All nighters -- we’ve all pulled one. Exam seasons and/or procrastination tend to result in long nights spent at a desk, desperately attempting to prepare for the next day’s assessment. During these stressful times, most students turn to caffeine and junk food. Not only are these foods unhealthy, they can have negative effects on studying (increase of anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, etc), and may keep the body from retaining information. There are healthier food choices that can promote better physical health, while also helping to prepare the body for an academic feat.
Check out our 7 top food choices for study nights:
Almonds have nutrients that are proven to protect the body against the damaging physical effects of stress. Women’s Health reported that the vitamin E, vitamin B, and magnesium in almonds boost your immune system when your stress levels rise. Vitamin B is used for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that increases attention and awareness. Researchers have also concluded that almonds aid in the restoration of memory and cognitive function.
Plantains contain vitamin B6, which helps your body create serotonin. Serotonin is our “happy” neurotransmitter, and eating plantain can help to keep depressive symptoms at bay. Plantains have a high concentration of vitamin B6. Bananas and dates are also good B6 options as they also have high concentrations of “happy”.
The neurotransmitters in the brain are built of amino acids from the foods you eat. A high protein diet will allow the brain to build healthier neural connections. Foods high in protein include meats, cheese, and eggs. For a long night or a study party with friends, consider beef jerky, salami and cheese, and deviled eggs as a snack. These foods will provide the body with the necessary energy for studying, and aid the brain in the production of neural connections for memory.
Researchers at Tufts University have concluded that blueberries can improve short term memory and regenerate neural connections tied to balance and coordination. In comparison to other fruits, blueberries have the highest concentration of antioxidants. Besides aiding the immune system (which is important during exam study sessions), the antioxidants have proven to restore mental health.
Caffeine may seem like a student’s best friend, however, the amounts of caffeine in the coffee and energy drinks tend to cause higher anxiety levels, especially if the body has not had regular exposure to caffeine. Black tea, such as Chai, English Breakfast, and Earl Grey, are great substitutes for caffeine. They do not contain as much caffeine as coffee, yet there is enough to give any student an energy boost.
Bran cereal and/or muffins are beneficial study snacks because they have Vitamin B12, which is known for its mental clarity and brain enhancing properties. It participates in brain function, blood synthesis, and the nervous system. The vitamin is also partially responsible for the production of melatonin in the body, which helps to regulate the body’s sleep cycle. Increased levels of B12 (and melatonin) lead to heightened awareness during the day and healthy sleep patterns. Raisin Bran, for example, is a great choice for breakfast or late night snack.
Vitamin C is predominantly known as an aid to the immune system. However, it also reduces the psychological and physical effects of stress. German researchers found that vitamin C reduces the release of Cortisol when the body is under stressful conditions. The hormone, cortisol puts the body in “fight-or-flight” mode, impairing the learning and memory processes. A tall glass of fresh orange juice can reduce levels of the hormone: a perfect remedy for the night before or the morning of a big exam.
Sixteen years of sitting in a classroom, and you’re almost there. College is almost over, and soon every friendly face will ask you about your future plans. Some of us can answer the “what are your plans after college” question with grace, charm, and confidence. Others will stumble through our answer, desperately trying to finagle our way around their judgements and our own confusion. This necessary life transition can seem intimidating and it is easy to be fearful of the unknown. But as you hang on to the last days of student life, there are a few things you should do to ensure the easiest transition into “real world adult life” when all of the college fun is over.
Check out our “Surviving Senior Year Checklist”!
Feeling nervous about your senior year or plans after? Watch these TED Talks.
Lengthy classes, hours of homework, hefty loans: graduate school is stressful enough without the added pressure of dating and being in a serious relationship. Yet you’re actually preparing for your future as an adult, so you’re likely thinking that it’s time to settle down and find your spouse—or maybe you’re just sick of being lonely and would love somebody with whom you could share your agony over grad school. Either way, it’s tough to find somebody while you’re buried beneath projects and exams and staying in to keep up with the workload.
