10 Tips To Help Get Through A Stressful School Week

10 Tips To Help Get Through A Stressful School Week

Stay positive. Not the "I'm positive that I'll fail" cop out. Just smile.

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Have a long week ahead of you? Already pulling your hair out on a Monday? Cramming for an exam?

Fear not, for we've got a helpful list to help avoid and reduce as much stress as possible during your hectic week.

1. Breathe

Let's get the cliché out of the way. Not only is breathing helpful in times of stress, but it is also mandatory. Start by slowly inhaling through the nose as deep as you can, and follow it by a slow exhale out of the mouth. It resets your mind and helps it think more clearly and rationally. There's probably a study behind why it works, but don't bother. It works.

2. Resist Junk Food

This is just as difficult as it is important. Think of the last time that you were proud of yourself for getting a lot of work done. Were you eating candy the whole time? Sweets and fast food are basically designed to only give you the energy to want to sit back down and eat more. Comfort food is tempting, but turn it down and you'll be thankful later. You don't want your midterm exam score to make you feel the same pain in your stomach that the candy made you feel.

3. Sleep

Never under estimate the power of sleep. Blow off your friends, channel your inner introvert, curl up in the warmest blanket you have, turn on Netflix and nod off to sleep early. There's no need to brag about how much you did on such little sleep. The quality of your work will improve, plus the bags under your eyes don't look good on you.

4. Caffeine

If sleeping really doesn't help... Try this! Ignore all of the cons, and just remember the pros. Energy, motivation, AND a stimulated sense of alertness! It speaks for itself. Pump enough coffee into your system and that discussion post will be typed in no time! Just please be careful not to over consume.

5. Make Allies

Different than friends, allies are by your side and will cooperate to any length to make sure you both pass the class. There should be that "No man gets left behind" mentality. Sure they feel like friends but, let's be honest, you guys are only bonding over the battle you share with your professor. Lean on your fellow procrastinators and under achievers! Someone is bound to have the answer eventually... right?

6. Stay Positive

Not the "I'm positive that I'll fail" cop out. Just smile. If you smile long enough, you will eventually convince yourself that it is genuine. Remember that you have come a long way and you are a better person now than you once were (probably). One day at a time. Pass or fail, the sun will come up tomorrow and there are always more opportunities to come.

7. Exercise

Mustering up the motivation to work out in a time of stress is difficult. But a little goes a long way! A short jog, a couple of reps with free weights, or a few push ups before you go to bed. Minimal effort is better than nothing. Start ridiculously small, and increase it a little bit each day. Before you know it, you might have just tricked yourself into a healthy lifestyle.

8. Write It Down

We have all caught ourselves blankly staring at the professor, or mentally checked out and thinking about vacation instead of school. Believe it or not, you don't have to register every single thing that the professor is going on and on about. All you have to do is gather the strength to scribble down what you're pretty sure s/he said. Write down as much as you can and let future you (the well-rested, positively charged and caffeinated exercise enthusiast) decode it later.

9. Let Loose

Go out! Party! Sometimes the school routine overwhelms you and the best way to clear your head is to completely leave the environment all together. Go do something you actually enjoy, and BE someone you actually enjoy. Everyone needs a mental break and often times, and many college students do so in the form of staying up late and making questionable decisions. Just be safe and remember to moderate any time spent procrastinating. This is supposed to help with homework later, not replace the responsibility completely.

10. Let It Out

Nobody's looking. If all else fails, just refresh yourself emotionally in the most unattractive way possible. Ugly cry. It seems like a unnecessary step in the acceptance of stress, and not many look forward to it, but crying has been known to stabilize hysterical people once the liquid emotions have run their course. There's probably a study on why it works too, but save your time. It helps.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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The Faces And Future Of Sustainability In The Fashion Industry

The science is unanimous: climate change is real, and it's only getting worse.

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While the conversation surrounding climate change is often plagued by alarmist statements and perilous precautions, there is a practical and hopeful narrative that can be found in its solutions. As much finger pointing as society likes to do, the causes of climate change would take all ten fingers and more to point out the root issues. One of the culprits that hit closest to home is the fashion industry. As an aspiring design major, I've been directly faced with the reality of the industry's harmful habits. Quick turnaround, high demand, and evolving expectations make the production environment very complex to navigate at the least.

Although the fashion industry caters to just about 7 billion people, it doesn't excuse companies, brands, and labels from producing at the expense of our world. Despite the long-held attitude of indifference towards its side-effects; as of late, climate science has left no choice for the industry but to change course. The science has made it evident that we've run out of time to be apathetic; action must be taken, and it must be taken now.

Enter the side of the climate change conversation that's introduced a variety of initiatives to promote change. Whether it's recycling ocean plastic into tennis shoes like Adidas, using up waste fabrics from larger companies like Zero Waste Daniel, or Kate Hudson's Happy x Nature, which has been developed from sustainable materials, the fashion industry is venturing into a greener future.

Adidas first announced its plans to create a sneaker from recycled ocean plastic in 2015, "Parley for the Oceans." Since the release of their first tennis shoe four years ago, they sold 5 million pairs in 2018, and they're aiming to turn out 11 million pairs in 2019. Ocean plastic is a huge threat to marine life, and it's not enough to just stockpile it in a landfill. Adidas's product development team cleverly provided a solution for at least some of that plastic. What's great about the shoe, too, is that it retails right around the price point of most of their other styles at around $130.

Alongside Adidas's recycling, Zero Waste Daniel, a designer based in Brooklyn, NY, has made it his mission to use excess fabric scraps from the industry in his own designs. Using a number of techniques, Daniel combines these remnants into new fabrics, fashions them into appliqués or mosaics, or creates whole garments. Alarmingly enough, it's reported that about 21 billion pounds of waste textiles are going to the dump from the US alone. By gathering up the leftovers from other companies, his products are helping to prevent the wastes from continuing to end up in landfills.

Although not made from reused fabrics, Kate Hudson's latest fashion venture, Happy x Nature, is produced solely from sustainable materials. The fibers of the fabrics are made from recyclables like plastic bottles, and the packaging is stated to be biodegradable. Not only is the new line eco-friendly, but it's also relatively affordable with prices ranging from $45 to $150. Let me tell you, Hudson really knocked it out of the park with this concept. I've browsed through the pieces and have fallen in love with the majority. The pieces are seriously adorable and so trendy, but the biggest seller is that I can feel good about purchasing them.

While recycling ocean plastic and sourcing waste fabrics are important strides in the right direction, consumers play an enormous role in this issue. For any of these initiatives to work, there must be consumer demand at the other end of the product. Companies and brands need to see potential consumers for greener products in order to place such products on the market. As such, as consumers, we should reevaluate our own shopping habits in regards to the apparel industry. We must take accountability for how much we purchase, how often we purchase, and how we manage the clothes after we've bought them. Our demands as customers must also align with the push for greener production and shopping patterns.

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