Stress at School

September 26, 2014 in Campus Life, Health

You expect college to be hard, but not this hard. All you’re doing is work. You can projects to work on and tests to study for. Club meetings and activities that you want to go to. Of course you still want to hang out with your friends. Then there’s that homework due for tomorrow and the reading you need to catch up on. When are you supposed to have a moment to yourself to breathe?

Getting stressed during college happens to everyone. Unfortunately, while everyone talks about having the time of your life during school, you’re still paying a lot of money to learn something. Getting an education can mean missing out on that party your friends will talk endlessly about for the rest of the semester. After late nights spent cramming information, it might feel like you’re never going to get on top of the work you’re going to have to do. What can help you? Time management.

Seriously. A year ago, I usually preferred to do homework at the end of the day after all of my classes and obligations were finished. Now I’m realizing that forcing yourself to do all of the work when you’re already exhausted means you’ll be even more miserable and your work will probably suffer. Instead, I’m waking up a little earlier and putting aside a certain amount of time for certain tasks that might be due the next day or a few days before. We all wait until the last minute with assignments . . . But what if for once you were the person finished with your paper when everyone else was still scrambling for a thesis? I’m still waiting to have that feeling but I’m working my way there. It’s great to have free time at the end of the day instead of using it all up in the morning. Plus, it wakes up my mind a little faster so I feel less exhausted and inclined to immediately fall back to sleep.

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help. They’re probably just as stressed as you are and simply venting to them a little will make you feel better! If you both have tests coming up, you can quiz each other on what you want to know. Not only will you know for certain whether or not you have that vocab memorized, you’ll get to spend more time with your friend! If you have a presentation coming up, ask someone to listen to you go through it a few times. After you know that you have that speech down pat, treat yourselves with some dessert or watch a movie together to relax. Rewarding yourself after a job well-done is also key. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself and if you notice a friend is slowly starting to fold under the pressure, invite them into your rewarding moments.

Remember that you’re here to make memories, not just grades. While it’s important to prioritize schoolwork, that doesn’t need to be your entire life. You can still be able to socialize and have tons of fun in your college years!

Reward yourself to de-stress!

Reward yourself to de-stress!

What Not To Do in College

August 24, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Events, Sports, Top 10 Lists

There are hundred’s of articles online, in magazines and prospectus’ about what you should do in college. There are, however, very few that tell you what to avoid doing during your time in college. Simple mistakes can have huge consequences such as not being enrolled in the right classes or being short of your graduation credit hour requirements. Here is your short list of what NOT to do in college, enjoy!

Register Late For Classes

If you have an advisor, use them! There is nothing worse than getting back to school in the Fall or Summer and not being able to enter a class. If you don’t register early enough, the roster positions will fill up; closing the class. The earlier you can register, the better.

Miss Assignments

Assignments make up a large portion of your final grade for most classes; they are a great way of boosting your grade pre-exam week. If you spend plenty of time planning and completing ALL your assignments, you are sure to end up with a higher grade.

Missing assignments and not studying can seriously harm your grade

Missing assignments and not studying can seriously harm your grade

Stay Isolated

Whether it be through classes, events or sports teams making friends is a vital part of college. There will be times throughout the year where you feel as though college isn’t for you, your classes are too hard or you just miss home. Having a close circle of friends can help you get through the bad times as well as giving you more good days.

Skip Lectures

Most professors will keep an attendance roll for each class and most universities have an attendance policy. At Alabama State if you miss more classes than the number of credit hours (3 classes for a 3.00 hour class), then your grade will be lowered by one letter. This can kill your GPA. Skipping lectures can also cause you to miss quizzes or pieces of advice.

Stop Exercising

With all the stress and homework, college can be harmful to your health and cause you to gain weight. Most people have heard of the ‘freshmen-fifteen,’ and that’s just the beginning. Lack of exercise and unlimited meal-plan food is a deadly combination, so make sure you go to the gym regularly and watch your calorie intake.

Waste Money

After a summer of saving it can be easy to go into college like a bull in a china shop in terms of expenditure. There are many things that you may want for your room or classes, but make sure you ask yourself every time, “do I really need this?” If the answer is ever no, then don’t buy it. Simple!

Watch TV Instead of Studying

It can be a strong lure, laying on your bed all day and watching sitcom’s instead of doing your homework. It is the easy option, and it may sound the better option almost all the time, but you MUST keep on top of your work. By all means you can take breaks to watch TV, but in-between studying not instead of.

Avoid School Events

Pep rally’s, game-days and talent shows are all great entertainment during college, and are often free. They can be a great way of making social connection, getting free food and in some cases free t–shirts. They are a must do, and although there can be a lot of them, you should attend as many as you can.

