The Perfect Place To Study Doesn't Have To Be A Library

The Perfect Place To Study Doesn't Have To Be A Library

It isn't on the quiet floor of a campus library or between the pillows of my lofted bed.

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Finding the perfect place to study can be quite difficult, especially when you're in a crunch. Usually, I find myself spread across my lofted bed, struggling to stay awake, as I read over course notes. Sometimes I'll find the energy to head over to the campus library and ascend to the quiet floor, hunker down and attempt to focus. The problem is that my bed is too comfortable and the library is too, well, uncomfortable. I either end up falling asleep or getting so distracted by the silence that I can't even begin to get work done. I've found that I need a place that is both relaxing and stimulating that can keep my attention on the studying I need to get done.

Coffee shops are where I feel most focused. I'm not talking about your neighborhood Starbucks, but something more personal. A few steps off campus, I found my perfect study spot at a brewhouse and bakery called Pascal's. It wasn't just the amazing Cuban espressos paired with cream cheese guava pastries. It was the atmosphere and people. Pascal's is a place where you walk in and feel welcomed. For those of you who don't know, Pascal's is way more than a coffee shop or a place that students come to study. It is a place where conversations about Christ and the world start. It's where my friends and I make plans, recite Scripture, and enjoy each other's company. It is a place where you meet new people and forge relationships that wouldn't have happened anywhere else. They also serve a mean cup of coffee and an assortment of teas and delicious baked goods.

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can allow you to find a place that feels more like home. When I first walked in, I had no idea what an important spot it'd be in my life. The perfect study spot doesn't have to be generic and boring - it can be exciting and warm. We have our whole lives to be stuck in a cold, uncomfortable office, might as well enjoy our study spaces while we can. Also who said that where we study can only serve one purpose? While some may find it distracting, I find that it actually helps me focus. Most people can agree studying isn't fun and that it's hard to motivate yourself to do it. By putting myself into a stimulating environment not only does it drive me to study but finish up work so that I can enjoy my friends.

So sit down or spread out. The perfect study spot is out there, you just have to find it. For some, it's outside underneath a tree, the study room in their sorority house and for many, it is the quiet floor of a campus library. None of those locations have worked as well as my local coffee shop. Pascal's is my perfect spot, whether I'm meeting with friends, enjoying some quiet time, or scrambling to finish a homework assignment.

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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4 Ways Gen Z Students Are Changing On-Campus Dining For The Better

Thanks to Gen Z students, on-campus dining halls are going to get a lot healthier.

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As Generation Z students begin to become the majority on college campuses, dining halls have new expectations to live up to. Gen Z grew up with more technology and information than any other generation, so it's understandable you care about what you're consuming and how.

Gen Z colleges students are changing on-campus dining options for the better. Here are four things many of you are looking for when it comes to campus food.

1. They want greater transparency

You care about what you put into your body. You want to know the ingredients, calorie count and other nutritional information about your dining hall's offerings, and you might even want to know where the food came from.

To do this, colleges have two options: display the information somewhere in the dining hall or provide it on a mobile app you can download. Yale University recently opted for the latter by releasing an app that tells students everything they could want to know about their food — even down to the exact farm their ingredients came from.

The platform also allows students to provide the dining hall with feedback, so they can adapt to the needs and preferences of your generation.

2. They expect customization options

Around one in three Americans followed a specific diet in 2018, and that number is even higher for those between the ages of 18 and 34.

Because of this, Gen Z students are craving more customization options in dining halls. Vegan students may want to order a sandwich without cheese or butter, and vegetarians need plenty of meat-free meals to choose from — and that means having more than just a salad bar.

One survey of 1,500 college students found that half of them believe having plenty of options is among the most critical aspects of campus food services. Meanwhile, 24% said having access to unique and new foods and beverages is the most important.

The desire for increased customization also stems from your exposure to technology, which has allowed Gen Z to customize almost any purchase you make. A plethora of ethnic food is also becoming more in demand, as Gen Z is a more globally aware and diverse generation than any other.

3. They want organic options

Perhaps the most critical aspect of food to most of Gen Z is that food is clean and organic. Organic foods don't have the same pesticides and other chemicals that conventional foods do, and eating organic is a priority for many.

The demand for organic food isn't necessarily unique to Gen Z, either. Even though less than 1% of U.S. farmland is dedicated to organic practices, we would need to devote as much as 6% of it to organic farming in order to keep up with the country's demand for it.

By presenting plenty of organic options, dining halls can appeal to both the students and faculty members who eat there.

4. They expect on-the-go food to have healthy options, too

One skill most of you have perfected is multitasking, in part due to your desire to get involved and commit yourselves to several classes, jobs and social groups. While many scientific studies will argue that multitasking isn't necessarily the best strategy for projects that require intense focus and critical thinking, Gen Z has mastered the art of using technology to get several small tasks done within a short amount of time.

Because of this tendency to do a few things at once, nearly 40 percent of Gen Z prefers to eat their food on the go — whether you're on the way to class, work or an extracurricular activity

That being said, dining halls can reduce the number of tables and chairs they provide and substitute them for a wider variety of on-the-go foods. Wraps, veggie plates and other premade snacks and meals are great options to enjoy while walking to your next obligation.

University dining halls are experiencing a shift.

As college campuses begin to welcome a new generation of humans, they need to adapt to the preferences and values of their new students.

For Gen Z, we're seeing most changes occur in campus dining halls thanks to health-conscious tendencies. To stay relevant and useful to students, dining halls should focus on adapting to meet your expectations.

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