Hey there Griffs!
Finals week is that magical time that happens at the end of every semester when we have to try and cram everything that we learned during the semester back into our brains so that we can try and pass a test. There’s long nights, lots of time spent with notes, and a high stress environment. But there are ways that I have personally learned to make it bearable. One of those ways is meditation. Research has proven that meditation can help to lower stress levels and in turn, help you to learn more information faster.
Some people don’t think that they can do it because they’ve never practiced it or it won’t work for them. But, I have learned that it is all about being open minded and you don’t even need to just sit cross legged in silence for a long period of time. There are multiple forms of mediation that allow you to listen to soothing music, or listen to directions to calm your mind, or there are even some active forms of meditation. I’m going to tell you some of the ways that I have personally used and I hope they help you through this tough time.
Music alone is proven to help keep our focus and help productivity. It helps us to keep our brain on task. Sometimes the silence is even more stressful. I find it useful to listen to soothing music if I am in high stress situations, such as finals. Plug in your headphones and feel instantly relaxed! There are playlists on Pandora and Spotify that will play soothing meditations and zen songs. I’ll link a few of my favorites below:
Zen Garden Radio: http://www.pandora.com/station/play/2637545201912427396
Calm Meditation: http://www.pandora.com/station/play/2637547151827579780
Soothing Sounds: http://www.pandora.com/station/play/2637548899879269252
Study Music for Concentration: https://play.spotify.com/user/meditationrelaxclub/playlist/7bzY4YsfpErw3uTDQKk0Rs
Yoga and Meditation Music: https://play.spotify.com/user/meditationrelaxclub/playlist/7vlOdA2dBKMZ4i8RnLHQeX
Weekend Relaxation: https://play.spotify.com/user/meditationrelaxclub/playlist/0U2qp6ruC3IeQ6VtVotI42
Just pop these songs on when you’re studying or writing your final papers and feel instantly calmed. They typically won’t have any words so that rids the distraction of music that you would want to sing to. I find this really soothing and helpful.
Guided Meditation is a technique that you should do while you aren’t doing anything else. It should be a time to take a break from studying and give your brain a bit of rest. You need to either sit on a comfy chair, on the floor, or I find it most relaxing to lay on my bed. The audio will walk you through the deep breathing and directions and you just need to follow along. It is NOT a hypnosis. You are always in complete control of your mind and you can open your eyes at any time. I find this technique the most helpful for me. It may leave you tired when you are done for about 15 minutes, but then I always get a burst of energy as if I’ve taken a nap. I also like to use these to help me sleep at night when I have anxiety or stress. I’ll link some of my favorite ones below.
My most favorite Guided Meditation:
Stress Relief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o94tvFUttco
Anxiety Relief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_jcEpwKQXc
Guided Meditation for Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJjc4XreJSQ
I have also found that yoga is a great way to take a break and give your brain a rest. If you are more active, this might help you get up and move a little bit and stretch your body. I am in no way a yoga master. I am still in the stretching phases. I found some guided yoga practice videos for beginners that are great. They give you just a little bit of a break and it feels great on your body.
Fat Burning Yoga for Beginners:
I wish you all the best of luck during this stressful time! I hope you can find the time to try out some of these stress relievers so that you can get a little bit of a break. Remember that taking the extra time to relieve your stress will actually save you time in the long run because you will be more focused. Good luck on your tests, papers, and presentations!
Thanks for reading and Stay Golden!
Hey there Griffs!
Canisius College Bookstore sent out an email about The Thirst Project. Follett (the company the runs many college bookstores) is a supporter of The Thirst Project, along with many others such as: Contiki, Paul Mitchell, and many other companies. This is a charity that I’ve been following for awhile but not very many people really know about it yet. So, what a great time to teach everyone a little about it and you can get involved!!
What is The Thirst Project?
The Thirst Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to give clean and safe drinking water to communities around the world that don’t have that luxury. The charity is directed towards high school and college students, mostly because that is where the organization started and who continues to run The Thirst Project today. Here is their story:
Seth Maxwell, the founder and CEO, was a 19 year old college student who didn’t have any money living in California. He learned about the water crisis around the world and he decided that he needed to do something to help. He called upon seven of his good friends and they all pooled together their money (a whole $70), which was enough for them to buy 1,000 bottles of water. They went to Hollywood Boulevard and started giving them away to people just so they could educate people and raise awareness about people around the world who have no access to clean water. By doing this one simple act, they were able to turn their $70 into $1,700. They used this money to build their first freshwater well. After this was done, they began receiving calls asking them to bring their organization to schools around the country to raise awareness and get others involved. Today, they travel around to schools and colleges to teach others about the cause and encourage students to do their own fundraisers. In 5 years, The Thirst Project raised over $8 million and have been able to provide more than 300,000 people with safe drinking water.
The problem. The solution.
Over 1 billion people are living without safe and clean water. Think about that for a second.
That’s 1 in every 8 people.
4,100 children die every day because of diseases in unsafe water.
That’s 1 child every 21 seconds
These diseases are killing 2.2 million people every single year. Not only is this killing people, but retrieving safe water is a huge task for many people around the world. In these communities, the average person walks 3.75 miles to collect water. This task is usually left to young girls in the community, which doesn’t leave much time for education. Without education, the communities stay in poverty and people can’t get jobs, which just continues the domino effect. Lack of water is also a problem for communities who need to grow crops.
