need to take care of, and so do your fellow students. That is why so many college campuses are setting up a variety of health and wellness programs. Here are a few ideas that you can run with to help make your campus community a healthy one.

 

  1. Smart Choice Menus – Many campuses offer nutritional meals that are low in calories and high in nutrients our bodies need. The menus are often written up by student nutrition interns, and each menu also shows the calorie counts for each food item on the menu. This program can be vamped up by having an accompanying website that offers nutritional resources for students that includes information for restricted diets, articles about diet and exercise, tips, and more.
  2. Farmers Markets – Another way to make sure that you are eating healthy is to shop at your local farmers market. Some schools are even setting up their own farmers markets, which ensures that students are going to be getting fresh, healthy produce on a regular basis, at prices they can actually afford. Local farmers supply the produce, and in some cases, the students actually grow their own produce through agricultural programs that they receive credit for.
  3. Outreach Events – At many campuses you will find outreach programs and workshops that revolve around health topics, including diet and exercise, sleep disorders, safe sexual practices, smoke-free campaigns, wellness workshops, and a lot more. These programs and workshops can help students to learn a lot about a variety of health issues and take better control over their own health.
  4. Campus Websites – If your campus doesn’t already have a health and wellness website, it is time for you to suggest it, or even create one yourself. West Palm Beach SEO services will help make sure it gets good rankings on search engines. This may seem like something for a business to get publicity, but if no one knows about a health and wellness site for your campus, no one is going to use it.
  5. Relationship Workshops – Relationships can affect our health in a variety of ways. Relationships can be stressful. Some relationships are violent. Some are controlling. If you or someone you know is having difficulties in a relationship, see if your campus offers programs that help people deal with relationship issues. If not, find out if the campus is tied to any community services, or if they can recommend services off campus.
  6. Health Counselling – There are a lot of health issues that are related to students, including alcohol and drug abuse, preventing sexually transmitted to students, etc. It is important for college campuses to offer counselling services to those who have questions about these and other important health issues. Many campuses are linking up with community-based programs to ensure that students have full access to health care and information about health related issues.
  7. Designated Driver Program – Let’s face it. You are a student, you are on your own for the first time, and you are going to do your fair share of partying. This is fine, as long as you do it safely. Always have a designated driver so you can get home safely. Check to see if your campus has a designated driver program. If not, see what you can do to get one started. You may just save a life.

 

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist. 

 

America’s Best Colleges For Low Or Middle Income Students Economic Outcomes

January 19th, 2017

Colleges’ economic benefit

Public schools dominate in a list of top 10 colleges that channel kids from low- or middle-income families to the top 20 percent of American wage earners in a study co-authored by economist Raj Chetty.

5 Non-Standard Tips for Choosing a Career Path

January 18th, 2017

BY MELISSA BURNS

Do not despair if you’ve just graduated and have no idea what to do with your life. There are millions of people in the same position as you are now, because choosing a career path is very difficult. This is a very important decision that would have a huge impact on your future, so you mustn’t rush it.

Instead, you can try various approaches that would help you understand yourself better and pick the right career.

How to Choose Your Career Path

Understand if you are a promotion or prevention motivated person

As career is something that would most likely define the rest of your life, you need to choose something that matches your personality type. There are many specialized tests that can help you determine your most prominent character traits, but each of them is limited.

When choosing a career, the most important thing to understand is what your main motivation is. All people can be divided into one of the two following types:

  • Prevention-focused motivation.
    These people are driven by the need to feel secure. They would do best in stable jobs as they aren’t ambitious and don’t like taking risks. They excel in planning and management.
  • Promotion-focused motivation.
    These are the people, who strive to work fast, come up with creative ideas, and take risks. Their driving force is the reward, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a promotion or the feeling of achievement for completing the job.

Understand what kind of motivation you have and then use your hobbies and interests as the basis for choosing a career.

Use the help of specialized portals

The Internet offers a variety of career guidance tools and aptitude tests that can help you choose the right path for your future. They can help you choose the right path for your future. It would be best to use the help of a large portal dedicated to this matter as opposed to a website that only offers a few tests, because they also provide the services of advisors and information about various work and study options.

