While you are in college you will encounter a ton of life-changing experiences. While most prefer to endure those experiences independently, there are others who would like to have a "someone" along for the ride. But in all honestly the hardest part is knowing where to look to meet this person. If you are actively searching for a boyfriend or girlfriend, continue reading below to learn how to narrow your search.
The very first thing you can do is attend freshman orientation during the summer. During orientation your college will host a variety of events to get you familiarized with the campus and will mandate that you take some "welcoming" courses. This is the perfect time to socialize and interact with people in a innocent and approachable way. This is because you will be surrounded with people who are just like you: green and filled with questions. So make some new friends by approaching them with small talk or asking a few questions. If you happen to click and connect with someone then exchange phone numbers, emails or add each other on a social networking site. If it turns out that it is nothing more than friendship then that’s still great—you’ll want to have at least one friend when you start school.
Another great way to meet someone is to live in a dorm or apartment complex and get to know your neighbors. Asking for that cup of sugar might lead to you meeting someone great. It’s also important to participate in events such as dorm dances, apartment BBQs or swimming parties. Whatever you do just make sure that you don’t stay cooped up in your all day. As the old expression goes, your future girlfriend or boyfriend won’t come knocking on your door (that is unless they happen to be the maintenance guy or the UPS lady.)
The most ideal and practical place that you can find someone is in join a club or organization. What makes meeting someone in an organization so special is that everyone there shares your similar likes and interests. And unlike during class where you only have a few short minutes before and after the bell to talk with that cute guy or girl you’ve been eyeing, you can talk more comfortably and for longer periods of time with people in club meetings. Not to mention you’ll have more ample opportunities to talk during volunteer work and other club-related events. So you are more likely to meet someone who you will be able to connect with.
Online, in special issue magazines, and in indexed books and manuals, high schoolers and their parents can find everything they need to know to confuse them about the college admission process. From financial aid, to majors to residential life to class size to selectivity, there's a lot that college applicants have to sort out before they even visit the guidance counselor. Finding the best university that fits your academic, social and career-prep needs isn't easy, but it doesn't have to be quite so trying either. Whether you're starting the college search process or have a specific question about recruitment, financial aid or the Common App essay question, try reading these easily digestible blog posts first.
Here you'll find tips from bloggers about researching schools and picking the best ones for your personality and goals.
- 5 Major Tips — Find the Right Fit: This post explains why choosing the right college involves more than finding corresponding majors and class sizes.
- Princeton Review Ranks 286 "Greenest" Colleges: If going to a green college is important to you, learn about green ratings and the Princeton Review's list here.
- Top 40 Colleges That Facebook: Follow a college's Facebook page to learn more about the everyday events and news on campus.
- American Institute for Economic Research — Best College Towns: If you want a lively college town, read this post for rankings of the best.
- Why I Like Liberal Arts Colleges to Prepare for Medical School: If you want to go to medical school or another type of graduate school, you might think that attending a big-name research school is your best option. This post will ask you to think differently.
- The First Step in College Selection: Self-Analysis: Full of insider tips, this post encourages you to think about your rank, your interests, and your personality type.
- Finding a Great College in Your Region: If you want a school that's closer to home, read this post for tips on finding the best colleges in your region.
- How to Choose the Right College: This post is a good start for students just beginning the college search, and it lists several questions to consider before applying.
- College Recruiting Process: How to Find the Right Colleges: Athletes hoping to play in college can learn how to pick schools and make contact with coaches here.
- Community Colleges Offer More Than Associate's Degrees: Here you'll learn that community colleges can still be a valid education option for you, especially if you're having trouble scraping up the cash for a larger university in the beginning.
Find out how to pay for school with the help of these blog posts.
- 15 Financial Aid Resources for College Students: Find government resources, scholarship vaults and more.
- How to review and compare your college award letters: Find out which school is really giving you the best deal when you learn how to compare award letters.
- 9 Financial Aid Questions to Ask Before Choosing a College : This very detailed, easy-to-read post should help you prioritize financial need and understand the different kinds of aid.
- Use an Aid Calculator to Get the Real Cost of College: Don't start applying for financial aid until you understand the real cost of college.
- Tips on evaluating your financial aid award: SimpleTuition.com's blog outlines what you need to know to evaluate your need and your awards.
