The Freshmen 15…

Aside

The Freshmen 15.

Coming into college there was one thing I feared more than any exam, more than any foreign teacher, more than any crappy roommate… the dreaded freshmen 15. I had only heard rumors of this deadly college curse, but I found out firsthand just how relevant it can be.

During high school I was constantly active whether with sports or hanging out with my friends. I really didn’t worry about studying too much and I ate just about whatever I could get my hands on. It was the ideal lifestyle for me and one that I didn’t want to give up. As I transitioned to college, a couple of aspects of my life changed. I went from being a multisport athlete in high school to strictly a student in college and studying was now my top priority. However for some reason I guess I thought I could continue to gorge on food left and right, without exercising as well, and stay in the same shape I was before college. Of course I was mistaken. My first semester I went from a healthy 205 lbs. to a meaty 228 lbs. within just a couple of months. Husky would have been a nice way to put my newly-formed figure. I look back now and can only reflect on all my mistakes my first semester. I’ll share a few of them and maybe you can avoid some unwanted pounds your freshman year.

My biggest problem freshman year was the type of food I was consuming. Spicy beef wraps, ice cream, and pizza were just many of the foods I indulged in that first semester. Eating these foods once or twice a week may not be terrible, but I was eating them daily. Greasy, fattening foods were a mainstay in my diet and I definitely paid the price for it. Since I was no longer playing sports and spending most of the time sitting around studying those calories just added up over time. Looking back, I would have definitely chosen some healthier options during the week and would have limited the amount of fattening food I was eating. Drinking water instead of pop would also have been a better option. The best thing is to try to eat smart during the week and have a “cheat meal” every once in a while to keep those pounds from adding on.

Another big thing for me was the fact that I quit exercising altogether. Just months ago, you could have found me in a weight room or playing field on a daily basis. With my focus turned to school, I figured I would give up exercise for the first semester to get acclimated to college. Looking back this may have been my worst mistake. By not exercising I wasn’t burning off all the calories I was taking in, and most importantly I allowed my metabolism to slow down from my active years. Both proved to be costly to my physique. If I had exercised I guarantee I wouldn’t have gained nearly as much weight as I did. My advice would be to head to Johnson Center or the Underground at least 3 times a week (maybe more) if you really want to keep those pounds off.

The last problem is really one we as college kids just can’t avoid, and that is eating late. When I was up late studying it was so easy to head to Ovid’s or order a Mad-Mush pizza to snack on. I remember eating full course meals at 1 a.m. sometimes if I was going to stay up late into the morning. My rule now is anything after about 9 or 10 is no-go. Your metabolism slows down towards the end of the day before you sleep so the later you eat the less that will be burned off. Try to eat most of your big meals before night rolls around and you should be fine.

The thing I took away from my freshman year was that it was a learning experience and I guess I’m better from it. I’ve learned to eat healthier and I’ve got a pretty routine workout schedule since then. Hopefully my story will aid you in keeping off those unwanted pounds and leave the curse for next year’s newbies.

Valentine’s Day for the Single Girl

Valentine’s Day: a day of flowers, chocolate, hearts, lovey-dovey couples…basically a day that looks like Cupid threw up leaving traces of red and pink heart-shaped crap everywhere, right?

Over the last few days as Valentine’s Day’s immediate doom has been slowly creeping up upon us, I have listened to SO many girls complain about being single and that they will NEVER find that special one. Add a little bit of black and a bonfire burning of all ex-boyfriends that did you wrong, you have yourself the biggest pity-party of the year.

But I propose a radical change for all the single ladies out there. Throw away all of your black and join in with the pink-ified festivities. Who says that you have to have a boyfriend to enjoy Valentine’s Day? V-Day is supposed to be a day to tell those you love how much you care, and why can’t we show ourselves a little love along the way too?

Being a single lady myself and with no date invites currently coming my direction, I have decided to take the high road and enjoy myself without a man this upcoming Tuesday. Along with getting a mani and pedi, I am going to pamper myself with spending time with some of my closest (single) friends and make it a date all our own.

But if watching “The Vow” and going out to a nice dinner isn’t your forte, do not despair!  Your day still doesn’t have to revert to black-fire-burning fun as I have made a full list for you below with some fabulous options for all you single ladies out there (sorry guys, you’re outta luck! I’m sure you don’t mind having a night just with the boys)!

