• Your one stop for college news and resources!

Charlie Fletcher

College Dating: 5 Ways to find Love on Campus

College Dating: 5 Ways to find Love on Campus

College is often a time of many new experiences, and finding your first serious mate can be one of them. Unlike in high school, when it was often about who we had a crush on, in college, we are more mature and ready to find that special someone. In some cases, the person you meet may turn out to be your soul mate.  

If you are new to college or you’ve not had the best luck finding love, then we are here to help. We have many tips for how to find the right person for you, places where you can find them, and the importance of companionship, even if the relationship is not romantic.

1: Think About What You Really Want

Before you jump blindly into the college dating pool, it is important that you take time to reflect and think about what you really want in a relationship and in a potential partner. If you are looking for something serious, then finding a healthy relationship is key. That means dating someone who shares some of your interests, is easy to talk to, and values you as a person. Plus, there needs to be mutual respect. If you date someone you think you really like, but they don’t treat you right, or they disrespect you, then you need to move on, or the issue could escalate. 

While we will talk a lot about finding love, some college students are too busy or focused on their schoolwork to think about a relationship. If that describes your mindset, then that is understandable, but it is important that you find someone to speak to and share your time with or else loneliness can get the best of you. When we are lonely, we can start to feel hopeless and disconnected, and that is the last thing you need during your college years. If you are just looking for friends, then consider signing up for a class on campus or befriending one of your floormates in the dorm. 

2: Campus Activities

When it comes to finding a potential love interest, consider the many clubs and groups that are available on campus, including fraternities and sororities. If you are looking for an activity to join, then review the bulletin board in your dorm, where you may see many listed events, from professional gatherings at the library to local parties. You can also focus on your grades and meet new people by starting or joining a study group.  

If you need money for tuition, then consider getting a job on campus where you can meet even more people. There are also typically many sporting events on campus. Even if you are not playing, you never know who you will meet by going and having a seat on the bleachers as you enjoy the game with your peers.   

3: Talk To Your Friends

While you can meet plenty of new people by trying out new activities on your own, you can also talk to the friends you already have and see if there is anyone they know that they think would be a great fit. That way, you have a person in common, and you can even go out to do group activities, be it going to the campus bowling alley or taking a nature hike at the local park. Once you are comfortable with the new person, consider going on a one-on-one date. 

4: Go Online

Sometimes when you are looking for love, you need to go to where the people are, and if recent studies are any indication, then you might want to go online. Due to the popularity of social media and apps like TikTok, many young people in Generation Z are trying virtual dating by going on video apps where they can see a potential match face-to-face but in the comfort of their home or dorm.  

There are many dating apps that you can try, some of which are hot spots for college students, including OkCupid, Friendsy, and Zoosk. When you use an online app, make sure that you are truthful and honest about your personality and the activities that you enjoy. When you talk on video, be yourself and avoid the use of filters. You want people to like you for who you are. Just remember to not rely exclusively on dating apps and get out there and have a date in the real world as well. 

5: Volunteer

When you are looking for someone to date, you will want to find a person who is caring and compassionate in everyday life because they will share those attributes in the course of your relationship as well. A surefire way to find someone that cares is to volunteer either on campus or in the town surrounding the school. There are many opportunities to volunteer your services, from working at a soup kitchen or food bank to lending your time at a donation center or doing community work. When you’re there, strike up conversations with the people you work with and see where it goes. 

As you can see, there are many ways that you can meet people and create a romantic connection while you’re in college. Just remember to keep an open mind, prioritize your studies, and have fun, and you will eventually meet that special someone. 

SEE ALSO: Tips for Dealing With Difficult College Roommates

Leadership Skills that Help You Land a Job After College

Leadership Skills that Help You Land a Job After College

College is a great place to learn the ins and outs of your chosen major, but it empowers students to build more than technical skills. You can also use your time in college to develop valuable soft skills that are easily transferable between careers — including those required of strong leaders.