Wear Rival Team Clothing

If you have a death wish, by all means wear rival team clothing. If you go to Alabama, don’t wear Auburn shirts. If you go to Florida, don’t wear and FSU shirt. Even if you prefer the rival team, just suck it up for the one or two games a year and wear your own team wear.

Keep Your Room Untidy

Most universities will have room checks weekly. These are graded on how tidy your bed, bathroom and general areas are kept. By emptying your trash, making your bed and vacuuming the carpet you can avoid getting a bad grade on these checks. Some schools even use the room checks to decide what standard of housing you get in the next semester.

Are Teachers Too Tough or Are Students Too Lazy?

August 22, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

College is hard, there is no argument about that. You only have four years to learn everything you need to know about just one field that you think you’d be able to do everyday for the rest of your life, and that’s not including minors, clubs, bills, resumes. The pressure alone can make a student’s head explode.

I am not saying college is awful. No one should enter college thinking that it is going to be the worst four years of their life, because it isn’t. It will be the best four, but some classes will be harder than others. Whether it is your favorite class or your worst in any class someone in class is very likely to be pleading to a teacher, “Does it have to be five pages? Do you know how much other homework we have?” Most of the time when this argument is brought up a professor will work with the students and give them a break but others time the Professor won’t budge and tell the students to suck it up. So it begs the question, are Professors too tough on students or are students just being lazy?

Looking from a student’s point of view a teacher really might be expecting too much. Most students attending college are taking at least five classes per semester minimum. More if the student is double majoring and they might even have less time to get their assignments done because their scholarships depend on their participation on sports teams. Should teachers give students lighter assignments so they aren’t overwhelmed and are more likely to succeed?  

Say a student today is taking five classes and each professor is giving an hour of course work per night minimum, that means a student has five hours of homework a night, which is a lot. But if a professor only give a half an hour of work per night a student is only looking at two and a half hours. Which would not only leave plenty of free time for students to take part in their after class hobbies and not be exhausted in class, but would give students enough time to read or study ahead to really get a grip on the course material.

What about the teachers side of this? In their defense they really are just doing their job. They are required to make sure that students are taught a certain subject in a certain amount of time. If the student isn’t understanding something it is their job to voice it to the instructor not the other way around. The professors are really doing students a favor because before they know it they will be graduating and getting real jobs. In the real world an employee can’t say to their boss,” Ehhh a ten page proposal is a bit much. I already have a ton of things on my plate. How about five pages?” You’d be fired on the spot. Is this tough and overwhelming homework load really just a professors way of making sure we would be able to survive in the real world?

So what are your thoughts on this? Are teachers too tough or are students just lazy?

Don’t Just Survive College, Conquer It

September 27, 2013 in Academics, Campus Life, Career

College is a golden opportunity that you must not squander. That might seem like obvious advice, but I couldn’t hope to count the number of people, even off the top of my head, that I’ve known to do just that. They came to college, and all they did was party. Partying certainly has its place–no college experience is complete without a fair amount of partying–but you must keep in mind always the reason you’re there in the first place. You’re spending thousands and thousands of dollars for an education, a degree, something quite valuable nowadays. You do not want to be known as a person who let go of that opportunity just so you could have some extra fun at parties. It’s even worse if your parents are paying for your degree and you let it slip through your fingers.

So, if you want to get that degree and make the best of your education, do what I suggest below. It’s not hard to survive college. It’s not even all that difficult to conquer it.

1. Get to Know Your Academic Adviser: Your academic adviser is your greatest ally. He or she will give you all of the information you could ever need during your college career. You can ask them about anything, and they will do their best to find the answer. You’ll get an adviser that teaches a similar subject to whatever your major is, so if you have any questions related to your major, or ones like it, they’re the one to ask. They’ll keep track of your grades, help you to register for the right classes. A very important person.

A couple of hours a day in a class room will not kill you!

2. Never Skip Classes: The easiest way to finish college successfully is to simply attend all of your classes. Even classes you think are extremely easy are not worth skipping, because you will absolutely do poorly in them. There are things that you’ll learn from sitting in class listening to the teacher that you won’t necessarily learn from the text books. So, you may think that you can skip class as long as you do all the reading and homework, but you’ll still be missing out on important information. Those ridiculously easy-A classes? People fail them. They fail them because they don’t go to class. Now, if it’s a difficult class, then you have that much more of a reason to never skip. And, really, what are you missing out on when you skip class? An hour of fun? It’s just an hour. Not worth the risk.

