How to Get Back into “School Mode”

by Molly Louzan on August 24, 2015

Warm breezes, sand between your toes, and endless laughter with friends… oh, those summer nights!

Grease_-_Swoon

Ring, ring, ring… it’s the “reality bell”. After a summer of fun, relaxation, and maybe even a rich internship experience in your field of study, it’s time to head back to BSU. Whether you are a new student or are returning to campus, it can be difficult to get back into the groove of an academic lifestyle after a long summer break. However, with classes beginning on Wednesday, it’s time to seriously think about the tools that you need to put into place in order to have a smooth transition into the new semester. That means shaking the sand out of your shoes and swapping out the beach chair in the backseat of your car for a backpack.

Try these tips to help get you back into the school “frame of mind”:

  • Make a list and check it twice. Do you have everything you need for the start of the semester? Take the time to jot down anything that you’re missing. For some, this might consist of new furniture or groceries. For others, this could simply be textbooks. Whatever you’re lacking, you will thank yourself for the avoided catastrophes by going out and getting them before you get busy with classes, sports, clubs, and/or friends.
  • Familiarize yourself with your schedule. Remember this? Yup, that’s the schedule worksheet that you most likely received at freshman orientation. This printable worksheet can be used to give you a visual layout of what your days will look like this semester. Write in your scheduled class times and any other obligations that you have.
  • Prep your planner. Lilly Pultzer, Vera Bradley, or a simple and sleek black calendar from CVS…whatever your style is, make sure that you have a planner that will fit your academic needs this semester. Even though you don’t have access to your syllabi yet, you can still mark down important days, such as the ones found here. Once you do finally get your syllabi, make sure to weed through them for due dates and deadlines to mark in your planner, as well.
  • Regulate your sleep cycle. We know that summer break can occasionally result in late nights or a little morning laziness. It’s okay, we’re not judging. However, it’s going to be difficult to meet your responsibilities at school if you are not adhering to typical sleeping/waking hours. Get back into a normal sleep cycle by making sure that you are in bed at a reasonable time each night (lights out and phone away), and waking up at the time that you would normally have to when classes are in session. Start doing this as practice TONIGHT so that you are well prepared by Wednesday!
  • Activate your brain. How much have your summer activities required you to use the ol’ noggin’? If you feel like you have a few cobwebs up there, it may be a good idea to warm it up for the sprint. Take the time at the beginning of the week to enjoy a book that requires higher-order thinking skills, use puzzles/ word searches, or download an app such as Luminosity. Brushing up on topics that are fundamental to the courses which you are taking this semester would be the most beneficial way to do this.

There’s no reason to be sad over summer coming to an end. The start of a new school year is an exciting time. It is an opportunity for you to make what you want out of the upcoming semesters. We’re thrilled to have you on campus, and know that you will make this the best school year yet!

{ 0 comments }

Sweet Solutions?

by Julie Motchok on August 17, 2015

By now, most of us know that too much sugar in our diet is not a good thing. Recently, however, sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Truvia have helped us satisfy our sweet tooth without feeling guilty afterwards. Have you ever wondered what is in these products that make them taste so good? Are they actually guilt free?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following high intensity sweeteners:

A.S. Chart

The FDA also approved food additives from stevia plants (known as steviol glycosides).

Many people turn to artificial sweeteners as a way of cutting calories or lowering their sugar intake but can still enjoy the sweetness of their favorite foods and beverages. According to the Mayo Clinic, artificial sweeteners can assist in weight control and can be eaten by those who have been diagnosed with diabetes as they do not increase blood sugar levels. This is because they are zero calories and usually carbohydrate free. This is unlike regular table sugar which contains about 16 calories per teaspoon.

Are artificial sweeteners really all that they’re cracked up to be?

Looking at the results of the San Antonio Heart Study suggest they are not. The study looked at over 3,500 adults over a 7-8 year time frame. They found that those who tend to drink more artificially sweetened beverages showed higher Body Mass Indexes (BMI)* as well.