When you’re getting ready to graduate and start finding a job, many of your potential employers will evaluate your potential as a leader. Students who learn, practice, and excel in their leadership skills are viewed by managers as highly capable of taking on diverse positions, contributing more to their companies, and taking on higher-level roles over time.

However, the ability to lead isn’t something you can simply put on your resume. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate the right skills during your interviews to impress the companies you’re applying to. Here are the leadership skills recruiters and hiring managers value most, as well as how you can develop them while getting your degree.

Modern communication skills

Leadership has changed a lot in recent years, but communication remains one of the most sought-after skills across industries. Applicants with strong resumes can lose out to less qualified job candidates if they have poor communication skills. On the flip side, great communicators can win significantly more job offers than their competitors.

Modern communication skills must be comprehensive. In addition to being great at written and verbal communication, today’s leaders need to be technologically literate. Video meetings and other remote communication channels (like Slack and email) are now the norm. Consider joining a public speaking course, speech and debate group, or career prep program in college to practice your ability to choose words and gestures carefully.

Being culturally sensitive in your communications is also becoming incredibly important, especially as businesses implement more diversity and inclusion initiatives. College is the perfect time to interact with people from different backgrounds and listen to their feedback.

Organizational skills

While technical skills allow employees to successfully complete tasks, organizational skills make you capable of taking an entire project from ideation to execution. Businesses are looking for organized leaders who can carefully identify goals and keep track of their progress to ensure their projects can end successfully. Leaders should be able to delegate tasks, follow up, and avoid stalled projects with ease.

In college, practicing organizational skills is simple. Challenge yourself to stay on top of your assignments while taking part in extracurriculars. If possible, take on leadership roles within those extracurriculars and work toward ambitious (but feasible) goals each semester.

Adaptability

The business world is shifting faster than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic — which forced many workplaces to quickly go virtual and develop creative strategies to stay afloat — proved the importance of adaptability as a leadership skill. Job candidates who are able to smoothly adapt to new tasks, software, teams, and work cultures (rather than resist change) are highly desirable in the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers.

A large part of being adaptable is the ability to stay calm and work through stressful situations. Since shifts in your work environment can throw you into unfamiliar situations, employers want job candidates who can keep a level head and excel in the face of change.

One way you can develop your adaptability is by finding healthy outlets for stress. For instance, you can implement meditation into your daily or weekly routine to practice healthily dealing with stressful situations after college. Start meditating during your midterms or finals and see if it’s the right outlet for you.

Empathy

Empathy is another leadership skill that’s increasingly prized in the workspace. As more companies become employee-focused, recruiters and hiring managers are seeking leaders who can contribute to a positive work environment — particularly as the current worker shortage continues to impact their ability to find qualified employees. Great leaders must be exceptional at listening and collaborating with diverse peers and managers.

Volunteering can be a great way to practice your empathy skills in college. Challenge yourself to work alongside and serve populations that you don’t normally interact with and step into their shoes. Practice entering conversations without any expectations and be curious about the people you speak with.

Land your dream job

Landing a job right after college is no longer a simple matter of demonstrating the industry skills you’ve developed. It also requires you to show off your soft skills — the ones that allow you to act as an exceptional leader in any role. Soft skills give you room to grow within a company over time.

Start by developing your communication skills, making sure to practice increasingly prized skills like video calling and empathetic listening. Plus, learn how to be organized in your work and adaptable to new (and potentially stressful) situations to increase your value in the eyes of recruiters and hiring teams.

SEE ALSO: 5 DOs and DON’Ts for Landing Your First Job After College

The Importance of Keeping Up a Social Life in College

The Importance of Keeping Up a Social Life in College

Everyone’s seen the college movies where the students spend so much time partying, they fail all their classes; but too much studying and isolation isn’t great either. This all-or-nothing approach isn’t a good thing for such a critical time in a person’s life — when they’re just starting to come into themselves and figure things out.