  1. Go sing karaoke—There’s nothing better than getting a good laugh at your best Britney Spears and Lady Gaga impressions. Be sure to pick the cheesiest love song and belt your little heart out!
  2. Pamper yourself—You can follow my lead and go get yourself a mani and pedi at your favorite salon or even splurge a little bit and go get a fabulous massage; it’s up to you. Just be sure to go all out and enjoy yourself. Who says you can only pamper yourself before a V-Day date?
  3. Send yourself flowers—Now this one could be considered pushing the envelope, but if you love flowers as much as I do it doesn’t matter who they come from.
  4.  Indulge yourself—Whether you want to spend your night with Ben & Jerry or Mr. Russell Stover, let yourself have the best of the best.
  5. Go after what you want—Have you been wanting a 4.0 for the semester or that top-notch internship? Don’t let anything hold you back! So find your inner She-Man-Woman power and go after it! What a better way to show that you love yourself on Valentine’s Day then by achieving your dreams?
  6. Find something new to love—Find a new activity to try or go to an animal shelter and spread your love to a new addition to your life.  Give all of your love to something that means something to you, new and old.
  7. Send love someone else’s way—Don’t only pamper yourself; share your love with everyone you know.  Send some flowers to your mom or give your best friend a gift card to her favorite place; a little amount goes a long way.
  8. Go watch a chick-flick—“The Vow” is a must-see for this day! But if tear-jerking chick flicks aren’t what you’re in the mood for, maybe a romantic comedy would be better for you and your best girlfriends!
  9. Do something silly or child-like—I love this idea, but with the crazy weather we’ve been having lately some of these options may be out of your reach.
  • Go Karts
  • Bowling
  • Arcade
  • Mini-Golf
  • Ice Skating/Roller Skating

Whatever you may choose, just remember… throw away those matches for the bonfire, open up the curtains and turn on some happy tunes. Love yourself on V-Day (and you can still secretly hate all of those sickening mushy couples, just don’t let it consume YOUR special day)!

Dorm Cooking: K Book Style

Tired of campus cooking?  Need a change of pace?  Check out my video blog for some new recipes that you can stir up right in the comfort of your own dorm!  These recipes are convenient and quick to make with ingredients that you can easily store in your room.  Enjoy the video and cooking with your roommates in the dorm!  Who knows, you may be the next Rachael Ray or Top Chef?!  Now go get cooking!

Lindsey

The Lost Art of Napping

If someone had told me how valuable naps would become in the future, I would have treated them like the hot commodity that they are now and would have never refused one when I was five.

To be able to snuggle onto a cot with a blanket and my favorite stuffed animal all full from my afternoon snack and drift into a lullaby of blissfulness would be my idea of a perfect afternoon every single day.

Unfortunately this perfect afternoon is something most college students can only dream about. Us college students barely get enough sleep as it is, and with hectic day schedules that leave little room for even grabbing lunch, much less taking time to settle into a bed for a quick snooze, napping seems unfeasible!

But I am convinced that napping is essential to the college lifestyle, and if you haven’t learned this yet than you have not fully understood the art of napping. Napping is a science and it needs to be treated as such. The length of a nap, the location of a nap and the time of day the nap is taken are all important factors that contribute to this science.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the United States as a nation has become more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping. While naps do not necessarily make up for a lack of sleep the night before, a short 20-minute power nap can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.

That means better grades, fewer mistakes and less irritability!

Now I’m not condoning skipping class to catch some Zzz’s in the Student Center or suggesting you plan your spring semester schedule solely around a 2 p.m. power nap, but just realize naps can be very beneficial.

In other words, take ‘em when you can, your body will thank you later.

Walkin’ in a Wildcat Wonderland… (gifts for the UK fan in your life)

The holiday season is finally here! This just happens to be my favorite time of year: the decorations, the parties, twinkling lights, the Christmas station on my Pandora account, time with family, tacky sweaters, holiday-themed Glee episode, and one of the best parts, even though we all know it isn’t the real reason for the season, gifts. The list could go on forever.  Who doesn’t love it all? For most of us, we only have one thing standing in our way.  FINALS. Even though studying for your tests should be the main worry occupying your time, I suggest a little shopping trip as a study break! You must pick up all your gifts before you head home! To save you some time, I have created a list of gifts that every friend or family member of a Wildcat would love to receive!
Start your morning off right with a little Wildcat love.
These slippers would even make Snooki jealous!
Spice up your dinnertime routine with UK salt and pepper shakers!
Nap time just got way more fun!
You’ll have sweet Wildcat dreams with your UK Snuggie!
Even your phone should be game day ready!
I mean, who doesn’t want to look like Scratch?
Grill set for your dad. Perfect for tailgating!
Pamper your pooch with Wildcat gear.
No garden is complete without a UK gnome.

How to Survive Finals

Surviving Finals Week

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…FINALS! Ok, not so much, but it is one of the most important times of the year.