- Tips to Win the Scholarship Game: Here you'll learn to think outside the box when it comes to funding your education.
- Four Tips to Be Prepared for Next Semester's Tuition Bill: Also a good resource for incoming freshmen, get tips on paying off credit cards, budgeting total college expenses, and controlling student loan debt.
Find out which classes you need to take when, how to get noticed by admissions, and more.
- College Preparation Action Plans: Find out what you need to start doing by 8th grade and each year in high school with this well-organized chart.
- Private vs. Public-How Different Types of Colleges View Admissions: Rank, grades, essays and other admitting factors aren't necessarily held to the same standards at public universities as they are at private colleges, and vice versa.
- Don't hide, Get noticed by colleges: This post outlines "your college contact strategy" and will help you meet student representatives, plan a college visit, and more.
- Will a Consultant Get You into Top US Colleges?: Here you'll consider the pros and cons of a consultant, and if that's the edge you really need.
- SAT vs ACT: Applerouth Tutoring Services' blog has created this must-read post for anyone wanting in-depth comparables on the SAT and ACT.
- How to Get into College with a Low GPA : You can still get into college with a low GPA, but you have to know how to pitch yourself the right way.
Get help filling out your applications correctly and on time.
- Be on Target with College Application Musts: This post explains when you should start writing essays, register for SAT and ACT exams, fill out FAFSA, and more.
- Is Early Decision Right for You: If financial aid is a big concern, you might not want to apply as an ED student.
- 2010 What Colleges Look for in Admitting Students: You'll find a breakdown of how colleges rated the importance of things like class rank, counselor recommendation, demonstrated interest, and other factors for 2010.
- Paul's "Paul's Top Ten Common-Sense College Application Tips": Paul's mom joked that he was qualified to write a book on the application process once he finished and got into MIT. Here he shares the strategies that worked for him.
Writing the Essay
Get tips on writing creative, honest, stand-out essays here.
- Dealing With the Most Common College Application Essay Prompt: Get tips on tackling the "ethical dilemma" prompt.
- 10 Tips for Writing the College Application Essay: The Professors' Guide blog on U.S. News and World Report's website lists several recommendations for writing a concise, likable essay.
- Tips for writing your college essay: Andy from The ACT Student Blog encourages you to start early and to give in to brainstorming, even if you think you already have a good idea.
- How Should I Start My College Essay? 6 Essential Tips: Tips here prompt you to remember the competition, and avoid pity parties and famous quotations.
- Tip Sheet: An Admissions Dean Offers Advice on Writing a College Essay: Connecticut College's dean of admissions and financial aid shares tips for stand-out essays.
- 4 Tips on Nailing Your College Admission Essay: This post cautions against writing too much and focusing on your awards.
If you're having trouble finding someone to write a recommendation letter for your application, read these posts.
- How to Get Killer College Recommendation Letters : Find out how to get winning recommendation letters from teachers and counselors.
- How Many Recommendation Letters Should You Send?: Don't overdo it, this blogger says.
Interviews and Visits
Find common interview questions, college visit checklists, and more.
- Preparing for a College Interview: Find out what to expect for informal and formal interviews, get tips on what to wear, and prep for some key questions.
- College Visit: 31 Questions You Need to Ask: Print out this post and check-list to prepare for visits with professors, admissions, financial aid offices, and students.
- Recruiting Visits 101: This two-part video series helps families plan for sports recruiting visits — official and unofficial ones.
- Acing Your College Interview: Find an ample list of some of the most common college interview questions here.
- Why to Schedule Overnight College Visits: Learn why overnight college visits will help you get a better feel for dorm life and the school.
- 8 Tips for a Successful College Visit: If you don't branch out on your own, eat with the other students or take pictures and notes, you might miss out.
Going to College
Start imagining yourself at college as a successful, positive student when you read these posts.
- Graduating High School? Don't Forget to Take Care of the Details!: This post from WiseChoice.com includes a College Enrollment Checklist with list items like "confirm housing deposit received" and "confirm orientation date."
- How to get the right college roommate: The Answer Sheet blog helps nervous freshmen figure out how to get a good roommate and approach residential life if you have problems with your first try.
- 10 Tips for College Students: Steve Pavlina outlines fantastic tips for college students that inspire success, organization and motivation for incoming freshmen and upperclassmen alike.
