CollegeWellness

Students have begun their second semester, preparing themselves for the ever-impending workload that each semester brings. Sometimes students tend to overthink their abilities and schedules, and overwork themselves to their breaking point. Stress relievers vary by person – one person might enjoy taking a nap, playing video games, or working out, while another person likes going for a walk, or just spending a night with friends and away from homework. One less commonly known stress reliever is relaxing with puppies, and some colleges are beginning to offer a day during the semester (usually towards the end when all the work piles up) where they bring puppies to campus to help destress their students. To encourage and help this movement, Uber is teaming up with local animal shelters in certain cities to bring you puppies!

You heard that right. #UberPUPPIES. For $20-30, puppies are brought to your door for 15 minutes so you can play with them. Along with this convenient set up, if you end up falling in love with the puppy on the spot, the drivers bring adoption sheets so you can adopt the pet right then and there (check with your college’s policy on pets before you make that final decision though). #UberPUPPIES is now available in several cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia, D.C., Cleveland, Dallas, and Indianapolis. However, according to News for Shoppers, if you are too far outside of the specific zone, then they unfortunately won’t deliver you puppies.

In cities like Philadelphia, all proceeds go to the PSPCA (Philadelphia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and when Uber brings the puppies, a PSPCA rep will be on-site to help with the adoption process if that’s on your mind. Uber’s website has a listing of where Uber Puppies exists, how it works, and a step-by-step on how the adoption process would go.

In the past, Uber has paired up with local shelters around colleges and brought puppies to campus. This happened on campuses such as Stanford, UC Davis, Santa Clara University. And during the Super Bowl, along with the Puppy Bowl, Uber pairs up with local shelters in 10 lucky cities to bring them puppies and cuddles. Much of these efforts are to help clear out shelters in these heavily populated areas, but also to help stressed out people – both on college campuses and in offices – find a new method of relaxing and de-stressing. So instead of reaching for that third or fourth cup of coffee or choosing to pull an all-nighter, check into your local area and see if you are within an #UberPUPPIES zone.

Universities across the country are starting to bring dogs on campus for puppy therapy, realizing the connection between destressing and playing with animals. A librarian at Emory University recalled to USA Today that they saw a student smile for the first time after enjoying time with the puppies. Some colleges are even allowing pet-friendly dorms where students can bring their dogs and cats from home. Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School both have resident therapy dogs that can be checked out from the library like a book.

A few years ago, Indiana University started “Rent-a-Puppy” day, where, for $5, students could book some time with a puppy from an animal shelter, and could adopt them also if parting was too difficult. Colleges are beginning to understand that sometimes the best stress relievers for some students aren’t to go workout and sweat their problems out, or to lay down on their therapist’s couch – but instead bury their face in the ball of fluff and love.

Image: Flickr

EducationSkills

As much as we hate to admit it sometimes, we can’t all be Superman or Superwoman. Finding the time to get daily necessities done, as well as doing things just for pure enjoyment and relaxation, can be difficult. Here are some ways I multitask with my busy college schedule!

1. Work Out Between Loads of Laundry

Believe it or not, having to do your laundry can actually be a useful way to manage your time. Instead of being that one person who leaves their load in the washing machine for hours on end until you’re finally out of class, set a timer for each load that you do. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in a 30-45 minute load. Personally, it’s usually a toss-up between napping and working out, but I usually like to try to get a little exercise into my day which can be difficult when piles of homework are calling your name. Try splitting up your workout to give you plenty of time to get a few sets done and take a breather. I try to split my workout into sections and do legs during one load and abs during another!

2. Brew Your Coffee While You Get Ready

The simplest trick is the book is over-looked way too often! I can’t survive my 8:30 AM class without a hot cup of coffee, but it can be difficult to find time when you’re rushing to get there because you wanted to sleep late. Instead, make your coffee first and go about your daily routine. This will also give your coffee some time to cool off so it isn’t boiling when you go to take a sip!

3. Call Your Family While Walking To Class

That 15 minute walk across campus can really make a difference. It can be difficult to find the time to keep your family up to date on your life while being away at school, but a quick catch up here and there while walking to class can easily make your day and their day and fit into both of your schedules. It also makes the walk there a little less lonely!