Quite often, students don’t know how many opportunities are open to them, and specialized career guide portals rectify this situation.

Talk to people from different walks of life

You can read a great number of booklets and articles about a profession, but only a person who has actually ‘been there and done that’ would have a complete understanding of it. Therefore, you should try to find experts in every profession you consider and discuss their work directly.

These people will give you valuable insights and can help you decide whether this job is indeed for you. They may also offer good advice on how to start establishing yourself in this field.

Take a sabbatical and travel

A sabbatical is a year without studies. In simple terms, it’s a ‘break’ that you might need to understand where you stand in this world and what you want to achieve. Students are often exhausted by the final school exams and they cannot make major decisions due to stress.

Traveling for a year will provide you with new experiences and help find where to go with your life.

Hire a career coach or, at least, talk to a counselor

These people are specially trained professionals who can help you understand yourself and your needs. They have the knowledge, experience, and skills to assist people in your situation and would definitely offer good advice and suggestions on how to determine what would be best for you not only now but also in the future.

Try Multiple Approaches When Choosing a Career Path

Choosing a career path is never easy, so you should use all help you can get. In the best case scenario, you should try each of the techniques mentioned above and compare the results. Just be sure to remember that whatever you choose must make you happy.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she  is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.

 

Financial Tips for College Students to Save and Manage Better

January 17th, 2017

BY JANE HURST

Saving money is hard enough to do at the best of times. But, when you are a college student, it can seem next to impossible to put aside a bit of cash for a rainy day. It always seems like there is some expense cropping up, whether it be books, lab fees, or other little expenses that go along with college life. But, even if you don’t have a lot of extra money to spare, there are still ways that you can save some, and manage what you do have a lot better so it stretches further. Here are some tips that will help.

 

  1. Create Lists 

Make two lists: one of your actual needs, and the other of the things you want. Once you are able to see in writing what you actually need and don’t need, it will be easier to create a budget you can work with. Once you are working on a budget, you may even find that you can set a bit of cash aside for those things you want but don’t really need.

 

  1. Plan Meals with Friends 

You can save a lot of money on grocery bills if you shop and eat with friends. Plan meals together, and that way you can go in on the cost of the ingredients. Another way to save money on food is to cook large amounts of things you can eat all week. If you have refrigerator space, cook a casserole, meatloaf, etc. You will have nearly a week’s worth of meals for less than $8.

 

  1. Sell Used Gadgets

If you have old electronic gadgets such as an iPad, laptop, etc., you can sell it at Gadget Salvation to make extra cash you can use for expenses, or to save for emergencies. It is easy to sell an iPhone or other gadget, and you have your money in just a few days. Look at other buy and sell sites to get rid of other unwanted items to make extra cash.

 

  1. Be Careful with Credit 

If you have a credit card, it is important to be responsible with it. Not only do you have to be careful about how often you use it, but you also have to be careful about making payments on time. A missed payment, or even a late payment, is going to affect your credit rating.

 

  1. Watch Your Balance 

It is a good idea to get into the habit of checking your bank balance regularly. That way, you always know what you have. If you make a debit or check purchase, check your balance, write it down, and write down the amount of the purchase. That way, you will always know how much money you have in the bank to work with.

 

  1. Shop at the Right Time 

There are times when you should never go grocery shopping, because you are always going to end up spending a lot more than you planned. For instance, Mondays are bad, because the prices are higher. It is best to wait until the middle of the week when items are starting to be marked down. Also, don’t shop when you are hungry, because you will buy stuff you don’t really need.

 

  1. Downgrade Gym Memberships

If you go to the gym, but you don’t use all of the services, downgrade your membership. It will be cheaper, and you may even get some money back from the more expensive membership. Also, check to see if there is a gym on campus. It would likely be a lot cheaper to use, if not free for students.

 

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.

 

Part 2: What Is Right And Wrong With The Millennial Label

January 13th, 2017

By Andrew Heikkila

 

This is part two of two. In part one, I spoke on the “Millennial” label and what’s right with, as well as what’s wrong with that term. Part one ended with the statement that older and younger generations are more apt to create these labels to define their differences instead of see their similarities. This is how we’re all dealing with accelerated rate of change in our society. Part two deals with that accelerated rate of change, and looks at how it can be both a bane and a benefit.

