10 Ways To Stay Sane In College, Especially As Finals Week Approaches

10 Ways To Stay Sane In College, Especially As Finals Week Approaches

Stay calm, cool, and collected on campus.
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Life at university moves pretty fast, and if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. I looked over my time in college, particularly this past quarter, and wondered, how do we do it? College is hectic, but it's doable. You just need some good strategies. With finals coming up, I thought I would share 10 ways I stay cool, calm, and collected on campus.

1. "The Office."

I may have been against it for a while, but this September, faced with nothing new to watch, I decided it was about time I saw this iconic show. College keeps me busy and this silly level of comedy is perfect after a long day. How could you not feel good watching Pam and Jim fall in love?

2. Calling home.

There’s nothing like calling home to the people who know you best. For me, that’s my parents. They’re always willing to listen to what I’ve got going on and remind me of what’s important in life. Plus, they’re always willing to laugh at my jokes (my cheesy, cheesy, jokes).

3. Going to the gym.

While my roommate has to drag me most mornings (thanks, Amber), getting some exercise in really does clear my head and make me feel good. While the walk to the gym might be the hardest thing you do all day, the post-workout feeling will make it worthwhile!

4. Taking time to be artsy.

Express yourself! College days are filled with lectures, work, and studying, and that’s it if you aren’t proactive! Taking time to paint, write, and even dance helps me fill my college days with even more meaning. And being mega-talented isn’t important; when it comes to creating, just doing it is all you need to do.

5. Eating with friends.

Sometimes I feel so busy at school, I feel like I don’t even have time to see my friends. But eating is a perfect time to catch up with your buds! I find that if I make the time to eat with friends as opposed to by myself, the day is so much greater!

6. Staying a week ahead.

OK, this is the only academic tip on this list, but trust me, it is so worth it! Staying a week ahead really starts to pay off in the middle of the quarter. When everyone is starting to freak about midterms, you’ve been studying and finished with projects for a while. Staying a week ahead can allow you extra time for those unexpected assignments (or life events) and will make you feel so much better. Trust me.

7. Listening to the news.

Maybe it's just me, but not knowing what is going on in the world makes me feel crazy! Up at school, I don’t have my usual news sources on hand, so I’ve had to find new ways to stay in touch. If you do Apple Podcasts, NPR does frequent news updates that are five minutes long; they are great for busy days!

8. Journaling every night.

I’ve been doing this daily since 2016, but it's been a great habit to have in college. Not only do I get to vent every night, but it's become a wonderful capsule of my college days thus far.

9. Exploring my college town.

I’ve found one of the great things about college is you’re in a new place with new things to explore. So take time to do so! I’ve certainly enjoyed making new places my favorite hangouts and benefiting from fresh sights.

10. Making my bed every day.

Before college, I wasn’t a big “make your bed in the morning” gal. Well, now I am. Why? A couple of reasons. The first, dorms are so small that making your bed will really make a difference in how it looks. The other is that it feels much better to have an already-made bed when you come home from a long day.

Hope this list gives you some ideas on how to keep on keeping on in college!

Cover Image Credit: Ella Banken

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What YouTube Says About Our Generation

We can learn a lot from high school vlogs.
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Last week I wrote an article that sought to examine YouTube, not as an entertainment platform, but as a revolutionary and powerful tool, capable of documenting and preserving our generation in ways which no generation previously could.

I wrote:

"The ubiquity of cameras has made it so that our images are being captured constantly whether we realize it or not. And with YouTube and the Internet, we are seamlessly being cataloged into a massive and growing database of humanity ... I think of YouTube as a time capsule. Centuries from now, everyone can look back through YouTube and wholly experience our generation: its sights, sounds, issues, and—most importantly—the individual personalities of, not just its Kings and Queens, but its ordinary people."

With this article, and in subsequent articles, I'd like to elaborate on this concept by exploring and showcasing various content on YouTube. In doing so, I hope I can get some people to look at Youtube through a different lens—one that understands it as a historical tool.

In this article, I'd like to share a type of video I've found much of on YouTube: "day in the life of high school" videos. In these videos, someone goes around with a camera and basically shoots, in documentary style, a full day of high school.

Here's one from 1996:

One of the fascinating things about a video like this is that, when we watch it, we tend to see it in the context of the present. I'll watch the video, but instantly my brain seeks out the differences and similarities between high school in 1996 and in 2016 (when I graduated high school).

Through this video, we see, documented in an unbiased fashion, the lives of ordinary people. And through watching these people, we can also extrapolate further information about that generation. We are ALL a product of our times, whether we realize it or not. Everything posted on YouTube lends some kind of window into the present that it was posted in.

For example, at around 17 minutes into the video above, the cameraman begins to hum the Mission Impossible theme, a movie which came out in May of 1996, right about the time this video was shot. It was a big blockbuster hit and was most definitely on the minds of high schoolers like these. While that might not sound too fascinating right now in 2018, it will be a much more fascinating detail to those studying pop culture history 100 years into the future.

Now take a look at a modern "day of high school" video:

Now, imagine you were somebody in 1996 watching this video today. In just 20 years, we can already see tremendous generational differences. In the 1996 video, people were detached when confronted with a camera; it was something strange to them. In 2018, the digital age has taken over completely. In this video, everyone understands that he is "vlogging," a term that didn't exist in 1996.

In fact, everything about this video screams of our generation: the slang, the music, the fast jump cuts, the concept of a "YouTuber," the dress, the technology, Internet culture, how everyone's plugging their Internet identities (Instagram, SoundCloud, etc.)... the list goes on and on. Going from the 1996 day of high school and then jumping to this one really puts my generation into perspective.

This video is much more polished and edited, and its clearly made with the intention to project oneself to an audience, rather than for purely documentary purposes like the video from 1996 was. It brings to light an unforeseen force working all around us: the rise of a new type of global culture, one that, through social media, is growing larger by the day.

But these are just two videos out of over a billion YouTube videos. Estimated, it would take 60,000 years of non-stop watching to watch every video that is on YouTube right now. That is a LOT of content, and ALL of that is focused on the thoughts, concerns, issues, and realities of THIS generation.

We will leave a footprint unlike any other generation in history; I think its important for all of us to understand that.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Who Am I? Who Are You?

We’re all something in someway.
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I am…

Beautiful

Fierce

Creative

Loving

Fearless

Caring

Optimistic

Cautious

Aware

Smart

Realistic

Adventurous

Vocal

I am one of a kind and so are you.

Cover Image Credit: @ellerygracee/Instagram

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