4. Your Cell Phone’s Speaker Is Your New Best Friend

Whenever I’m in my dorm room eating takeout, cleaning, or doing homework, I’ll try to call or FaceTime a friend to catch up! It’s the easiest thing to do and is multitasking at its finest. Plus, if you don’t understand something on your homework you can ask away!

5. Review Notes While Catching Up On Your Favorite TV Show

We all dread that night of studying before the next-morning-quiz. To make it a little more bearable, try binge-watching that show you’ve been meaning to catch up on and review your notes at the same time. During breaks you can quiz yourself on what you just went over!

Image: Startup Stock Photos

EducationSkills

Finals are among us. For those in college, this means papers, projects, and a lot of cramming. For those in high school, this also means papers, projects, and a lot of cramming… There’s just so much to do! Homework, extra credit, paper outlines, group projects. Besides that, part time jobs, internships, after school activities. And before all of those, sleeping and eating! There’s a lot that seems to be happening right now, but there are some ways to deal with all the havoc that is December!

Prioritize.

Always do what you need to do first. Which one comes first: the big thesis paper or that extra credit project? Watering your plants or giving yourself a shower? Going to a club meeting or studying for an exam for that really tough teacher? Always do what is important, and don’t bother with the small stuff during this time crunch. The little things can be slipped in, but devoting large chunks of time to a 10 page paper is an efficient way of getting ideas out, onto a document, and out of the way. The little things you can do as mini breaks in between. Get up to stretch and do a 10 minute yoga pose for exercise, but do this between paragraph four and five of your essay. Moderate and prioritize.

Eat and sleep.

My university’s labs are open 24 hours during finals. In the early 3­-5am hours, students can be seen sleeping at their desk with the screen doing a five hour export. Other students can be seen with three empty cups of coffee next to their sewing machines with half finished shirts and dresses. But whether you’re in art school, business school, or high school, you need to get your sleep and your nutrients! You and a friend can do food­runs. Someone runs out to get dinner for both of you, then you trade and do the same for lunch. Do this for fabric material, photo paper, paint, ink, printer paper. One person can do that half-hour-run to Staples and the other person can do that half-hour run to the cafeteria. Roommates, workshop partners, lab buddies, you name it. It is the time to keep your body functioning during a time when there isn’t enough time.

Know your limits.

Alright. You didn’t sleep in the last 24 hours, and the night before, you only slept
three hours. Your hands are shaking from too much caffeine, and for some reason the words on the
screen are starting to move on their own. You have a dull headache that has turned into nauseousness and your neck is cramped. You haven’t seen daylight in two days. It’s time to stop. Yeah, that presentation is important and people are counting on you. Sure, that exam is 50% of your grade. But what’s the point if you’re going to pass out in front of your professor or wake up to the exam sheet stuck to your cheek? Sometimes enough is enough and there’s only so much you can do. That’s when you take a breather, take a walk, take a shower, take a break.

Dealing with everything is crazy. You and everyone around you are in high gear. Once
you figure out all you need to do, you’ll do them. Keep yourself going with enough sleep and
food. Sometimes, you have to just put everything down. Take it easy and good luck!

Image: TMAB2003

EducationSkills

Whether you’re in high school or college, online summer classes can be a great way to catch up on material that flew by too quickly or beef up your credit hours. During the summer, you’re more likely to be taking less than a handful of classes rather than a full semester or quarter’s worth, which means you still have the opportunity to have some fun and spend time with friends and family.

Altogether I have taken four online summer classes through my university over the course of twelve weeks (six weeks per summer session over two summer). I decided to take two more classes online this summer because I absolutely loved the scheduling freedom they gave me during the active school year. I had more choice in what I wanted to take because I completed twelve credits of required classes.

Although I’m a big fan of online classes, I’ll admit they can be tricky when it comes to logistics and expectations. The first time around I was much more overwhelmed than I was this summer having already understood what I was in for. So I’ve gathered up the most important lessons and tricks I’ve learned to help you not only survive your summer classes, but to win at them along the way.

