Naps: Not Just for Toddlers

Want to increase your ability to learn and remember what you learned? Then grab a pillow and find somewhere comfy, because you need a nap.

napping

Multiple studies have proven the benefits of taking a mid-afternoon nap, especially in the areas of learning, focus, and memory. Researchers with Berkeley found taking an hour-long nap during the day can dramatically increase the ability to learn and remember.

A nap provides an opportunity for your brain to reboot; your short term memory is cleared out, and the brain is prepared to take on new information. Slipping a nap between morning and afternoon classes is a good way to help you do better in both.

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Let the Madness Begin! The NCAA Tournament is Here Again

It’s mid-March, and I’m not sure what’s more mad: the NCAA Tournament itself or all the drama it causes year after year. For an annual event, it sure knows how to create controversy. Everything from complaints about the team rankings to the supposed difficulty of the region is called into question and discussed at great length.

March Madness

If you’re in to that sort of thing, you’re in luck because the NCAA Tournament, better known as March Madness officially starts today.

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Supreme Court Rules Kansas Public Schools are Underfunded

Crowded classrooms, higher fees, fewer after-school programs and staff – if you’re thinking that all sounds like a scholastic nightmare, you’re close. It’s the reality of education in Kansas.

classroom

The Kansas government made the decision to cut certain funding to schools as a way to help get the state through the “Great Recession.” The cuts made led to a lawsuit being filed in 2010 on behalf of parents and school districts who felt the state had harmed students, especially those in poorer districts. The case has now been ruled on by the Kansas Supreme Court, and they have found the current funding levels in Kansas public schools to be unconstitutional.

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Major Changes are Coming to the SATs: Here’s What You Can Expect

1600 is perfect again! On the SAT that is. On March 5, the College Board announced its plans for a redesigned SAT which will be introduced in the spring of 2016.

SAT

The updated exam will feature three sections: “evidence-based” reading and writing, mathematics, and an essay. The essay portion will be optional, which goes against the previous change made to the SAT in 2005.

Makers of the SAT said the new exam will feature “relevant” vocabulary words students are likely to encounter in college, a more in-depth focus on fewer math topics, and questions asking students to cite specific passages supporting their answers.

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Greek Life: Not Just What You See in the News

Another day, another story about Greek-letter organizations doing things to reinforce every stereotype people have against them. What was it this time? The chapters of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Chi Omega sorority on the University of Pennsylvania campus held a mixer with a “gangsta” theme.

college party

The chapters are now, deservedly so, getting reamed for being culturally insensitive. This party led a columnist for Philadelphia Magazine to label UPenn students “shmucks” in a letter addressed to “Penn Kids.”

He wrote, “You’re not actually kids, after all: You’re adults. Maybe you were raised with too much “faux” ironic comedy racism in your pop culture to know the difference, but making fun of other races? Not actually cool. So grow up.”

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Tiny Westminster College is a Powerhouse When it Comes to the Olympics

Apparently there’s something in the water at Westminster College. It could be that, or the fact the college has a partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

westminster college

Either way, the tiny liberal arts school has an impressive 23 students competing in Sochi at the Olympics. For those of you who enjoy statistics, that’s 10 percent of the United States team.

Westminster doesn’t just send athletes to the Olympics; it sends good, medal-winning athletes. In fact, if it were its own country, Westminster would rank in the top 20 for medal count.

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Valentine’s Day is Over. What Now?

Valentine’s Day has passed once again, and whether you felt the bliss of young love or celebrated another Single’s Awareness day, you’re likely feeling a bit of a Valentine’s slump. With all the hype and expectations that come along with the holiday, it’s no wonder we all feel a bit of a letdown once it has passed.

hearts

Whether you want to keep the romance alive until next year, or are rocking the single life, we’ve got tips on how to make the most of life until next year other than bingeing on half-price chocolate.

Lovers

DO: Make time to specifically spend together
Make Saturdays movie day, set aside a couple nights a month to make dinner together, or find your own activity. No matter your interests as a couple, be sure to find time to do them together.

DON’T: Exclude your friends: single or in couples
It can be easy once you’ve found happiness in a relationship to get wrapped up in your own world. However, leaving people out will hurt everyone involved in the long run. Keep up your friendships, and make sure that you still have time to spend as individuals.

DO: What is right for you
If you’re blissfully in love and everything is great, then revel in it. If, however, things aren’t going so well, don’t feel like you have to stay in a relationship that isn’t working just for the sake of being in a relationship. Love is complicated, and no one has it all figured out. Ultimately, you need to be happy.

Single and Loving It

DO: Make the most of your single status
Get out and meet people, take up a hobby you’ve always been interested in, or take yourself out to dinner. You’re single, not dead, so go out and have fun!

DON’T: Get down on the idea of love
So what if you’re unattached right now? That doesn’t mean all hope is lost, and it certainly doesn’t prevent you from experiencing other kinds of love, like friendship and family.

DO: Whatever makes you happy
If you’re loving life, keep up whatever you’re doing, if not, change it up. A lot of people will try to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing, but ultimately it comes down to what you want. If you want a relationship, then pursue one. If not, that’s great too.

Also Read:

Finding Love on a College Campus

5 Rules of Facebook Relationship Manners

College Grads More Likely to Get Married


Food Insecurity Facing More Students as College Expenses Rise

Often, college students are accused of treating their lives on campus like a bubble; one that will pop after graduation when they have to enter the “real world.” That may be true, but plenty of students are facing incredibly challenging “real world” problems while still on campus. One of the most prevalent, and the least studied, is food insecurity.

student eating

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education examined the students at Western Oregon University and found 59 percent of them were food insecure at least once during the previous year. Food insecurity by definition is, “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.”

You may be asking yourself how that’s possible with meal plans, food courts, and snack carts dotting most college campuses. The reality is that many students aren’t getting enough healthy food because they struggle with high costs, limited income, and fewer food and social support systems.

The researchers feel the high number of food insecure students is caused by a combination of rising college costs, changing college student demographics, and more low-income and first-generation students attending college.

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Federal Minimum Wage Increase is Good News for Students

If President Obama‘s plan to raise minimum wage goes through, plenty of people will benefit. One group in particular may see a direct benefit, but they probably aren’t the first group of people thought of during minimum wage discussions.

work study

College students who are part of the Federal Work-Study Program, which helps them pay for their education, would be directly impacted by an increase in minimum wage. The program itself could also see some changes as award packages would have to be altered to allow for what essentially amounts to multiple students receiving raises at once.

Students participating in a Work-Study program are required to be paid at least federal minimum wage. Currently, that means making at least $7.25 per hour. If the raise in minimum wage goes through, their pay would increase to at least $10.10 an hour. Some Work-Study participants already make more than that depending on their individual circumstances.

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Cancer Support Organizations Provide Scholarship Opportunities for Those In Need

Cancer is scary. It’s scary to think about, and even worse to experience. It also takes incredible strength to fight cancer or support someone you love who is. Two organizations are doing their best to provide hope and comfort to those individuals who have experienced or are currently experiencing the difficulties of cancer.

The Mesothelioma Group and the American Childhood Cancer Society are two of many organizations who hope that by providing support and information to families facing cancer, they can also offer some level of stability and normality to their lives. One way both organizations are doing this is by providing scholarship opportunities for families in need.

Paying for college is a hard enough prospect to face, even without the additional hardship of supporting a family member through cancer treatments or experiencing the illness yourself. By providing scholarship opportunities, these organizations make the possibility of college a little more of a reality. Each organization offers something a little different, so it’s just a matter of finding which opportunity works best for the individual.

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