Waking up on the right side of the semester


By Alyssa Pracz

Preparing for the new semester and getting back into the swing of things can often be difficult.

I know there are a great number of us, including myself, that spent our break sleeping in until 3 p.m. and staying up until 4 a.m. Besides living this fabulous lifestyle, we also took advantage of the chance to turn our brains off for a month by watching “Jersey Shore” marathons.

However, those days are sadly over. Beverly Henry, associate professor of Family, Consumer and Nutritional Sciences, has a lot of helpful advice for students getting ready for the new semester.

For those of us who have developed bad sleeping habits, Henry suggests setting and following a definite sleep schedule. Also, monitor what you eat before bed since this has a direct effect on the sleep you will get.

Not getting enough sleep can affect your ability to concentrate and think clearly. This can eventually have a snowball effect and turn into a lot of unwanted stress. For students trying to balance school and possibly a job, staying in control of the little things, like what you eat and how much you sleep, is a good way to alleviate some of that stress.

It is also important to keep track of what you are putting into your system, according to Henry. Even though energy drinks and other caffeinated beverages may give us a little fix to get through the day, it is better to go with something more natural.

Any foods with carbohydrates are good. It is essential to not go too long without eating because it leads to the unhealthy habit of binge-eating. Having a good breakfast or carrying a small snack is good way to avoid that. Henry suggests something such as pretzels, fruits, vegetables or taking the time to make a simple sandwich.

There are also ways to stay active without having to waste an hour on the treadmill or at the gym.

Small things like taking the stairs or parking far back in the lot really do make a difference in your daily exercise. Staying somewhat active is good for the body and helps steer you away from developing lazy habits that could possibly lead to becoming lazy with academics as well.

Lastly, keeping a calendar is probably a good idea. I personally write out everything on post-it notes, and the more of them I have on my desk, the more I stay on task.

However, if you don’t want to go to the store and waste money on a calendar or stock up on your post-it notes, the University Bookstore always gives out free planners for the year when students are buying their books.

Although it may seem insignificant, it could be the difference between straight A’s and a mid-semester breakdown.