EducationHealth

The semester is well underway and I’m sure, aside from getting involved in a gazillion clubs, juggling a job or an internship, and trying to have some kind of a social life, everyone is swamped with loads of homework. As I’m typing, many people are probably rushing to finish up their calculus problems or putting the final touches on a paper that is due in a few days. Whatever the case may be, there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.

Pulling all-nighters and working well after midnight aren’t unusual scenarios. We fall asleep on our textbooks only to wake up in the morning ready to fall back into the same routine. College is extremely hard and the moments when you get to kick back and relax are extremely rare. Even then, the days when you do get a chance to take a break from schoolwork (i.e. the weekend) are usually not as laid-back as you would like them to be because there is always an exam to study for, a paper to write, or an assignment to complete.

They say coffee is a college student’s best friend, but spending the day (or even the night) working on homework isn’t the way to go about college because overworking yourself can cause your brain to melt into a pile of mush. Maybe that isn’t what really happens but, without the occasional break from schoolwork, you’ll eventually stress yourself out, and being stressed has many negative effects on your mind and body.

Whenever you’re at that point where you just want to rip your hair out, step away from your computer, put down the book you’re reading, and set aside that calculator. Your work will be there once you take a 10-15 break (or however long you think you need). It’s not going to get up and walk away, so use some of your time to rest your brain and stretch those legs because I’m sure you spend hours on end plastered to a chair (or your bed) whenever you do homework. If you can’t figure out to do with your free time, here is a list of things to do to help you unwind.

  1. Get a snack: Studying and homework is almost impossible to do on an empty stomach, so get something to munch on and something to drink so you’re not depriving your body of the nutrients you need. For better brain power, try eating healthy snacks. And no, potato chips are not an essential part of the food pyramid.
  2. Stretching/exercising: I have a friend who does lunges whenever she needs a break from doing her homework. You don’t have to do lunges, but stretching might be a good thing to do to keep your body from cramping up after hours of sitting. If you really want to get that heart pounding, try doing some jumping jacks.
  3. Read a book: And I don’t mean a textbook. Pick up a book that isn’t for school and read one or two chapters to get your mind off of your homework and allow yourself to slip into another world.
  4. Listen to music: Turn on your favorite band or singer and rock out to your favorite songs. You can sing along or dance or do whatever it takes for you to destress.
  5. Go for a walk: You don’t have to go too far, but you can walk around your residence hall or apartment complex a few times just to get some fresh air and get out of the confines of the four walls of your room so you don’t go stir crazy.
  6. Play a game: Games are a great way to keep your mind busy. More importantly, you get to have fun!
  7. Straighten up your room: I’m not sure about you, but my side of the room always seems to get out of hand whenever I’m studying or doing homework. I can’t do anything until my side of the room is in order and everything that was out of place is back into place.
  8. Check your email: When we’re busy with class and school work, sometimes we forget to check our inboxes to see if we received any important emails. Use your free time to make sure we’re not missing out on anything.
  9. Talk to people: Start up a conversation with your roommate, text a friend, or call a family member. It doesn’t matter who you talk to, but it’s important to get your mind off of your homework for a bit and what better way to do that than to converse with people about things that have nothing to do with homework.
  10. Set your alarm and take a nap: Of course I had to save the best for last. If you find yourself not wanting to do anything on this list, it might be time for a nap. After 30-45 minutes of resting your eyes, you should feel refreshed and ready to finish your homework.

There are a variety of things you can do to take a break from homework. Just remember not to spend too much time (more than an hour) taking a break. Also, don’t feel bad about taking a break. We all need one so our bodies and brain don’t shut down after hours of staring at the pages of a thick textbook or a computer screen. You might feel like there is not enough time in the day, but you have the power to make time, so try to work taking breaks into your schedule the best you can because you deserve it.

Image: Unsplash

Travel

There are many things you can do on a road trip. I know you can think of a lot it on your own, but I thought I’d provide some inspiration.

1. Play Games

Dig up cards from your Trivial Pursuit game or something similar. Trivia is a way to keep everyone in the car involved. However, any game will do. There are even games on your cellphone that can be played by multiple people. It is fun and a great way to stay awake on the road.

2. Sleep

Road trips last a long time. Unless you’re behind the wheel, you do not have to be awake the whole time. Take a rest so you will be rested enough to do things when you get out of the car.

3. Listen To Music

A good playlist can make a road trip. Even if you just listen to the radio, you could find out what different people in your car like. You may even learn to like something new.

4. Snack

If you’re on the road for awhile, being able to snack every now and then just may keep everyone happy.

5. Talk

It is the simplest thing in the world but talking is a great pastime. People can talk for hours. You only need people to make it happen. If you talk long enough, you may get to know each other better than you thought you would.

6. Write

Travel journals allow you to remember the great times you had on your journeys. You can always look back at them and remember the times you had. You will also have stories to tell others.

7. Take Photos And Videos

If writing is not your thing, there is always visual media. It is something to look back on. We live on a beautiful planet. There are a lot of sights you do not see in your everyday life. Take advantage. Take photos of the fun people you are traveling with. You can capture a laugh, a smile, or some other stolen moment.

My most important advice would be to remember to look past the camera lens. Sightseeing is totally fun but documenting a moment is not as important as experiencing it. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to remind myself to look past the photograph I was taking and into the view before me. I never regretted it once.

Image: unsplash

Travel

There are a few more weeks in summer to go on a trip! If you opt for a road trip, you will have a lot of fun. Before you go, though, there are a few must-have items to bring so that you can cruise peacefully. Here are eight important items you won’t want to forget:

1. Gas/ Food/ Emergency Money

I know this is an obvious one, but it is still worth mentioning. You don’t want to get stranded before you get anywhere.

2. Food

When you’re on a long stretch of road, who knows when you’ll see food again. It’s always good to have some snacks on hand so you don’t get too hungry. Or worse: grumpy in a car full of people because you’re hungry. Bringing a cooler can be helpful for snacks when you absolutely need them.

3. Games and Toys

If you are traveling with kids, games and toys are a must. However, they’re also great for adults. Playing a trivia game or a guessing game can help pass the time and keep others engaged.

4. Good Music

Be it an awesome playlist, CDs, or the radio, music can keep a long road trip feel a lot shorter. You can share your favorite music with those closest to you. You might just love hearing something new.

5. Something To Sleep With

Road trips are long. If you are not driving, you are welcome to rest. Comfortable clothes are good since you will be sitting for hours, so you may as well wear pajamas or sweatpants. Add a pillow, a blanket, and a sleep mask to block out the light so you can get some much needed rest.

6. A Cellphone

I know this is a necessity for a lot of people. Cellphones have many great uses. You can use it as a GPS, for games, music, a camera and most importantly, to contact people! Remember to keep it charged in case you get stranded and really need it. Having a car cellphone charger on hand is never a bad idea.

7. Maps

If you lose signal or run out of battery and have no electronic GPS, you could end up really lost. Maps still exist for a reason. Use them.

8. First Aid Kit

Many first aid kits come travel-sized these days. They are cheap and useful if the situation arises.

I hope these tips make the ride enjoyable for everyone! Have fun!

Image: weheartit