Author Archive | Kasi S.

Image by StockSnap, pixabay.com

This fall season, it seems that everything old is new again. The fall runways were flooded with vintage inspired pieces from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Those cringe worthy pictures of your 10 year old self in butterfly chokers and tiny round sunglasses are no longer reasons for embarrassment! Now, if you’re a lucky enough to have a family member whose closet is filled with some authentic pieces from this era, stick some of their pieces in your suitcases before you go off to res!

1. BIG JACKETS
Thankfully, these cozy pieces of outerwear in all types of materials are here for the fall season! Investing in an oversized denim, corduroy, leather or even fur jacket can give you multiple outfit options and are also wearable for multiple seasons. Try pairing your jacket with a cute logo tee or even a turtleneck! Additionally, wearing your oversized jacket with pants matching in the same color and material will also make a statement on campus. Cute and comfy and an excellent investment piece for a student who is looking to get the best value for their clothing.
2. SPORTSWEAR
Again, another totally comfy and stylish way to get yourself noticed on campus. These trends are drawing their inspiration from the 80’s, 90’s and the 00’s! Everything from the tracksuits of the 80’s, the sweatpants and cropped tops from the 90’s and the lovely velour tracksuits that graced both Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian are making a comeback! Shopping in your older siblings closet or even at thrift shops will be friendly for both your wallet and your closet.
3. 70’S MINIMALISM
I know that when some think about the 70’s their first thought is loud flowery print dresses and bright, in your face clothing, but there were also some other important color schemes that we can refer back to from the 70’s. Warm toned reds, browns and off yellow colors were just as popular and seen on turtlenecks, short button up skirts, flared leg pants and even those lovely corduroy jackets we talked about earlier. Keep this color scheme in mind when picking new items for this season – these colors and super chic and make an easy transition from day to night wear.
4. RED
Straying away from the neutrals that we just talked about, if you’re itching for a pop of color, go for a bright vibrant red! Whether they’re pants, boots, crop tops or even a hat, red was all over the runway this fall. When designers did bring red into their collections, they were usually head to toe red ensembles and all the same shade: a beautiful, bright cherry red. And with pieces like this, especially if your suit or dress shopping, can be timeless, and worn again and again through multiple years and seasons.
5. FLARE AND WIDELEG PANTS
These pants again, draw on the same concepts as the pieces we talked about in our 70’s minimalism section. Flared, high-waisted pants are back and a contrast from the skinny and boyfriend jeans that we’ve been rocking for the past few years. These pants can be in our 70’s minimalism colors, or other great options are other neutrals like white, black, grey, etc. Again, depending on your style, these pants can be great for work or play, and can be worn through multiple seasons!

This article was contributed by guest author Kasi Sewraj.

I’ve been an iPhone user for about two years now, and don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone, but sometimes I miss the features that Android phones of my past provided. I’ve noticed more and more iPhone users switching back over to Android, which had me wondering, what changed? The perfect opportunity to jump back into Android phones arose with the new release of the LG V20. LG claims that this phone has superior true-to-life sound on video playback, a larger camera lens to capture more in photos and a new second screen feature on a phone running the newest Android 7.0 Nougat software. So how does this phone do when faced with the schedule of a busy university student?

PACKAGING

The phone comes in a standard white box with the V20 logo on the front. It flips out into a three-compartment holder. In the left most slot is the phone in all its glory, in the middle there is the phone charger, and in the right most area is the battery. The phone charger comes with a two-pronged wall plug-in and a cord, where one end is a USB and the other end plugs into your phone. This makes it easy to use the cord to plug into a computer or sound system.

DESIGN

The design of this phone is very sleek and quite large. It has a huge display screen, at 5.7 inches, and is about 6 inches tall and 3 inches wide. It weighs about 6oz, so it’s quite light and doesn’t bear a huge burden in your pocket. It’s quite a bit bigger than your iPhone 6, which you can see displayed side by side above. I enjoyed the sleek design, which looks high end. The phone has a fingerprint scanner on the rear right underneath the camera, which to be honest, only worked about 50% of the time, and an additional SD card slot and huge removable battery. The location of the fingerprint scanner was awkward and was difficult to unlock with one hand.

