Stirring the Pot: Stayin’ Studious Without Losing a Screw

Trying to survive in college is stressful in and of itself; add exams, lack of sleep, and anxiety to the mix and you’re in for a rough time. Here are some helpful tips to stay sane yet studious.

Typically, I like to do investigative pieces — this is a bit of a deviation from my normal style but I found it quite fitting as we’re finishing off midterms and on the cusp of finals season. Yep, the exams and deadlines are here and we’re all in a frenzy of stress, anxiety, and a lack of sleep (which we all know we desperately need). The eyebags are forming, and so is the long, expensive list of Venti Starbucks Nitro Cold Brews, Monsters, and Guayaki Yerba Mates. But to be honest, I just hope you’re all doing okay. Or at least surviving. Anyways, I just thought I’d share some ways to not go completely batshit crazy from all the damn stress you’re probably facing right now. (And trust me, I’m  quite knowledgeable on the subject, as I’m a literal human ball of worry.)

ORGANIZE!

I know this isn’t a fresh, new idea, but it’s honestly the best way to assure you don’t feel as if you’re literally drowning in an ocean of papers, projects, and deadlines. And it’s a lot simpler than it seems — you don’t need to buy an expensive planner or be a bullet journaling master to tackle time management. Simply get a piece of paper (or use your phone notes app if you prefer) and just write out everything that’s stressing you out — all the things you have to do, and when they need to be done by. Literally just spill your brains out onto the page.

By releasing everything from your head to a documented place allows your mind to be relieved from all the pressure of remembering these tasks. Then plug them into your calendar! Plan out the week day-by-day and suddenly your tasks will seem much less daunting: as long as they’re spread out into time chunks — cramming is not the move! 

PRIORITIZE YOURSELF!

Assure you’re keeping your best interests in mind when making decisions. If you know you have a fat paper to write in TWO days that you have yet to start, then it’s probably in your best interest to take up your friend’s last-minute, yet extremely enticing offer to go to that party. Let yourself have enough time to complete your task without the pressure of the deadline waving over your head — pulling an all-nighter while chugging two sour apple reigns from the 7-eleven across the street is not the best situation to be in (coming from personal experience!). Not only can this lead to a mental breakdown (guilty), but it means you’re not doing your best work. But I know you’re still going to procrastinate, so to assure your all-night cram/work session won’t completely destroy your health, make sure you’re taking short breaks in which you leave your workspace and take a stretch or stroll. If you’re going to consume high quantities of caffeine, make sure to balance your water intake with the caffeine (not only will hydrating keep your mind sharp, but it will make the caffeine much more effective and long-lasting). Also, assure you’re eating healthy snacks — some of these could include nuts, berries, granola bars, or yogurt. NO TAKIS. PLEASE.

SLEEP!

Sleep is a precious gift. I know us college kids cherish (and I mean CHERISH) our sleep despite sacrificing it constantly. I know all the doctors tell us we need roughly 8 hours of sleep but honestly, I know I’m not getting it and it’s completely MY FAULT. Sleep is extremely crucial if we want our mental health to be in tip-top shape — one way to combat the lack of sleep I know we all have is by taking power naps. No, not four-hour naps that send us into another dimension of time, I’m talking about 15-20 minute naps in between classes. This short bit of sleep can give you the power to push through the day and be productive when you’re feeling like you can’t keep goin’ anymore. But make sure to be self-disciplined: don’t keep hitting snooze, but give yourself an incentive to get up, such as a good ol’ cuppa joe.

BALANCE YOUR TIME!

One of the most important tips I can give you is to just be self-aware of your productivity. If you know you’re overworking yourself, make sure to give yourself time to relax, let loose, and have fun! Reward yourself for your hard work when you know you deserve it. Make plans with friends or just let yourself sit back and veg on the couch! But this goes both ways: if you know you’ve been slacking a bit and you’re stressed from your lack of productivity in the face of a million daunting tasks, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Beating yourself up and calling yourself a failure isn’t going to do you any good. Remind yourself that you are capable of doing great things, pull your bootstraps on, and get your shit done! Take it little by little, assuring you’re not trying to get too much done in a short period of time. Honestly, the hardest part of doing anything is just starting. Type out that title page, start that outline, pull out that textbook, and break out those highlighters. Tell yourself that the task is NOT bigger than you and that you can take it.

Make sure to stay focused though — as I said before: if you know you haven’t been too productive lately, make sure to be intentional about how you’re spending your time. Don’t lay in bed for six hours if you know you have things to do, even if they’re stressing you out. In the end, your lack of productivity will make yourself feel MORE stressed in the end, and can affect the way you view yourself, which has a direct correlation to the quality of your mental health!

LOVE YOURSELF!

I hope some of these tips help you out. But honestly, give yourself a damn break. You’ve got this! You’re doing great. I know all these things are easier said than done, but just make sure you’re taking it all little by little. It’s not the end of the world if you mess up. We all do it – none of us are perfect students – or perfect people at that. Just try your best, plan as much as you can, and make sure you’re doing everything that’s in your best interest. You’ve made it this far, and honestly, that’s a huge achievement in itself! And as I’m sure you don’t hear this enough, I’m proud of you.

