Reading week, anxiety and stress

Today’s blog is going to be a little more serious, as it was something I experienced earlier this week, and find extremely important to talk about. I’d like to take the time to talk about counselling services offered on campus, and a little bit about anxiety.

I know everyone’s starting to crack down on school work grades, etcetera, but the toll can pile up. I witnessed a friend of mine go through a severe panic attack on campus (completely unrelated to school stress), and I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk to people.The experience itself was traumatic on its own just to watch, and the consequences of keeping all the stress and emotions finally piled up inside her and let loose. Without hesitation my friends and I immediately ran over to be of help, and later contacted multiple school services to help calm her down. I have no experience myself on dealing with panic attacks… In the past I’ve dealt with my own anxiety attacks rather poorly, but never contacted people for help.

That on its own was my first mistake. She is doing much better now, but at the same time I still can’t shake off how much that experience has affected me. In the past I had no idea how much my anxiety affected other people, purely because I wasn’t the one watching. This experience has helped me realize how hard it is for both parties– one to experience, and one to watch, and how important it is to talk to people. Communication is key for everything, and as I stated in my vlog, it’s something I regret not taking advantage of. Conestoga College offers multiple services to help everyone, no matter how big or small the problem. I’ve found through friends venting is a small way to relieve myself of stress, and that’s something I didn’t really have prior. I myself am terrified of talking to strangers, but the feeling of expressing my emotions is a far better reward than bundling everything inside of me. Take advantage of these resources guys, these people are here to help you.

On a far less serious note, I’d like to add that my reading week is currently a blast. I’ve spent the first little bit going out with friends, and experiencing new things. My homework starts today though, so it’s time for me to buckle down. Until next time everyone.

How to have the best reading week

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Jasmine Marinelli – 2nd Year Bachelor of Public Relations

Reading week is a beautiful thing, and guess what? It’s coming up shortly! You will finally have time to relax, and have a break from all of the chaos at school. It is your time to collect yourself, get your life back in order, have fun, and study for your midterms. Usually my reading weeks go a little something like that, and I hope yours will too.

Collect yourself

I like to use my reading week as a time to recoup, and collect myself. Normally right before reading week I am slammed with countless assignments, and things to do. That’s why I like to use this time to organize myself. You can dedicate a day or two right before you go back to school, to add anything to your calendar, and set yourself up for success when you get back. Collecting yourself, and de-stressing will help you focus on what is next to come.

Get your beauty rest

Sleep is so important for your everyday health, so it is very crucial that you get enough. Unfortunately, after reading week is when a majority of students have their midterms. This means they’re more likely to lose sleep due to studying. During my reading week I would sleep until 12pm just because I could, and I would wake up feeling amazing. Reading week is your chance to get as much sleep as you can so that you can prepare yourself for the late nights before your midterms.

Have fun

Let’s be honest, reading week isn’t just used to study and organize yourself. It is also meant to have fun, let loose, and enjoy your time off school. The way you can do this is by planning a day trip with your friends. You could go on a hike, a shopping trip outside of the city, go to an event etc. If that is not your idea of fun, definitely have fun in your own way. Not everything has to be about school all the time, and this week gives you time to have the fun you might not have had during school.

Study for upcoming midterms

Although this isn’t as fun as the other things I have said to do… reading week is technically supposed to be a student success week to help you catch up and prepare for you midterms. That is why I think it is very important to use your time wisely, and use it as an advantage. Studying for your midterms is always a good idea when you have some free time to kill. It will save you from having to study last minute.

A how to on “not being stressed during College exams”

stress1Exam time is stressful, especially for first year students like me. You have an idea of how it will go, because you’ve done it once before. However, it’s still nerve-racking and feels like it’s constantly consuming your thoughts.

You not only have to worry about studying for exams, you also have to worry about last-minute assignments or summatives. As well juggling work and social commitments on top of that. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with what you have to do, so much so you don’t even get started.

The end of the semester comes quickly and it’s important to stay positive and stay healthy. Focus on yourself just as much as you’d focus on studying. Having support alongside you helps a lot especially when you are going through this by yourself.

Conestoga College does an amazing job supporting you through this time. For example, our CSI (Conestoga Students INC) has been hosting exam relief day’s in the Venue.

They have been held at 8:00pm throughout our study/exam week. On certain nights you get to watch the Blue Jays game and enjoy FREE pizza, Pita Pit, McDonalds’s, snacks and drinks with fellow Condors. On one of the nights you even get to have breakfast for dinner! How cool is that?

Activities are also included, which makes it even more fun. You can go to this event after a long day in the library. That is exactly what I did, it was a good way for me to de-stress. I had fun with a bunch of my peers, and it helped me escape the stressful thoughts I was having.

Conestoga counselling also provides support during exam time. It is a great resource that you can use throughout the whole entire school year too. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone if you are feeling stressed. Counselling will help a lot. It’s free and conveniently located at Doon Campus in the lower atrium.

Conestoga provides immense support, and I am taking full advantage of it. You should definitely do the same if you find yourself overwhelmed. I am grateful for the way that Conestoga takes care of us students. It is truly an amazing school.

Everyone remember and remind yourself that you will get through it … there is only a couple more weeks until summer and you’ll be stress-free in no time. Good luck!