The actual display and design of the phone is really great. I love the way the icons look, and the kind of bubbly style was a great departure from what I remembered the Android software looking like. This made the phone a pleasure to use! The phone does not have any home or back buttons, so on the bottom end of the display is a back button, a home button and a button that displays all open tabs when you touch the bottom of the screen. The screen is very clear and high res, and looks great playing 4K videos. It also remains clear while in direct sunlight, unlike a lot of other LG phones.

One of the cool design features is the upper secondary screen that displays notifications, the time, the date and open apps. Whenever you pick up the phone, this part of the screen turns on, instead of turning on the entire screen display. It also responds to touch, so you can swipe through any notifications without unlocking your phone. It’s a pretty cool feature for checking social media activity without having to open the app right away.

Overall, I like the design of this phone. It’s a big phone, but not too big where it can’t fit in your pocket. Though it is a little bit large to hold in your hands, it was nothing too cumbersome, especially if you lean towards larger screens. I did find the secondary screen feature very cool, but as I mentioned before it turned on whenever the phone was held up or even if it was just in your hand. I found it a little bit annoying that it wouldn’t turn off if I was on the bus and trying to sleep because the light would be bright in my face; but other than that I enjoyed the design through and through.

SOFTWARE

The phone has Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 820 with X12 LTE and 2.15 GHz Quad-Core Custom 64-bit Qualcomm Kryo. To be honest, I’m not too sure what that means, but I do know that this phone has a TON of memory. I use Apple Music, but I don’t have a ton of data, so I usually download my music to my phone. My 16 GB iPhone only lets me download a few hundred songs. This phone had 64GB of internal memory and room to add a 2 TB micro SD card. I downloaded a lot of songs and apps onto that phone with no worry about taking up space. I think the Apple Music app works better on this phone than it does on my iPhone!

I found I could use a ton of apps at the same time – the phone has 4 GB of RAM, so I could operate as many games as I wanted without having to worry about anything being slow. I ran a few action games, like Pocket Morty’s, with no lag, and not a ton of battery being eaten up – which any student would love.

One thing I didn’t like so much about the phone was some of the built-in applications, like the Notes app and the Calendar app. The calendar was simply just not as intuitive as Apple’s Calendar app. It wasn’t as user friendly and the notifications and settings simply were just not up to my standards. The Notes app was strange – it was more akin to ‘Microsoft OneNote’ than ‘Microsoft Word’, which didn’t make it easy to scribble down a note in a hurry. The texting application was okay as well, but nothing special – although I do enjoy the super cute LG emojis!

The phone also came with some cool features that I haven’t seen on many other devices. If you were using the phone one handedly, you could move the keyboard from one side to another to make it easier to type. You can use the Smart Lock feature to keep the phone unlocked when you are connected to your home Wi-Fi, which made life a lot easier. It had a setting which reduced blue light for easier reading and you can view two windows side by side which can be a useful feature – for example, when trying to dial a phone number.

Without considering the LG standard apps, I think the phone performed well and I enjoyed the features it came with. I loved the huge amount of memory and the phone’s ability to process a ton of activity at once without draining the battery.

CAMERA

The camera on this phone is one of the special features that set this phone apart from any others. This phone has TWO cameras on the back and a wide-angle lens camera on the front! There is a 16 MP standard angle lens and an 8 MP wide angle lens on the back of the phone (the iPhone 7 only has a 12 MP), and 5 MP wide angle lens at the front. The amount of content that you can fit into one picture is absolutely AMAZING. I was floored when I started using the camera. The pictures are extremely clear, much better than the ones my iPhone 6 can take. The colours are more saturated, but it makes scenery look so much deeper and richer than other cameras. In dim light, the pictures do lose this colour and end up more pixelated and more grey-toned, even with the flash on. I think on this spectrum the iPhone may be a bit better at taking night photos, but it doesn’t compare to the quality and amount of space you can get into photos with this phone.