Written by: Olivia Flores
Featured Image: Prescence.io

Sdyle: Madison Santos

Today I was at the library and ran into the lovely Madison Santos. Madison is a Sociology major here at San Diego State, and she for sure dresses with spunk. We had a chat about some of her style inspirations, views on trends and how to dress with a difference by adding your own flavor. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Are there any people or profiles that give you inspiration?
I do, I follow a lot of photographers mostly, and then some models who I think have really good fashion sense. This is one one of my favorite profiles: shoptrendyandtipsy. I am actually making a top similar to this at the moment:
via shoptrendyandtipsy's Instagram

Do you often recreate your own clothes? 

Yes, and no. I am really skinny and a lot of clothes don’t fit me the right way. So I sometimes have to redo clothes to make them suit my body type. If I have extra fabric left over, I like to make little tube/tank tops or whatever.

One time I didn’t have any pants so I stole my boyfriend’s jeans, cut them, took them in at the sides, and made them into high waited shorts and they looked really cool.

What are some of your favorite places to shop in San Diego?

I guess there is nothing specific to San Diego, but I mostly shop at Brandy Melville, and when I can afford it, at Urban Outfitters. I also like a lot of boutique stores because I love clothes that people can’t find. I hate it when I buy something from Forever 21 and then see five people wearing the same thing. It’s nice having some individualism. I buy a lot of stuff when I go out of the country, too.

Do you have a favorite brand?

It definitely changes, but I am into things that are cottony, soft and cozy. I am starting to get more into ‘pretty girl grunge’ or ‘hipster girl grunge’ type stuff.

What’s one piece of clothing you have made the biggest splurge on?

There was this one time with my step dad when we were going to a funeral and he was trying to make things seem happier. My sister and mom had also gone away on holiday and I couldn’t go. So we went shopping at Nordstrom and I tried on a dress that he let me get. I get scared to wear it in college though, because I feel like everything we do is very sloppy and I don’t want to damage it. I haven’t had a chance to wear it a lot since I got it [in high school], but I’m sure I can still I can still rock it.

“I don’t really like wearing dresses and skirts… because I like to sit like a guy”

What’s your favorite staple?

I am definitely into skin tight leggings or sweat pants and then just a cozy tiny little tank top— that’s like my go to. I don’t really like wearing dresses and skirts… because I like to sit like a guy.

If you could swap wardrobes with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I can’t think of anyone in specific but definitely some boutique stores— and I would wear every single thing in the whole store.

Do you have anything that you want to share with everyone reading this?

I would say learning to dress to your body type is really important because your clothing is a way of expressing yourself. I take a lot of pride in the individualism that I put into my clothing and outfits. I also notice people who express themselves through clothing, so it’s a good way to connect with people. Everyone can look good; you don’t only need to look like skin and bones– like me– to look good. There are some things that I can’t pull off because I’m not curvy enough. Whatever you have, just flaunt it and be confident! It’s definitely a confidence booster to wear your clothes and feel good in them. You feel comfortable because you are finally being yourself.

I’m all for new trends, but I also like to make them my own. You should make it your individual thing—otherwise that’s just basic.

Check out Madison’s Instagram @ m.a.a.dycity

Get rocked: Behind the scenes of two campus movements

I had the pleasure of interviewing two campus leaders about two major initiatives taking place at SDSU : Sarah Bentley (California State Student Association Advocacy Officer) and Carmel Alon ( Vice-Chair of the External Relations Board of Associated Students). These women shed light on the Aztecs Rock Hunger and Rock the Vote campaigns happening for the duration of October through mid-November. The interviews originally aired on kcrlive.com during the Tuesday morning news show Coffee and Tee.

ROCK THE VOTE

Both Sarah and Carmel are heavily involved in political advocacy efforts for higher education. Regardless of party affiliation, they encourage students to register to vote. Rock the Vote is a segment hosted through the External Relations Board of Associated Students, but their work does not stop after October 24th (the deadline to register) or November 8th (election day). ERB works throughout the year to propose legislation, address campus-wide or CSU-wide issues, and represent the students of San Diego State within local and statewide political spheres. ERB will also be hosting events to increase voter knowledge about measures and propositions within the California ballot. A local plan proposed by the College Area Community Council that is directly applicable to San Diego State Students calls for a raise in the Community Assisted Party Program fine from $1,000 per household resident, plus the landlord, to $10,000 per resident on the lease.  Students have the ability to sit in on these college area meetings, and certainly have the ability to vote on any local legislation that arises. Students can register to vote through the AS website link, or during any one of the tabling events this week.

AZTECS ROCK HUNGER

Sarah is the very literally the voice of the Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign, as it is her voice you hear in this video that was sent to students to kick off the  2016 food drive. From this video, and the ARH website, it was made known that food insecurity is prevalent on this campus. The funds collected will directly benefit the Jacobs and Kushman Food Bank, but 20% will also be allocated to SDSU students in need through the economic crisis team. There are five ways to donate that include cash donations through the Aztecs Rock Hunger venmo account, collections during tabling initiatives, opportunities to donate at all Aztec Market Shops and campus Starbucks, online at the ARH website and physical donations of non-perishable items to the red bins located throughout campus. Aztecs Rock Hunger has a goal of raising 400,000 pounds of food for the local San Diego community, with a one dollar donation equivocating six pounds of food. Election cycles often leaves students feeling discouraged, or motivated to get involved and make a difference in their community. This program, as mentioned by Sarah and Carmel, is a great way to hone in on the latter. Aztecs Rock Hunger will last through mid-November, and more information can be found on their website, or any of their social media pages.