Just think about how much you depend on water every single day! You need it to shower, wash your hands, use the bathroom, clean, drink, eat, grow crops for food, wash our clothes, transportation, water powered energy, and so much more. It is a luxury for us in most of the United States. What would you do without it?
So, what can be done about it? It costs between $7,800 and $20,000 to build a well in developing communities. Volunteers go to these communities and find a spot where there is already water 100-300 feet below ground and they install these freshwater wells that can give 500 people water for life. When wells are installed, disease drops 88% and deaths of children goes down by 99% overnight!This is HUGE! Once communities have water, children can go to school, food can be grown, and humans can live without the risk of disease from water.
How can you get involved?
School Tours: The Thirst Project does school tours to educate students about the program and get them involved. You can try and bring them to your school or a school near you by emailing: info@ThirstProject.org
Donate: It takes about $20 to give one person clean water for up to 20 years! You can donate straight to the Thirst Project here: Donate
Volunteer: Submit your application to be part of the Road Trip Warriors! The Thirst Project does 2 internships a year with college students from around the country. It does require a semester off, but it is for a worthy cause. Fill out an application here: Application
Buy some gear: Go buy a shirt, sticker, or other cool stuff from The Thirst Project. Not only do you get to represent the organization buy wearing the gear, but 100% of the profits go to The Thirst Project to help install the wells. Their shop is here: Shop
Spread the Word: Educate yourself and tell everyone you know about the organization! Most people don’t know about the crisis and get them involved with you.
Official website: http://www.thirstproject.org/
Now go and do something about it! It’s okay if you don’t have money to donate. Just go tell someone about it! Get people involved! You can help save lives.
Thanks for reading! Stay Golden.
THE INTERNET! What a wonderful thing, right?! We can Google anything we want to know and get a fairly accurate answer in less than five seconds. We can Skype with friends around the world! We can keep in touch with everyone and know what they had for breakfast via status updates. This is so great! The internet has become particularly important to me this past year. I decided to start my journey through graduate school. Today, I’m here to tell you the about the start of my journey in online graduate school, why it works for me, and what I’ve learned so far.
My Undergrad Graduation
So a little about myself and my educational background: I graduated from a really small private school in Central New York in May of 2014. I got my degree in Inclusive Elementary Education, which is a dual degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. The school was great! It was small and it had a really tight community. The professors really cared about our personal lives and succeeding in their classes and beyond. I knew that I wanted to go straight onto grad school. I applied to SUNY schools and went through the process of trying to figure out where I was going to fit best. These schools had great programs but the thought of going to college and sitting through more classes really caused me to have a lot of anxiety. I thought about taking a semester off, but knew that it would be difficult for me to pick back up where I left off. One day, my prayers were answered. My friend in my major mentioned that she got into this school called Canisius and it was an online program. I checked it out, did the quick and easy application process and was accepted a few weeks before graduation. Zip! Zap! Boom! Today, I am in my second semester at Canisius working on my Master’s in Literacy Education. It is the first time I have done online classes and I am loving it.
Here are some discoveries I have made while doing an online program:
1. Structure and Deadlines: When I first talked about doing online classes everyone seemed to have this relaxed response to it that usually said, “Oh great! You’ll get to make your own deadlines and work when you have time….” That is partly true. You do get to work around your own schedule, which is great! If you work, you can just hop on after work and get work done. But, there ARE deadlines. I don’t think an online program would work well without deadlines. You can’t just work on all your work at the end of the semester and expect to do well. I personally need the deadlines or else I try to do too much work all at one time. You know exactly what you have to do each week and you can easily schedule it around your own schedule.
2. Email Communication: While taking on campus classes, you see your professors at least every other day. But in online classes, you potentially never see your professor. Because of this, it is VERY important to check your email everyday and to stay in contact with your professors.
3. Teaching Yourself: It can be difficult to stay motivated if you aren’t dedicated to the fact that you have to teach yourself for most of the material. Some of the professors make presentations with voice incorporated and you can go through it as if you were sitting in class with them, except in the comfort of your own house, at your own pace. But other professors just provide you with materials that you have to read through in order to learn it and apply that knowledge. Personally, I really like that I can take charge of my own education and go at my own pace. The professors are always there to ask questions through email as well, which may be easier for people who are shy to ask questions in class.
4. Location and Comfort: This is my favorite part of online college courses. I can wake up, make a cup of tea, turn on my computer and do my school work in my pajamas if I feel like it. There isn’t the requirement to show up to class with your hair brushed. Another great thing is if I’m awake at 2 am because I can’t sleep, I can get on my computer and just start on some school work. There is no set time and place that you need to do your classes. I think that makes it pretty magical.
5. Strengthens Online Skills, Communication, and Networking: Within online classes, you connect with professors and other students in an online forum. It really strengthens your knowledge about the internet and what is available for you to utilize. It gives you a chance to do some networking too. Students come to do online programs from all over the country. You may meet someone you have something in common with or someone you can talk to to get more information about your career field. It may not be the face to face friendships and interactions that you are used to, but it really helps you learn to communicate on the internet.
As I continue my online coursework, I’m sure I will learn so much more. If you take an online class, what have you learned and what is your favorite part? If you are thinking about online classes, what would you like to know more about?
Thanks for reading Griffs! Stay Golden!