- Protect Yourself from the Biggest Mistakes First-year College Students Make: Learn how to avoid cutting classes, developing a bad attitude, and becoming too isolated.
- What to Expect from College Professors: Professors are pretty different from high school teachers, so don't expect them to treat you the same way.
- Things You Must Do in Your First Week of College: Get lost, claim your study spot, and meet your dorm mates.
- 8 Tips for New College Freshmen or How to Survive Your First Day of College: This list should inspire you to eat healthy, use the writing lab, and remember to sleep.
- The Freshman 15: Tips for Meeting New People: Even if you already know some people on campus, this post will help you branch out and expand your circle.
- What They Didn't Tell You in College Orientation: You'll probably gain some weight and will have to watch out for STDs, but you can also find great deals around town.
Visiting another country can always be a great experience. Seeing a new culture and lifestyle right before your eyes can be very enlightening. Going abroad allows you the opportunity to see the different ways of life outside the United States. It is diverse cultures that can help you see things from a different perspective.
When you travel outside your own country, you are able to see how your home land is viewed in the eyes of others. Going abroad can broaden your mind, and teaches you that there is more than just one way to live and grow as a society. This new information gives you more choices in your own life, providing you with the opportunity to make a change for the better.
Travelling with classmates through a school program can be even more beneficial than if you were to go on an adventure alone. Colleges and universities have access to more exotic and fascinating venues through their connections. There are places a lone back-packer cannot venture to alone. Schools provide translators, making communication with natives more clear and concise. Going abroad with friends and other students allows you to discuss your thoughts on every experience with people who are going through the same thing. They will understand where you are coming from as opposed to someone back home who may not be as knowledgeable on the country you were in.
Being able to see something in a textbook and feeling it with your hands are very different. You can read books and books on China or Spain, but until you visit these countries, you will never possess your own personal views and opinions. Not everyone sees things in the same light. Every country has its own personality and lifestyle, and it is all just waiting to be explored.
As travelling can be expensive, it is important to first research a land you may have an immense amount of interest in. Maybe this is a country you never even thought of before. Look at climate, culture, population, wealth, safety, and other characteristics when considering your destination. However no matter where your travels may take you, it is always important to view things with an open mind. Be willing to try new things and take full advantage of your allocated time abroad. Check out your school’s information on going abroad to see what programs are being offered.
As a college student, when your schedule becomes so jam-packed that you are living in the library or bringing a pillow to your Chem lab, it can be easy to forget about having fun, which is one of the most important things to remember. This may seem like obvious wisdom, but, for many students, the pressure to make good grades and secure a job after graduation can lead to a very imbalanced life while in school. Here are some reasons why you should be having as much fun as you can.
Having fun actually does reduce stress. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline) and growth hormone. It also increases the level of neurotransmitters and hormones like endorphins, which are major health enhancers. So, although it may feel like you desperately need the extra hour of study time that it would take to grab a coffee with friends, realistically, you may actually reap more benefits from having fun for a while. Not only will your body have the ability to de-stress, you will fuel yourself with necessary feel-good hormones that will help you go the extra mile in that last leg of studying.
Going out of your way to have a good time in college will also result in better friendships. When you spend time doing things that you enjoy, you are a more balanced and interesting person and automatically more attractive to others. You also have much more of an opportunity to meet new people while doing something fun, as opposed to studying in your room or eating in the lab. If you find yourself in a routine when it comes to your schedule and study habits, try eating somewhere outside or allot a specific amount of time during the week to doing something that will make you happy, like going to the movies.
True friendships are hugely important for your well-being. Balance your work and play time and you will be happier and more apt to make meaningful relationships.
Do Better Than Ever on Your School Work
Not only will taking some time for fun enhance your day, it will ultimately improve the strength of your coursework. If you break up your study time with feel-good activities, you will no longer be piling stress-related activities on top of one another. This will help your body return to an equilibrium and perform better in all the functions necessary to retain information and think logically.
Although your education should be your first priority while in school, if it is your only priority, you run the risk of ultimately doing damage to your health and the quality of your education. So, next time you’ve been in the library for a good four hours and your friends call for a coffee break, go with them!
It is well now that consuming certain foods is vital for fighting off illness and remaining healthy. But did you know that there are also foods that aid in brain power? To learn what foods can get your mind cranking so you can ace that next exam continue reading below.
