How Having A Creative Outlet Can Help You In College

A Creative Outlet Can Help College Students Deal With Everyday Struggles

If you need a break from studying, having something creative can become a fun, quick break that makes it easy to get back to work.

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Multiple people throughout the world struggle in classes, and for many different reasons. It could be due to a family tragedy, too much partying or video games, mental health issues (depression, anxiety, etc), too many breaks during studying, lack of breaks during studying, or lack of motivation as well as many more reasons. As a student who has admittedly struggled a decent amount in college, motivation and making sure to take enough breaks were two things I was struggling with during my freshman year. I rarely gave myself breaks during studying, and when I did it ended up being a much longer break than just 10 minutes. With motivation, I just felt like I didn't have anything to look forward to after classes, causing me to want to do my work less and less. Then I began drawing more regularly and my grades began improving.

Before my grades began improving, I had already been drawing occasionally, but mostly only for cards that I would give to my family members or good friends. I never thought I was very good until I began getting compliments, which resulted in pushing me to continue this hobby. My mind would be stuck on finishing my drawings throughout the day, and when I finished my artwork, I would be filled with satisfaction. Of course, my motivation didn't reappear at the snap of my fingers. It took a while and I'm still working on it, but having something in my life that I enjoy and also continues to keep my mind working when I'm not doing work has definitely helped me.

Now, just because the creative outlet that happened to help me was drawing doesn't mean that it has to be yours. Yours could be singing, writing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, painting, as well as many other activities. You also don't have to be good at the activity to have it help. As long as its something you enjoy doing and it doesn't cause you even more stress, it's worth trying.

In the end, creative outlets can do more for you than just be a hobby. Of course, not everyone needs one, and some people may even work more efficiently without one, but if you aren't that person there's no harm in trying. Who knows, maybe you'll be extremely talented at the activity you happen to choose.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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70 Journal Prompts So You Can Finally Finish That Journal Sitting On Your Desk This Summer

1 prompt for each day of summer.

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Let's be honest, we love the thought of having a journal, but the actual upkeep is hard to do. I get it, we get busy, tired, and stressed out. It's hard to find time to sit down and write your thoughts down when you could quickly send a text to your best friend, ranting about how a driver flipped you off on the freeway.

However, I found in these past years, journaling can be one of the most therapeutic things. Not only do you write out your thoughts, but you can organize them and think them through. Plus, it is a cool memento to read back on and even show to your kids. I'm sure they would get a kick out of your thoughts at their age.

It's hard to think of something to say each day (or even once a week). So I made a little guide for this summer. 70 journal prompts to help you fill out that journal and finally finish it. Each prompt can be interpreted however you want and styles to your personality and what works for you.

If you accept this challenge, take photos of your progress and share using the hashtag #WriteitREAL. Now, pull out those journals and fancy pens and get writing.

1. Give 5 goals you have for the summer.

2. Write about someone you love.

3. What do you love most about your life at the moment? 

4. How is this season affecting you?

5. Write a letter to your future child.

6. Write about a bad relationship you’ve had and what you learned from it.

7. What is something that you wish that people still did these days?

8. What is a quote that you desperately need to hear? Write it down, add splashes of color, paint, etc. 

9. Pick a flower and tape it in your journal. Write down anything it reminds you of. A memory, a poem, situation, life, etc.

10. What do you wish that people knew and could understand about you?

11. Your first love and kiss.

12. 10 secrets.

13. An open letter to someone.

14. Talk about the last time you’ve cried.

15. Your summer playlist.

16. What is one change that you are making this month?

17. What is your go-to coffee/tea order?

18. Brunch or Dinner date?

19. Would you ever try Bumble or Tinder, or would you rather have a different story?

20. What are your thoughts about the world right now?

21. Hacks to adulting.

22. Print out an old photo of a relative (preferably black and white). Talk about their history.

23. What is your relationship with God like?

24. If you had a career as an actor, what movie would you want to be in? Who would costar in it with you? Who would be the love interest?

25. Invent a new dessert. Bonus points if you actually make it and post a picture in your journal and NOT on Instagram.

26. Write a piece of micro fiction (100 words max) about the worst day of the week.

27. Design your future wedding. Cut out photos from Pinterest and design your day.

28. What is something you wish you had the guts to say?

29. If you could only know one phrase in every language, what would you choose and why?

30. Do you have any baby names that are ruined for you because of people? What are they?

31. What do you want to do? What is your wildest dream?

32. Rewrite a scene from a Disney movie.

33. What is your favorite Bible verse? Why? What does it mean to you?

34. If you were forced to get a tattoo right now, what would it be? Do you ever want a tattoo?

35. Paste a photo of a celebrity you want to marry and write why (this will be fun to look back on when you have kids your age!)

36. What is a day that truly defined who you are today? (Good or bad)

37. Favorite quote from a piece of classic literature.

38. What kind of flower are you most like and why?

39. College roommate horror story?

40. Craziest college story?

41. Talk about a romantic interest who turned out to be awful.

42. Introvert or extrovert? Why?

43. The worst job you ever had? What made it so bad?

44. One of your most embarrassing moments? 

45. What attribute do you like the best that God gave you?

46. What is your greatest fear?

47. What can you do about that fear? How can you defeat it?

48. Makeup or no makeup? Why? How would you feel if you did the opposite for an entire week?

49. Morning or night person? Why? What do you do?

50. List the thoughts you had in the shower.

51. What food can you absolutely not stand? Why? Would you try it again?

52. What is a charity or campaign that you are passionate about? Why?

53. Do you have a homemade family recipe? Write it down here. 

54. Do you have a favorite recipe? Write it down here. 

55. Describe a feeling that you have and hate.

56. Talk about your favorite color, without using the name of the color.

57. Who is your best friend? Why? What makes them your best friend?

58. Are you still friends with your friends in high school or did you make your true friends in college? Why do you think?

59. Look at the news and talk about a huge event that happened this day and your thoughts on it.

60. Write down your favorite joke.

61. What was your first date like?

62. Do you think you’ll let your kids have video games and an iPhone when they are younger?

63.  What are some seemingly small things that have the biggest impact on you?

64. List some things that we should start doing more often.

65. Favorite place you have traveled and why. Tape photos inside. 

66. Favorite story from when you traveled. 

67. List things you didn’t actually need for college. 

68. Where can you get the best tacos from? Why?

69. What super weird thing do you like to do? Why?

70. What are you most excited for in this upcoming school year? Why? What goals do you have? 

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