Life is all about finding a balance, and college is no exception. If you’re a college student, your goal should be to find a balance between schoolwork and socializing. This will help to keep you in a healthy mindset. And if you stay grounded in a healthy mindset, you’ll be able to do better in your coursework.

The Benefits of Finding the Balance Between Socialization and Studying

There are many benefits associated with being well balanced. Not only is it a great way to prepare yourself for having a great work/life balance when you get out into the business world, but it will make you a more well-rounded person.

Better Mental Health

The first benefit of having a well-balanced social life and study life is that it’s better for mental health.

Modern life can be stressful, especially for teenagers and 20-somethings. Never before have we had 24/7 access to social media, news, and everyone in our lives. It can be a lot. This constant access can be great for connecting, but it can also be a drain on emotional and mental health.

It can be important to focus on your mental health in college. It has been proven that isolated students will struggle with mental health issues more than students with healthy relationships.

It Makes You a Better Student

First of all, if your mental wellbeing is in a good place, you are more likely to be a productive student. People who are happier are more productive and can get more accomplished. Secondly, you are more likely to be productive and engaged if you are friends with other productive and engaged students. It’s good to be surrounded by others who can encourage you and help you stay motivated and inspired.

If you work together in groups, you can help each other and hold each other accountable. You can study with each other and work on big projects and papers together.

Improve Social Skills

College is all about improving the skills that will get you places in the workforce afterward. One of those skills is knowing how to talk to people and build relationships. Even if you don’t go on to work in sales, for example, it’s always good to know how to network and build relationships, no matter what field you end up working in.

Ideas for Improving Your Social Life

So now that you understand more about why it’s so important to have a college social life, you might want some ideas for achieving that.

1. Attend University Events

Your college plans some fun events for all of its students, so make sure you check your email or check its website regularly to stay updated. You can usually find events like sporting events, concerts, speakers, and festivals that are open to students or the community at large.

There may also be groups at your university based on interests that you have, so be open to checking those out as well. And some schools may even plan off-campus events like day trips that you can join in on.

2. Bond with Your Roommate

It may seem awkward at first if you are assigned someone random to live with, but try to get to know them. Spend some time asking them about their interests, what they like to do, what kind of music and movies they like, etc.

One fun way to get to know them and bond is to decorate your dorm room together. This is a great way to get to know each other, and it makes it a little less awkward because you are doing something to create the perfect space for both of you. If you can learn to get along with your roommate, you might just end up with one of the most lasting and meaningful friendships of your life.

3. Form Study Groups

One great way to get to know people in your classes and to learn the material better is to form study groups. This is really a win-win situation. You can plan fun gatherings where you spend the first hour studying and the second hour socializing.

Sometimes people need a reason to get together when they are first becoming friends, and a study group can be a great reason.

4. Take a Road Trip

Once you have your group of friends more or less in place, one of the most fun friend activities to do together is the road trip. Just make sure you all know the rules before you hit the road. Who’s driving? Who’s car is in the best shape? What’s the plan if something unexpected happens? Do your parents know where you’re going to be? Just make sure you hash all that out.

Nothing is more fun than getting together with some friends, throwing some tunes on the stereo, hitting the road, and anticipating getting to the final destination.

College can be both a fun, social time and a serious time for learning. There’s no need to make it just one of those things!

SEE ALSO: Sustainable Moving: Tips For a Green Moving Season

Tips for Dealing With Difficult College Roommates

Tips for Dealing With Difficult College Roommates

One of the exciting things about going to college for the first time is getting roommates. Unfortunately, far too often that “exciting experience” can feel more like a nightmare. Roommate problems are a common complaint among college freshmen. But, because so many universities across the country require students to live on campus their first year, there’s often no escaping dorm life and the roommates who come with it.

College is hard enough on its own for new students. You have to handle being away from home, adjusting to a new schedule, and feeling like a full-blown “adult” for the first time. Dealing with difficult roommates on top of everything else can be overwhelming.

