Getting out of FALL FUNK

It’s a beautiful time of year– the leaves are changing, the air is somewhat cooler, and autumn-flavored drinks are plentiful.

But there is something about this seasonal change that can make us feel like we’re in a funk.

Every. Year.

Maybe you’re getting over the initial seasonal cold. Maybe you’re still salty about fall break not being long enough…maybe you feel like there is WAY too much going on between now and the holidays for you to truly enjoy life.

Well I’m here to say: You are not alone. 

I am very aware of the fall funk–lately I have had professors ask me if I was okay simply because I wasn’t as bubbly or engaged as normal. Friends have told me that I look sick or tired, which is incredibly rude, but I like to assume that they are coming from a place of concern.

Tbh, they’re right. When considering the real issue, I just don’t have a specific answer. I find myself anxious, overwhelmed, bored, confused, stressed or all of the above. BUT:

I am determined to enjoy this time of year even if it means changing how I approach things. If you see where I’m coming from and want to take this journey with me, read on to explore some ways to get out of the fall funk!

1. Go for a walk ASAP.

Don’t spend too much time admiring the world from the inside of your window.

You KNOW that this weather is just beautiful! We live in a place where summers are so hot that you could ring out the humidity like a towel. FOR THE FIRST TIME it isn’t 5,000 degrees (like normal) and yet it isn’t freezing. There is a slight bitterness in the fall air that makes it comfortable and refreshing. Nice (sometimes tacky) fall decorations can be found around every corner.

That being said, do whatever it takes to get outside and enjoy the season. If you typically walk outside, pay special attention to the changing colors of leaves and their crunching underneath your feet. Smell the smoke from someone’s chimney and the cinnamon brooms in the lobby of the grocery store. Most importantly, notice the simplicity of nature changing with time and it will make a difference in your daily life.

2. Make something.

Actually, bake something.

This is the time to start bringing out the fall recipes that only work for this time of the year. Below is a comprehensive list of things to make and share with yours truly:

FOOD: Pumpkin pie, apple pie, apple crisp, pumpkin bread, pumpkin rolls, snicker doodle cookies, any flavor of cookie, pecan pie…okay I can’t do this anymore.

DRINKS: apple cider, hot chocolate, caramel anything, pumpkin flavored whatever, pecan anything, you see how this is problematic.

On top of baking, reach out to that person you are CRAVING some quality time with and bake with them. Before you know it, you’ll have all the treats and you will have only done half the work!

3. Talk to someone.

Whether it be a parent, grandparent, cousin, friend, or a Walmart greeter, pick up the phone or get out and talk to someone.

This is a season where everyone likes to snuggle up in their jammies indoors. There is nothing wrong with that–trust me–but humans are meant to interact with other humans. Don’t ask why, it’s science.

Go visit a public place. Give someone you miss a phone call. Taking time for someone else doesn’t mean you aren’t taking time for yourself. Encourage someone and be encouraged.

4. Say “no.”

This is the worst, ya’ll. I know.

My guess is that a lot of us are feeling overwhelmed right now. We started out the beginning of the year with a BANG and now we feel a little bogged down. We have many responsibilities and at this point we’re just crossing things off of lists and watching the weeks flip by in our planners.

It’s easy to just go through the motions of life, but then you aren’t living your best life.

If you find that you often say, “if only I had one more day in the weekend” or “if only I could have a quick break from classes,” then you are not fully taking care of yourself.

It won’t hurt to allow yourself to say “no” and to take a day for yourself. It will hurt if you rush through life without enjoying it only to find that you could have been doing everything differently all along.

5. Find joy in the spirit of change. 

Lastly, the spirit of change is literally in the air. Whether you like it or not, fall brings about change. The season is changing. The weather (ish) is changing. Our wardrobes are changing. The semester is about to change. There’s a lot of change going on right in front of our eyes. It may not be totally comfortable, but remind yourself often to embrace this time as a new beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Avoiding the College Plague

It’s about that time. Every college student knows the struggle– one night you go to sleep on top of the world, just to wake up the next morning feeling like you were hit by a train. Only, this is no ordinary train…it’s a train carrying…THE COMMON COLD. 

