The reason you may want to limit your Netflix binging over winter break

If your Thanksgiving break was anything like mine, you probably made your way to the fridge, overwhelmed with the amount of food fresh for the taking. You hunkered down on the couch in front of the TV or maybe turned to Netflix and binge-watched whatever Netflix suggested for you. You stayed up late and then slept in until you were too restless to flop around in your bed any longer, only to start your day of pursuing technology and comfort. Maybe you fell into the trap of video gaming until the wee hours of the morn, only taking breaks to refuel or use the facilities. You essentially did a lot of things that were relaxing, comforting, and fulfilling for a short time, but when those things lost their luster you moved on to the next thing. By the end of it, I felt like I was ready to get back to school but I was not fulfilled by my time off. I wished I could do it over again; I put off responsibilities to the very end and headed back to campus feeling dissatisfied.


Unfortunately, truly resting is a struggle for many of us. We are used to constant stimulation and entertainment, whether that’s through social media, Snapchat, texting, or any other ways we use technology to stay “busy.” If you don’t come into this longer break with somewhat of a game plan, your winter break could leave you feeling unfulfilled anxious rather than well rested.

How do we do this? I think it starts with recognizing the difference between true rest and being entertained. It is easy to find yourself seeking to be preoccupied when you get home. We probably have many things we look to to keep busy and entertained whether that is TV, movies, Netflix, shopping, eating, frequent naps, or browsing social media. Though they do not involve much effort or physical exertion, I would not say that these things make me feel rested and refreshed.

What I find truly restful is to unplug from the constant brain stimulation that I am so used to during school, and focus on being more present. I personally try to find rest during breaks in going for a walk or run outside, reflecting over the semester, reading my Bible, spending time in prayer over my life and for people in my life, or even going on a spontaneous adventure (your local grocery store can be an adventure). I think the key is to find things that are enriching to your life and leave you feeling more alive and refreshed which can look like a lot of different things for different people. Another way that I like to do this is by spending quality time with my friends and family, catching up on what has been going on in life, or doing something that goes beyond just “hanging out.” Winter break can be a great time to sort through the direction you are currently headed in life and to reflect on ways you have grown.

I am not trying to say that you shouldn’t watch movies, Netflix, or plop down and watch some TV at all over break. The new Star Wars movie is coming out and I will be all over that. However, I don’t think these things bring much refreshment or rest to my life and so it is important to devote time to doing the things that truly offer rest rather than vainly hoping to find that rest in binge watching “Orange is the New Black.”

May the Force be with you this finals week and over break.

So You’ve (Almost) Finished Your First Semester of College…

What next? 

Here are a few pointers to get you started on your break — don’t worry it involves a great deal of relaxing!

Look over your grades and make sure they are correct

Sometimes professors make mistakes, and if this happens, they want you to bring it to their attention. They want the most accurate grade for you.

Take a deep breath!

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth — you did it! Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

Check your schedule for next semester

Are you on a wait list? ​If so, contact the professor and check on availability. You may have to choose another class, so make sure you stay on top of that over winter break. The sooner you seek out a new class the better chance you have of finding one to fit your schedule.

Going home?

Safe travels! Something to keep in mind: last year I took clothes home and changed my wardrobe for the season!

Enjoy family time and hope for a white December!

Everyone do your snow day dance with your pajamas on inside out!

As you complete your first semester at Ohio State, you should be proud of yourself. Whether you had a rough first semester or a really good semester, you are done! Just remember: you are one semester closer to graduating.

Now you get a break — RELAX THE BRAIN!

Tips to Help You Remain SANE in the Homestretch to Finals

We’re at that point in the year where we can see the end of school. Classes are finished in less than a month. But, we’re also at the point where it feels like every instructor is cramming in a million more group projects, papers, midterms, etc., even though finals are right around the corner. Here are some tips to help you remain sane through the end of April.

1. Get time away and/or alone

Make sure you take a few minutes for yourself to just walk around campus, get a coffee from Starbucks, or just enjoy the nice weather on one of those days when it decides to be 60+ outside.

2. Spend a short time doing something for pure fun

With all the hard work and stress that the next few weeks will bring, make sure you have time to reward yourself for your hard work. Whether you Skype with a distant friend, play some video games, or watch funny YouTube videos, just make sure you reward yourself.

3. Exercise

You may be thinking, “How am I supposed to have time to exercise when I have to study for five tests, write nine papers, and complete four group projects?” Trust me, even just a few minutes of exercise will make you feel so much better. If you want to exercise, but also want to accomplish something for school, bring your book or notes to the gym to study while you’re on the treadmill or while you’re biking. You will feel reenergized once you’re done. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes, try to get some exercise.

4. Attend an athletic event

Sometimes you just need to take a break completely from what you may be doing to get a new perspective or to get reenergized. A great way to do this is to attend an athletic event at Ohio State. There are baseball games, softball games, track meets, the football spring game (April 12; free to students), and many other athletic events that will occur during these last few weeks of school. I know the athletes would all love your support and it would be a great way to take a break from studying.

5. Make a list, write everything down

One suggestion to help you feel less overwhelmed these last few weeks is to make lists. This simple concept may sound silly, but it will make you feel better! Make lists of the things you have to do. As you complete them, make sure to cross them off on the list — you will feel great that you are accomplishing something, even if you have a million more things to do. At certain points, make sure you set rewards for completing so many things on the list. This will encourage you to continue to work hard and not get too frustrated.

If all else fails, make sure to breathe. We have roughly five weeks left (including finals). Just think: we are so close to summer. If you need an incentive to study hard for finals, just think about how great summer will be when you find out you got better grades than you thought because you studied so hard!