You might not be able to change the personality or habits of a complete stranger. You might not even be able to get a different dorm or switch who you’re living with.

But, there are things you can do to deal with difficult college roommates. Let’s cover a few tips that can make dorm life easier for you.

Talk Things Out

If you have problems with your roommate, chances are you aren’t the only one feeling the tension. Unfortunately, the longer you ignore the elephant in the dorm, the bigger it will become.

One of the best things you can do is sit down and talk with your roommate. If you have more than one, hold a “meeting” so everyone can openly and freely express themselves. Even though it might feel easier to do a group text or write an email, it’s important to communicate these issues in person. If you’re not sure what to bring up, consider some of the following topics.

  • Your individual needs
  • Problems you can’t ignore
  • Habits that are causing issues
  • Unfair actions

Often, an open conversation can make a big difference and will help to strike a balance between you and your difficult roommates. It’s important to remember that you’re all strangers coming from different walks of life. They might not realize the things they are doing are bothersome to you because it’s what they’re used to. You might be doing things they don’t like, too. Having a conversation will clear the air for everyone.

If you talk and things don’t change, consider continuing the conversation with your RA. They might be able to serve as a mediator and make it easier for a healthy, productive conversation to take place.

Don’t Spend So Much Time in Your Room

Your dorm room is supposed to be a safe and comfortable place while you’re in college. It’s normal to want to hang your favorite posters and pictures, decorate your corner to fit your personality, and hang out in bed listening to music, studying, and eating bowl after bowl of ramen.

But, when you have a difficult roommate, it’s often better to spend less time in your dorm. That doesn’t mean you need to become a partier. Instead, fill your time between classes with activities and hobbies that interest you. Try things like

  • Joining campus clubs
  • Going to the movies
  • Getting a study room at the library for you and your friends
  • Working out at the campus gym
  • Volunteering

It might not seem fair to feel like you “can’t” be in your room. But, keep in mind that you’ll only have these particular roommates for a year. Many colleges allow you to pick (or at least request) your roommates after your freshman year. So, if you’re having difficulties with your current ones, spend this year building strong friendships and having fun. Next year, you can spend more time in your dorm with people you get along with!

Take Care of Yourself

You’re not going to be able to avoid being in your dorm 24/7. So, when you have to be “home,” it’s important to identify coping strategies that work for you. Your mental health shouldn’t be compromised because of a bad roommate. Try distracting yourself from the unpleasant environment through things like studying or watching Netflix. Soothe yourself by listening to your favorite music. Or, try things like deep breathing, mindfulness, or meditation to reduce stress and find an inner balance.

Stress is already a common problem for college students. It can lead to issues like

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Weight gain/loss

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the stress of your roommate situation, consider reaching out to mental health resources on campus. Most universities across the country have some type of program available or even a counselor on staff that can help you manage your stress and take care of your mental wellness. If you know that some of your roommate’s issues also stem from mental health struggles, including depression, encourage them to get help too.

College is meant to be an exciting and unforgettable stage of life. Don’t let it get tainted by bad roommates. You can’t control everything, but you can control how you react and respond to the situation. Keep these ideas in mind if you’re dealing with difficult dormmates, and remind yourself that things won’t be this way forever.

SEE ALSO: How to Manage Financial Stress as a College Student

Balancing College Life and Mental Health

Balancing College Life and Mental Health

College is supposed to be one of the most unforgettable times of your life. But, it can also be one of the most stressful. A national survey of college students in 2020 found that nearly 40% experienced depression, one in three dealt with anxiety, and one in seven admitted that they’d thought about suicide in the last year.

When you think about it, college students have a lot on their plates that can contribute to a decline in mental health. Moving to a new environment is scary. Making new friends can be overwhelming. Thinking about the future is often daunting, especially when you factor in student loan debt.

On top of it all, today’s college students are trying to navigate their way to graduation through a global pandemic.

Do all of those things sound familiar? If so, take a deep breath.