It’s also a difficult time to date during such an uncertain point in life. You may be attending school in a certain city, but what if your hometown is on the other side of the country? What if you have no desire to use your degree in the city or state in which your school is? Graduate school is probably the last, and most vital time, in which you should be selfish. This time is yours to work hard and succeed in school, so you can actually utilize that degree in which you’re investing vast amounts of time and money. Remember, to pursue your dreams before pursuing a ring on your finger, unless you are certain you could do both at the same time.
That being said, if you’re still looking to date and are prepared to worry about a future with someone later, below are some great ways to meet people:
Probably the easiest and most convenient app for (grad) students to meet. It’s free and super easy to use. Tinder connects to your Facebook account (but hides your last name) so you know the people you’re looking at are least legitimate enough to have a Facebook account. You simply swipe through pictures of people and you can “Like” or reject whatever you see. If you like someone and they “liked” you back, it’s a match and then you have the option of messaging them. Be sure to actually put interesting details in your profile and your most flattering pictures.
In order to fully use this service, you have to purchase a plan specific to your desires. It can be as low as $3 a month or as much as $18 a month, which isn’t bad since this site allows you to see people who have accessed your profile, exchange private messages, and customize your privacy settings so only people from the schools you designate with a certain age limit can contact you.
Most graduate schools frequently host networking events or even parties where the students can congregate. Don’t skip these! Gather up your equally-stressed friends and have a blast. Get to know some classmates you’ve been overlooking because you never know who may be your soulmate.
However, if you don’t want to defecate where you dine (so to speak), simply ask your mutual friends to hook you up with someone they know from their job or other graduate school. In return, find a single pal from your school and bring them along for a fun double date. It might be an old fashioned, but it will at least keep traditional romance alive—meeting someone in person, rather than using a phone app to do so.
A few days ago while I was having lunch with close friends (also recent grads), we talked about the dating experiences we had in college. The four of us had high’s and low’s in the college dating world. And, we agree that every dating story ended with a well-noted lesson, and possibly allowed us to have better relationships after graduation. Our stories include epic episodes of passion, love and lust, as well as tragic failures. We encountered Prince Charming, who ended up being a mere frog, and frogs, who grew to be kings. It is all very confusing. Some of the lows felt traumatic because we thought that our situations were unique. Yet when I have these conversations, all of my friends share similar stories. Looking back, there are a few things that I wish someone would’ve told us in regards to relationship commitments in college.
First of all, college is a time to learn about ourselves, our passions, our talents, our limits and our resiliency. In order to learn our limits, we have to experience triumph after adversity. In regards to dating, having bad dating experiences makes the good ones a thousand times better. A lucky few find their spouses in college, but the majority of us move through a few dating experiences before sticking to one. Just as internships teach us more about our passions and talents, dating teaches us about our likes, needs and love.
Below is a list of ten tips I wish someone would have whispered in my ear.
1. Listen to your heart, and be honest with yourself.
There are multiple times in college that requires you to stop, take a breath, and check in with yourself. Getting through college alone is a task, but it is even harder if you are unhappy. And, if you are unhappy, you have to adjust your surroundings or change your priorities.
2. It’s okay to have a change of heart.
Some times things don’t always happen the way we would like them. In the beginning of my freshman year, I started dating a football player, who was being bombarded by the thrills of being a campus star. I was falling for him, and his distractions left me doubtful of a future. So, despite our attraction and friendship, I moved on. At the time, I felt awful about it, but now I see that it was for the best.
3. Realizing what you DON’T want is valuable.
When things don’t go well, it can be a blessing. My close friend said to me the other day, “A set back is just a set up for a come back.” Defining your dislikes is essential to creating a situation that brings joy. Some times a person is great, but may not be compatible for you. That’s ok, because you will be better able to sense when someone is compatible once you move on.
4. Commitment requires an investment of time and energy.
All commitments require your time. With classes, exams, projects and papers, you will be lucky to have time to yourself or with your friends. Before you dedicate yourself, take some time to think about if the relationship fits with your short and long term goals.