I know that if you’re like me you can taste the homemade cookies and smell the evergreen trees already, but we have to FOCUS! Just a few more days… and if you need that extra boost to get you through the last two weeks, I have a few tips for you on how to survive the dreaded finals week.

1.    Make sure to start studying early

Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute! I know that you have a lot of information to go over and the worst thing you can do is try and cram a semester worth of information into two days.

2.    Allot your time properly: PRIORITIZE

Go over your finals schedule and organize your study time for each class this week. You know which classes are harder than others and you need to plan accordingly.

 3.    Get plenty of rest

We all know that all-nighters are a favorite of the college student, but believe me, this won’t help! The most important thing to do in order to retain all of your information is to get plenty of sleep. The more rested you are the better and more efficiently your mind will work when it comes time to ace your test!

4.    Stay calm

The worst thing you can do is panic. If you prepare well enough trust yourself to know the information. Once you’re taking the test there is no going back. So trust yourself and give it all you’ve got! You will be FINE!

5.    Don’t spend all your time on Facebook and/or Twitter

I know it’s tempting but STAY AWAY! All of your friends should be studying right now too, so I know you are not missing anything - PROMISE!! My freshman year I had my roommate change my password and she wasn’t allowed to tell me until after finals was over. This may be extreme but you gotta do what you gotta do!

6.    Find some time for yourself. Do something every day that is not related to studying.

As important as it is to focus and study hard, you must find some time for yourself. Take a step back and finish your “to do” list outside of studying. This will relax you and allow you to reflect on what you have been going over.

7.    Get out of where you’re studying

This goes back to having time to yourself. Get out and get some fresh air. By the time you go back to your studying you will be refreshed and even more focused.

8.    Don’t study in your bedroom

I know so many of us have heard that you’re not supposed to study in bed, but this is true! Your mind needs to have two separate spots: one to sleep and one to study. If you confuse the two you will never get the right amount of shut-eye needed to function and you will never be able to study without dosing off…

9.    Find your “study” spot

Find that one spot where you can focus and feel comfortable at the same time. For me freshman year it was the top floor of Blanding Tower. Keep in mind that the library may not be the ideal spot. This is the number one hangout spot on campus and when it’s crunch time the last thing you need to worry about is socializing when you should be flipping the pages of your books.

I hope that these tips will help you reach your way to success!!! Good luck on all of your finals and have a wonderful break!

-Candice

How many people actually read this thing?

So, the other day I was thinking (probably a bad idea) about how many people actually read this blog? The K Bookers pour their emotions into this thing, but for who? I’ve decided to find out.

Finals are, unfortunately, coming up. It’s time to eat Cliff bars for breakfast…and lunch…. and a big sloppy burrito for dinner. It’s time to stay up way too late and see just how little sleep you need to survive. Most importantly, it’s time to see just how creative you are in becoming a hermit and how good you are at finding a secret little nook to study the day away in. I must admit, I’m pretty dang good. As a part of my research on our readers, I’ve decided to tell you about my favorite little hermitages. If they’re crowded in the coming weeks, I’ll 1) be really ticked off that I told people about them but 2) be happy that people are actually reading this junk. So. Here it goes:

1) The M.I. King Library Geology Floor

Get on the elevator in M.I. King and press 4R. Yes, it will take you past the recently renovated floor full of comfy chairs and study rooms…but it will deliver you to a studier’s paradise - a quiet, dimly lit floor with windows to watch the December rain and huge tables to spread all of your ideas out on.

2) The William T. Young Library Newspaper Reading Room

Imagine one of the “reading rooms” on the 5th floor shrunken to about 1/10 of the size and you’ve got the Kentucky Newspaper Reading Room. It’s tucked away on the second floor right above the University Drive entrance so you think this place would be obvious. Nope. It’s not. It’s quiet with huge windows to watch those jerks who don’t take tests frolic and be merry.

3) The Lucile Little Fine Arts Library

This one isn’t that hidden at all, just underused. Wide open spaces to study in. It’s usually open til midnight giving you an ample amount of time to be very productive. The window thing applies here too.

4) Chandler Hospital Lobby

If one of your finals is a research paper or a poem or a test that you need inspiration for in order to complete, check out the multi-million dollar hospital we just built. This place is begging for someone to study in it. TONS of comfortable chairs, a few tables, ambient piano music, a waterfall and a security guard to throw out those who get too loud. Go here.

5) The Medical Center Library

Apparently medical students need their own library or something. If you’re looking to get some stuff done before midnight, you can use it too! It’s located in the medical school on the first floor right across from the elevators. NO WINDOWS. NO TALKING. They’re serious there.

There. You’ve got ‘em. My secret spots. If I see you there I might thank you for contributing to my research right before asking you to leave…after all, they’re my spots.