By: Jasmine Marinelli

How to Prevent Gaining the “Freshman 15”

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College, documenting her 1st year at college

Before we begin, I just wanted to tell you that, a little bit of weight gain is not bad. People consider the Freshman 15 to be a turning point. Just a little bit of stress eating, and having too much fun might cause some weight gain. However, there are many other reasons you could start gaining weight in college. But, we are going to be talking about how to prevent it.

College is really stressful, especially your first year since everything is fairly new. However, your first year is a lot of fun… especially when there are dorm parties on the weekend, and if you’re of age there are bars to go to. It’s really easy to get off track and start ignoring your health. However, there are so many ways to prevent you from gaining the weight.

I am a victim of the Freshman 15, so my advice would be good to listen to haha.

Drink Water. Water is great for you, there is really nothing better. Water boosts your metabolism and cleanses your body of waste. Water is not only good for helping to lose weight, it is also good for many other things, such as: improving skin complexion, reducing acne, preventing cramps, boosting your immune system and relieving fatigue.

The average person should consume at least 8 glasses per day. So, bring a water bottle to school, there are many water stations around the college so you can fill up there. You can actually can get a water bottle at the dollar store that is big enough to contain 8 cups. Water will definitely help prevent weight increase, especially if you drink enough of it every day.

Eat Healthy. This is one of the most important things to do, and will do wonders for reducing the risk of the Freshman 15. Don’t get me wrong a Big Mac is a wonderful dinner, chips and ice cream taste delicious with a 2,000 word essay. But, they are obviously not good for your body. If you make poor eating choices, your body will start to suffer. Stress eating is one of the main weight gain. If eating helps you stop stressing then try changing what you eat into something healthier.

There are lots of great choices in our café, but some might not be the healthiest (Smokes Poutinerie, Pizza Pizza), if you’re looking for something healthy try Subway, or the stir fry station. Unhealthy food tastes good, if it didn’t no one would eat it. But unhealthy food is not good for you, so if you’re worried about the Freshman 15, don’t eat unhealthy.

Leave Some Room for Exercising. Another basic prevention of gaining weight is exercising. There are many ways to exercise and Conestoga gives you lots of options to help do so. The Rec Centre is a great place to exercise. There is a gym upstairs, as well as a track. You can also go to Zumba and fitness classes to help you exercise. If the gym isn’t your thing then go for a walk or a jog outside, maybe even once a day. This will help burn a few calories and help you lose weight. If you start to plan your walks/runs and make it into a routine you will become healthier, and your body will definitely be happy.

The Freshman 15 is not something everyone has to worry about nor is it a bad thing, like I stated. But your health is something that should be monitored. Being healthy is great, and feeling good about yourself is great as well. You don’t need to necessarily take my advice but the Freshman 15 is out there, so let’s prevent him from making you his next target.

By: Jasmine Marinelli

How to Survive an Early Morning Class

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

The first thing you have to realize about college is your school schedule could be something you love, or something you don’t love, at all. There could be a mixture of late classes, early classes or free days! And who doesn’t like free days?

Unfortunately, you can be stuck with a bunch of early classes that clash with your sleep schedule. Believe me, I know… I have two classes this semester that run from 8am until 11am.

At first it was really hard for me to get used to waking up at 6am, preparing myself for the day, and driving to school when it is still dark out. I often forgot something at home because my alarm didn’t go off and I was late, or I wasn’t able to drink my morning coffee and was grumpy. These are all things I felt a month into first semester when I had my early Monday class. I got the hang of waking up and learning how to survive them by doing various things…

You can’t wake up early on your own, especially if you’re not used to it. Make sure you set an alarm almost two hours before your class. The reason I say two hours is because it gives you time to prepare yourself mentally, and physically for class. If you take a bit longer to get ready or if you need time to drive there, it is crucial you are up early. If you start to realize you’re a heavy sleeper and end up sleeping through your alarm. Why not add another one? Ten minutes after your first. For example, what I normally do is add five different alarm times. One at 5:45, one at 6:00, and then the rest in between 6:00 and 6:30. I have never slept through another alarm again.

Fully wake yourself up. I know getting out of your warm, soft, comfy bed is hard in the morning. Particularly, around this season because everything around you feel’s so cold. The best thing to do is get out of bed and quickly run to the shower. A nice hot shower will immediately wake you up. If that is something that doesn’t wake you up then try music. Have your stereo on in your room, and listen to some upbeat pop, or hip hop to help get your day started. Lastly, if you’re a coffee person like I am, and absolutely need it to help you feel alive and awake. Make yourself a coffee, and if you woke up and have some time to spare… take a trip to Conestoga’s on-site Tim Hortons! There’s nothing a good coffee can’t fix.

Lastly, prepare yourself. This is applied to many different, situations because preparing yourself benefits you in many different ways. Make sure you pack your bag the night before, print off any papers that are needed the night before and finish up any last minute homework. You don’t want to feel rushed in the morning especially that early. So, preparing yourself the night before will help alleviate any feeling of being rushed. Partially because you know that you completed everything you needed to the night before.  Feeling rushed can lead to all sorts of things… the most common thing is forgetting something important. Now that is something you don’t want to do, because then it adds stress and unnecessary actions can take place after (driving all the way home to get that one thing you forgot, showing up to class without it, being late, stress).

I can proudly say that I’m able to survive a morning class, without stress and being tired. If you follow these steps and create a routine for yourself you will be able to as well. Good Luck!

By: Jasmine Marinelli