In today’s constant stream of internet interactions, many students find themselves becoming too addicted to everyday usage of social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit… the list goes on! “Cleansing yourself” of the social medias has become a popular occurrence recently, in which individuals avoid the use of the internet, televisions, and smart phones entirely. The main problem with doing this, however, is finding ways to keep yourself occupied. There is no denying that it is challenging, but once you realize how much fun you can have offline you will forget about newsfeeds and hashtags althogether. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Read. Find a great book and immerse yourself in it. Once you get your hands on a good book, you’ll find it hard to put down for even a second. There are genres out there for people of all shapes and sizes. I highly recommend Lightning written by Dean Koontz.
Hike. Go with a group of friends, and make your own little corner of the world for a few days. It’s easy to find hundreds of small hiking trails throughout the world, and if you really want to shoot for the stars, try hiking one of the more famous trails, like the Appalachian trail. If you don’t think you’re ready for the full challenge, hike a trail in separate sections. Nothing helps to forget about the internet better than sleeping under the stars.
Drive. Pick a place really far away and drive there. Road trips are a great way to bond with new friends or old ones, and you’ll get to see and experience the world from an entirely different perspective. Don’t just drive from point A to B, either. Stop in small towns, take scenic detours, and just have fun with it! If you see a sign for the world’s best pie, go try it! Instead of reading someone’s Tumblr post, drive on the open road.
Scream! Take the free time you’ll find yourself with to push your own limits. If you’ve never been on a roller coaster before, go to an amusement park. Do something to really get your adrenaline pumping. If you really have the desire for excitement, try working your way up to skydiving! Instead of reading someone’s status, YOU’LL be the one with the story to tell.
It may seem like there isn’t much to do without technology, but people have been getting along fine without it for a very long time. Who knows, giving up social media just might change your life. Eventually social networking sites will just be places to store all the beautiful pictures you’ll be taking, and all the great stories you’ll want to share. Give it a try and let us know how it goes (once you get back online, of course).
Not so many years ago, all the cool kids hung out on MySpace, looking for the cuties and talking to random people you would never meet in real life. Today, MySpace is ancient history, but the realm of social media is expanding. We need blogs, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn, and even Facebook to help connect to potential employers, get into social networking, and help us land a job. This need and use of social media has helped to transform aspects of college education and college life in general.
As a student in S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, it’s hard to escape the importance and prevalence of social media. Magazines, companies, films, celebrities, and just about everyone else can now be found on some, if not all, forms of social media. In essence, it’s the way of the future. Schools often now suggest creating blogs so employers can get a sense of your writing and personality, and managing a professional Twitter to get an idea for what your industry is like and perhaps catch the attention of a certain employer.
Social media is no longer just a way for high school students to find other students who also like puppies. It is a full blown industry that can close and open doors for you depending on what you’re talking about on your profiles. There are now college courses taught on the various social media platforms, how to create a professional profile, and the importance of maintaining these profiles.
While some argue that social media distracts from school time—which is true if kids are sitting in class on Facebook chat; surely their parents are super proud and putting that tuition money to good use—it can actually be seen as the student taking the future into their hands. By encouraging the students to follow, for example, different magazines, magazine editors and writers as a magazine major, this can only serve to exemplify the passion they have for their future careers. Further, students then have a chance to potentially interact with professionals in their field, by posting a Facebook comment or sending a tweet. Social media can revolutionize students getting ready for the job market as they can see first-hand some of the skills and day-to-day tasks of people in their field on the job, which can help them choose courses and find the best internships down the road.
Through teaching social media or using social media in the classroom, a student’s education is broadened. The Internet connects the world and with social media, the world has platforms on which to communicate and build significant connections for their future. The class can have discussions through a Facebook page or on Twitter, instead of having to deal with emails back and forth. Professors can hold a Twitter Q&A with an old colleague still working at a company students in the major would love to hear about. And remember that time James Franco taught a class via Skype? The opportunities are endless and with more unique social media platforms, more doors are opening.