 

Recognizing Where the Rest of Society Is

 

The point of view of the rest of society is important because it gives us context as to why these myths surround young people. It helps to understand that while many young people see Netflix and Google’s targeted suggestions and other types of catered content as a helpful and the product of good marketing, plenty of older and middle-gen folks see instead the death of privacy. Where young kids nowadays revel in technology, some in the older generation see a decay of the morals that they will claim made them who they are today.

 

What is important for both young and old to realize is that we are all on this ride together. The breakneck pace of change that has permeated the “Millennial’s” life since near birth is the same change that everybody else is experiencing–and it’s both good and bad. Yes, we’re building houses that are hackable–but at least we’re not building them with asbestos anymore. Change creates news problems, just as much as it solves old ones. It’s only by looking both at the past and toward the future, beyond who to blame for the current state of affairs and rather at how to get past trying times, that we might finally come together and solve the problems that affect all of us.

 

Everything is Changing, and Change Will Never Stop

 

Survivors of change and contradiction. That should be the definition of the M-Word. I don’t say this to highlight any “affliction” to our generation–change, as mentioned above, can be a wondrous thing. What’s important to realize, however, is that Millennial’s biggest strength comes from the ability to adapt to that change.

 

Take for instance, the Forbes article titled “If There’s One Thing Millennials Regret, It’s Going to College”. The article makes the point of mentioning that we might be the most educated generation in history right off the bat–but that the cost of going to institution outweighs the benefits, especially when so many free options exist online. While many young people might be in debt, the important thing to realize is that as a generation we’ve stepped up to the plate to conquer that debt. Instead of balking, the most successful Millennials (and, let’s face it, anybody else that’s had to get a job in this day and age) have adapted.

 

This means that when new technology turns your office into a pulsing electronic data hub, that you pick up a couple data science skills. If you can’t, for whatever reason, adapt in that area, you pick up a different job–maybe you even join the gig economy by picking up a couple of them. The key here is “adaptability” and it’s a term that everybody, regardless of generational signifier, needs to hold onto in the coming days.

 

Nobody knows what the world will look like when today’s “Millennials” reach 60 and 70 years of age, but here’s to hoping that a larger portion of them are adaptive and responsive to change than our elders–they will have to be, to keep up with the sprinting pace of technology, as well as the generations of ‘whippersnappers’ that proceeds them.

 

Here’s to being adaptable.

 

Andrew Heikkila is a Millennial (whatever that means), a writer, an artist and musician, and a small business owner. He believes in the power of change and the power of people. By combining those two elements, he believes, anything is possible. Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyO_TheHammer

On Being A Millennial And Embracing Change: Part 1

January 12th, 2017

By Andrew Heikkila

For those in college now, as well as those who’ve graduated college within the last, roughly, 10 years, the term “Millennial” is not unfamiliar. I fit into this category as well, though I’m not sure entirely what the word “Millennial” means anymore. Dean Burnett, writing for The Guardian, argues that the Millennial moniker is “vague, lazy, and meaningless” in descriptive terms. Burnett writes, sarcastically at first:

“Apparently millennials like to use their phones, especially in the cinema. They don’t like working. They want to share everything on social media. They like socialism. They have short attention spans. They are narcissistic. And lazy. And entitled. And practically homeless. So there you have it. A millennial is a lazy narcissist who only cares about themselves and their phone although they can’t pay attention to any of these things for long unless it’s to do with something that they want which is typically socialism. Clear? …It’s almost as if “millennial” is used as a handy term for older vested interests who don’t understand, and are somewhat alarmed by, the confusing behaviour of modern youth in an increasingly complex world, but still want to exploit it.”

Nevertheless, there is still value in identifying and even rallying as a “Millennial,” because many young people in and recently out of college are inherently different as a product of their time. Whether you agree with calling us the M-word or not, there’s no denying that being “digital natives” has put us at odds with some of the tech illiterates in the older generations, enough for a multiple articles worth of content on how to handle an intergenerational workplace. There’s also no denying that even though we’re using our phones and technology in ways people could never have imagined before, our innovation is somewhat in vain because 70% of us will never earn more than our parents. We’ve grown up in a changing world, only to realize that it’s changing more and changing faster every day, to the point that it’s hard to keep up with it all. So what exactly does it mean to be a Millennial, and how do you get ahead in this crazy new world?