* BMI is a value that is derived from a person’s weight and height that ranges from 18.5 to 30+.

How could this be if they’re zero calories?

Well, when we eat something sweet, certain chemicals in our brains our released. According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, since sugar substitutes taste sweet, some of these chemicals are still released even though they are zero calories. Our brains are tricked (somewhat) into thinking that we are actually eating sugar and our hypothalamus secretes the hormones that regulate energy, electrolyte balance and feeding behavior.

Artificial sweeteners may even INCREASE our desire for sweets. Because we are not fully satisfying the desire for sweetness, we may continue consuming until a craving subsides. Additionally, if someone continually eats artificial sweeteners, they begin to develop a strong flavor preference toward sweet foods and look for them more often than other foods that may contain a higher nutritional value.

Now what?

Like most foods, artificial sweeteners can be safe if consumed in moderation. It is important not to depend on these to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake but feel a craving is about to hit, try to have your fridge stocked with sweet fruits like grapes, bananas, apples and pears. Natural sugars that are present in these fruits tend to be a healthier option!

 

Information from:

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm397711.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

{ 0 comments }

What’s all the Hype Around GMOs?

August 10, 2015

There are two sides to every story. The highly debated genetically modified (GM) foods and their potentially harmful effects is no exception. Major organizations like the FDA and the American Medical Association support the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) while others in opposition like the Non GMO Project, the Institute for Responsible Technology and […]

Read the full article →

Staying Healthy to Prevent Diabetes

August 3, 2015

We’ve all been there.   It’s been a long day of classes or work. You are exhausted from the many demands placed on you whether they come from parents, friends, school, sports teams or any other commitments in your life. The couch and a large cheese pizza are both calling your name. Before you throw in […]

Read the full article →

Alcohol and Sun Safety

July 27, 2015

If you think drinking excessively at BBQs or at the beach this summer is a good idea—think again. Drinking alcohol and becoming intoxicated in the summer sun is dangerous and can have serious health consequences. Getting intoxicated while being exposed to long periods of sun can leave you dehydrated, confused and ultimately more susceptible to […]

Read the full article →

Summertime Fitness on a Budget

July 20, 2015

If the weather is nice, skip the traditional gym and find inexpensive, alternative ways to exercise this summer. Exercise is a great way to clear the mind and relieve any stress and anxiety that you may be experiencing. Remember your sunscreen! Try these inexpensive options for starting or maintaining your fitness routine this summer: Hit […]

Read the full article →

Beach Bag Essentials

July 13, 2015

Healthy snacks Everyone loves snacking on the beach. Instead of potato chips, try packing some refreshing watermelon or other fruit that will not only satisfy hunger, but quench your thirst in that hot summer heat as well.  Mocktails Alcohol dehydrates you… ESPECIALLY in the sun! This can cause headaches, nausea and make you feel sleepy […]

Read the full article →

Summer on a Budget

July 6, 2015

Are you working hard to earn some money this summer? If you are like most college students, you are squirreling away your pennies to prepare for the school year. Here are some ways you can still have fun during your free time but not spend a fortune. Get active! Take advantage of Boston’s Hubway Bikes […]

Read the full article →

How To Stay Safe on the Fourth of July

June 29, 2015

Our country ‘tis of theeeeeee (*crack*) eeee… Okay, so I’m no Kelly Clarkson. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! Well, almost. What do you have planned for the day of red, white, and blue? We hope it involves some family/friend fun and plenty of fireworks. In order to keep it a fun and safe holiday, we want […]

Read the full article →

Street Smarts: Basic Running Safety

June 22, 2015

You know how your dog reacts when you bring him to the dog park, and finally let him off his leash? That’s how many of us feel about finally being able to run outdoors after a long winter and spring of being confined to a treadmill. Before we hit the tar, however, it’s important to […]

Read the full article →