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  • Rei Pham

College Frenzy: I’m OVERWHELMED! Life hacks to help you cope.

The semester just started and you already found yourself feeling stressed out? Don’t worry, no one says college is a piece of cake! No matter how difficult it may become, you can make your college experience more bearable with minor adjustments.

Here are some Life Hacks to help you increase productivity while still getting a good night’s rest.

1. Get at least 8 hours of sleep

Believe it or not, college students should get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. The reality is most of us are night owls who only get an average of 4-6 hours of sleep. Without adequate rests, college students are diagnosed with “sleep debt”, or the accumulation of sleep loss. Sleep deprivation can lead to both physical and mental fatigue, decreasing productivity, and tamper with your ability to focus in class. Let’s first agree that last-minute essays or Netflix binging is inevitable. However, improving your time management and prioritizing sleep will help reduce daily stress to your mind, body, and soul. Start with training yourself to set out enough time to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Schedule your days accordingly with sufficient time to study, socialize, and sleep.

By setting time frames and sticking to them, you’ll find yourself becoming more organized and productive while carrying out each task you set your mind to.

2. Eat a home cooked meal

I know - Who has the time, right? Home-cooked meals are a great way to make sure you’re having a healthy diet because you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. More often than not, students usually grab something on-the-go or skip a meal altogether because cooking is considered a hassle. These bad habits can result in stress and lead to overeating. A healthy diet is fuel for a productive day. In order to work efficiently, feeding your body with nutritious ingredients will give you the necessary vitamins and energy to ace those exams!

Cooking can be tough for first-timers but with practice, anything can be achieved. Start with easy meals you can find on Pinterest. You can search “easy recipes for college students” or “quick, easy meals” for a list of delicious, user-friendly recipes. A tasty turkey burger, that’s not only healthy but satisfying, does not have to take three hours to complete. You’ll quickly learn with a bit of patience and practice, home-cooked meals are more enjoyable and easier than you think.

Starving? Check out some of these college friendly recipes here.

3. Planners / To Do Lists

Remember those planners and agendas we got at the beginning of fourth grade? Well, they’re back in style! With so many cute patterns, they’re bound to make you want to get things done for sure. We all know that satisfying feeling of crossing out something you did on that to do list. With so much on our minds, writing down what we need to get done will not only ensure you won’t forget, it also breaks down your responsibilities so it is a tad more manageable. You can even color code it so you can find your events easier! So hit up Target and go get one!

4. Turn off that phone!

Let’s face it. Technology is great…until you have to get that paper done because it’s due in approximately 5 hours or study for a midterm you've put off. So turn your phone to Airplane, Do Not Disturb mode or put it away while studying! I promise you, you are going to finish your work so fast. As soon as you’re done, BOOM, feel free to go back to the glorious world of social media.

5. Treat Yo’self

And finally, girl. Treat yo’self! You deserve it! It’s important to take frequent breaks to refresh your mind. Grab a snack (or use that time to cook a home cooked meal), catch up with an old friend, take your dog out for a walk, call your parents. Give yourself some credit, you’ve worked so hard!

These are simple steps to follow and can make a big difference with continuous practice!

I hope these tips will help you have a more enjoyable and manageable college year. I will be back with more college hacks soon!

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Rei Pham


Rei is a Psychology student at the University of California, Merced. As a Vietnamese immigrant, she understands the challenge of balancing both Vietnamese and American cultures. She is passionate about equality for minorities and wants to introduce the world of possibilities for first generation Vietnamese-Americans. Rei hopes to inspire the youth by sharing her stories in obtaining higher education and the resources available for them to achieve their own success.

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