The front camera is similar, able to fit a ton of content into one picture. I think Ellen would have loved this camera for the 2015 Oscar’s selfie because it as a group setting that can be used when there are a bunch of people trying to get into a picture. It was really cool how much you could get out of the camera, and it was definitely my favourite part of the phone. If you’re a photographer, I think you’ll love this for any spur of the moment photoshoots. The phone provides a selfie light to make sure that your selfies are well lit, has built in filters to blur out any imperfections and can take quick shots in case you need to snap a pic real quick. I thought this camera was great for selfie taking – I even posted a few on my Instagram account!

As for the video settings, this phone has a cool feature that helps to reduce any shakiness on videos. I wasn’t able to use it on any moving targets, but if you are filming with a shaky hand, it definitely aids in keeping the video steady no matter who is moving. The videos were as clear as the pictures. I think the camera on this phone is incredible and is probably the stand out feature for a product like this. I’ve never seen anything like this on any phone, so it is definitely a cool thing that you can show off to your friends!

LG V20 Vs iPhone 6

Taken with the LG V20

Taken with the iPhone 6

You can clearly see that the V20 shows much more clarity, richer colours and gives off a wider view of the scene.

AUDIO

The audio playback on this device was wonderful. Music that I had downloaded from Apple Music sounded really great through headphones, and the sound capability from video playback was also very crisp and clear. I can for a fact say that the playback from this phone was superior to the iPhone 6 and it was quite nice, as I like to listen to music when I’m walking around on campus. Listening to music didn’t drain the battery life either, which was an added bonus.

The LG website also claims that this device has a very high sound recording capability for video and audio. Video recordings have ‘true-to-life sound’ for clean audio to match your videos. Additionally, when audio recording, you can capture crisp sounds and can record on separate tracks that layer over playback. This would be great for recording memos or even lectures, which is a useful feature to have as a university student.

BATTERY LIFE

To put this product to the test, I took it to school for an ENTIRE day. And that means travelling with me from about 8:30am to 10:00pm, because it takes me about an hour and a half to get to school and from there I had class from 11:00am to 9:00pm. On a daily basis, I use my phone to listen to music in between classes and when on the bus, and constantly use my phone to check social media, text and research things. Now, I typically don’t have my data on all the time – at school I’m pretty much always connected to the WiFi. To give you an apt comparison, when I use my iPhone, by the end of the day I’d say my phone is in the 20-35% battery left category for the same length day.

With this phone with me through my day, I was left with 36% battery power – and the phone indicated to me that this meant another 7h and 43 minutes of usage (which was probably only standby time) but still, that’s a lot of battery power left. This was with Wi-Fi on, with the phone on vibrate and the game battery saver on, but not the regular battery saver. Though it performed about the same as my iPhone, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised that the battery lasted so long. It did a great job and a college student would have no issue taking this phone out for the day and not having to worry about it dying. And it charges really fast – it took about 4 hours to charge completely and was ready to use again, which is great for the student on the go.

OVERALL

PROSCONS
· Large, clear screen

· Great cameras

· Great audio playback

· Long lasting, quick charging battery

· Expensive – $480 retail!

· Poorly designed fingerprint scanner

· Poor built-in app design

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this device. In the past, whenever I have used an Android phone, I was never impressed because I had an iPhone, but this phone changed my outlook completely. I think this phone is great – it comes power-packed with a bunch of features, more than the iPhone has, and is less than half the price (but is still quite expensive when compared with other Android devices). The camera changed the game for me – the resolution of the pictures and the wide-angle camera lens is like nothing the phone world has seen before and definitively changes the game. There are so many great features to this phone that makes it practical for those on the go, the gamers, the social media stars, the photographers, etc. This is a phone that has features that cater to everyone, whether it be music, video, audio, or battery life. Though it’s not perfect (and nothing is), LG did a great job on this phone, and I can definitely say that it is a phone that students will love.