Alright, it doesn’t even have to be the common cold. Picture your train carrying the flu, stomach flu, strep throat, etc. If you’re anything like me, getting sick is the second-worst feeling…. because having to panic about getting sick is the actual worst feeling.

Regardless, thriving on campus becomes extremely difficult because you’re now earning your WEB Md degree, becoming a walking Kleenex box, AND running a traveling pharmacy: ALL ON TOP OF being a student! It’s just too much!! So, the best way to avoid the college plague is to…

Yep, you guessed it: KEEP READING.

1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Repeated lack of sleep leaves us less protected when the next bug comes along.

Let’s be honest. We all know we’re supposed to get 7-9 hours of sleep. Even with good intentions, most of us know it’s WAY easier said than done.

While we should always be striving for those 8 amazing hours of shut-eye, it becomes increasingly important when there is a high risk of getting sick. Sleep is proven to conserve the body’s energy and resources that the immune system needs to fight off illness. So the next time you have to choose between sleep and a Netflix all-nighter, consider sleeping to help keep you in good health during flu season and all year long!

2. WASH YOUR HANDS

We should NOT have to go over this, but I guess we will.

Wash your hands.

It’s literally a D.I.Y. vaccine, ya’ll.

It takes 30 seconds max. and it will do wonders for your immune system. Not by a sink? No problem! Keep hand sanitizer in your purse, pocket, backpack, or car for those times when you should really, really clean your hands.

These include, but are not limited to: after touching a shopping cart, before eating/preparing food, after holding someone’s hand (s), after getting Cheetos dust all over your fingers, after using the restroom, after touching trash, and before treating a wound.

3. KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF

THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FINGERPRINTS EVERYWHERE. Scared?

Don’t be. But when you notice that the entire campus has erupted in illness, do yourself a favor and watch where you’re putting your hands. Here’s how:

  • Get creative with how you handle doors, railings, and sink handles.
  • Pat backs instead of shaking hands.
  • Use your own pen/pencil when writing.
  • Avoid holding hands without washing them afterward.
  • Try not to touch your face, ears, or eyes during the day.
  • When exercising at the gym, wipe down the equipment before and after use.

4. KEEP YOUR MOUTH TO YOURSELF

Same as above, but for your mouth:

  • Try drinking from a water bottle instead of the water fountain.
  • The love of your life may be perfect, but if they have strep throat, ease up on the PDA for a little while.
  • Don’t bite your nails or stick your fingers in your mouth.
  • Avoid sharing drinks with others.

5. EXERCISE REGULARLY

Illness often preys on weak, inactive bodies. When you sweat, you are releasing toxins from your pores (that’s why it’s so important to sweat). When you exercise, you are improving your overall circulation, which includes your immune system’s circulation. This means that your system has a WAY better chance of finding illness before it spreads.

6. EAT RIGHT

You don’t have to immediately change your entire diet (I could never suggest something I wouldn’t do), but rather add nutrients in. We know fruits and veggies are the best for us but fish, garlic, pineapple, citrus fruits, yogurt, tea, milk, and mushrooms are some foods that are proven to help boost the immune system.

For those of you who were wondering– yes–chocolate made the list!! But it deserves its own paragraph. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants as well as high amounts of zinc which is great for your immune system! Obviously eating a lot of chocolate would eventually have negative effects, so stick to bite-sized pieces and you’ll be good to go. You’re welcome.

7. DO NOT PANIC

Among the many amazing capabilities we have as human beings is our ability to predict the future and to prepare accordingly. This often works in our favor, but there is a downside: We. Worry. Way. Too. Much.

Worrying IS a form of stress that can hinder our health. It can ruin our sleep, destroy our peace of mind, and make us anxious which inevitably weakens our immune system.

You may be the person who, like me, downs 3 bottles of Emergen-C while also popping zinc tablets if exposed to someone who has a cold. I’m sure that doesn’t hurt, but I know it’s a bit excessive.

The best thing to do is WAIT. Are you even getting sick? To help your peace of mind you can get enough rest, eat a few foods with Vitamin C, and stay hydrated.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do is to STAY POSITIVE. I cannot stress how important this is. It’s like a magic trick– if you assure yourself that you aren’t getting sick, sometimes you don’t!

