time management

Time to Relax: Dead Week

photo via clog.dailycal.org

Finals are almost here and the last thing anyone wants to do is study (ew). The sound of studying just makes you want to curl up into a ball or go hide. The good news is campuses have a few ways to escape the studying and take a break. The activities are all across campus and they start during the most bittersweet week of the year, DEAD WEEK. No tests, no homework, just studying (ew again). Start looking around for these breaks and take note of them; you might just want to check them out. A few things that could be happening around your campus:

  • PAWS for stress relief- with this you can take a break from studying and go play with service puppies! I know I’d want to spend an afternoon meeting new friends.
  • A lot of places around campus might have a “chill” day or a “kick-back” day where you can just take the afternoon off and go eat free food, play games and possibly when door prizes! Look at the library, alumni groups, activities boards or any kind of campus group and I’m sure you will find something! And most of the time there is one everyday a week, so just make you rounds!
  • Often campuses offer Massage on the go (MOTG) where you can enjoy a free 5 minute massage to take the stress off. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?
  • Another thing to look out for is a student-teacher-student reception. This is an exhibition of a lot of different artwork done by the students on campus. Take a break from the stress and go check it out. Plus, there is almost always free food and I know that’s what everyone wants.

Start looking around your campus and see what you can do procrastinate from studying for finals! There are a lot of fun things to do, if you just find the right ones. Go out and get your freebies so you can stop stressing about finals. Good luck!

This is a guest post from our Internet Marketing Intern Haeli. Many thanks to her! 

Make Your Sleep More Productive

It’s been a while since I’ve had a real “bedtime”, but the further along I go in college, the more I think I need to set one. It becomes difficult to get a goodnight’s sleep when you’re on the go, doing assignments, and running at full speed as most us college co-eds often do! So how can you prioritize and make sure you are getting the right amount of Z’s and at the right time?

It seems all too often that I’m wide awake at night, scurrying to get a paper done or finishing a quick project. By the time I’m done studying and putting things away and ready for the next day, the clock has long since struck 12 and the wee hours of the morning are upon me. So how do I get in that mess? How do I let the hours slip away? By going to sleep so late and not paying attention to time my sleeping hasn’t been as productive. I wake up tired, go to bed full of energy, and wake up to what feels like a never ending cycle of “nap desire”—the constant desire to take a nap wherever I’m standing!

I’m working to change this cycle and have been changing things up to make my sleeping habits better, and hopefully add a few hours to my sleep chart! I have done a few things that actually made an instant difference!

Do you remember when you were little and your mom or dad would say, “Jimmy make sure you get your stuff ready the night before! Lay out your books, pick out your outfit!” Well it looks like mom may have been right! By getting organized and preparing for the day to come—especially on Sunday right before the school week starts—you will save countless minutes in the morning! You know what that means, extra snooze time!

There are numerous benefits to getting organized pre-slumber—besides just extra sleep time in the morning. Deep down it makes us all happy to hit the button one more time. Who doesn’t love 10 more minutes of uninterrupted sleep?! But other major perks include a smoother sleep transition. By getting ready the night before you are reliving unconscious stress that builds when you have a lot on your mind. It’s never fun to climb into bed and have to worry about everything going on tomorrow. You don’t want to try and figure out what books you’ll need, or if you finished something you were supposed to do! Sleep is supposed to be stress free. By taking a few minutes to lay everything out, you are freeing up that space to just relax and enjoy the act of sleeping.

Now as helpful as organization can be, another good habit to get used to just checking the time. If you know you’ve been hitting the hay a little on the late side, make it a point to get to bed a little earlier. Try moving up your “bedtime” by 5 minutes each night. Before you know it you will be getting in bed a half hour earlier, and then an hour the next week. It makes a huge difference when you get to unwind and just lay down knowing you have all night to rest.

A few more tips to try if you’re really in the sleeping mood, are eating habits. Let your stomach settle and try not to eat an hour or so before you go to sleep. Stick to water and make sure you aren’t crazy and running around. Get your body ready to unwind and slow your roll. Try to calm your activities and get into a sleep routine. Don’t use your phone in bed. When you set your alarm, set it for real! Say goodnight, and actually mean it! Once your lights are off, keep your phone light off too! You start to stir your mind again and then you have to get back in “sleep mode”. It might seem like you’ll miss out on something, but I’ve found that texts are more exciting to wake up to rather than hazily attempting to read them in the dark!

