Advice For College Students From Science

Advice For College Students From Science

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Tom is a regular 20-year old college sophomore. He is doing well in classes; he stays up late studying some nights and hangs out with friends the other nights. However, Tom has realized that he doesn’t have as much energy as he used to. He also says that he can’t understand how despite how late he stays up he can’t remember the material for the test. If Tom sounds like you or someone you know then here are a few words of advice from science to help you overcome the side effects of college and make the most out of your time there.

1. Get more sleep.

Don’t role your eyes at me; you know it’s true. According to a survey, 70 percent of college students said they get less hours of sleep than what is recommended (7-8 hours every night). Now, sleep is important for us college students for three main reasons.

First, sleep is important for memory consolidation (making sure your memories form). Not only has sleep been proven to enhance memory consolidation, but current research also indicates that sleep is important in forming long-term memories. Therefore, getting little sleep means you’re not allowing your body enough time to turn the things you learned that day into long-term memories (which will come in handy for the test).

Secondly, amount of sleep has been associated with GPA and academic performance. Research shows that students who slept 9 hours or more had higher GPAs than students who slept 6 hours or less. This makes sense when you think about the first reason; since you are not consolidating memories, you won’t remember as much.

Lastly, you’re more likely to get sick if you don’t get enough sleep. I know that sounds far-fetched, but it’s true. Insufficient sleep has been associated with increase risk of obesity, heart stroke, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. On the other hand, enough sleep is important for maintaining hormone levels in the body, supporting growth and development, having more energy during the day, and for proper brain functions. Simply put, insufficient sleep has been shown to change the way your immune system and other body systems naturally work. This leads to the problems mentioned above.

2. Find a Work-Life Balance.

College is a roller coaster; with five classes a week, extracurricular activities, friends, homework, studying and hanging out life can get a bit complicated. However, being able to create a good balance between work (academics) and life (social life) is very important for college students.

A healthy work-life balance can reduce stress. Most times, college students have way too much on their hands. The problem comes when we think we can somehow juggle all these things at once. That’s when stress comes in; we realize we can’t do so much in so little time. Having a good work-life balance can either prevent or reduce this stress.

According to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, friendships enrich our lives and improve our health. Having someone to rely on, to hang out with, to trust and to just talk with is essential for anyone; especially for today’s college students. Healthy friendships increase sense of purpose, increase happiness, reduce stress and help to cope with difficult times.

3. Go to the gym a bit.

Yes, I know the gym is a bizarre and mysterious place for most of us. However, besides the obvious muscular benefit of the gym, college students can benefit from a regular visit to the gym.

Regular exercise increases energy throughout the day. If done in moderation, working out often can actually “give you” more energy. A few scientists actually recommending working out before studying when your brain is more active.

Exercise makes you feel better and less stressed. Maybe not immediately after, when you are too sore to walk, but give it a few minutes and you’ll start feeling the change. During exercise your body release hormones, such as dopamine, that causes a rewarding feeling in the brain that leads to a better mood and more relaxed state.

Finally, exercise can help you sleep better. It was found that after exercising for 150 minutes (almost two hours) a week people slept significantly better and felt more alert. This ties up perfectly most of the information in this article.

In conclusion, science advises getting more sleep, finding a work-life balance, and going to the gym. It’s hard, yes, but the rewards of following the advice is worth it.


References:

http://brandongaille.com/21-sleep-deprivation-statistics-in-college-students/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768102/#__sec87title

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4075951/#__sec3title

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why


Cover Image Credit: https://bakhmalamath9.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/symd/

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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