College is all about finding that certain balance. A balance of friends, homework, extracurriculars and then on top of it all, somehow finding a spare few hours to get a good night’s sleep. Most of us find ourselves tired all day and wide-awake at night. If you are anything like me, you rely on an unhealthy amount of caffeine to get you through the day. But some quality snooze time is one of the most important parts of the day. To help get your sleep schedule back on track, here are some tips:
1. Learn the art of a nap
Luckily for us students, our class schedule typically allows some free time for naps. To prevent grogginess after waking up or not being tired at night, one must learn the art of a nap. One-hour naps are a no-no. The ideal is 10-26 minutes for the perfect power nap if you want to get back to work.
2. Set a regular sleep schedule
Pulling “all-nighters” is a college norm, but be careful not to resort to them too often. In order to get healthy sleep it is important to get into a routine. Go to bed at a regular time and try to consistently wake up at a regular time as well. I typically try to go to bed around 11pm most nights and wake up no later than 9am!
3. Cut down the caffeine!
I used to refuse to be a coffee drinker but now, I can barely go a study session without it. Caffeine consumers must be weary though, because it could prevent some good sleep later on. According to a study done by the Sleep Foundation, even drinking coffee 6 hours before bedtime is disruptive to your sleep.
4. Put away the technology
One of the biggest contributors to poor sleep is artificial lighting from electronics. These devices emit a blue wavelength that tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime. Try to avoid sitting on your laptop, cellphone or iPad for too long before bed.
5. Work out wisely
Those who workout regularly report higher-quality shut-eye. It’s okay if running or lifting weights isn’t for you – a simple walk and enjoying scenery will help you sleep better! Be sure to get your exercise 3-4 hours before bedtime incase a post-workout energy burst hits you.
We all have a love-hate relationship with procrastination. An assignment is due next Monday so that means you’ll start it next Sunday, right? This technique may work for some people, but it can cause stress and if you put something off until the night before you usually won’t produce your best work. It’s time to get a handle on this killer habit of procrastination and get to work! Here’s how:
1. Don’t wait until the last minute
Just do it. If you’re given a month to finish a group project, don’t push it off. Start preparing a plan and a way to tackle the big assignment that first week. Work on parts of your project or assignment bit by bit each day. Your future self will thank you because you didn’t cram those couple days before it was due.
2. Find that motivation
Remind yourself frequently all the positives that will come out of all your hard work. Maybe you find your motivation from a great studying playlist that helps get you focused. Try getting a friend to help push you to finish your work and to stop procrastinating.
3. Put the phone and all other possible distractions away
It’s hard to focus on schoolwork when you’d much rather be doing any other possible thing instead. But your phone is your number one distraction! If you’re working on homework in your room, put your phone on the complete other side of the room so you’re less tempted to check it every five minutes. It’s crazy how much work you can get done when you’re not constantly texting and checking social media.
4. Make a to-do list
Make a plan. When you write out all of your tasks and check them off one by one as you do them you will feel more accomplished and motivated to finish the next one. It’s a great feeling when you have check marks next to everything you needed to get done.
5. Reward yourself
If you’re following your plan and feeling on track then you deserve a break! Try not to check any electronic devices for an hour and then reward yourself. Go get ice cream with a friend, watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix or take a nap. It’s okay to have short breaks, but not too many. After your reward be sure to hit the books again!
Good luck preparing for midterms, Warriors!
Volunteer experience is always a positive addition to any resume. My volunteer experience started at the Winona Area Humane Society with cat care. Being raised with cats, I really adore them as pets and I’m destined to become a crazy cat lady. My first pet I ever took care of is my beautiful calico kitty named Jasmine. So when I found out my sophomore year of college that Winona has a Humane Society, I was dead set on becoming a volunteer. I have been volunteering for two years and it’s honestly one of the best decisions I made while attending school.
The steps to becoming a volunteer are pretty simple and the application process is quick. Once the application has been filled, you go through an orientation with other volunteers to get the full tour of the humane society and the responsibilities of volunteering. There are mostly cats at the humane society, which is fine by me, but you can also sign up to be a dog walker if you really despise cats. Another way to volunteer is to work at the office, which includes filling out paperwork and working with the faculty staff members.