Though many people still don’t understand social media and see it as a waste of time, it is quickly becoming the way of the future. Social media has already helped land thousands of people jobs and internships, which in turn has made it a necessity to be taught in some form in school so students understand how to make best use of these platforms on a professional level. So, embrace your Facebook, be kind on your Twitter and learn, learn, learn!
Isn’t it crazy that we can fall asleep in ten seconds flat at the library, but as soon as our heads meet our pillows we are wide-awake? There are many things that can be done to help a person fall asleep fast, without the use of shady sleeping aids those people down the hall always offer you:
1. Limit caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant (well, duh). Having a cup of coffee before your night class might instantly perk you up, but chances are you will be up way long after your professor lets you go. Avoid energy drinks, coffee, even caffeinated tea for about four hours before trying to sleep.
2. No eating right before bed.
Just like caffeine, if you have an orange (or any other acidic fruit) right before bed, it will be harder to drift off to la-la-land. Just as you don’t want to get wired up on caffeine right before sleep, try not to eat until you’re full right before bed. You can still hit up late night with friends; just ensure you are not planning on sleeping for s few hours afterward. If you are starving try to eat lighter foods like eggs, an apple, some cereal, etc. if you are planning to doze off soon.
3. Having a sleeping schedule.
Your friends may be unpredictable or spontaneous, your schedule may be drastically different from day to day, and if your involved on campus, forget about it. Having a different schedule each day is an exciting part of college that one may not appreciate until one starts working 9-5. Ensure that your sleep schedule is somewhat routine (i.e. you try to sleep each night around the same time and try to wake each morning similarly). No one says your bedtime has to be at 11pm anymore, but keeping a schedule will help you fall asleep faster and get a more restful sleep.
4. No tech ‘til breakfast.
This is a tough one, but using your phone, iPad, laptop, or anything of the sort right before bed might be a reason you can’t seem to sleep well. Have you ever closed your eyes and the first picture you have in your mind is a computer game or a part of that funny YouTube video? This is a sign you should probably cut down. Skeptical? See what Dr. Breus has to say about this.
5. The right amount of exercise.
Girls and guys alike seem to drastically change their exercise routine when in college to either extreme. Some slow down their workouts, go less often or stop them completely. Others workout so hard that their body is throbbing in pain and they end up so sore that they need to take a break on the stairs when trying to get to class on the second floor. Either of these extremes is harmful to your sleep. Exercising that right amount is different for everyone, and it takes practice to find that balance. At least 20 minutes of exercise every other day is a nice minimum whether that is walking, lifting, running or rock climbing. Finding fun and different ways to keep in shape can keep your muscles guessing and trick your mind into disbelief that what you just did really was a workout can give you a more restful sleep. Try a new sport with a friend or check out a fitness class on campus.
Not a yogi? Try just sitting at your desk or on a comfortable chair and just take a few slow breaths. Clearing your head a bit before bed may get rid of some stress or anxiety before sleep.
7. Less pressure on yourself.
Keep up with your responsibilities, going to class and such, but not putting too much pressure on yourself may help you drift off to sleep quicker. Remember that saying “College is the most exciting time in your life”? They say that for a reason.
8. College sleep kit.
Either by hitting up the local convenience store or asking for these items to be sent in your next care package, these items are known to help you fall asleep faster:
Lavender lotion or putting a drop of lavender oil behind your pillow
Eye mask to block out your roommates desk light
De-caffeinated herbal tea (most labels will advertise it is a natural sleep remedy)
A word on ear plugs – although they work wonders in the library around finals when everyone is doing their homework last minute, earplugs at night could be dangerous incase of fire or other emergency. Talking with your roommates or neighbors about the noise level could be your best bet.
Do NOT succumb to alcohol. Many bad habits can begin in college, but do NOT let using alcohol as a sleep aid become one of them. Once legal age, there is nothing wrong with a glass of wine at the end of the day, but using alcohol as a sleep aid can be very dangerous! Here’s proof.