Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Finals Celebration


Finals are done!!  

Be happy, celebrate, and pat yourself on the back for all you have accomplished this year.  Whether you are finishing your time at Hopkins or finishing your first year.  Be proud of yourself.  Enjoy the break. Do something for you.  Celebrate.  And if you choose to drink, be sure to stay in the blue zone by choosing to stop at buzzed.


Mindfulness during Finals


We have all been told by someone that there are many benefits to living a healthy lifestyle. But has anyone mentioned that healthy living can also directly impact exam grades? During this finals period, try some mindfulness exercises - they are actually proven to have a positive impact on test scores.

Mindfulness can be described as paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives. It does not eliminate life stressors, but can instead help us respond to them more calmly and presently.

Practicing mindfulness can reduce mind wandering and improve performance on both reading comprehension and working memory capacity. A study published in the Psychological Science Journal shows that mindfulness training can help college students do better on the verbal reasoning part of the GRE.

The ABC’s of mindfulness involve:
A) Awareness – becoming more aware of what you are thinking and doing.
B) “Just Being” – avoiding the tendency to respond on autopilot, which might cause impulsiveness and decisions that are not thought through.
C) Seeing things and responding more wisely - by creating a gap between experience and one’s reaction in order to make wiser choices.

Cultivating mindfulness in your studying and daily behaviors can be an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function – leading to possible higher test scores.

Give it a try and see if being mindful can make a difference for you! If you would like more information from a professional contact the Counseling Center and Dr. Rose for extra help in incorporating mindfulness into your life.


Sexual Assault Prevention... a message

Sexual Assault Prevention comes in many forms.  Sometimes it can go over well and other times it might not work.  We're curious-- what do you think of this video from the University of Arizona?


Study Well


How are you getting through reading period?  Have you made a second home in the BLC?  Are you living off of ramen and the kindness of those with later finals?  Instead, try some of these awesome tips from the Huffington Post:

First of all, get your sleep!  A tired brain does not function well.  Sleep to succeed.

For studying material, try re-writing your notes or making flash cards and testing yourself.  The repetitive nature of this study style can make the information really stick in your head.

Try changing your location.  A number of psychologists found that by simply changing your study location, you can improve your memory's retention of information.

See what else you can do to help your study sessions be more successful here!


Boozzzzzze Tip

These next two weeks are crucial. Getting your ZZZ's is so necessary-- so will alcohol help you sleep better?  

According to a recent literature review of studies on alcohol and it's impact on sleep, alcohol will definitely not help a person sleep better.  While people who drink may fall asleep faster and deeply at first, they are more likely to have greater disrupted sleep as the night's sleep continues.  This means more tossing and turning, and less restful nights of sleep.

So for those that think drinking will help them get to sleep-- well they are right.  It will help them hit the pillow faster.  However, the studies show that the night's sleep will be anything but restful once the 2nd half of sleep sets in.  This reduces REM sleep significantly, particularly for those who have had moderate to heavy amounts to drink, and leaves a person feeling much less rested than a person who did not drink or drank very little.

Instead of using alcohol to help with sleep or to just get a better night's sleep when it counts the most (hello, finals) try doing some other sleep better techniques.  Here are a some suggestions to get you started: Ten Ways to Sleep Better.

If you choose to drink this weekend, try stopping at buzzed to reduce the negative effects alcohol can have on  your sleep.  The more you talk to others ,dance with friends, and sip mindfully means the more restful sleep you'll have, and the more productive day you can enjoy in the morning.


Tap That


An app all about sexual health information has been provided to NYC compliments of Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  The app is targeted towards teenagers. It provides information on three areas: where to go for services, what contraceptive devices to get, and what they can expect at the clinic of their choice.

The app is just one of the many methods the NYC Health Department is using to help reduce teen pregnancy and increase sexual health knowledge.  They also have advertisements that have been deemed controversial by the public.  What are your thoughts on the ad?

Would you find an app like this helpful as a JHU student?  If such an app existed, what would you want it to include?

Did you know that you can go to the Student Health and Wellness Center for STI testing, well-woman exams, and contraception counseling?  Not to mention, all the free condoms you could ever want!