Volunteering has been rewarding and stress free. I volunteer with cats on Fridays usually because, after a long week, I just need to snuggle some kitties. My favorite part about volunteering is after cleaning, being able to sit down on a chair with a cat on my lap and just relax. Petting cats is really therapeutic and I can focus on the cats and not my homework or stress from school.
When meeting cats, it’s impossible not to pick favorites. Flirt is an adorable calico cat that loves to bite your phone when you’re not paying attention to her. Thanks to my Otterbox, my phone is not harmed when volunteering. Flirt is definitely a chubbier cat, which I find super adorable, and she’s currently waiting adoption right now.
Volunteering is something that gets lost among college students, especially when classes and homework get in the way. Volunteering with something you’re passionate about brings happiness and relaxation to everyday life. Being involved in the humane society is really rewarding and I only wish I found out about it sooner.
With over one month of the 2015 school year under our belts, homework and studying is starting to take over our lives. You may be feeling like you cannot find any time to get your nose out of your books and head to the gym. Well, there are a few easy things you can do to help squeeze some gym time into your busy life.
Start by prioritizing exercise. You can do that by planning ahead. When you are planning out your weekly schedule, try to figure out what days work to give up 30 minutes to head over to the gym. Too often people say that they do not have enough time for the gym, but that is because they do not plan ahead and set a time to exercise each week.
Here are some other ways that you can stay healthy without having to go to the gym everyday:
Intramural sports are not a huge commitment. They are only once a week for about an hour. They serve as great study break and are a great way to meet new people. There are a ton of intramural sports offered here at Winona State so sign up with a team and start having some fun!
It is better to snack during the day than to go home and pig out in one sitting after a long day on campus or at work. A healthy snack that I like to munch on is trail mix that consists of cranberries, chocolate chips and raw pecans or almonds. This trail mix is a great energy booster and it really fills you up!
That may seem like a lot but you probably tackle most of those just by walking to all of your classes. Setting a goal like 10,000 steps per day is a great idea because it serves as an encouragement. Most smart phones have apps that track your steps for you so that you can see if you are meeting your goal or not. Having a goal to meet each day will motivate you to get up and move.
This is a very important tip because if you have someone to exercise with, they will hold you accountable. My friend and I compared our schedules and found times throughout our week when we could meet up and run together or play racquetball together (even though we are terrible at it).
Sleep is very important because lack of sleep can affect your concentration, energy and stress levels, body image and defense against sickness. If getting an adequate amount of sleep is hard for you, try writing in your planner what time you are going to sleep each night, and what time you are going to wake up. If you are a late night crammer, try to adjust your schedule and do most of your studying throughout the day and in the early evening, rather than at midnight.
It’s that time of year again. We are a quarter of the way through the semester and getting slammed with the first round of exams. It is also time where a lot of students rush to the bookstore to pick up a last minute book. As a student employee at the bookstore, it is a stressful time for everyone so here are a few tips and tricks to Winona State’s bookstore:
1. Bring a printed schedule
One of the biggest problems we have at the bookstore is trying to help students find the correct book without their schedule. The bookstore is arranged alphabetically by department. The next thing we look for is the course number, followed by the class section number. This is why we need more than a list of your classes to help you find your books.
2. Renting is cheaper
This is because you don’t actually own the book. Some people have been told that they get all their money back once they return the textbook. However, this is not true. The rental price is what you are paying to use the book for the semester. It is also important to remember to return the book at the end of every semester. If you do not you will get charged the full cost of a new book plus a $25 fee.
3. Know the ways to get money back for your books
The only time you can get a full refund for a textbook is the first week of classes. Because of the way our system is set up we cannot take a book back after the first week. However, we do have a book buyer come in during finals week and you can try to sell your book back to them.
4. Ask for help
The most important tip! All of the workers at the bookstore are more than willing to help you find what you need. It is important to us to make sure you have the right book or product.
After freshman year it’s a little difficult to find housing. You can go through Winona State again and live somewhere else on campus, or you can find somewhere off campus. I chose the latter!
My friend and I were planning on living together on campus again, but found out that one of her classmates and friend were looking for a place to live next year also. We then decided to live off campus.
We knew that we could have pets because the other friend already had a dog. We thought it’d be great! Well, June 1st came and we all moved into our new place. She was working in her hometown for the summer so she dropped her stuff off and left to go back home.
I got a cat, and when my friend came back she discovered she was allergic to cats.
