How To Take The Perfect Study Break

5 Ways To Escape From The World When Stress Starts Taking A Toll On You

When you write down the negative things that happened and your negative feelings, you those negative vibes out of yourself. Writing down your feelings helps you feel relieved and calm.

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Life can become really overwhelming sometimes. There are so many expectations from parents, friends, and professors. There is always something you have to be doing, and somehow it is just never enough. But sometimes it is really important to take a step from everything and everyone, and just be there for yourself. Here are a few ways to relax and take a break from the world:

1. Write in a journal

Writing down all your feelings is a great way of letting them out of your system. It is like venting to someone else, without actually telling someone else how you feel. When you write down the positive things, you come to realize how grateful you really are for those things and you remember how excellent those things made you feel. When you write down the negative things that happened and your negative feelings, you those negative vibes out of yourself. Writing down your feelings helps you feel relieved and calm.

2. Blast music in your room

Music is a great escape and can appeal to almost anyone. It literally blocks out the outside world. But you have to be careful with this option. You have to make sure that the music you choose to listen to has a happy theme. The music is supposed to help you become happier and forget the things that bring you down, not remind you of the things that are bringing you down. It is hard to not listen to songs that put your feelings into words, but that will really only make you more upset, so remember happy music is the key.

3. Cook or bake something

Pick up your mom's recipe book, read the back of the ready-to-make box, or start from scratch. Get your mind off by making something delicious in the kitchen. Cooking requires your attention, so it is a great way to distract your mind from the thoughts you are having. You can make your favorite dish to help your mood or call your friends over to cook together.

4. Read a book

It is such a cliche thing to say but it is so true: reading takes you places. When you get engrossed into a book, you imagine yourself in the story and in that fantasy world. Fictional books allow you to travel to places and forget about reality. Sometimes you don't need to escape reality, and instead, you need to learn to embrace it and learn from it. There are many nonfiction books that can help you. Many famous people write about their struggles to get where they are today. Those books are very influential because you can see how everyone has downfalls and overcomes them, even the most successful people. Also, there are motivational books that help you train your mindset and understand that everything is going to be OK. A really good book that can connect to you can be really influential.

5. Organize your week in a planner

Life gets overwhelming. You can be fine one moment, and the next, you will remember everything you have to do at once. One way to slow down life and get organized is to keep a planner and update it. Sit down and plan out your week. Write everything down, even the smallest events and tasks that you know you will remember. Putting everything on paper in a weekly template will help you visualize your week, plan out your next few days, and see that everything will get done.

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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A Day In The Life Of A Socially Anxious Person

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), social anxiety disorder affects 15 million adults in the United States. It is one of the most common mental illness and yet a lot of people don't know what social anxiety disorder (SAD) exactly is and have misconceptions about it. Social anxiety is often misunderstood as shyness. However, SAD goes beyond shyness. For someone with SAD, daily social interactions can be stressful to handle because of fear of negative evaluation and embarrassment.

To eliminate misunderstandings and spread awareness about SAD, here's a picture diary of what a day in the life of a socially anxious person looks like.

8:30 a.m.

"I better hurry and switch off my alarm before my roommate wakes up. I'm afraid she might hate me for waking her up this early."

12:00 p.m.

"I know the answer to this question but I'm too scared to answer. What if it is wrong and I embarrass myself in front of everyone?"

3:00 p.m.

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

5:00 p.m.

"I better keep practicing my order in my head otherwise I might stumble upon my words and make a fool of myself."

7:00 p.m.

"I am just going to delay answering this call as I'm afraid to answer the phone. I don't know who is on the other side and am not exactly sure what to say."

10:00 p.m.

"I'd rather not sleep, as if I try to, I'll be reevaluating all the embarrassing moments of my day."

Along with these thoughts, a person suffering from SAD might also experience physical symptoms like nausea, dizziness, flushing, palpitations, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. If your day looks anything like the picture diary above and you have been experiencing physical symptoms, do not be afraid to seek help.

According to a survey conducted by ADAA, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help. If you are someone who is suffering from SAD, always remember that there's hope. Always seek help as social anxiety disorder is treatable through medication and therapy.

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