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Carrying the Fire Fall 2013, Issue 01

How to Survive Finals A Week Without Soda

What is Going on around UC?


Carrying the Fire Fall 2013, Issue 01

In this Issue: Page 3-5 Cover Story: How to Survive Finals Page 6-7 Photo Spread: What is happening around campus Page 8-9 A Week without Soda Staff: Carrying the Fire Editor in Chief – Christin Miller Assistant Editors – Natasha Jones, Timothy Wyatt Creative Director – Ashley Lingard Contributing Writers – Kelly Allen, Jannica Brady, Abbey Cherry, Ashley Lingard, Kasey Malone, Shelby Muff Andres Pedraza, Ryan Poynter, Caleb Vander Ark, Whitley West, Solomon Whitaker, Alex Williams, Matthew Williams Contributing Photographers – Chloe Gu, Erin McMullen, Kristina Smith Faculty Adviser – Jeremiah Massengale Carrying the Fire is published quarterly in partnership with The Patriot Newspaper at the University of the Cumberlands. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Carrying the Fire, advertisers, UC staff, faculty, administration, alumni, or trustees. Copyright 2013, all rights reserved. To subscribe to YOURMAGAZINENAME Phone: 606-539-4172 Email: thepatriot@ucumberlands.edu Rates: 1 year (4 issues) U.S. $15 Postmaster: Send address changes to The Patriot, University of the Cumberlands,7609 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, KY 40769.


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Staying stress-free:

By Kayla Hedman

How Students can Survive Finals


Over the course of finals week students usually have two goals: (1) Do well on exams and (2) keep stress to a minimum. Students are usually seen double-fisting caffeinated beverages, munching on sugary snacks, shuffling around papers and books to find a place to lay their head, and it’s not uncommon to sleep as much in a week as one would in a single night. Dr. Michael Colegrove, vice president of Student Services, said: “Staying stress-free is important, but stress is not inherently bad for students. There is an ideal level of stress for each one of us, which that helps motivate us to do our best. When we are functioning at that ideal level, we are sufficiently pushed to do our best, yet not paralyzed by the results of excessive stress. The goal is to find the ideal stress level and then try to stay there.” External stress emerges because studying should be one’s top priority and unfortunately, no young adult likes to admit that their social life has to be set aside for a bit, he said. “In order to perform best on final exams, one must remember the basics: stay active, get plenty of rest, eat a good breakfast, all those healthy study-tips that students have been told since grade school.

In addition to that, one must find time to escape studying and take time for themselves.” From a student perspective, surviving the gauntlet of oral presentations, exams, essay writing, and projects, in the weeks ahead, here are some techniques UC students suggest will successfully minimize stress and maximize efficiency. Take advantage of on campus programming during and prior to finals week Many colleges help their students to de-stress during finals week by offering school-sponsored events. Check into what UC offers; The Campus Activity Board and the Student Government Association offer special student events, and free midnight snacks in the dining hall. Area churches like Main Street Baptist Church offer free coffee and organized study breaks.

Work out  Short exercise breaks can help relieve stress, socialize, and burn off the extra sugary calories you may consume. Take a jog downtown, ride your bike to campus, do yoga, take a kickboxing class, play pickup basketball, or go to the wellness center and get your fitness on. Exercise helps you focus, it gives you additional energy, and it releases endorphins to make you feel better. In order to make deadlines,

stick to 30 minutes of exercise a day. If you must, bring a book to study while you’re on the exercise bike or treadmill. If exercising is not your thing, progressive muscle relaxation is a technique many people find helpful. Systematically go through the major muscle groups of your body, tightening, holding and then relaxing each group. Start at the top of your body and move down (face; neck/upper back/shoulders; arms; abdominals; upper legs; lower legs; feet/toes). Eat healthy Often, students eat even more unhealthily during finals week than they do the rest of the semester. With a time crunch, they go for quick, tasty, on-the-go foods and mindlessly much away until they are left with an empty package. This is a big mistake. Junk food gives you instant energy or a sugar high, but it affects your concentration and memory and will end in a food coma or sugar crash. Eating healthy food will energize you and increase your concentration and retention. Fruits and vegetables are best; they have the required vitamins and nutrients to prevent sickness and give you energy. Simply eating a healthy diet is an easy way to help manage stress and get good grades during your finals.

In order to perform best on final exams, one must remember the basics 4


Stay hydrated Your brain works best when it’s hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and headaches, which will distract you from your work. Caffeine dehydrates you more, so for every coffee you have, have a glass of water. Your body and mind will thank you. Breathe When you are in those moments when your stress level is climbing, take a deep breath for four counts, hold it for four counts, and exhale for four counts. Try this a few times. You may be shocked at how much better you feel. Treat yourself to lunch before your final Get away from campus and get your mind off of studying if you have a spark of confidence. Check out local restaurants like El Dorado’s, the Root Beer Stand, and Milly’s On Main for some tasty, brain food. Catch some ZZZ’s  Everyone has different sleep habits, but it is never healthy to pull an all-nighter. Make sure to get the sleep your body needs. Sleep will improve the quality and retention of studying, even though you may have less study time. Less is more. Take breaks  Studying non-stop is actually not helpful. After a long period of studying, your concentration will be broken, and the material that you are trying to learn will not be re-

tained well. Studies show in order to really grasp information, the brain needs time to absorb what it has learned. You should use short breaks to exercise, eat, rest, talk to friends, watch TV, go outside, or do some other activity that takes your mind off the study material. The most important thing is that you do something for yourself and reward yourself for getting some work done Select a good study space  Do not just start studying anywhere. Find a quiet, orderly place. Unfortunately, your dorm room is probably a bad place to study. With all the familiar objects around and your roommates hanging out, it would be too easy to get distracted. A peaceful environment will be an immeasurable help to your concentration.