8. DON’T BE THAT PERSON

Please. If you are the one who is sick, consider staying home.

I know. Missing classes can cause a lot of stress and I am not encouraging you to skip, but if you’re sick, think before going to class. “I am even feeling well enough? Can I refrain from spreading my germs? Will I be able to focus?”

If the answer is “no”, email your professor, and take care of yourself. If you need help, visit the Student Health Center which provides health services for all Mercer students regardless of health insurance coverage.

People are going to remember that you showed up to class sneezing and coughing last week so when they show up sneezing and coughing, you’re gonna get some side eyes.

If you DO choose to go to class while sick, here are some parting tips:

  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Don’t get mad when people empty the entire Purell bottle into their hands. You came to class sick!
  • If you’re coughing loudly, step out for a second.
  • Try not to one-up people about how sick you are.
  • Try your best to still complete your homework.
  • Avoid letting your friend try your drink or use your pen and then later tell them you have mono or something. Just don’t. Remember to keep your possessions to yourself!

Now that you know how to avoid the college plague, pass it on!

Getting Organized: Project to Practice

“Organizing is a skill, and anyone can learn it.”

Basically everyone can get it together. We all know that college can keep us pretty busy. Guess what? Habits can help you! Not all habits are bad– building good organizational habits can help you to accomplish your daily goals while creating more time in your day.

MORE TIME = MORE SNACK POSSIBILITIES.

You hooked yet? That’s what I thought. Time to start.

1. GET A PLANNER.

One of the BEST things you can do for yourself is invest in a planner. Planners typically have a monthly, weekly, and daily overview so that you can have optimal control over your schedule. If you’re lucky, they may even come with stickers.

Start by writing in the monthly calendar. Here you’ll want to put down things that definitely won’t change like birthdays, anniversaries, due dates, school holidays, and special events.

In the weekly calendar, jot down larger goals or reminders that can be attained within a seven-day period. Try to refrain from filling this space with day-specific activities. This is the place to remind yourself to make that call to the doctor (that your parents have been bugging you about). It could even include finally confirming plans with that “let’s catch up soon” friend you passed on campus.

The daily section of your planner is designed for you to write down those things that will make your daily routine easier. This could include workouts, study dates, meetings, laundry, meal plans, and–of course–homework.

2. WRITE DOWN THESE DATES.

Fall 2017 DATES

As you can see, the Office of Academic and Advising Services has compiled a list of events and breaks for this semester. Trust me, you’ll want to copy these down. Unless you want to be “that person” who shows up to class only to find out that it’s Thanksgiving Break…

3. GO THROUGH YOUR SYLLABI.

Okay, so hopefully you’ve already done this (we’re pretty far into the semester, ya know!). If you haven’t found the time yet, you are NOT doomed, but this is your chance!

We all slip up from time to time, but playing the clueless student isn’t so charming when all of the information was typed out and printed for you.

So, take 15 minutes to go through your syllabi for the semester. Get a feel for what “Thermal Systems Analysis” even is (???). Write down important due dates. Double-check your textbooks. Read the words in bold. Figure out how the grading scale works. And please, if nothing else, learn your professor’s name.

4. WRITE DOWN YOUR FINALS.

How else would you know when not to study???????

Finals for this upcoming semester can be found here on the Registrar’s Office website!

5. HOLE-PUNCH EVERYTHING.

Has your binder ever looked like this?

messy binder

It happens, but it doesn’t have to. When you get a paper, hole-punch it that same day and put it right into those binder rings. That way, papers (probably) won’t fall out, and your binder (probably) won’t fall apart. You’ll also know exactly where your papers are in a moment of crisis and you won’t have to sift through your papers every time your professor asks you to pull out a worksheet.

6. USE YOUR PHONE.

I’m serious. Why not utilize the one thing that we all keep on us 24/7?

Your phone can help you out with reminders if you aren’t able to physically write down an event in the moment. It can help you get places on time with a handy-dandy alarm. It allows you to add things to your calendar or send that important email that you just cannot forget to do. It also has a built in notebook for those random thoughts and ideas you get at the most inconvenient times. Using your phone can be for much more than leisure, so keep that in mind next time your stranded without your planner!