If you are a seafood lover, you might consume this ingredient on a regular basis anyhow. Research shows that foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (like salmon) work wonders on the brain. This is because experts have found that omega 3 fatty acids are directly associated with the development and functioning of your brain. Most experts suggest eating 2 to 4 ounces of salmon per week. So whip out a can or pouch of salmon and some crackers the next time you’re out of ideas for lunch.
One of the easiest brain boosting ingredients you can eat is the incredible edible egg. Not only is it filled with tons of protein but it is also infused with those healthy omega- 3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Similar to omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins are supposed to aid in the creation of new brain cells. Experts suggest eating about 4 eggs per week. So scramble or fry an egg for breakfast or boil one up for a light lunch.
If you’re looking for something to munch on in-between meals or during class, eat a few almonds. Like most of the ingredients mentioned, almonds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, but they also have a large amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants are a life saver because they promote health by actively working to remove substances that can be harmful to our brain. Experts suggest eating about 1 ounce every other day. So pack a few in your lunch kit for a great snack.
If you aren’t a fan of nuts but enjoy eating a lot of berries like cranberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, then stock up because these low-cal snacks are loaded with antioxidants . Not only will they help with brain development but can also help flush our harmful substances that can cause illnesses and diseases. Experts suggest eating one cup of berries about two to three time a week. So if you’re allergic to almonds or just to like the taste, choose some tart and juicy berries instead. You can eat them plain or add them in a salad to give it some color.
By Donna Reish
Considering the fertility of most kids' and young adults' imaginations, the science-fiction and fantasy genres seem a natural fit for many readers. Parents and teachers hoping to encourage them to pick up a book and expand their minds may want to skim over this list — compiled from recommendations by public libraries and ardent fans of sci-fi — for something appealing. Be sure to click on the links for more information about appropriate age ranges, especially for some of the more mature classics.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle: This whip-smart novel introduced many children to the concepts behind tesseracts, time travel and many other real scientific concepts applied to a purely speculative setting.
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: Perfect for high school students curious about the tenets of dystopian literature, with more emphasis on philosophy than technology.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: Several interlocking stories spanning a wide time frame question what life might be like if human colonized Mars.
The Ender's Game Series by Orson Scott Card: The brilliant eponymous character must lead humanity into battle against alien assaults in this multiple award-winning classic sci-fi series.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams: More appropriate for high school readers, the incomparable Hitchhiker's Guide books soar through the universe with some truly unique characters and gut-busting humor.
The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov: Like Ray Bradbury, pretty much all of Isaac Asimov's sci-fi writings would appeal to young adults (kids probably not so much), but the Foundation novels remain some of his most influential.
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson: Teenage girls who enjoy strong female protagonists, dystopias and the tenets of cyberpunk seriously need to pick up one of the most essential Neal Stephenson novels.
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark: Yet another writer whose entire oeuvre probably deserves inclusion here, the story of mysterious monoliths, the eerie HAL 9000 and the humans they impact for good or for ill.
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells: The Time Machine and The Island of Dr. Moreau could easily work on this list as well, but H.G. Wells' infamous tale of an alien invasion is probably one of his most recognized and adapted works — making it a nice place to start when diving into his works.
The Giver by Lois Lowry: A classic dystopian novel, The Giver is an excellent read for kids who feel a bit out of step with their surroundings.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne: Many of Jules Verne's beloved writings traipse the line between science fiction and fantasy, but this imaginative classic tips mostly towards the former.
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut: The debut novel by one of America's most beloved authors makes for a very nice introduction to dystopian science-fiction. As one can probably imagine, it's mainly suited for older high school students.
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem: Older young adults hoping to see technological wonders peppered with plenty of provocative philosophy would do well to explore Stanislaw Lem's masterpiece.
Neuromancer by William Gibson: If cyberpunk seems appealing, readers can do no better than to pick up one of the defining novels of the science-fiction subgenre.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Abject horror and abused science converge in one of the most beloved English-language novels ever committed to print.
The Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert: One exceptional spice sits at the center of an interstellar conflict wrought with intrigue and adventure, granting great esteem and power to all who consume it.