First of all, you’re not alone in the way you’re feeling. More importantly, though, you don’t have to let the weight of stress and anxiety spoil your college career. By finding ways to balance college life and your mental health, you can make the most of your experience and prioritize your well-being. Let’s cover a few useful tips that can make it easier to find that balance.

Adjusting to a New Place

One of the hardest things about getting used to college is living in a new place. For most students, it’s the first time you’re living apart from your family. If you went to a different state for college, it can often feel like you’re in a completely foreign territory.

Moving, in general, is stressful. It’s even harder when you’re on your own. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the adjustment period easier, including:

  • Making socializing a priority
  • Staying physically active
  • Practicing self-care
  • Trying new things
  • Doing things that bring you happiness and comfort

One of the benefits of college is that it’s relatively easy to do most of those things. Having a roommate or two is a great way to meet people immediately. Joining clubs you’re interested in is another wonderful option for keeping busy and meeting friends with shared interests. Go for walks around campus to get the lay of the land while staying active at the same time. And, don’t be afraid to stay involved in some of your old hobbies.

Most importantly, don’t rush yourself. Adjustments take time. It’s okay to feel a bit homesick at first, and there’s no perfect timeline for feeling comfortable in a new place. Take care of yourself and be willing to meet new people, and you might be surprised when one day you wake up feeling happier and less homesick than before.

Managing Your Stress

Whether you’re a first-year student or you’re graduating in a semester, excessive stress can be a huge problem for college students.

Between keeping up with classes, maintaining a social life, and thinking about the future, it’s easy to burn out quickly and feel like you don’t have any energy. Some of the suggestions listed above can make a big difference when it comes to stress management. Basic self-care practices like getting enough sleep and exercising are crucial for managing your stress. But, you can also improve your energy and feel less fatigued by eating energy-boosting foods (and maybe cutting back on the ramen), striking a healthy work-life balance with your classes, and spending time outside.

It’s also helpful to cut out alcohol. While parties tend to be stereotypical of college experiences, limiting your alcohol intake can actually give you more energy and boost your overall health. When you’re more energized, your focus will improve. You won’t feel so overwhelmed, and it’ll be easier to manage your stress.

Reaching Out for Help

Remember that survey we touched on earlier? Clearly, if you’re feeling depressed or anxious, you’re not the only one. Because of the rise in mental health conditions across college campuses, many universities have established mental health centers and services.Unfortunately, there is still a stigma to seeking mental health treatment for some people. Don’t let that deter you from reaching out and getting the help you need. Seeking out help is a sign of strength. Consider some of the following services that might meet your needs and help you to manage your stress:

  • Campus support groups
  • Guidance counselors
  • On-campus counselors or therapists
  • Mental health brochures/resources for off-campus guidance

You can also help yourself in other ways, including volunteering for organizations or groups that mean something to you. One study by Harvard Medical School found that volunteering helps people feel more socially connected. That can help you to manage depressive thoughts and fight back against loneliness.

Even reaching out to family members and friends at home can make a big difference in how you feel. If you’re struggling, connect with those who already support you and want to help.

Taking charge of your mental health in college is one of the best things you can do. Yes, you’ll be more focused and productive when it comes to your studies. More importantly, though, you’ll learn how to take care of your well-being in positive and impactful ways. Those are the skills you’ll carry with you long after you graduate.

How to Manage Financial Stress as a College Student

How to Manage Financial Stress as a College Student

As a college student, you have enough to worry about without adding stress about finances into the equation. However, the fact is that many students are burdened by money issues, and in addition to having these concerns affect their studies, worrying about debt can also create a downward spiral of anxiety and depression that a young person should never have to experience.

We all know that college is expensive, but we also know how important it is to earn a degree so we can get a job that we love. To help you through these potentially tough times, we will discuss a bit about financial stress and how you can manage those anxieties and thrive during your higher education.