Things didn’t work out as far as living together, so here’s my first bit of advice: If you don’t know every quirk about your roommate(s) and can’t see yourself dealing with him or her, don’t live with them. Sometimes people don’t mesh well and that’s perfectly normal.
Now, my new roommate and I get along great! She deals with my quirks as do I with hers. We had to look for housing for next year since we don’t want to live with the dog, which was not fun.
We decided to go through the same landlord we have this year since she said she would give us a pet deal as we both have cats.
While deciding on a place was not easy or fun, the actual process was rather easy. We called our landlord and said we were looking for two bedroom places. She gave us some properties to look at on her website so we would have a better idea of the ones we like. We set up a time and place to meet and then took a tour of the places.
If you have never been on a house tour, they can sometimes be awkward. You walk into places that have people living there, and they’re sometimes even home at the time of your tour. So basically you intrude into their lives for about 10 minutes and imagine your stuff in place of theirs – kind of strange.
We looked at a total of three places, all on the same property.
The total time we spent looking at the places was probably around 15 minutes. After we were done, the landlord asked us if we had decided on what we wanted to do. And we had. We chose a cute little place just big enough for the cats and us. She gave us some time to think some more and we met at a neutral location: Hardee’s.
We sat down, signed leases and talked things over. Boom! Housing for next year, all set up. Plus we got some food!
So when looking for housing off campus here are some tips:
As a side note, if you decide to get a pet make sure your landlord is okay with it. Many landlords will kick you out if they find out you have a pet when the lease states that this is not allowed. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you and your pet will be homeless. It’s not fun for anyone.
World hunger has been a serious problem for years. 13.5% of the world is undernourished, according to the World Food Programme. That’s far too many people not getting the food they need daily. No one should have to worry about how they’re going to be able to get their next meal.
If people were asked, “If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?” some common answers may be “world peace” or “eliminate world hunger.” It might seem like a daunting task, but I feel we all can do our part in helping with world hunger. But, what can I do as a college student to help? Well I have an answer for you and it involves college students’ favorite word: FREE.
It’s a site called Free Rice. All you have to do is answer educational questions and there are different levels of difficulty for the questions to make it more challenging. You can answer questions in English, math, humanities, science and more. For each correct answer Free Rice donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme at no cost to you (you are also able to donate money on a monthly or yearly basis through this organization). So far over 98 billion grains of rice have been donated!
Not only are you making a difference by just sitting down at your computer, you might learn a thing or two! You can even make a game out of it and compete against your friends. Try making a bet with your friends and see who can donate the most grains of rice by a certain time. Sign up for an account on the site to look at your totals and join a group dedicated to answering as many questions as possible.
I challenge you to check out Free Rice this week and answer as many questions as you can! I hope you get hooked on this awesome website.
Have a great homecoming week, Warriors!
Don’t fall victim to the Freshman 15! Adjusting to a new environment can be hard, so here are a few easy ways you can stay healthy in college while keeping you and your bank account happy.
1. Get your exercise on using campus resources
Take advantage of everything you can during your years at Winona State! The IWC is great for any type of workout whether it’s running, playing basketball or weight lifting – there’s stuff for every one! Remember, you won’t have free access to a gym forever.
Dehydration can slow down your metabolism, so why not give your body more energy to burn those extra calories? Carry around a reusable water bottle and fill it up as many times as you can each day. It will also help keep you full so you won’t feel the need to snack as much.
What’s more fun than getting together with your friends and playing your favorite sport? Intramurals are a low-commitment opportunity that helps you exercise in a way that’s fun for every one! Winona State offers many different intramurals for coed, men and women that include basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, flag football and kickball.
We live in a valley of pure beauty so take advantage of it by using the lakes, river and the bluffs! From hiking up to the top of Sugarloaf, riding your bike along the water or canoeing in the lake – the opportunities are endless. Check out the lake lodge website for year-round activities on Lake Winona.
It’s so easy to waste a whole days worth of calories on liquids such as sodas and juice that won’t fill you up. Be mindful of what you’re drinking – there are so many healthy options that taste better than you think!
Just like you need caffeine in the morning to get yourself going, your body needs food to kick start the day! It doesn’t have to be fancy. A couple of eggs, a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal will help your body metabolize more throughout the day!
When you’re tired it’s so easy to reach for those sugary snacks to help boost your energy. Let sleep take place of those pesky snacks and/or reach for carrots instead!