Using your Awkward Hour

Being in college means that you have total control over how you spend your time. Beautiful, isn’t it? You could easily spend time between classes catching up on Netflix or spending hours scrolling through your news feed while simultaneously eating an entire box of cookies. While those things may often seem to be essential to your relaxation, and are totally acceptable from time to time, they aren’t exactly the most productive uses of every break.

It is SO easy to get sidetracked when you find yourself with solid free time during the day. Even with two or three hour breaks between classes, you may feel as though you cannot get anything done. If you find yourself doing the same thing with each break you get, please take comfort in knowing that there are other options. Check out this list of 10 things to do with that awkward hour.

1. Do homework. Early.

Okay, probably very obvious and most likely not want you want to hear, but it is important to get your homework done so that you don’t fall behind in your classes. The great thing about homework is that it’s portable, so you could literally do it anywhere. You could take it to the park, the library, the residence hall lounge, the UC, or even the pool. However you work best, use it to your advantage and switch it up. Plus, if you get done with your homework early, it will free up the rest of the day for fun activities!

2. Call home.

Sometimes it’s just good to hear a familiar voice.

As busy college students, it can be daunting to find time amidst tasks to call your relatives. However, it’s important to realize that taking a few minutes to talk to your families could serve a dual purpose by making their day and maybe even making yours, too.

3. Visit a professor at office hours.

If you find that you have questions about a particular class, or if you would simply like to get to know your professor more, take some time to visit them during their office hours! The purpose of office hours is to give busy students access to busy instructors. They set aside this time for YOU to come if YOU need guidance– make the most of it!

4. Review notes from last class.

…. do more class after I leave class…?!?!?

YES.

I have to admit, this one takes some serious self-discipline but will genuinely aid in the retention of material within your brain. The information you learn in class is automatically saved into short-term memory. Sitting down with your notebook and reading through your notes sends a signal to your brain that the information in front of you is important.

The more that information is repeated and used, the more likely it is to be retained. Hopefully, your ultimate goal is to retain that information in your long-term memory. Why not use your awkward hour to speed up the process?

5. Take a power nap.

Here is a quick equation for you math lovers out there:

classes + studying + everything else = x

As you may have guessed, x = sleep! You’re already a genius for understanding that sleep allows you to perform mentally and physically throughout the day. But if it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, you’re probably sleep-deprived. While sleeping during every break could decrease productivity, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using some free time to nap here and there. So if you have a break, don’t be ashamed to go back to your room, hit the lights, and set the alarm for 20 minutes.

6. Workout.

If you want to stay fit (or if you’re anything like me: get fit), use the break to hit the gym in the University Center. Another great way to workout is to grab a buddy and go for a walk around campus. Whether you lift, walk, use the machines, or swim, exercising is a great way to de-stress in the middle of a busy schedule.

7. Campus Biz.

“Biz” is short for “business.” Being in college means that you typically have campus errands to run, and if you are like me, they pile up pretty quickly! Breaks between classes are perfect for taking care of business without having to leave the actual campus.

Have a question for the Office of Financial Planning? Stop by their office. Need to meet with Academic and Advising Services about your four-year plan? Schedule an appointment. Maybe you need to return a library book, mail a birthday card to grandpa, answer a professor back via email, deposit a check at the ATM,  or pick up twelve packages at Auxiliary Services. GO DO IT.

You may even want to get paid for not hitting “snooze” in-between classes, in which case you could apply for an on-campus job through the Office of Student Employment. Having a job on campus is super convenient and allows you to make money while developing a network along with new professional skills.

No matter how many errands you have on your to-do list, be sure to take advantage of your awkward hour and start crossing things off!

8. Plan out the rest of your week.

This can be fun…

There is something so satisfying about writing down everything you must accomplish and then crossing it off once it’s completed. You don’t have to write down what color shirt you’ll wear on Thursday or how many slices of pizza you’re going to eat at the caf tonight (although by all means, feel free!), but you can definitely write down a basic list of things you’d like to get done each day. Add to that any major events or reminders, get to work on that list, and you have a one-way ticket to a less-stressful schedule!

