by Sarah Bransley
As the end of the semester approaches and spring seems to finally have it’s hold over the campus, spirits seem to be slowly lifting. Everyone can see the light at the end of the tunnel, whether that’s the end of the semester, the end of undergrad, or the end of school forever! Combining the warm, fresh air with the packing that ensues at the end of every semester means that a lot of people are looking forward to a cleaning day or two in the near future. Before you grab the vacuum, think about grabbing your laptop first.
As we shift more of our activities into the technological world, our need to organize our digital lives as well as our physical lives becomes more important. For each person this may mean different things. For me, it includes going through my emails and unsubscribing from all of those websites I never look at anymore. It includes making sure my files & folders are fairly organized and backed up. It involves unfriending the people I don’t interact with anymore. It includes changing my favorites on all my media. It includes googling my own name, seeing what appears, and deciding what I want to represent myself. That last one is actually pretty important for everyone, but very few people do it.
Your digital footprint represents you not only to your friends and family but to future employers, co-workers, professors, landlords, your hairstylist, and that guy across the hall from you who you say hi to but totally forgot his name. If you’re looking for work or an internship, this is important as many employers look at social media now to gain information on prospective employees. If you aren’t graduating yet, this will put you ahead of the game. It’s important to know how you are representing yourself to the world and if you have any old or unfortunate media tied to your name.
By Sarah Bransley
Finals week is approaching and whether it’s your first or last time experiencing it, here’s a few tips to get you through the stress!
1. Plan ahead.
The average college student gets less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Do you really want to try to pull an all-nighter, or multiple, after a semester of that sort of sleep? Then create a study schedule to help you review without losing those precious Zs.
You may laugh at the majority of people who carry those Camelbaks around on campus, but they are laughing their way to a 4.0. Staying hydrated means you’re less likely to experience headaches, dizziness, or sleepiness from not getting enough to drink. You don’t need a headache from lack of water. That’s what trying to understand Organic Chem is for.
3. Pack snacks
Whether you’re stuck at the library or you just finished a 3 hour final, you’re going to need to feed yourself. Pack those snacks so future-you doesn’t have to decide between packing up all your books to get food or try to study for another hour with your stomach eating itself from the inside out. A favorite of mine is homemade trail mix. Buy bulk ingredients at the store and mix it yourself on Sunday. It’ll last you forever! If you’re stuck on the dining hall deal, try I57’s Candy Corner to mix your own!
4. Give yourself a break
As stressful as cramming that much info into your brain over a few weeks can be, not taking breaks will make it MUCH worse. Set a timer for every 20-30 minutes to remind yourself to stand up and stretch. It not only keeps your body from hurting, but also helps reset your brain to improve your studying!
5. Sloth believes in you
And finally, if you find yourself freaking out over grades, tests, GPA, whatever, remember that this sloth believes in you.
By Sarah Bransley
If you’re like me, you tend to study in the same place all the time. It can get pretty monotonous and I know I need to shake things up every once in a while. That’s why I’m going to give you some ideas for great alternative study spots.
First up, check out alternative libraries to Grainger or the UGL. The campus has a lot of them and most are pretty small. If you don’t need to access any literature or text and are just looking to study, these places are a great spot to study. You do need to be aware of the fact that they aren’t all open 24 hours like the larger libraries. Most are open until 5pm, some 9pm. A few of my favorite alternatives include the Chem Library in Noyes, the MCB Library in Burrill, the Communications Library in Gregory Hall, and the ACES Funk Library on the South Quad.
Some other great alternative study spots include coffee shops, restaurants, & bars. Everyone studies in the coffee shops, so there are numerous Espresso Royale locations on and off campus, as well as Café Paradiso in Urbana, Latte Da in some campus buildings, and others in Champaign. If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat while studying you can definitely try out Merry Ann’s, Panera, Mia Za’s, etc. Look for places that have WiFi and tables large enough to spread out some work and don’t go during peak periods (i.e. lunch or dinner rush). Bars are also pretty dead during the day and offer lunch deals which many people forget. A perfect place to study!
Another option are the random study nooks throughout campus. Many people know about the ones found on the basement and first floors of the Union, but many other buildings have them too. Loomis Lab has some benches and tables facing Green Street, the Foreign Language Building has chairs and tables lining the first floor hallway, and Lincoln Hall has an entire outdoor garden hidden in the middle of the building with benches to enjoy the atmosphere. Keep your eyes peeled when walking through buildings as they’re everywhere!
If these ideas don’t pique your interest, then I would definitely encourage you to explore the campus and ask around! Everyone has different study needs so if you’re looking to shake things up, only you know what will fit the bill. The campus is huge so there’s a lot to offer and I’m sure you’ll find what you need.