Overall rating: 8/10

Image by Unsplash, pixabay.com

In the summer of 2014, I had just finished my first year at university. Commuting was helping to save the family money, but it left me with little money for myself after I had to quit my job to accommodate the lost time travelling. I had worked at a Shoppers Drug Mart ten minutes away from my house, and leaving not only lost me my discount, but the ease that went into working every day.

I wanted to try and gain a position that had more to do with the profession I wanted to go into, which was being a doctor. I also wanted the ease that came with working close to home. So I opted to apply for a numerous amount of jobs – probably too many. I’ve heard from many since then that if you are applying to too many jobs at one time at the mall, things circulate and its likely to reflect poorly on you. I probably applied to about 10 retail jobs at the mall, but still holding out for an opportunity in research, I applied to about 10 more that I found on a school hiring website.

I found that using the resources given to me by my school was a huge advantage to the position I ended up receiving. You are technically paying for these services, so it is worth it to give them a chance. I would never have known where to get a research position after being in my first year – I barely knew where the library was – but using this school resource was a huge asset. Anyway, I had three callbacks from about 20 applications (such is life sometimes). I had a callback from a clothing store in the mall and two callbacks for research positions in psychiatry and in biology.

I ended up interviewing for the psychiatry position and the clothing store position, because the biology lab position ended up not working with my schedule. I was taking summer courses at the time and didn’t want to have something with too many hours. The research position was great because it was part of a program at U of T where there are a limited number of hours, which made it flexible for students. I had never worked at a retail store before so I was a little bit confused in the interview. Do I know what to do with inventory? No, I don’t know how to work a POS system.

It turned out that that job at the mall was the first job for which I had ever been interviewed and rejected. I always prepare well for my interviews – going over common answers that are typically asked, picking out my dress, relaxing myself before I get in there. I come with my cover letter, resume and references ready. It just eases my mind so I can perform my best. I guess my lack of experience kind of undershot my chances, so I ended up taking the position in psychiatry.

I’ve been working in that job for two years and I’ve learned a lot and made plenty of great friends. The fact that it is flexible helped me balance school and work and allowed me to meet different psychiatrists and employees at CAMH. The key to finding a good job is making sure that your resume is short and highlights all of your relevant accomplishments, preparing for the interview as well as following up after the interview, and just making sure that you are prepared every step of the way. You’d be surprised at the kinds of jobs you can find when you’re prepared!

Image by Hermann, pixabay.com

Image by Hermann, pixabay.com

So you’re off for two months, and then university. What are you supposed to do in the meantime? Though it seems like a whole two months away, your summer will (sadly) fly by faster that you’d think. Here are 10 tips that can help you make the most of it and prepare for your first year at university!

1. Review your grade 11 and 12 material
Many programs, especially life sciences or engineering, are based heavily on prerequisites that you took in high school. Reviewing chemistry, physics and math will put you at an advantage when it comes to your first year classes.

2. Buy your textbooks
If you know your schedule, search around online for some old syllabi and start buying your textbooks. It’s better to buy used, as you save money and may get some notes out of it, so join university textbook exchange groups, look at the school’s bookstore for used copies, and start buying early! The later you wait, the harder it is to find students with copies of the books that you may need.

3. Scope out the campus
If you have some free time, take a trip down to your campus and take a tour! You can use this time to check out some good study spots, food places, gyms, as well as find out where your registrar is. This way you won’t be stressed out when finding where to go on your first day!

4. Layout your room
If you aren’t sure what you’ll need to take with you to university, try getting a layout of the dorm rooms, and plan out your space. Then make a list of the things that you’ll need and start shopping!

5. Find friends
Making friends in first year will define your first year experience. Try joining ‘accepted’ Facebook groups, keeping an eye out for those who are in your dormitory. Then strike up a conversation and meet up with them during Frosh week! This can also work when looking for study buddies – try posting your class schedule and finding those who are in your class. Now if you’re ever sick, you have someone to get notes from!