9. Study & Snack.

Let’s be real. Any time is a good time for food. Unfortunately, not everyone has this luxury because their classes are packed together. If you’re lucky enough to have a break, grab a friend and eat a meal! If you really want to earn a gold star, you can study while you eat. Extreme productivity at its finest, my friends.

10. Read for pleasure.

Occasionally we need to escape to a different world for a little while. Consider using your awkward hour to ditch the textbooks and read something that you choose for yourself. This peaceful yet much needed break could make focusing on schoolwork a lot easier when the time comes.

W.I.M. SPECIAL EDITION

It’s your first long weekend in Macon! What are you going to do? Try to fight the urge to go home and instead arrange to make the most of your time here! Keep reading to see the list of events to add to your celebratory Labor Day plans!

Friday:

Volleyball vs. Florida A&M @ 6 PM | Hawkins Arena

First Friday | Downtown Macon

Saturday:

Yoga at Tattnall  @ 9 AM| Tattnall Square Park

First Saturday Village Market @ 9 AM-3 PM | Mercer Village

Texas Flood Relief Benefit Concert @ 8 PM | Buffington’s in Milledgeville

Sunday:

Men’s Soccer v. Gardner-Webb @ 2:30 PM |Bear Field (soccer field behind Med School)

Monday:

Macon Labor Day Road Race @ 8 AM |Vineville Ave.

Robert McDuffie Labor Day Concert @ 3-5 PM | Fickling Hall

Have fun and stay safe!

Who Are You During Finals at Mercer?

There’s all kinds of students you’ll encounter during the next couple weeks of final projects and exams. Which one(s) are you?

1. The Stress Eater

2. The Procrastinator

3. The One Who Forgot Everything They Learned This Semester

4. The Caffeine Addict

5. The One Who Chose Not to Bathe All Week

6. The Netflixer

7. The One with 15 Papers Due

8.  The Crier

9. The One Who Gets Sentimental About Leaving for the Summer

10. The Library Inhabitant

11. The One Who Sticks with the “If I don’t know it by now” Mentality

12. The One Who Doesn’t Sleep

13. The One Who Only Sleeps

14. The One Who Calculates Their GPA All Week Instead of Studying

15. The One in Complete Panic

16. The Prepared Student About to Ace Finals!

Good Luck on Finals this semester and Go Bears!!

#Waitlisted

If you are currently waitlisted for any courses for the upcoming semester, the Office of Academic and Advising Services and your academic advisor want to help finalize your fall course schedule as soon as possible so you are enrolled as a full-time student, if desired.

For assistance in finalizing your schedule, consider these tips:

SEEK FULL-TIME STUDENT STATUS
For many scholarship and financial aid disbursements, students must be enrolled as full-time students (at least 12 credit hours) at the University. Please note: waitlisted courses to not qualify as “registered” courses. This means if you are enrolled in 8 hours—but waitlisted for 2 additional courses—you are not considered a full-time student. If this continues into late-summer, there is a chance your financial aid dispersement may be affected for the fall semester. Consult your academic advisor to determine which additional courses/sections should be considered to bring you up to full-time status for fall 2017.
NAVIGATE WAITLISTS
While waitlists may result in you eventually being added to the course, it is not a guaranteed seat in the course.
• Contact your academic advisor or the course instructor to discuss the waitlist policy for certain courses. This is especially important if your waitlisted course is a part of a math or science sequence (such as CHM 111 or BIO 212).
• If you are waitlisted for a course with an extensive waitlist, it may be in your best interest pursue other options rather than rely on the waitlist to result in placement in the course. Remember to BE FLEXIBLE. Consider pursuing a different section of a course with a different faculty member or timeframe to be ENROLLED in the course.
CONSIDER ALTERNATE COURSES OR SECTIONS
Search seat availability for additional courses or sections by consulting the Open/Closed Seat list>> available on MyMercer log in page under ‘Course Schedule.’

Students are able to make changes to their course schedules via MyMercer from now through the end of Mercer’s add/drop period in the fall semester (Friday, August 25), as long as the course doesn’t need special permission for enrollment.
SEEK ASSISTANCE
Please utilize your academic advisor or our Office of Academic and Advising Services in Penfield Hall Annex (478.301.2078 or academicservices@mercer.edu) for assistance in finalizing