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton: High school students can wax nostalgic over the "dinosaur phase" that nearly every child experiences by exploring a wondrous, dangerous destination from the safety of a book.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick: Follow a day in the life of bounty hunter Rick Deckard as he tracks and shuts down some ridiculously human robots.
The Ringworld Series by Larry Niven: Aliens, insanely advanced technologies and imaginative adventures launched the Ringworld books to international acclaim and solidifying its place amongst the best science fiction literature.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: This tear-jerker began life as a short story before expanding upon the tale of a mentally handicapped man undergoing a revolutionary procedure to improve his intelligence.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: Explore some fantastic new worlds through a philosophical lens, courtesy of Ursula K. Le Guin's heavily influential novel.
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: One of the most masterful English-language adventure writers places protagonist John Carter in a daring, life-threatening quest to save the eponymous royal woman.
Flatland by Edwin Abbot: Especially appropriate for high school students with a particular fondness for math and literary criticism, Flatland ruthlessly satirizes Victorian society using a very unique cast of characters.
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein: Raised by Martians, the human Valentine Michael Smith experiences culture shock when interacting with Earth culture — which ends up sealing his eventual fate.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: Another quintessential dystopia, depicting a severely numb, sterile world without any real emotions, sensations or individuality.
Possible Future Classics
Alien Secrets by Annette Curtis Klause: A young girl befriends a frightened alien frantically searching for a lost artifact in a memorable, acclaimed science-fiction mystery.
Aliens Don't Wear Braces by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones: The Bailey School Kids suspect their eccentric new art teacher with white hair and braces may hail from another planet. In quite a literal sense.
Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson: When sinister cetaceans plot to conquer humanity with their laser eyes and sky-high stilts, three plucky kids have to put an end to the shenanigans in this absolutely hilarious postmodern tale.
The Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate: In order to stave off a dire invasion by mind-controlling aliens, a small throng of friends have to transform into different Earth animals using some decidedly un-Earthly means.
Jumper by Steven Gould: Young David Rice possesses a strange teleportation power and cannot place its origins. Unfortunately for him, its initial benefits start giving way to more nasty bits.
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield: Arbitrary beauty memes come to their logical and tragic conclusion, forcing people into staunch conformity. At least until Tally Youngblood comes along with a few challenges of her own.
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer: Societies full of clones and humans with chips overriding their intelligence raise some intense, yet age-appropriate, questions regarding the nature of existence and free will.
Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman: Joss Aaronson's new alien roommate Mavkel takes her on a strange and beautiful journey through time and space, with plenty of adventure and humor to spare.
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix: Two elderly women undergo a dangerous and controversial procedure to age themselves backwards, but the expected unintended consequences start filtering in one by one.
The Norby Chronicles by Janet and Isaac Asimov: The affable, scatterbrained robot from the title has to pair up with one of his human students in order to thwart a possible universal takeover.
The White Fox Chronicles by Gary Paulsen: 14-year-old prison camp escapee Cody Pierce must go back and free his peers from the machinations of the Confederation of Consolidated Republics.
Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl: Part fantasy, part science-fiction, this novel for young adult readers places a young woman in the center of an interplanetary conflict between technology and magic.
The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick: Set in a postapocalyptic future, a throng of kids struggle to survive as society divides itself along genetic lines.
Aliens for Breakfast by Jonathan Etra and Stephanie Spinner: When a tiny alien pops out of his morning cereal, a young boy finds his day entirely hijacked by stopping an impending invasion.
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer: The titular individuals attempt to rid the world of the invisible Parasite race, but as the narrative unfolds they begin questioning exactly what the little blue creatures do for humanity.
The Commander Toad Series by Jane Yolen: Follow the courageous Commander Toad and the crew of the good space ship Star Warts on their fun, fantastic voyages across the universe.
The Duplicate by William Sleator: Things go entirely awry when David discovers a machine capable of duplicating organic matter and uses it to help him appear in two places at once.
My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville: Substitute teacher Mr. Smith (IF THAT'S HIS REAL NAME) reall has it out for one particular sixth-grade class — and the world!
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow: A whip-smart young adult novel channeling post-9/11 fear and paranoia resulting from heightened surveillance, with events taking place in a science-fiction San Francisco following a terrorist attack.
Girl in Landscape by Jonathan Lethem: Masterful Jonathan Lethem bottles up the real confusion and anxiety of adolescence in an imaginative interplanetary setting perceived with some very terrestrial perspectives.