P&P: Prioritize & plan  “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” If you start studying without a plan, you are likely to focus on the wrong material or get distracted. Plan how to allocate your time and what to study. Ask for help   Many students are afraid to ask for help. If you do not understand what to do or study, ask someone. You could speak to your professor during office hours, or talk to your friends and classmates. You are all working together and in the same boat. The professor wants to see you succeed and so do your friends; they most likely will be glad to help. Call friends Talking with a trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling helps because most of them have been there, done that or are in the same boat as you. Talking things out can have the immediate effect of reducing stress levels. Sharing with someone else helps us feel we aren’t alone which can be so helpful.

Photo by Ashley Lingard

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What is Happening Around Campus

Photo by: Erin McMullen Photo by: Abbey Cherry

Photo by: Chloe Gu Photo by: Chloe Gu

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Photo by: Chloe Gu

Photo by: Erin McMullen

Photo by: Erin McMullen

Photo by: Nasha Jones

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An Addict’s Experiment: A Week Without Soda A part of me is almost embarrassed to admit that I drink more soda in a week than I do water. Now, that is just a guess really, but that’s what it feels like. Most days, I return home to my apartment after class, flop down on the couch, and open an ice cold Mountain Dew, while doing some meaningless activity, like hitting home on Facebook over and over or watching videos of cats on YouTube. When I sit down to eat a meal, I drink a Mountain Dew. When I have a headache, I drink a Mountain Dew. When I’m thirsty, I – for some reason – drink a Mountain Dew. I drink a lot of Mountain Dew. That’s when I decided to go without it and see how I faired. A week seemed just, at least to start with. I would avoid Mountain Dew, along with any other soda I might drink like Coke or Sprite, and decided to put coffee and Sunny Delight (which has almost as much sugar as a soda) on the list, too. A week without these unhealthy drinks would do me good, only indulging in water, juice, and the occasional glass of milk. A week would be no problem. Right? Unfortunately, old habits die hard. Originally planning to start my immersion experiment

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By Matt Williams

on Saturday, November 10, my plans were hindered when I subconsciously found myself with a Mountain Dew in my hand that afternoon. How had it got there? I hadn’t even noticed I’d opened it. With a sigh, I finished it and decided to wait one more day to begin. Not only had the mysterious soda appeared in my hand, but also that night, a mysterious coffee appeared. So, waiting another day became the clear option. Sunday night, I was sitting in Huddle House with three friends, proudly explaining to them my new experiment. They thought it was a good decision (as who doesn’t want to drink healthier?) but thought that the fact that it was for a class seemed odd. I was lost in my words, explaining the class, the project, and my goal to go without soda or coffee for a week to them. “What will you have to drink?” the waitress asked me. I didn’t even glance up. “Coffee.” As quickly as she had appeared, she was gone, and I continued explaining to my friends the process and the determination I had to complete this week of healthier drink choices. My teeth already felt cleaner, going

a whole day already without a soda. The waitress sat my coffee on the table. I thanked her and looked at my friends, having finished my last thought. I smiled confidently as the mug neared my lips. “Hey, dumbass,” one of my friends chuckled, pointing his finger toward the mug in my hand. This was when I realized how difficult this experiment might be. Without realizing it, I had ordered another coffee (just as I had done the previous night). This time, though, I did not drink it. I slid the coffee to one of my friends who enjoyed it instead and I had water that night. Tasteless, sugarless, bland water. By day two or three, I felt like a million bucks. It’s kind of amazing how much cleaner you feel after just a few days of not drinking soda. Monday and Tuesday sailed by, and the thought of a soda never even crossed my mind. The only tough times were during meals, in which I need a drink with flavor and water just won’t cut it, but I resisted, and had juice instead.


Then, the storm began. Wednesday and Thursday crept up on me and pounded me in the face. When even the smallest light hit my eyes, my head erupted into a relentless migraine, incurable by any medicine. My mood was declining and my headaches got worse. I could hardly stand it. I was miserable. The only thing that could help me was getting it off my mind. But, I would soon find that to be impossible come Saturday. A couple weeks before, my girlfriend and I had gone to visit her parents, spending a day with them ington, at her brother’s cross-country meet. It was here that her mom explained to me that they would be having an important family dinner on Saturday, the 17th (the day before the last day of my experiment), and she wanted to know what I wanted to drink. I requested one thing, and one thing only: Mountain Dew. Now, Saturday had come. My girlfriend and I drove to her hometown, and for some reason, this problem hadn’t crossed my mind yet. It wasn’t until her mother let me know that “the Mountain Dew’s in the fridge” that the light bulb went off in my head, and then shattered, throwing glass shards shooting all throughout my brain. A headache formed, and this one was worse than all the others combined. I had made it so far, going six days without a soda,

which I must say, was quite the achievement for me, a person who relies on the stuff to avoid an eye-splitting headache. But now, my girlfriend’s mother was offering me the drink that I had without a doubt requested two weeks before. Declining one would not only be rude, but might even make me kind of look like a jerk. I accepted the soda. I drank a Mountain Dew (probably more than one) and I failed my immersion project, but not by much. It was simple bad timing that ruined me in the end. That Mountain Dew, though, was the greatest tasting one I had experienced. I felt dirty for losing, but at the time,

I didn’t care. Looking back, I’m sure I could have gotten around the problem, and maybe it was my subconscious thankful that there was finally an outing and it took it. I may not have gone a week without a soda, but I went six days, and I’m confident that I could have gone one more, had it not been for that prior request I made concerning the Mountain Dew. So, all in all, I feel decently proud that I stuck to my guns for the most part. And hey, I had might as well reward myself. A Mountain Dew sounds pretty good right about now, too.

“Unfortunately, old habits die hard.” 9


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