• Cures for the College Insomniac

    by Madeline Beavis

    A view of the sun setting over a lake.

    It’s no secret that "sleep" is not always a part of a college student’s vocabulary – understandably since worrying about upcoming exams and deadlines would make anyone anxious! As someone who has suffered from bouts of insomnia since childhood and spending a year with a roommate, it became obvious I was not the only one tossing and turning. Even after long days of studying I can struggle to shut my mind off when it’s time to go to bed. If you’re like me, here are some tips that may help you naturally fall asleep faster and feel refreshed for all your classes and activities!

    1. Put away the screens.

    Night after night I’ve fallen victim to my phone, spending what felt like 5 minutes scrolling through notifications when suddenly, an hour had gone by! I learned the hard way that the blue light from technology interferes with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to fall asleep as well as wake up the next morning. If you want to fall asleep faster, put away the computer and turn off TikTok at least 30 minutes before you’re ready to go to bed.

    2. With the screens away, pull out a book... a paper book.

    If you love to read, this is the tip for you! Reading a few pages of a book can help make your eyes and brain tired, which will help you fall asleep faster. Just make sure there aren’t any major cliffhangers that will keep you hooked so you can’t put it down!

    3. Listen to white noise or soft music.

    Dorms can get loud, so creating a buffer between you and the background noise can be really helpful. There are a lot of apps or websites offering free white noise or soothing music to block out unwanted sound.

    4. Exercise, exercise, exercise.

    After sitting at a desk all day studying or completing assignments, I sometimes feel like my body needs to move and stretch to release pent-up energy. If it feels like your mind is tired but your body isn’t, try incorporating at least 30-60 minutes of exercise into your daily routine. Even something as simple as a walk around your campus can help reduce your energy before bed.

    5. Drink a cup of chamomile tea.

    I've found that chamomile tea has an almost magical calming effect! Not only can it help you to relax, but it also has numerous health benefits, aids in digestion, and has a soothing aroma.

    Consistently getting a good night’s sleep is very important for alertness, memorization, boosting your immune system, improving your mood, and maintaining good mental and physical health. Do yourself a favor and try a few of these ideas to improve your sleep and your overall health!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Packing for Your Move to Campus

    by Madeline Beavis

    Two college women pose together in their dorm room. They are standing in front of a desk in the space between their single beds.

    Moving into a college dorm can be a daunting task for any incoming freshmen. It can be difficult to determine what is necessary to bring and what can be left at home with limited space in your dorm room. Even if you’ve watched a thousand YouTube videos about the “perfect” packing suggestions, you can still end up with a list a mile long. After experiencing two semesters of dorm life, here are some of my do's and don’ts for move-in day!

    DO Bring Lots and Lots of Storage Options

    Storage is one of the biggest challenges. I recommend using the space under your bed to store extra items that don’t fit in your closet or dresser. Large plastic tubs or storage bins with drawers are a great place to put things like sweatshirts or snacks, and smaller containers are perfect for stacking on shelves. Remember, organization is key!

    DON’T Bring an Iron or Ironing Board

    When I was first packing for school, I thought ironing equipment was an essential item... but if I wasn’t ironing my clothes at home, why would I do it at school? These items take up a lot of space and you will most likely only use them once, if at all.

    DO Bring a Wide Range of Clothes

    When you’re sitting in lectures for a long time, comfort is top priority so pack some cozy outfits! Don’t forget one or two business casual options as well for any academic presentations or job interviews. It’s also good to remember that you may not have to bring everything on the first day. Depending on your school location, summer clothing could be brought home during breaks and exchanged with winter clothing or vice versa! Lastly, if you are traveling a long distance, consider what items can be purchased when you get there!

    DON’T Bring Items That Are Not Allowed

    Many schools do not allow certain items for safety reasons or because they will be provided for you. Although you may really want to bring an air conditioning unit, candles, or smaller appliances like hot plates or toasters, your Resident Assistant will require you to remove them or confiscate them completely.

    DO Bring a Desk Lamp and Surge Protector

    Lightning is not always the best in dorm rooms. Having a light on your desk is really helpful if you’re studying late at night while a roommate is sleeping. Having a surge protector helps eliminate the scarcity of outlets if you have multiple devices you need to plug in.

    DON’T Bring a Massive Laundry Bin, DO Bring a Laundry Bag

    Potentially carrying a large laundry basket up many flights of stairs is not ideal. I found that a laundry bag you can swing over your shoulder was super easy. I even brought two bags: one for dirty clothes on the way to my laundry room and one for clean clothes on the way back!

    DO Bring a Shower Caddy (And Shower Shoes!)

    You’re going to want something to carry all of your shower stuff with you to the bathroom. I recommend a mesh bag which is very easy to clean by hand or in the washing machine and hangs nicely. However, some students prefer to use a plastic caddy that they put on the floor. Don’t forget shower shoes are strongly recommended in dorm bathrooms!!

    Most importantly, DO Coordinate with Your Roommate(s)

    It’s not always possible to get in touch with your future roommate(s) but try your best to coordinate certain items. For example, you won’t need two vacuums or two TVs, and you can save a lot of money and time if you split a wish list!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us - click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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