Eva by Peter Dickinson: Thanks to science, a young woman mortally injured in a car crash gets a second chance at life in the body of a chimpanzee.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson: After waking from a coma (it's really serious), the eponymous character learns the sordid truth about her recovery and the mysteriously keen intelligence that came with it.
The Hunger Games Trilogy: by Suzanne Collins: Gladiatorial children compete for political and regional dominance at the behest of a collapsed United States reborn as a ruthless dystopia.
An Audience for Einstein by Mark Wakely: Scientists fight over the body of Miguel Sanchez, selected to receive great knowledge and wealth as the recipient of a dying astrophysicist's memories — but forced to sacrifice his own individuality in the process.
Dancing with an Alien by Mary Logue: Teenagers fond of doomed romances may want to pick up this science-fiction love story of a young lady and the invading alien who loves her.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve been forced to do it already, doing laundry is never an enjoyable experience. It seems the only feeling of satisfaction it provides is when you have finally folded and tucked away your last article of clothing, and you know that you will not have to go through the painful process for at least another week.
To make the whole laundry business a bit more tolerable, there are simple things you can do to make the entire procedure easier on yourself, and your clothes. The first thing a college student should always consider before they start to drag their trash bag full of t-shirts and jeans down to the laundry room is whether it is going to be crowded or not. Be sure to check first, but it is usually a safe bet that weekends should be avoided at all cost. Most college students always wait until Saturday and Sunday to reorganize their lives after a busy week of learning.
A simple way to check if your laundry room is empty or busy is by visiting the website laundryview.com. Most schools have their facilities on the website, meaning you can avoid a trip through rain or snow with just the click of a mouse.
The main component when doing laundry is waiting for the time to be right. It is when students are in class that you should take advantage of an immense amount of free washers and dryers. If you have a favorite pair of jeans, you can treat your special piece of denim to its own personal washing machine. If you can’t find the time during a weekday, early mornings and late nights are also a good alternative. You will be surprised how enjoyable a midnight wash can be, especially when it gives you a necessary break from studying or working on a project.
However when you are doing laundry the most important thing to always remember is to not forget your clothes. When abandoned, you will find that your nicer polo’s or cute tops seem to vanish from their original pile. To some, the laundry room is like the dollar store, only they think everything is free.
Now it should be pointed out that in most cases, college washers and dryers are never the most top of the line models. Mixing colors can sometimes result in your wardrobe adding a little more tie-dye to it. Play it safe, hot water for whites and cold water for everything else is always a smart play. Now you are ready to grab that bottle of Tide and get to work.
Young men and women learn very quickly in their first semester of college that their new environment does not consist of a lot of parental guidance. It is a drastic change in lifestyle from what these young adults have been living with their entire lives. In this transitional period, students create their own rules, allowing them to eat or drink whatever it is that they want, whenever they want it.
Students are presented with an enormous amount food, and the most common reaction freshman have to this smorgasbord of nourishment is to eat as much as their bodies will allow. Making your own food choices for the first time allows a student the freedom to experiment and not eat as healthy as they may have if they were still living at home. The common choices made by new students are pizza and ice cream. They eat what tastes good to them, which is usually junk food.
What makes things worse is that they are not only consuming food with limited nutritional value, they are also eating in a higher volume than ever before. Meal plans that are designed by universities to give students control over their own diet. A common flaw found in having this format is that the meal plan is abused, and students begin overeating. It doesn’t help that most dining halls are buffet style. This layout gives students an endless amount of high calorie foods for them to consume, only further preventing students from having more of a structured diet. The human body cannot handle this abuse, which is why excess poundage is gained.
Having a class schedule that drastically changes day to day can result in meals being skipped. But people have to eat, so snack foods and unhealthy dishes that can be heated up in a microwave take the place of what used to be a nice salad and main course back in their parent’s home. Still the most impactful ingredient in every new student’s diet, is the large quantities of alcohol they are consuming. Potential binge drinking can be more damaging than any amount of pizza or hamburgers. Coincidently it is alcohol that attracts students to then greasy and fatty foods, putting a student’s body through the wringer.