6. Research Resources
Most universities offer crazy amounts of resources for their students – whether they be workshops, skills training, or essay help, look into what your school offers so you know what to make use of in your first year. Knowing that you can get essay or math help for your classes can definitely help boost your grades!

7. Look up your profs
Searching for prof ratings before your classes can help give you a sense of how the class is going to be. Sites like www.ratemyprof.com give ratings about how much you’ll need your textbook, how much is weighted on lectures, etc., which can be helpful advice for your classes. If reviews are negative, fear not! If you find out ahead of time you can try and switch profs – or just learn what makes them tick. Once you find your profs, try emailing them to get to know them! Then during the year, they can put a face to a name, which can make it easier for you to ask questions and get help. This will definitely set you apart from other students in your program!

8. Join clubs
Getting involved in your school in first year is a must! It’ll help you get out there and experience what your university has in store for you. Look up some school clubs that you may like to join, and try emailing them if you have any questions. Clubs look great on your resume and will help give you a break from classes.

9. Search for jobs
Moving to a new town for university? You may want to consider looking at businesses in the area, or town or university specific job boards to find a position. You can even try emailing different professors asking if they have any research opportunities available. Finding a job will definitely help make sure you have money throughout the year, look great on a resume, and help you create a support system in your new home!

10. Find fun hotspots
University, if anything, should be a learning experience! Look up fun things that you would like to try with your friends, as well as any food places, clubs and festivals that take place in your university area. Always wanted to try kickboxing? See if a gym nearby offers it – then take your new friend from tip 5 to try it out!

Be safe, have fun and be prepared for your new year of university! 🙂

Image by Jirka Matousek, Flickr

Image by , Flickr

With many schools beginning frosh this week, things are about to get crazy. School spirit and booze will be flying, but as a second year, I’d like to offer you froshies some carefully considered and hard-learned advice about keeping your week fun, safe and educational.

1. Be friendly!

A lot of first years I meet always tell me the same thing – I didn’t make any friends during frosh week. And frosh, like anything, is bound by this rule: you get what you give. If you give all your effort trying to talk to people in your dorm or at a party, and really work on maintaining those friendships, you’re going to meet new people and have fun. A lot of people are shy, but trust me, if you see another shy person across the room, take a chance and talk to them! Frosh is all about making the most of your new environment. Not everyone will be receptive to you, but it’s always worth a try and most people appreciate the effort. I find that everyone has the same friendly spirit during frosh, so make the most of it.

2. Try to visit all the frosh events you can

As a commuter, trying to make friends during frosh was tough, but it becomes easier if you try to attend as many events as you can. Go to the club fair and homecoming. The more events you attend, the more you learn about your school and the more people you meet. It’s so important to take this time to get to know your school and feel the pride and connection the student body has. Get out there and try new things! That being said…

3. Don’t overdo it

I know many people who go out every single night and drink way too much for seven days straight. The reality is, you’re going to make yourself sick. And being sick for the first day of class doesn’t reflect very well on you to professors. If you’ve never drank before, pace yourself and make sure that you know what you can handle. And only drink with people that you know – and I mean people that you know WELL. Getting lost in a place you don’t know is dangerous and scary, especially if you are intoxicated. And NEVER EVER feel pressured to drink. You do whatever you are comfortable with. It’s your frosh and you can make it fun doing the things that you enjoy – alcohol not necessary.

4. Ask questions

You’re going to have tons of opportunities to connect with upper years and learn more about the campus and its programs during frosh. Definitely take the time to speak up and ask questions – about anything. Ask about clubs, bars, secret study spaces or who the good profs are on campus. Upper years at frosh events love to help out and are there for a reason, so take advantage of them! You could also make a new, older friend in the process, which can help you in the long run with study tips and old notes!

5. Take an off campus trip

Getting to know your new place is one of the key things to do during frosh, but that also means getting to know where your campus is and what the nearby cities are. Get to know the public transit, where the banks, grocery stores and shopping centers are, as well as if there are any off-campus libraries nearby – they make great study spaces during exam time. Your registrar office is also a great place to contact if you have questions about the area.