Understanding Your Situation

To find the right solution for your stress, you first need to understand how and why a lack of financial security can cause unneeded anxiety. The fact is that while many students can secure scholarships and grants to attend the college of their choice, over 40% of adults who attended college had to rely on student loans to help pay for their education. While you might not be stressed about student loans now, you could be in the future because if you are not able to pay off those loans on time, then that debt can follow you around for a lifetime and even affect your credit down the road.

If you are concerned and, then it is important to know that you are not alone. Studies show that at least 72% of college students are experiencing some sort of financial stress, whether it be fear that they cannot afford to finish college, difficulty paying for their rent and utilities, inadequate money to buy food, or anything in between. The situation can be so hard that many students opt to drop out of school to save themselves the burden.

Financial stress can manifest itself in many ways. Over time, constant worry can lead to physical issues like excessive headaches and substance abuse. If not corrected, years of stress can even lead to serious ailments like heart disease and high blood pressure. Anxiety can impact your mental health as well, and you may begin to experience feelings of restlessness and irritability. Eventually, those mental issues can take over, and if not properly handled, you could experience burnout which will negatively impact your college career. Needless to say, you need to have control of the situation, and there are solutions you can try today.

Improving Your Financial Situation

If you are stressed about money, then the chances are that you don’t have enough of it to get by. You are probably one of the 69% of American households that lives paycheck-to-paycheck. If that’s the case, you must be smart about how you make and acquire more money. For instance, when looking for loans, avoid short-term, high-interest loans, such as payday loans that can sound promising at first but come with interest rates as high as 400%, making them almost impossible to pay back. It is also risky to request cash advances from your credit card company as this type of debt can also quickly get out of control.

Instead, you should look for programs in your area that can assist with your financial issues without forcing you to dig a deeper hole. You can start by taking the time to research and apply for scholarships. There are a ton of great resources out there, and since you don’t have to pay them back, it is well worth the effort. Many government programs can help as well. For instance, due to the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is extending their student loan repayment pause until May 2022, which should give you some much-needed breathing room while you continue to create a plan to get a hold of your finances.

The most important part of your debt-elimination strategy is to create a budget that details all of your monthly income streams along with how much you pay for your assorted debts. Once you have an understanding of how much you spend, you can try to take out unnecessary expenses, such as reducing the money you pay at the cafeteria by spending less to get what you need at the grocery store. If you still can’t make ends meet, then consider landing a part-time side hustle like freelance writing or driving for a delivery service, so you can add in some extra funds. Just make sure that you can still prioritize your classes.

Managing Your Overall Stress

Once you start making headway on your financial situation, you need to turn the focus on yourself and find ways to reduce your anxiety so you can have a productive college career. The most important place to start is getting enough sleep. If you don’t get the seven to nine hours of rest that you need, then you will only become more irritable and upset. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, then you may just have to change your sleep routine. Make it a point to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to improve your circadian rhythm. Also, avoid looking at your phone while lying in bed because the blue light it emits can keep you awake. While living with roommates can be a great way to save money, it is important to establish healthy boundaries to ensure you get enough sleep at night.

It is also important to not overexert yourself and to prioritize self-care. It is okay to go out with friends here and there but if you party every night, then you will not only waste money but you’ll also wear yourself too thin and eventually burn out. Have fun during college but remember that it is okay to spend time at home or the library so you can study and focus on yourself. Also, make sure that you exercise and consume a healthy diet so you can feel better inside and out.

Finally, if you continue to feel stressed and your situation is not improving, then you may need to talk to someone who can offer helpful advice. In college, the best person to turn to could be your financial aid office. They may be able to make changes to your aid package, or they can recommend external resources that you can reach out to for the help that you need. Keeping your stress bottled up will only make things worse, so call your counselors, a social worker, or even your parents so you can talk through your problems.

As you can see, financial stress can happen to anyone. However, it is how you handle that anxiety that will dictate what the rest of your college career may look like. Consider the advice and tips above and feel better about your future.

For more information on how to deal with stress during your time at college, check out the infographic below.