The simple solution is for every freshman to take it slow, and ease into their new environment. Try and eat the foods their parents served them, and limit the snacks and sweets. Not giving into peer pressure can be a challenge but is necessary when it comes to taking care of your body. Exercise can be a fun social activity with new friends. From basketball to lifting weights, college campuses tend to have the facilities students need to stay healthy and in-shape. It is now up to these young adults to adjust and take care of themselves.
It’s important to be as conscious as we can about the impact we are making on the environment. As much as you may have focused on protecting the environment before college, it can seem a little more difficult to attempt from a dorm room. Actually, you can still make a big impact while living on campus, and there are many ways to be a little greener.
Recycle, or Start a Program
Recycling is one of the best ways to help protect the environment, and, with landfills overflowing, every little bit helps. Make a note of where recycling depositories are located across campus, and remember to recycle whenever possible. Paper is easy to recycle, and you will probably go through quite a bit of it. It’s also painless to recycle aluminum cans and glass bottles, which will most likely be scattered around your room, as well. If your school doesn’t recycle, talk to an administrator about it or get a petition going.
Save and Protect the Water Supply
Buying a water filter not only saves water and energy, it also saves you money. You will more than likely have to buy some sort of water for your dorm room, and those stacks of bottled water can add up. Another easy thing to do is use products with chemicals that are biodegradable and will not pollute the water supply. You can find greener cleaning and bathing products online or at most supermarkets.
Turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them. This small action actually makes a huge difference in your overall energy consumption. You can also change your light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which use less energy.
You can buy gently used furniture and clothes from thrift stores near campus. This saves energy, natural resources, and money. If the thought of sitting on someone else’s couch grosses you out, you can still re-sell or donate your stuff at the end of the semester, rather than throwing it away
Change Your Shopping Habits
Buy local produce when possible. It’s fresher, tastes better, and uses up less resources in production. You can also buy a small set of real dishes instead of paper or plastic. Washing them quickly after eating takes a little effort, but you will also be throwing away so much less trash per semester. If you know you’re not going to be able to keep up with dish-washing, you can still purchase items that are made from recycled material or are biodegradable. It is still best, though, to use recyclable plastics, give them a quick rinse, and recycle them. The time it takes for biodegradable products to break down makes recycling the greener option.
College students make for an intriguing bunch to consider. Essentially living on a compound, surrounded by their peers in a halfway house between forced maturity in the real world and marginal responsibility in a campus bubble, college students often get away with behaviors that startle many researchers. While binge drinking, poor diets and little-to-no sleep could wreck the life of a middle-aged man, some college students are able to bounce back after a night involving all three and ace an exam in the morning. Others aren’t so lucky and suffer bad grades, nights in the hospital or even sexual or physical abuse as a result. Through these research studies, doctors and scientists examine all kinds of psychological factors, behaviors and environmental issues affecting college students, helping higher ed set new guidelines for safer, better campuses.
- Facebook might lead to lower grades: Facebook — which started as a networking site exclusively for college students — gets a bad rap for Big Brother-like monitoring, tempting young people to sabotage their career prospects by posting scandalous photos, and for being a total time waster, and now it may be a scapegoat for bad grades, too. A study organized by graduate students at Ohio State University and Ohio Dominican University found that, while the majority of Facebook users didn’t think logging onto the site hurt grades, students who participated in the study and did use Facebook had GPAs of .5 – 1.0 points lower than those who didn’t. Students who did not have a Facebook account maintained GPAs of 3.5-4.0. The biggest identifying factor in lower grades and poor academic habits was noted in terms of time spent studying: Facebook users only studied one to five hours per week, while those not on Facebook studied 11 to 15 hours per week. Undergraduates and graduate students were studied, but significantly less graduate students had Facebook accounts.
- Online students perform better than students in a classroom: The New York Times reported in August 2009 the findings of a study conducted by SRI International on behalf of the Department of Education on the success of online students versus students who attended classes in an actual classroom. For 12 years, in K-12 settings and in colleges and adult continuing-education programs, researchers found that students with at least some online instruction generally performed in the 59th percentile, while those with no online learning scored in the 50th percentile. Researchers believe that the technology may not be the defining factor in the separation: the independent and customized learning programs that online learning tends to emphasize probably made the difference.