Happy Frosh!

Image by Pieter van Marion, Flickr

Image by Pieter van Marion, Flickr

Commuting sucks. I would know, as for my first year of university I commuted from Newmarket to downtown Toronto, which on a good day takes an hour and half. After drowning and doing very poorly in my first year of school, I decided to rent an apartment with my friends. It was a taxing process, but after being accepted, knowing that I would be that much closer to campus almost guaranteed me better grades.

Don’t start looking too early.

As soon as you decide to get an apartment, you may feel antsy to start looking and contacting people right away. DON’T DO IT. Usually current renters are required to give their leave 2 months before, so trying to view apartments 5 months before doesn’t really make sense.

Start looking at buildings that seem nice, visit websites and figure out if the location is right for you. Then about two months before, start calling and making appointments to see certain places.

Roommates are key!
Renting alone is a huge financial burden, and that’s why most students who don’t live on campus share with friends. A $3000 dollar apartment becomes under $600 a month if you share with 5 people, so try and find people you get along with to rent with you.

Something important to discuss with roommates is whose name the Wi-Fi and additional bills names comes in. It can be hard to choose – I suggest drawing straws.

Read the fine print
Most buildings make you pay hydro and don’t include Wi-Fi, so make sure you read the lease and ask as many questions as you can to the leasing managers. Make sure you know your budget and look into these costs beforehand so you can save up accordingly and plan your money.

Read the lease really carefully and ask questions before you sign. There can be certain points in the lease that you may not agree with, so make sure there are no tricks. Ask about things like parking, water and power, laundry, rent payments and emergency situations.

A typical application
It’s hard to know what a renter’s application consists of before you do one, but it’s usually an application with your personal information, some kind of credit check or check with your bank, references, and a T4 or statement showing how much money you make a year.

Some places ask for much more or less than this; it really depends on where you apply. Landlords can ask for as much or as little as they want, but never be afraid to ask if you think there isn’t a reason to provide certain information.

Guarantors
You’re most likely going to need a guarantor to sign for you before you can rent because students don’t have a full time income. This can be a huge burden for your parents and can affect their credit, so make sure that you talk to them and explain what they have to do. Most guarantors must sign the lease as well, which means if one roommate doesn’t pay, all guarantors will be notified. Make sure each roommate has their own guarantor so they will be responsible for each other. Guarantors apply as tenants, so they will have to fill out the same application as you do.

Remember your furniture!
When planning expenses, remember that you have to provide furnishings for your new place. This can be expensive, but if each roommate brings a few things or you split the cost of expensive items, the price goes down. www.freecycle.org is a website where people are trying to get rid of their items, so you can end up getting things for free! I also recommend Ikea for furniture; they have great pieces that are good for students on a budget.

Make a contract with your roommates
Sometimes things go wrong with friendships and people don’t behave like they’re supposed to. In order to stop this from happening, make a contract that each roommate must sign in so that the rules are clear. Include things like food, showering and bathroom privileges, room, TV, guests and laundry privileges. Consider setting a fine rate for those who break these privileges.

Here are some more articles that might help with your first apartment:

Image by Uwww.audio-luci-store.it on Flickr

Image by Uwww.audio-luci-store.it on Flickr

As most of you know, the first year of university is always the hardest to adjust to. The addition of taking care of yourself, making new friends, learning how to get around campus, and school can sometimes be too much to bear. Some kids get the luxury of living on or close to campus in order to make sure that they stay focused on school, but in my case, I was commuting three hours a day to and from the campus.

I would like to attend medical school after my four-year undergraduate. It is well known that medical schools are very competitive and require extremely high marks to even be considered. I had always known that I was meant for medical school and worked hard to achieve 90%+ all throughout high school. I enrolled in life sciences and knew that I wanted to do a double major in neuroscience and psychology, but of course, I wasn’t so fond of the prerequisites to get to that stage. Taking math and physics wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do in my first year, especially when I thought I would finally be studying what I liked.