Give these tips a try and see if you are a happier sleeper, or if you can at lest get a few extra hours of Z time in!

-Ring Queen

I’m reading Learning About Dance: Dance as an Art Form and Entertainment

It Is Time to Study?

So let’s be honest- college may be the first time you’ve ever really had to study for something.  There are a few tricks to remember when studying if it’s been awhile!

Your first order of business is to gain motivation.  Whether your homework is due in an hour or you want to knock it off so you can enjoy the weekend, motivation is key.  Remind yourself that if you get your homework done right now, you will not have to worry about this specific assignment ever again.

First, try visualizing yourself doing your homework. This may seem corny and simple, but it can get you mentally prepared to sit down for some length of time and do your work.  Remind yourself of how long it may take you to do your homework and realize it will end eventually.

Next, create a useful workspace. Ensure your basic needs have been met before entering said space: you have gone to the bathroom, eaten something, and are not thirsty.  You are neither too cold nor too hot.  Choose an environment with a workable atmosphere.  Do you need complete silence?  Do you like to be around others who are working?  Maybe the library is for you.  Or you can be completely cliché and go to a Starbucks, but hey, whatever works. Find a place you can concentrate in.

Set up your area with minimal distractions, i.e. giving yourself 10 minutes to get whatever it is you want to do (Facebook usually) out of your system then putting your beloved phone on airplane mode.  Have a water/tea/coffee readily accessible.

Do you study/do homework with music? Put on a playlist and don’t touch it.  This will lead to much wasted time.

Give yourself small goals and rewards.  For example, if you complete three whole pages of your essay, reward yourself with 5 minutes on your phone.

If studying a difficult subject, maybe studying in groups is good for you.  Just ensure you focus on the topic at hand.  Surround yourself with other students who can be academically oriented and have good study habits that you can emulate.

Happy studying!

-TravelBug

I’m reading A Speaker’s Guidebook

Organizational Tips for the College Elitists

What time is it, you ask? Well, it’s time for you to get back into the habit of organizing your life. Planning for the new semester when glancing over your books and syllabi can be the most frustrating feeling ever — overwhelming, even. Fear not, my fellow college friends. Following a few steps before your classes start can alleviate stress and prepare you for a great semester ahead.


1.  Ever heard of this thing called “online calendars”?

Well, if you haven’t, let me introduce you to it. You see, the Internet offers a plethora of calendars that can be printed, synched to your smartphone or iPod and tailored to your needs. While many exist, I personally love Google’s calendar.

If you have a Gmail account you should be able to click on their calendar tab and use their format to fill in your class schedule, work schedule, TV shows and anything else that will help you stay organized. Even better, synced calendars to your phone can have Google send you reminders before your event takes place. We live in a great age of technology when your schedule doesn’t have to be scribbled on a piece of paper or stored in your mind. Utilize it, please!

2.  Set goals for yourself before your classes even start.
Get into the habit of writing down goals that you want to accomplish, both long term and short term. Long term goals are things that take place over weeks, maybe even months. Short term goals are ideas that you want to bring to life over the course of a shorter period of time.

For instance, a short term goal can be that you want to earn an A on a test you’re taking in a few weeks. A long term goal can be that you want to achieve a 3.5 GPA, which would require you working hard all semester for this to be accomplished. Setting goals ahead of time has proven to help people focus better about the bigger picture, which is completely different for everyone.

3.  Stick to a set sleep schedule.
College, as we all know – or may not know – can distract us from getting any sleep. Between our friends wanting to socialize, our homework, job and parents wanting us to update them about our lives, it’s fairly impossible to sleep. However, setting a strict bed time before your life is thrown into the whirlpool again will force us to get enough rest.

It is recommended that everyone gets at least eight hours of sleep a night, so try to stick around that time frame. Sleep is essential for our bodies to function correctly, and even for our bodies to heal themselves when we’re sick. Not getting enough sleep wears on the body, and can eventually get us in trouble health-wise overtime.

