The Crusader Online

January 23, 2009
Vol. 50 No. 12

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Letters to the Editor

Time management needed in college life

It's no secret that college students find it difficult to manage their busy schedules with all of the different activities that take place throughout the week.

Club meetings, sports practices, classes, meals, study groups, instrument practice hours and campus jobs take up the majority of the 168 hours that make up each week.

But what happened to the one task most students complain about missing, but don't bother to add to their "to do" lists every day?

Where did the necessary sleep go?

As students progress from week to week in a semester, their lists of activities to complete increase in length, and duties that are put off while other things get done become more pressing on their schedules. Sleep is the first thing to go.

Students function on few hours of sleep each night for days at a time while their irritability, stress, frustration and other emotions slowly increase as the week unfolds.
The few extra hours that are attained through the lack of class time on the weekends are used for social events and sleeping late to catch up on sleep missed from the night earlier, as well as the week before.

Ten to twelve hours of sleep on Friday and Saturday nights are nothing compared to what students actually need to function for the rest of the week ahead. Not only that, but the extra sleeping and social events that take place over the weekend set back homework and study hours for late Sunday nights, once again setting students back early on in the week.

This imbalance in a college student's sleep schedule leads to even more issues concerning his or her health.

Sleeping late on the weekend sets students back on Monday and Tuesday when they have to wake up earlier than noon for class.

The drastic time alterations essentially sabotage all hopes for a restful sleep when the students are waking up at different times each day.

In addition, students tend to go to sleep after midnight on a daily basis, thus hindering their ability to fall asleep earlier than their bodies expect.

Try to tell me that you haven't gone to bed earlier than usual, and then lain in bed until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. because you "just couldn't fall asleep."

When asked about workloads and homework habits, one student said that watching another student through the week is like "watching a train wreck in slow motion."
Some busy college students only get about four to five hours of sleep per night on average.

I especially find it interesting that most students start complaining about their courses or workload, blaming the professors and classes for their sleep deprivation.

They lament their desperate need for caffeine at awkward hours during the day and their instant frustration with the school's remediation zone the second it hits their computers, no matter how much internet the students actually need (Facebook also sets the finish line back for papers the nights before they are due).

Students occasionally begin complaining the day that classes begin, saying that they can't believe they have reading to do "already."

So stop putting it off and complaining about how much you have to do only three days into the new semester, read the 25-page chapter, and save the complaining for another day when you have a term paper in one class, a test in another and hours of work to put in at the office to top it off.

-- Christine Crigler '11

Traveling abroad brings opportunities

Study Abroad is an opportunity that is often overlooked by students who do not take the time to consider the benefits of visiting another country.

If you want to become fluent in the language you are studying, becoming immersed in that language is the best way to learn. But a studying language is not the only reason to go abroad.

There are many English-speaking programs that you can travel with.

Some go to English-speaking countries, including England and Australia, but there are also programs that go to countries like Greece, India and China that do not require any previous language experience.

There are a lot of different cultures around the world that you can choose from.

Right now, Susquehanna has approved programs in 46 different countries that include every continent except for Antarctica.

If exploring new cultures and seeing the world is not enough of an incentive, think about the experience you could gain in your field of study.

In a time where people are becoming more and more interconnected, every major can benefit from experiencing a foreign culture.

Gaining a global perspective makes you a more marketable job applicant.

Insight into broader consumer markets and audiences can be especially vital to communications and business majors.

For science majors, there are programs in Australia and Africa that provide hands-on experience.

You can go to London with the business school, study music in Prague or Vienna or expand your knowledge of political science by going to a European Union program in Germany.

No matter what your interests or ambitions, there is a place in the world that is just waiting to change your life.

If you do want to travel overseas, the time is now. By making Study Abroad a part of your education, you can be living what most people put off until "someday."

There are scholarships available through many of the programs, and freshmen, if you plan ahead, it should not be hard to complete the necessary requirements to graduate on time.

And for those people who take on so much here at Susquehanna that they have no semesters to spare, there are short-term programs during summer and winter breaks.

The Study Abroad office hopes to have even more short-term programs for the coming semesters so that everyone can have a cross-cultural experience regardless of time constraints.

If visiting another country seems overwhelming, there are plenty of people on campus that are more than happy to answer questions.

The Facebook group "SU Study Abroad" provides updates on events and deadlines and also serves as a forum for questions to be answered by students who have already had experience with Study Abroad.

The Study Abroad office is located in Bogar Hall, Room 203, and has forms and information for many of the approved programs.

A complete program list can be found by clicking the Study Abroad Program link on Susquehanna's Web site.

You can also email the study away director, Dr. Scott Manning.

So Susquehanna, where do you want to go?

--Shayna Freed '11

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