So after the drowning I call first semester, I looked back on my grades and was shocked. I had never seen numbers like this before; I really didn’t even think they were possible. I had heard that medical schools liked to see an upward trend, so I was dismayed and hurt, but tried not to think about it. Having your grades stripped from you when that was all you had was a huge thing I had to overcome – I defined my worth by how “smart” I was and getting past that mindset was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

After I saw my grades, I kicked myself into high gear. I started working hard, keeping up with assignments, and realized the mistake I made taking a bunch of unnecessarily challenging courses. As if that wasn’t enough, all our lab/practical hours were cancelled and grades had to be shifted around because our TAs went on strike. One of my classes was even cancelled because they were picketing in front of the building. At the end of my second semester, my grades weren’t as high as I wanted them to be, but I accepted it. I knew that there were reasons for the discrepancies but I still saw a huge improvement in my marks from first semester. I had enjoyed my time in my second semester and even though I wasn’t where I wanted to be, it had nothing to do with my place in the university. It was very eye-opening and taught me what I needed to do in order to achieve MY best – not what everyone else considered to be the best.

I’m now taking a summer school course and my marks are astoundingly better than what I was getting during my first year of school. My work ethic precedes my first year grades and I know that if I apply what I learned during this year to the rest of my years in school, I will be exactly where I need to be. The important thing to note from my story is this – adjustment and success takes time and work. You can’t expect to start a new job or do something new and be amazing at it right away. Your learning may not look good on paper – but the lessons that stay engrained in your memory are worth much more than marks or experience to put on your CV. Work hard, stay positive and make sure you enjoy what you are doing. Though I had a rough start, I’m sure my lessons and new attitude will carry me much farther than just to medical school.

Image by Penn State, Flickr

Image by Penn State, Flickr

The college lifestyle entails a lot going on and not a lot of time to do it in, which is why so many students are staying up late to finish their work, then falling asleep in class. A study by Hershner and Chervin published in 2014 stated that:

50% [of students] report daytime sleepiness and 70% attain insufficient sleep.

Adults are supposed to sleep at least eight hours a night, and most students are getting less than 6 measly hours! I know it seems like it’s worth it to stay up and do your homework or go out with friends, but what are the real implications of staying up late?

Sleep is a crucial process that repairs the body’s systems from the damage and stress it faced during the day. When we don’t get enough sleep, the body can’t fully repair and rejuvenate, so you can actually end up weakening your immune system and lowering your state of consciousness. You are much more likely to forget things and be irritable when tired, which negatively impacts mood and performance. The study states that those who get the right amount of sleep and don’t study versus those who stay up all night to study actually do better.

Subjects tested at 10 am and then retested at 10 pm without sleep showed no significant change in performance. After a night of sleep, subjects’ performance improved by 18%. Subjects tested at 10 pm initially, then retested after sleep, also had a significant improvement in performance. This supports the concept that sleep, and not just time, is required for learning and memory consolidation.

– Hershner and Chervin, 2014

Now that you know the importance of sleep and your academic career, here are a few tips that will help you get more sleep.

  1. Plan! – If you plan out your entire day and stick to your schedule, you will be more likely to get to bed at a reasonable time while also getting all your activities for the day finished.
  2. Keep your partying to a few days a week. – We all like to go out and party, but drinking and going out every night is not only harmful to your health but also to your grades. Maybe keep your partying to once or twice a week to make sure you are balancing your time correctly.
  3. Turn off electronics – electronics’ blue light can interfere with sleep patterns, so make sure to turn of your gadgets and keep them out of your room to resist temptations to check them while you sleep.
  4. Exercise – Exercising for 30 minutes before bed will tire you out and help you reach a deeper sleep faster, as well as keeping your body healthy and active.
  5. Limit your stimulants – Keeping your alcohol, coffee and cigarette intake to a minimum will minimize the frequent awakenings during the night and stops disruptive sleep.

Hope these tips will keep you guys well rested!

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