- College students are less empathetic: This study garnered lots of media attention when it was released in 2010: college students are less empathetic than students were 30 years ago. Scientific American pointed to the study as a kind of proof for backing the "Generation Me" epidemic that has spread thanks to social media sites, which allow people to feel more disconnected to actual circumstances and people’s feelings. The 30-year study was presented at the Association for Psychological Science, and scientists found that levels of empathy had declined about 40% over the entire time period, with the most dramatic drop occurring in the last nine years.
- Cyberbullying in college: Parents and kids across the country have seen a spike in bullying cases and cyberbullying episodes, but college students living on campus aren’t removed from the problem, either. Baylor University doctoral student Ikuko Aoyama conducted a study on sex differences in cyberbullying and bullying at the college level. Ikuko proposed that since so many middle and high schoolers participate in bullying — even as victims bullying back, a trend made easier thanks to social media and virtual websites — they will continue their behavior in college.
- Women are underrepresented in academia: This 2004 study was actually the first ever "comprehensive national analysis of college faculty positions held by female and minority males at the nation’s top math, science and engineering departments," which makes the findings of the study less surprising. It seems that women and minorities weren’t even given enough attention or support to answer claims of prejudice or unfairness in hiring practices until the study was conducted. Led by University of Oklahoma chemistry professor Dr. Donna Nelson, the study concluded that between 3 and 15% of full professors at the nation’s top engineering and science departments were women. While the number of women who have been pursuing doctorate degrees in the last 20 years has increased dramatically, they’re not being rewarded with the top jobs in academia.
- Alcohol-Related Mortality and Morbidity: Alcohol has been a big problem for campuses, students, public health campaigns, and the higher education system in general, but a study conducted between 1998-2005 revealed some scary statistics about how deadly alcohol can be for college students. Conducted by doctors and scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the study found that alcohol-related unintentional injury deaths increased for the college set (ages 18-24) 3% per 100,000 from 1998-2005. Driving under the influence of alcohol increased between 7 and 9% proportionally, and between 1999-2005; the students who admitted drinking five or more drinks on one occasion within the last month increased from 41.7% to 44.7%. By age group, most increases occurred within the 21-24 set, within the legal drinking age.
- STDs are most common college student threat: After some of the previous research studies we listed, you might think that bullying, binge drinking, or drinking and driving are the biggest threats to college students, but in fact, it’s STDs. A 2005 study conducted by Scholly, Katz, Gascoigne and Holck followed undergraduate students at four American universities. They found that 80% of the students they followed "had at least one sexual partner during the preceding year." Because another study — conducted by the department of Health Sciences at Columbia University — found that 20-25% of college students around the U.S. have or have transmitted an STD, the findings from Scholly, Katz, Gascoigne and Holck’s research are especially worrisome. If 80% of students are having sex, and nearly a quarter of them have STDs, you can imagine how fast HPV and chlamydia are spreading.
- Students are more narcisstic: College students aren’t just less empathetic, they’re also way more full of themselves, this study found. San Diego State University Professor Jean Twenge led the study asked over 16,000 college students to fill out evaluations between 1982 and 2006. The forms, called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, found steady increases in the responses of students, but by 2006, "two-thirds of the students had above-average scores," meaning they responded very positively to statements like, "I think I am a special person." Credited culprits? Professors named everything from social media and YouTube to the popular nursery rhyme, "Frere Jacques."
- Students don’t think binge drinking is a problem: While researchers found in one of our previously listed studies that more college students are binge drinking today, this study found that students don’t seem to get why it’s an issue. With participation and support from The Century Council and the Ad Council, researchers discovered that college students don’t "buy into the commonly used five drink/four drink definition" or even the idea of binge drinking, reports CampusSafetyMagazine.com. Students don’t tend to count standard drinks, either, and don’t respond to scare tactics or even peer messages in advertising: bad news for the councils that want to create effective campaigns to lower drinking levels.
- Students estimate that they drink more than they really do: Another alcohol-related study actually found that students estimate that they drink more than they really do, or at least come closer to the actual amount than researchers previously gave them credit for. While some of the findings from the previous study seem to hold true here — that students don’t count standard drinks and generally pour drinks that "are way too big" — this 2005 study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research discovered that students correctly estimated their BAC, which was then taken by breathalyzer for an exact calculation. One hundred four males and forty-eight females participated in the study, proving to researchers that college students are pretty good at understanding just how drunk they really are, no matter how many drinks — or drinks-and-a-half — they’ve had.