Check-in Daily

Consistency is key. Be aware of the reading you should be doing and papers you need to be writing. If you are anything like I was last summer, you might forget to check your school’s online portal for a few days only to realize that you have an assignment due the next day. You don’t need to spend hours scouring through the site every day, but you should be spending five minutes every morning checking in on assignments for the week and exact due dates so that nothing simple slips through the cracks.

Pay Close Attention to Details

Different professors have different guidelines. I’ve had teachers who assign work on the same due dates but at different times, even based on different time zones. If you live in California and are taking an online class from a professor in New York, keep in mind that your 3 PM is already his or her 6 PM. Don’t let the small details trip you up. Hit those submission deadlines because losing little points here and there can ultimately cost you a full letter grade.

Pretend You’re at School

When you sit down to do work, pretend you’re sitting in the library. Ignore the fact that you’re probably at home with temptations all around you—the bottom line is that you are doing real work for a real class that will factor into your transcript.

Think Big Picture

As important as classes and grades seem, try not to get too stressed about these online classes. It is summer, after all. Give yourself a pat on the back for taking the initiative to get ahead and be proactive! These tips will hopefully relieve some of the stress and help you enjoy your accomplishments.

What are your tips for conquering online summer classes? Let us know!

Image: Picography

EducationSkills

It’s summer! You get to sleep in, waking to the sound of chirping birds, sunlight coming through the windows, illuminating your room. You wake up with bed hair and you stumble out of your bed, walking past the pile of dirty laundry and bowl of cereal you went to get in the middle of the night. Your desk is a mess. Nail polish bottles, papers, pencils, eraser dust, an earring missing its sister, a collection of bracelets, a chipped cup, a photo of you and your friends, Post-Its that have lost their stick…

Listen. You’re a lovely and awesome person, but it’s time for an intervention. It’s time… to clean your room. Summer is a great time to clean your room or workspace. You can get rid of old things and prepare for the next semester. There are some things you can do to make it easy for you to keep your room clean until September, without making your room too sparse or boring.

When most people clean their room, they clean their closet. But there are other parts of your room that you can’t neglect. You have that Economics textbook propping up your laptop. The Victorian novels you bought for Lit class are scattered on three shelves and you probably spent $200 buying all of those last semester.

Students often forget (or don’t have time) to sell their textbooks at the end of each semester. Finals can get in the way, or going back home/going abroad will be more of a priority than a few books lying around. But unless they’re on a shelf (and you’ll be using them again), there isn’t any reason to keep them. There are many options to sell them, either back to the school’s bookstore or online.

Speaking of things you’ll need again, you might want to sort through all your notes. Some students use a laptop and save their docx. or PDFs there. Luddites like me like to print things out (sorry trees!) and write notes on them before putting them in a folder. All those papers scattered in your room? The Post­Its reminding of you an upcoming final? The pens that dried out because you lost the pen cap? (I prefer clicky pens myself) This is a good chance to go through what you want to keep (or not keep) and delete/throw out what you don’t want.

Laptop users, this is a good time to back up your data! You might unexpectedly need that final paper’s works cited page again, or you might get a handout that you’ve gotten before. I like to back data up every half a semester, but the summer is the best time to do it. You might want to tune-up your computer and all that techy stuff while you’re at it!

This time of the year is a good chance for you to make a workspace for yourself. If you’ve been living off your bed with laptop in lap, you might have found yourself falling asleep while doing a paper (sounds familiar?). If your desk space was cramped up with dirty laundry, old lip gloss, and a dusty printer, well, it should all cleaned up and free for you to use. If you create a workspace, it will help you concentrate.

Remember, if you always push your chair in after you use it, it won’t be piled up with clothes and other things. Keep a container for pens and other office supplies, and make sure your printer is in a spot that’s easy to access. Ink is also easy to refill, so always have that somewhere in case you have to emergency­print a handout or something. Things like that can distract you from working during the school year, and if you start the habit this summer, you are more likely to maintain it (and get to know where everything is) by fall.

Now that your room looks like it’s ready for summer fun, as well as for the next semester, there are a few things you can do to keep it that way. Next week, I will share my tips on how to maintain your organized space.

Read Summer Action Item – Clean Your Room: Part I

Image: Kikette Interiors