SEE ALSO: Balancing College Life and Mental Health

 

 

How Binge Drinking in College Can Affect Your Post-Grad Life

How Binge Drinking in College Can Affect Your Post-Grad Life

Excessive drinking in college has become so much more than a stereotype or trope. Many students see it as a ritual or “right of passage” that ends up being a crucial part of the collegiate experience.

While having a few casual drinks at a bar or party is usually fine, it’s not uncommon for some students to partake in binge drinking. According to the CDC, binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that causes a person’s blood-alcohol concentration to reach 0.08 g/dl or above. That usually equates to consuming 4-5 drinks in two hours.

Most people understand the immediate effects of drinking too much. It can lead to cognitive impairment, sickness, and can lead to serious health and safety risks – especially in college. But, it’s also important to understand the potential long-term effects of binge drinking.

Your habits and choices now can harm your future. While having fun and enjoying your college experience is important, understanding the potential consequences of binge drinking might make you think twice about your actions at the next party.

Not totally convinced? Let’s take a look at how binge drinking in college can affect your life long after graduation.

An Increased Risk of Health Problems

There’s no denying the immediate risks of binge drinking. You could put your health and well-being in jeopardy simply by being with the wrong people, getting behind the wheel of a car, or ignoring potential medical needs.

But, when binge drinking becomes a habit, there are long-term health risks that could follow you well after you graduate. Some of the biggest risks include:

  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • A suppressed immune system
  • Stroke
  • Malnutrition

If you already have certain health conditions, drinking too much can exacerbate them. For example, acid reflux and GERD can be made worse with alcohol consumption. Long-term drinking can lead to more serious digestive issues that may worsen with age.

People who drink heavily are also at a greater risk of developing mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. It’s not uncommon for college students to deal with mental health issues without the effects of drinking. Over the last year, 30% of students reported feeling depressed.  While binge drinking might feel like a “quick fix” to ease that depression, it often ends up making things worse, leading to long-term problems that may eventually require professional help.

Long-Term Consequences

In addition to an increased risk of long-term health issues, consider how your drinking habits could impact your future based on the choices you make.

Drinking impairs your judgment. When you’re surrounded by others who are also drinking too much, it’s hard to find a “voice of reason” that keeps you from doing things you otherwise wouldn’t. That could include things like:

  • Getting behind the wheel of a car
  • Engaging in sexual activity
  • Partaking in risky behaviors
  • Trying other drugs

Each year, 696,000 college students are assaulted by another student under the influence of alcohol. Many of those assaults are physically violent, while just under 100,000 students report some type of sexual assault. Not only can that cause serious problems in the moment, but depending on the severity of the assault, it could lead to long-term physical and/or mental health issues that could negatively impact your life for years.

How to Stop Binge Drinking in College

The more you know about the short-and-long-term effects of binge drinking, the more motivated you should be to get it under control. First, evaluate your existing relationship with alcohol. Is your drinking causing problems with your family members, friends, or your studies? Have you tried to stop drinking so much but haven’t been able to do so? Has drinking become a priority in your life?

The answers to those questions can give you a better idea as to whether your drinking pattern has become a problem. Recognizing that is often the first step in getting things under control.

Thankfully, if you know you need to stop drinking, you don’t have to do it on your own. Most campuses across the country have resources and support services that can educate you and help to hold you accountable. These services can also help you to form a strategy to stop drinking while offering you consistent support along the way.

You might also need to change your environment or your circle of friends. That’s not always easy to do in college, but when your well-being depends on it, it could be a necessary sacrifice. Sometimes, removing yourself from the toxic situation is the best course of action.

Finally, don’t be afraid to lean on family members or friends for help. The people who care about you don’t want to see you struggling with the effects of binge drinking. By reaching out now and getting a handle on your habits, you can reduce the risk of damaging effects now, and in the future. While binge drinking and college might always be linked together, it doesn’t mean you have to fall into the stereotype. Educate yourself, take the right steps to stop drinking, and you’ll have more control over a positive future.