5. Finding a mentor can make life a little easier.
It is always a good idea to befriend someone slightly older than you that can give you advice based on their past experience. This could be senior female in a healthy relationship that you admire, or your sister that recently graduated from college and landed the perfect job. These women can help you balance your classes with your relationships, or may give you advice when a relationship isn’t working.
6. The most compatible partner is usually found through networking.
When you are focused on your academic and career goals, you will most likely find yourself with likeminded people. This can be a good environment to date. BUT, as a woman, be cautious of partners within your industry. You don’t want a bad reputation to precede you.
When considering dating on campus, evaluate the relationships the person you’re considering has with other students, women, professors, etc. It is in your benefit to know that this person is respected on campus.
7. Dressing for the occasion is a must.
If you are on date, you must know that the person sitting on the other side of the table already finds you attractive. When styling your outfits, aim for something that complements your shape, rather than displays your body. The goal is to feel confident, so you can present the best version of yourself.
8. Avoid burning bridges.
When things aren’t going well with your significant other, it is always more beneficial for you to maintain a decent relationship with that person once it’s over. You don’t have to be friends, but you should be able to say hello in the hallway. You’re ability to overcome the adversities of the relationship mark your truth strength and your inner beauty. Plus, you will run into that person again—believe me.
9. There is no competition.
Believe in yourself. When we spend time worrying about others, we instantly invite negativity into our relationships. There is a reason that guy decided he wanted to date you. Stay secure within yourself and your worth. Trust your heart.
10. There are always opportunities for growth.
All experiences in life are meant to teach us new things about ourselves. But, in college, new experiences happen every day, and sometimes it can be draining to have so many things happen at once. But, it is comforting to know that many of our perceived “unique” dating experiences are common. Whether you fall in or out of love, there is always an opportunity to become a better person.
The best thing you can do is to acknowledge that you are a human being in a period of immense growth. Always follow your heart, and don’t get too bummed when things don’t turn out well. Unlike college, you don’t get a grade at the end of a relationship. It’s all a learning experience. Happy dating!
It’s Friday. You’re invited to San Diego for a weekend getaway with your girls. Super excited, you immediately begin planning your wardrobe. You go online to check your account balance. Oh, that’s right. You’re in college and you’re low on funds. Womp.
Instead of being too sad that you have to pass on this quick trip, why not try some other inexpensive ways to have fun? Besides, your friends will appreciate the money they will save.
So, what is a fun-loving girl to do with a restrictive budget? Don’t worry, we have a few solutions for all you Made Women out there who are looking for the best bargain activities.
Groupon can be your saving grace. It has hundreds of discounts and deals that will enable you to take trips and try new activities without draining your bank account. If you’re new to this ingenious resource, you simply type in your city, and it will offer you discounts on everything from restaurants and hotels to sky diving! So don’t fret, there’s hope for those of us who wish to go out on the weekends, but cannot afford something extravagant.
Turn up that Macklemore, and engage in one of the trendiest activities as of late: thrifting. You may be weary of purchasing clothes that have past owners, but you’d be surprised at the pieces that you can find at your local Goodwill. $20 designer jeans? Yes please!! And of course, not everything you see at secondhand stores are gems, but that can make the experience even more fun! Try on the most outrageous outfit you can find!
Instead of paying for pricey yoga sessions and fitness classes, I suggest a bike ride or hike! Depending on where you live, you may be limited by the season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the snow-covered ground and go sledding, or enjoy a nice day by the pool in the triple-digit heat! Create your own free workout!
When in doubt, do a simple Google search and see if there are any free concerts or museum days coming up in your area. I know I’ve had success in discovering free outdoor concerts during the summer by simply searching the topic. There are also numerous websites devoted to 50 free things to do in (insert your city here). I have always found that a little Google research beforehand can only expand your activity options! Besides, let’s face it: we already depend on Google.
These are only a few suggestions, but hopefully it shows that there are plenty of opportunities for women on tight budgets. Don’t let high prices threaten your ambition! You can always find a less expensive way to enjoy yourself.