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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Terrors Behind "Toddlers & Tiaras" - Beauty Pageants Need To Go!

Why Honey Boo Boo is not the girl we should be idolizing...

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Honey Boo Boo is famous for her extravagant persona, extreme temper tantrums, overwhelming attitude, and intense sassiness. All of these qualities are shared by many other young girls who participate in beauty pageants - not just in "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" but also in TLC's notorious "Toddlers & Tiaras," a show that depicts the horrors of little girls who have dedicated their childhood to winning the crown.

These shows, and the pageants they glorify do nothing but force girls to grow up too quickly, send negative messages to viewers and participants and pose health risks for the girls involved.

Therefore, beauty pageants for young girls should be abolished.

The hypersexualization that takes place in these pageants is staggering. Not only are young girls' minds molded into having a superficial view on beauty, but they are also waxed, spray-tanned, given wigs, retouched in pictures, injected with Botox and fillers, and painted with fake abs and even breasts.

Sexy is the goal, not cute. Girls of ages 2-12 wear skimpy clothing, accentuating only their underdeveloped bodies. A 4-year-old girl on "Toddlers and Tiaras" once impersonated Dolly Parton with fake breasts, another dressed as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (so basically, a prostitute), and another even pretended to smoke a cigarette to look like Sandy from Grease.

In Venezuela, people are so obsessed with pageants that they send their daughters to "Miss Factories," to train them to win. At these factories, underage girls undergo plastic surgery and hormone therapy to delay puberty in attempts to grow taller. In addition, they often get mesh sewn onto their tongues so that they are physically incapable of eating solid food. This idea of taking horrific measures to look slimmer is not unique to Venezuela. A former Miss USA explained that she would "slather on hemorrhoid ointment, wrap herself up with Saran wrap, and run on a treadmill with an incline for 30 minutes to tighten her skin and waist up." Many countries, including France and Israel have banned child beauty pageants because it is "hypersexualizing." Why has the US yet to follow in their footsteps?

Additionally, the pageants strip their young contestants of a childhood by basically putting them through harsh child labor. Oftentimes, girls as young as 18 months old participate in pageants. There is no way that a girl under 2 years old has the capacity to decide for herself that she wants to participate in a beauty pageant. Not to mention, education often takes a backseat in pageant girls' lives as long practice sessions interfere with sleep and homework. This causes long-term distress for the contestants, including widespread unemployment for former pageant girls.

Moreover, these pageants tie self-worth and self-esteem to attractiveness. They teach girls that natural beauty and intelligence are not enough, when in actuality they should be doing the opposite. In fact, 72% of pageant girls hire coaches to train girls to be more "attractive."

Finally, these pageants pose potent health risks for the girls competing. Not only do intense rehearsals interfere with their sleep cycles, but they are also impacted by the harmful methods taken to keep them awake. One example is Honey Boo Boo's "go go juice" - AKA a mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull. She is known for drinking this continuously throughout pageant days to stay awake and energetic - but the health risks associated with the drinks, let alone for such a young girl, are completely ignored.

And, the future health problems associated with pageantry cannot be looked past. Participating in beauty pageants as kids leads to eating disorders, perfectionism, depression - in fact, at least 6% suffer from depression while competing. "The Princess Syndrome," as Psychology Today calls it relates to a small study published in 2005 that showed that former childhood beauty pageant contestants had higher rates of body dissatisfaction. This sense of dissatisfaction can so easily be translated to more severe mental and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The average BMI (Body Mass Index) of a Beauty Contestant in the US in 1930 was 20.8, which is universally in the middle of the "healthy" range. In 2010, it was 16.9, which is considered underweight for anyone.

So, despite the entertainment these shows and pageants provide, they should most definitely be stopped due to the immense amount of issues they cause for those involved and those who watch.

Although Honey Boo Boo is (sadly) considered one of America's sweethearts, her experience in pageantry has certainly not been a positive influence in her life nor in the lives of her fans - and this is the case for nearly all young pageant girls.

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