SEE ALSO: Balancing College Life and Mental Health

Tips For Acing Your Final Exams

Tips for Acing Your Final Exams

If exam anxiety creeps up on you every finals week, or you simply can’t stand taking exams, you aren’t alone. Final exam week is stressful, to say the least.

Of course, your GPA and sanity depend on a high grade, but acing exams isn’t necessarily your thing. So, now your new obsession is optimizing your study habits because this exam will be different.

Studying effectively for final exams seems to be easier said than done. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with practical advice on how to get the most out of your study sessions and, in turn, do well on your exams.

Designate a Study Space

Our first tip for acing your final exam is to designate a study space. If you can study in your bed and actually get something out of it, kudos to you. Most of us can’t do it because it sends mixed signals to our brain, and our bodies don’t know if we should be sleeping or doing.

You can make things clearer for your mind and body by designating a study space that encourages you to focus on learning and studying productively. Consider the following when designing your study area:

  • Access to high-speed internet
  • Comfortable furniture
  • A sturdy desk or table
  • Lighting
  • Temperature
  • Accessories and Artwork
  • Music

Create a Study Schedule

Don’t just wing it when it comes to studying. That’s how all-nighters happen, and we can honestly say cramming the night before an exam won’t get you favorable test results. Instead, create a study schedule to ensure you’re giving yourself ample time to study.

Implementing a study schedule all year is ideal, but you should give yourself at least a couple of weeks minimum to study before your exam. Choose blocks of time to study each day. Be sure to take frequent breaks during your sessions to give your mind time to refresh and reset before diving back in.

Organize Your Notes

You’ve learned a lot come the end of a quarter or semester. You likely have more notes and notebooks than you know what to do with, but all of the information in them is crucial to keep. When it’s time for your final exam, it’s a good idea to take some time to organize your notes.

You can loosely organize your notes or use something more structured like a mind map. Converting your notes into mind maps can help you better understand complex information because it’s visually presented to you, easy to review, and manageable.

Once your notes are organized, you can review them against the study guide provided by your professor. Or, you can create a study guide of your own based on your notes and begin studying that way.

Prioritize Sleep and Nutrition

It might be tempting to pull all-nighters and survive on snacks during finals week, but do everything you can to avoid both. You must get a good night’s rest, not just the night before your exam, but every night in the weeks leading up to it. You should also pay special attention to how you’re fueling your body.

Do your best to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night and eat healthily throughout each day. When you’re well-rested and well-fed, you’re mind, body, and spirit will remain in tip-top shape, making it easier for you to study.

Get a Study Buddy

If you study better alone, no problem. However, don’t feel bad if you need someone beside you to get the most out of studying.

Reach out to your classmates and see if they’re interested in forming a study group. You can meet in person or virtually. Just be sure everyone in the group is on board with when you’re going to meet and what you will study in each particular session.

You can also study with friends who aren’t in the same classes as you. Sometimes just being around other students who understand what you’re going through is enough to keep you motivated and uplifted during this stressful time.

Enlist the Help of Your Professors

Not enough students do it, but enlisting the help of your professors when studying for your final exams is wise. Although it may seem like your professors are the enemy at times, they’re there to help you and want to see you succeed. Don’t feel like you have to do this alone.

Take full advantage of office hours. You’d be surprised how many professors are longing for just one student to visit them when their doors are open. You’d also be surprised at how helpful and memorable office hour sessions can be.

So, compile your most pressing questions and head to your professor’s office to get them all hashed out so that you’re thoroughly prepared for your final exam.

Conclusion

Final exams are no joke. Just thinking about them can trigger anxiety, and the next thing you know, you’re talking yourself out of even showing up. But this doesn’t have to be you. Instead, implement the tips above to have the best chance at acing your final exam.

SEE ALSO: How to Become a Straight-A Student Without Spending All Your Time Studying