3. Budget Your Time Wisely: Classes actually don’t take up very much time during your week. In fact, on average, you’ll probably have three hours of classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and two-and-a-half hours of class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That is really not a lot of time (don’t skip class!). So, you’re going to be faced with a vast sum of free hours in which you can do whatever you want! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? It definitely is. But it’s easy to end up using all of this glorious free time for just having fun. But you’ll have to set aside time after or before class each day for studies. If you can schedule certain times of the day during which you’ll study and get your homework done, it will feel like much less of a burden. Getting into that kind of habit will prevent you from procrastinating, which will save you from a great deal of frustration when due dates are fast approaching and you don’t have your work complete. Honestly, doing well on tests and getting work done only requires an hour or so each day. Better to put your nose to the grindstone for a short amount of time each day than to pull a desperate all-nighter full of fear and regret and annoyance!

Nose to the grind stone! …Just a little bit each day.

Top 10 Items Every College Student Needs

May 6, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Top 10 Lists

When you get to college, you try to pack as minimally as possible according to your packing list that the school provides. However, when you actually get to college you realize that you need more than what the list says. Because of that, here is a list of the top 10 items every college student needs (that isn’t in the handbook)! 

Mugs are especially useful on cold days.
Source: Kriselle Mendoza

1. Mugs!

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I’ve gotten four mugs over the course of this year, all as gifts. When you’re in college, no matter what your preference, you end up drinking tea, hot chocolate, or even coffee. Besides, mugs are an easy way to show your personality and are great gifts to give as well!

2. Storage Bins/Baskets

Some schools may include this, but my school didn’t. Depending on what dorm room you’ll be living in, you may or may not have cabinet space, so in lieu of that, storage bins and baskets help make organizing your belongings a lot easier! If you are lucky enough to have your own bathroom in your dorm (like I was), these are especially useful in organizing cleaning products for your bathroom area. These can also be used to show off your personality and preferences depending on the color, size, and look of the storage container.

3. Planner

My planner is my best friend! I write every single thing in that thing–events, appointments, due dates, homework, anything that involves my schedule and my time, which is most things. Use whatever you’re comfortable with, whether it is the calendar on your phone or a physical planner. I prefer physical planners because writing it down helps me remember it and I like being able to add in post-its or other add-ins if necessary.

4. Ear Plugs

Not every person has this (not even I do), but if you’re not used to loud, late nights and thin walls, then you might need them. Dorms (especially freshman dorms) get very loud and rowdy at night and although it is fun, if you are trying to sleep or study, you might not enjoy it as much. If you are one of those people who isn’t used to or doesn’t like yelling down the hallway, you might need these to stay sane.

5. Lemon Juice 

This sounds very random, but I promise, it’s not! All college students know that a larger than what’s healthy portion of their diet consists of instant noodles and top ramen. Lemon juice simply adds a nice, sour kick to the noodles that adds to the flavor and is great. I introduced it to the girls on my floor and now they can’t have top ramen without it!

6. Shower Caddy

Whether you have communal or your own bathrooms, these are needed. If you have a communal bathroom, portable shower caddies are useful take your toiletries to and from your room and into the shower with you. If you have your own bathroom, these are useful so that your shampoos and conditioners aren’t just sitting on the floor of your shower or about to fall off the edges of your bathtub.

7. Water Heater/Electric Kettle

I didn’t realize how useful these were until this year! I use this for heating up water for tea/hot chocolate or any kind of instant food. I use it for instant noodles, my roommate uses it for oatmeal. Since underclassmen usually do not have kitchens in their dorms, these help with basic food and drink needs.

8. Smartphone

Now this one isn’t absolutely necessary because people can’t have these for whatever reasons, but I think that people should at least know someone with a smartphone. I would say that this is most especially useful for finding new things to do and using GPS to find it or searching up something online for a class on the spot when you don’t have your laptop nearby. Some apps are actually really useful and can help with saving money or doing homework.

The icon for the Mint app.
Source: blog.havasdiscovery.com

9. “Mint” App

Unfortunately, this will only be able to apply to people with smartphones, but I think that this is essential for people that can get this app or something like it, even for their computers. The Mint app tracks all of your bank accounts and spending and helps you budget for each month. I love this app because I don’t need to keep all of my receipts anymore. I can just load the app and see how much I am able to spend on certain categories of things each month, like food, clothes, health insurance, or entertainment. It even divides a few of the categories into subcategories for easy budgeting and organizing of money. For college students on a limited budget, this app can save you tons of money just by becoming aware of where your money is going.

Important to the average college student!
Source: popularmechanics.com

10. Nerf Gun

I don’t have one myself (but am planning on getting one soon), but I think college students should all have some kind of nerf gun of some sort. Nerf gun wars with your friends are always great stress relievers, and they are also useful for a game that is growing in popularity among colleges called “Humans Vs. Zombies.”