Recognizing What We Are and What We Are Not

The first thing that we as Millennials have to get past is the trivial “facts” about our generation that are really nothing more than just conjecture or stereotypes. It’s extremely hard to pin down substantiated facts on a group comprised of approximately 75 million people, according to Pew. If anything, the pervading wisdom about Millennials are more myth than they are fact. Take, for instance, these numbers on public perception of Millennials, also according to Pew:

 

  • 79% of the public think there is “a major difference in the point of view of younger people and older people today.”
  • 73% think younger generations and older generations are “very different” in the way they handle technology.
  • 66% think that “Older Americans” are superior in terms of their moral values, respect for others, and work ethic.

I highlight these statistics because I think it sums up the generational zeitgeist quite nicely: younger people and older people are more apt to see differences in one another than similarities, technology is drastically affecting the way we all live, and as it changes how we live, it changes the things that we value.

In “The Myth of the Millennial as Cultural Rebel”, author Laura Marsh makes the great point that we’re really not that different in ideology than the generations that came before us–we’re just experiencing changes in the system at a rate that no other generation our age has. Speaking on the idea that Millennials are “socialists” who are threatening the capitalist economy, Marsh notes:

“The idea that these “trends” in consumption are driven primarily by cultural preferences, rather than a faltering economy and ever-rising costs of living, is difficult to believe, but that’s the prevailing narrative… Which explanation seems more likely? Do we use Zipcar because we are ideologically committed to sharing, or because car ownership is still out of reach for a lot of people and renting piecemeal is the next best thing?”

What Marsh’s statement points out is that the problems we’re facing aren’t ones that we created, but they’re ones we’ve always lived with. Our elders watched this change continue to accelerate through the latter half of their lives. What we have been born into and have become accustomed to, the older generations have had to adapt to, like it or not.

Check back in for “On Being a Millennial and Embracing Constant Change pt. 2” soon. Andrew Heikkila is a Millennial (whatever that means), a writer, an artist and musician, and a small business owner. He believes in the power of change and the power of people. By combining those two elements, he believes, anything is possible. Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyO_TheHammer

Stress Management Is As Important As Studying For Finals

January 11th, 2017

By David Gutierrez

 During finals season, most students are focused on cramming in as much information as possible, or staying up long hours to finish essays and similar assignments. When you’re desperate to get a passing grade on that final essay, or you’re eager to get straight A’s for the semester, all you can focus on is your academic performance.

Unfortunately, spending all your time and energy on studying means you could neglect your physical, mental, and emotional health needs. While grades and knowledge are important, they aren’t more important than your personal wellbeing, so it’s vital that you prioritize your own stress management.

Potential Consequences

Let’s take a look at just some of the ways poorly managed stress could affect your life:

  • Impaired cognitive function. All that studying may actually end up being counterproductive. According to research in Neuron, chronic stress can impair your cognitive abilities, including memory. That means if you stress too much about studying, you might have a harder time retaining all the information you’re cramming in!
  • High blood pressure. Excessive stress can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at risk for all kinds of other circulatory maladies.
  • According to Georgetown University, the stress of finals, and school in general, can accumulate and cause severe anxiety or depression, which can significantly impair your life.
  • It may seem hyperbolic, but the extra burden of stress from finals could put you at higher risk of death. As In the Light Urns notes, periods of increased stress and emotion—like holidays, or finals season—can increase suicidal tendencies or exacerbate existing health problems.