Food is a simple and appealing way to hang out or see your friends, but a simple switch to hiking or taking a walk can make a huge difference (and save you lots of money, too)! Of course, the occasional triple order of topperstix won’t kill you.
We all need a little boost in the morning to help us get through our busy schedules, but adding all that extra sugar and cream in your coffee can really add up! Try drinking your coffee black or try other caffeinated drinks, like tea, that are calorie free!
Multitasking when you eat is a turn down the road to eating an entire bag of chips. When you’re not focusing on what you’re putting in your mouth its easy to lose track of all that you’ve eaten. Be mindful of what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. No one likes feeling sick from too many Doritos.
Looking for a way to make a difference here in Winona? Take a look at these 9 fun and easy things you can do!
Get your animal fix and help out with things like dog walking, cat care and special events! Volunteer on a regular basis or whenever it works with your schedule.
Make a difference in the life of a child while having fun. Become a big and spend time with your little!
Join in on Saturday construction projects to help build homes for the less fortunate, or spend some time volunteering at the Restore! Whether you’re looking to get your hands dirty or want to help costumers, you’ll be making a difference at Habitat for Humanity.
This is great for anyone who loves to work with kids or is looking to pursue a career in the education field. Volunteer at Winona Area Public Schools and help students grow while having fun.
Your local YMCA is always looking for volunteers to help with coaching, childcare, summer camp and office hours. No matter what your interest may be, you can find a volunteer option that’s right for you.
Winona’s Salvation Army is always accepting of donations. Clean out your closet and storage units this fall and donate gently used items to a great cause!
Winona Volunteer Services provides many opportunities for students in the community. Whether you’re looking to participate in a day project or volunteer throughout the year, Winona Volunteer Services offers positions involving food, clothing and packaging to help you make a difference.
St. Anne of Winona welcomes volunteer bingo callers, mail sorters, water passers and newspaper readers.
There are always those in need of blood transfusions and the Southeast Minnesota American Red Cross visits Winona twice a year to give you an opportunity to save a life. Just don’t look at the needle and think about all the free cookies you’ll get once you’re done!
I’ve experienced multiple homecomings in my past few years here at WSU. Which means there have been many games, fun times with friends and tons of school spirit. It’s a huge motivator for me for the rest of the year!
Because I’ve had so much experience, I would like to pass that off to you to make your week super memorable.
The stereotype is that homecoming equals all the alcohol you can have. While few people may take this literally, you would be surprised on how many people actually don’t consume any alcohol and have an AWESOME week. So, let’s get started…
1. Get outside!
It’s going to be cold soon, so get outside while you can! Use homecoming to leave your room, get some Vitamin D and participate in fun activities. Go disc golfing, take some pictures and spend time by the lake! Or, if you’re adventurous, hike up Garvin Heights or Sugarloaf. The opportunities are endless.
2. Support University events and bring your friends
UPAC and other clubs/organizations put on a multitude of events this week to make sure you’re not bored. Basically, it’s a pass for free food and fun! Check out what’s going on this week on Winona State’s Facebook page or website. If you are worried about going alone, drag your roommate with you (not literally, of course).
3. See if your RA is doing anything!
Usually the RAs are stuck in the buildings during homecoming Saturday and the day after. Chances are they’ll probably be in their rooms or doing rounds in the building. Keep them company! Coming from experience, we don’t get to go outside and have fun, so we’re more than willing to hang out with you and get to know you better. Heck, there probably will be free food involved! We’re not scary. Promise.
4. Have a chill Netflix night with friends (or have a homework party – your choice)
Homecoming is a way to make connections and have fun with other people! Take advantage of that. Get to know your fellow floor and building-mates. It will help later as you network with other people in your building and our campus! Nothing brings people together like a good ole Netflix binge. But, don’t use this as an excuse to not do your homework – you don’t want to be playing catch up for the rest of the semester!
5. Bring your roommates and floor-mates to the football game
If you’re an avid football fan, or even if you’re not, the homecoming game is always a fun time to go out and show your Warrior pride! It’s full of blasting music, screaming fans and it’s just an experience that really only happens once a year. Take advantage of it! Besides, we get free admission to games. The game is at 2:30pm on Saturday, so go and support your fellow Warriors!
Have a safe and fun homecoming!