On busy mornings, while you may be tempted to just grab a donut, or even worse — skip breakfast — consider preparing the night before or buying some grab-and-go items. Trust me, I know what it’s like to be running-out-the-door-almost-late every morning at 8 a.m. and it’s super-helpful to have something ready in the fridge for breakfast or as a snack later on in the day. Yogurt cups (optional: add some fruit), protein shakes or bars, Go-Gurt, granola bars and chocolate milk (Ralph’s has a $4 for five deal on Horizon Choco Milk — it’s saved my mornings) are only a few of the many options available.
However, if you prefer a cooked breakfast, on Sunday nights make some hard-boiled eggs for the week or prepare some oatmeal that you can heat up in a box and add brown sugar or fruit to in the morning. Smoothies are also a healthy and delicious option. Slice some fruit and pack them in separate Ziploc bags in the freezer (no need for extra ice when it’s frozen) so you can just dump a bag in the blender and add juice or milk. You can also make a toasted bagel with peanut butter or Nutella with bananas or put scrambled eggs on top. The key is to prepare things beforehand so your mornings won’t have to be stressful too. You can also eat these while you’re walking to class.
Eating junk food will only leave you feeling groggier and intensify your snack cravings; wouldn’t you rather be setting up your day for success? Next time you’re considering eating your leftover pizza from that all-night cram sesh for breakfast, try opting for something healthier so you can take on the day knowing you’re doing your body a favor. (It’ll thank you later!)
Stress during school is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it has to take over your life. There are many methods to relieve stress, and one that may be relevant depending on what you like to do is exercise. Exercising is a great way to burn off the calories while releasing hormones that can cause stress, as some studies have shown. For those who enjoy exercising, taking a quick run around the block can help clear your mind and give you some fresh air, and for those who don’t, you could walk around outside or take your dog out for a walk (or in my case, some quick window-shopping) for around 30 minutes. A change of atmosphere could make a big difference if you were originally studying in a stuffy or not too comfortable environment. It would also be a nice break to clear your head and not have to focus on something for so long that you start to get tired or even delusional.
Aside from regular exercise, the Well also offers many activities during midterms and finals week to help overworked students release some of the stress. One of my favorite events that they put on is the therapy fluffies session at the Bell Tower. Even if you’re not particularly stressed out, life offers very few comparable pleasures as playing with an energetic puppy (except for maybe a group of energetic puppies). The Well also offers a series of workshops on how to relieve stress that range from breathing exercises, yoga and tips on how to get a good night’s rest.
From running to and from classes, meeting up with friends, office hours and extracurricular activities, schedules can get pretty hectic. Midterm season usually adds an extra bonus of cramming hours to a busy schedule.
Most planners usually turn out to be a best friend during these crazy weeks. There’s just something extremely gratifying about crossing out a task on a to-do list throughout the day. Planners are generally expensive and never have the right page formatting to fit some needs. My solution? Make your own! I hoard notebooks like a crazy cat lady and have found that making my own planners from Japanese notebooks you can find at Daiso (a Japanese version of the 99-cent store) is one solution to my organizational needs.
While many people today like to keep their calendar and to-do lists on their phone, some find that it helps to remember tasks more efficiently to write it down by hand. Whether you prefer digital or pen-to-paper, there is nothing more important to keeping your life organized than a trusty planner. There’s a certain feeling of satisfaction with flipping through a colorful and well-used planner at the end of a quarter. You can track progress and accomplishments, see all of the social events that you attend throughout the quarter and on the last page, jot down grades with a big, bold Sharpie to motivate you to work harder next quarter.