4.  Plan to eat a balanced meal.
Let’s face it: pizza, ramen noodles and sub sandwiches are delicious; they’re fairly cheap and they’re easy to get. However, they’re also bad for our overall health, can cause us to gain a significant amount of weight if eaten regularly and it doesn’t help you to focus your life. Your body needs a balanced nutritional diet, just as much as it needs sleep and exercise. Taking care of your body when you’re younger may be harder, but starting the habit now will yield substantial results for you in the end.

Although these tips may seem obvious or small, they’re going to pay off big when the semester hits. Life is enough within itself, and the added stress of juggling college can distract you easily. Take the time to prepare yourself. There’s no harm in wanting to make sure your ride is a little less bumpy.

-Compton

I’m reading Managerial Accounting

If You Want To Be, It Is Possible to Become A Morning Person

Back in my elementary school days, being a morning person came easily. I remember waking up at 6 or 7 am in order to hang out with my older siblings. But with each new grade, getting up early became more and more of a nightmare. By the time I was in high school and had to be ready by 7 am every day, I thought I would never be energized again.

In college, we have the luxury of making our own schedules. Though I still tend to go for the early side so I’m not stuck in class until 9 pm, many students opt to start classes in the afternoon and not finish until it’s dark outside. While it might be nice to sleep in, we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable real world where we’ll need to be at work in the early hours of the day.

Have no fear! You can be a morning person without having to sacrifice sleep or going to bed when your grandparents do. Many of you may feel like you’re a night owl: at night, you’re most productive and motivated. Maybe for you all-nighters are a norm. While it’s great you’re getting your work done, wasting an entire day and having to spend your nights working will not only mess up your social life, but will get you in a bad groove for the 9-5 job you’ll likely have one day. So, it’s time to embrace the daylight.

Tip #1: Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
It may sound simple enough, but waking up at the same time each morning, including the weekend, can be a tough habit to get into. Setting your alarm for 8 am every day and actually getting up when it sounds will take getting used to. At first, your body will protest. Your fingers will inch toward the snooze button and your eyes will immediately shut themselves again. But the more you force yourself to get up at the alarm, the easier it will be. Better yet, the more regularly you get up at this time, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep at the same reasonable hour every night. You can even make this step easier by gradually changing your rise time, pushing it forward 15 minutes every few days until you reach the desired wake up call.

Tip #2: Lights On
You know those days when you’re laying in bed after a long night, and the afternoon sun just won’t stop glaring through the windows, effectively keeping you from sleep? Well, now you can no longer curse the sun—or your regular bedroom light—because it is key in becoming a morning person. Light helps control our sleep schedules: we (hopefully) feel more tired when it’s dark, and the light starts to make us alert and awake. By either leaving your blinds open when you sleep, or putting a light on right away, this will effectively help keep you awake so you can begin your day.

Tip #3: No Late Night Coffee or Food Binges
Though as college students facing high stress especially during exams, a midnight snack shouldn’t turn into a 3-course meal—and if you want to wake up early, you probably shouldn’t be eating at midnight anyway. Eating large meals late at night will only keep you up longer, as will any Red Bulls or coffee runs. Save coffee for the morning and large meals for during the day and dinner time. This tip will also help you avoid the freshman-but-let’s-be-realistic-anyone-can-gain-weight-in-college 15.

Tip #4: Make Yourself Work To Turn Off the Alarm
By putting your alarm in another room (only do this if it is super loud) or on a desk on the opposite side of the bedroom, you will have no choice but to get out of bed to turn it off. Just like that, you’re a little more energized, a little more awake, and have no choice but to start the day. If you share a room with a roommate, this will further encourage you to get up right away to turn off the persistent ringing—unless you hate your roommate, in which case, you’re on your own.

Tip #5: Think Soothing
When it gets close to bedtime, you need to go into super relaxed mode. No more stressing and thinking about all the to-do’s of tomorrow. No getting caught up in a super lengthy movie that makes you more awake. No exercise that gives you an adrenaline and temperature boost. Instead, it’s all about the calm serene of peaceful sleep. Get a sound machine to lull your eyes closed. Meditate or try some relaxing yoga to ease the mind and relax the body. Take a soothing bath. Do whatever you need to so your eyes are drooping and your mind is quiet.

The road could be long and hard, but don’t give up on your ventures to become a morning person. It is doable and will lead to long, happy days of productivity and fun. Good luck and sweet dreaming!

-ToonyToon

I’m reading Understanding Nursing Research: Building an Evidence-Based Practice