Coping Strategies

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to mitigate or eliminate your risk for these potential consequences—as long as you make the time for it. These are some of your best tools for maintaining your health and wellbeing during finals season:

  • Start early. One of the best things you can do for yourself is starting the studying process early. For some students, it may already be too late, but don’t panic—there are other strategies to help you out. If you can start early, it immensely reduces the pressure on you, and you’ll be able to get more done without scrambling to meet deadlines.
  • Study in shifts. Don’t set yourself up for cram sessions. You’ll be more productive if you study in chunks with breaks in between. Working relentlessly through the night will make you more liable to forget information, and more stressed in the long run. Take time for yourself to eat, exercise, and relax your brain, and you’ll study even more effectively.
  • Control your perfectionism. It’s tempting to want straight A’s and perfect papers and to remember every fact you put in your brain. Unfortunately, it’s probably not going to happen. Expecting perfection is a good way to over-stress your already stressed mind, so take a step back and allow yourself to make some mistakes. Ironically, you’ll feel less stress and end up performing better than you would otherwise.
  • Work in groups. Even if you’re naturally introverted, consider joining a group to study with. You’ll find empathy with other people who are experiencing what you’re experiencing, and new study strategies and perspectives that can help you on your own journey. Plus, the social contact is good for your health.
  • Compartmentalize your tasks. Instead of looking at a massive list of massive projects or worrying about all your tests at once, split everything down into smaller, more manageable action items. Make a list of all the micro-tasks you break up, and then work on eliminating them one by one. It will make everything seem less intimidating, and make you feel rewarded when you make progress.
  • Seek help. As USA Today points out, most faculty, staff, and other students in college universities are sympathetic to the stress of studying. If you’re truly having a tough time with your studies, or if you don’t know what else to do, ask for help. Your professors will likely cut you a break or help you find alternative options, and your friends will be there to support you.

It may seem impossible to maintain your own health while simultaneously completing all your required coursework and getting good grades, but with the right priorities, it shouldn’t be an issue. Your grades are important, but your mind and body have to come first. Keep this in mind as you finish the semester and look forward to another round with the next cycle of classes.

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.

 

10 Tips for Better Sleep at College

January 10th, 2017

By Lorraine McKinney

We all need to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and this is something that can often be difficult to do. It can be especially difficult for college students, because they have so much going on and so much additional stress in their lives. Many students use a variety of techniques to get more sleep, including using earplugs for sleeping when there is a lot of noise. If you are a student who is having a hard time sleeping, check out these sleep tips.

  1. Take Short Naps – Napping is a good thing, but your naps shouldn’t be too long. Make sure that any afternoon naps you take are no longer than an hour, and not any later than three o’clock in the afternoon.
  2. Set the Mood – You need to set up an environment that is sleep-friendly. Some things you can do include covering the windows with dark coverings, hanging black sheets around the bed, and wearing eye masks.
  3. Don’t Try to Make Up for Missed Sleep – If you have missed sleep, you aren’t going to get it back, period, no matter how many naps you take. Don’t try to cram in some sleep before a study session. It isn’t going to help any, and it may even end up making you feel more tired.
  4. Only Go to Bed when You are Tired – Going to bed when you are not tired just means that you will be laying there, staring at the ceiling. If you are not asleep after 15 minutes, get up and do something that will help to make you sleepy.
  5. Ditch the Alarm Clock – Look for other alarm options besides a noisy alarm clock that will help you to wake up more naturally. You will feel better rested, and you won’t find yourself hitting the snooze button every few minutes.
  6. Use Relaxing Scents – Our sense of smell is really amazing, and there are so many ways that scents can be used to help us feel better, and to relax. Certain scents are more relaxing than others. Try adding a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to your bathwater. This is going to help you to relax, especially if you take a bath about an hour before bedtime.
  7. Use Sleep Gear – Ear plugs and other sleep gear are often used by college students who need to get more sleep. Other things to consider using are eye masks, because they block out a lot of light and give you the darkness that you need for a really good night’s sleep.
  8. Start Using a Fan – A lot of people find that white noise helps them to sleep better. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on a white noise machine though. All you need to do is turn on a fan. Not only do you get the white noise you need to sleep, it is going to block out a lot of other noises.
  9. See a Sleep Specialist – Insomnia is actually a symptom of something else, and not an actual disorder. If you have trouble sleeping, and this happens often, you may want to consider seeing a sleep specialist to find out what is actually causing the problem. Some things that can cause insomnia include sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, etc.
  10. Use Your Bed for Sleeping – Don’t use your bed as a study area. Use the study lounge, the library, your desk, etc. instead. When you study in bed, it can be a lot harder to shut down your mind when it comes time to go to sleep.

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.