January 27th, 2014 § § permalink
You’ve mastered survival of the polar vortex, you’re well on your way to producing a real live thesis proposal and awkward prom-date-style asking an adviser, and you’ve got a cheering squad of MAPH staff to support you as Winter Quarter kicks in.
That said, Winter Quarter can really SUCK. It’s dark, cold, and you’re being asked to do an INSANE amount of reading/papers/job stuff/general being human type things. While it’s easy to feel like you have time for absolutely nothing besides thesis and school, it is essential this quarter to stay healthy and balanced.
It can be incredibly helpful to talk to someone who is not also immersed in thesising. Looking for a way to get something off your chest, or not sure if it would be useful to talk to someone on a regular basis? Student Counseling offers a Let’s Talk program, which offers walk-in meetings with a counselor. Student Counseling also has resources for academic struggles like procrastination or developing speed-reading skills.
And as always, if you feel like you need to see another human, are looking for someone to complain with, or just want to say hi, come by the MAPH office anytime.
2. Cozy up! (But in a new place)
At this point in the year, leaving Hyde Park (or even leaving the library!) can feel like a mini-vacation. Last year I set myself the goal of getting out of Hyde Park once a week, even if it was just to study in a new place. And while it may sound silly, those trips to distant coffee shops felt INCREDIBLE. It was like I realized that there was a great big world out there that wasn’t all thinking about (and possibly criticizing) my academic work. Also, Chicago is full of awesome places – it’s so worth your time to go check them out.
Some quick recommendations from Keri for coffee (at this point last year, I was consuming on average 6 caffeinated beverages a day, so I was starting to get picky): The Bourgeouis Pig (tip: they have a limit on Wifi, so bring your reading), Filter or The Wormhole (nerdy!) in Wicker Park, and for those who can’t leave Hyde Park, Bridgeport Coffee has a location in the Hyde Park Art Center
3. Sunshine (from the indoors!)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, although I’m not totally sure if I have it. Regardless, staying inside all the time in the dark makes me sad, but there’s no way I’m getting outside for a jog when it’s -5 out. Luckily, there are ways to get sunshine (and a healthy dose of Mother Nature) while staying indoors:
-Garfield Park Conservatory - conveniently, MAPH is taking a trip to this lush and verdant (and free) place on 2/7
-Lincoln Park Conservatory – this slightly smaller conservatory is right next to the zoo (and is also free)
-and of course, the giant space dome / egg library that is Mansueto – less plants, more work, but very sunny regardless
4. Bring balance to the force (or to your own life)
You may have already discovered this, but it’s pretty much impossible to do all the reading for classes AND work on your thesis AND sleep AND be an actual human AND maintain friendships AND look for a job. And that is OKAY. It is more important to maintain your mental (and physical!) health than to finish all the readings. Do enough of your work to participate well in class, and then TAKE A BREAK.
While you’re at it, put a ban on guilt: set a (reasonable) to-do list, and once it’s done, allow yourself a guilt-free work-free break. Exercise, knit, spend time with friends, meditate, go to Tea & Pipes, watch TV, read a book that is actually not useful in any way toward your academic work, do whatever you need to in order to give your brain time off from school.
You got this.
January 6th, 2014 § § permalink
Chicago’s winter parking system…
Winter and its Quarter are here, along with some somewhat sinister trappings (aka -50 degree windchill!). I sincerely hope that everyone is in an apartment under at least one blanket right now. » Read the rest of this entry «
September 28th, 2010 § § permalink
But I am lez tiredzz…or maybe dead. I can’t really tell, and I’m really sorry if this turns out to be a picture of a dead cat.
You’re on campus, you’ve got a huge block of time between classes, and you’re done with the reading for class. Oh, and maybe you got, say, ten minutes of sleep last night.
But where oh where to catch some ZzzZzz’s? Here are some great places for a power nap or productivity-ending/existential crisis-inducing/hair messing 3-hour REM sesh:
1) Harper Library: *Winner: most likely to wake up drooling on yourself not that that ever actually happened to me category* Duh. Pull up a big cozy chair in the Harry Potter Reading Room, and you’re out for two hours, easy. Pull over two ottomans and you can lay down like it’s a Singapore Airlines flight in First Class. Without the champagne. Usually.
2) The Oriental Institute, Coffin of Meresamum: *Winner, best place to desecrate an already desecrated sacred artifact / get cursed category* Free admission with your student ID, and there are hardly ever any guards around the Coffin. I say, if Winter is already going to make you feel like the walking dead, embrace it.
3) The Social Sciences Tea Room: *Winner: Room that most feels like your grandmother’s house category* Off the beaten path a bit, and sometimes in use by various groups. But this room is lit with golden sunlight and is usually heated to a coma-inducing 74 degrees in winter. There are little bay windows that you can curl up in. Best part is, it’s just upstairs from Core Lectures. Just don’t pass out for too long. You will almost definitely be kicked out by a Creative Writing department event.
More places to visit the Sandman after the jump… » Read the rest of this entry «
March 17th, 2010 § § permalink
“Our nature is not self-sufficient for engaging in study: our body must be healthy and we must have food and generally be cared for” (Nicomachean Ethics X 1178b 35).
It is that time of year again, time for 20 hour workdays, paper-writing stupors, and general stress all around. May I take this moment to implore you to please please please take some breaks? It is good for you, it will make you feel better, and it will even help you do a better job on your papers. Here are some fun ideas for short study breaks:
1) Grab a friend and go get a croissant and a cup of coffee at Bonjour Bakery, the Medici Bakery, Z and H, or some other bakery you like. Talk about things other than your papers. After 30 minutes, you will start to feel like a normal human being again.
2) Go for a walk. I saw some hyacinths coming up as I walked to campus this morning! Give yourself twenty minutes and explore your neighborhood. Walk down a street you’ve never been down before. Head out to the lake and see if all the crazy ice has melted. Just use your common sense and don’t go anywhere dangerous. It’s also best to bring a buddy late at night. (I am your mother.)
3) Cook yourself something. No, really. Cooking is creative, relaxing, and at the end you get to eat a healthful, home-cooked meal. Visit williams-sonoma.com, epicurious.com, cooksillustrated.com or any similar site for recipe ideas.
4) Exercise. Hit the gym, take a yoga class, go for a jog outside. Even a 15 minute jog in the fresh air can be revitalizing.
5) It may seem counterintuitive, but have a book on hand that you can read for pleasure. Sometimes, when you get into the study groove, it is difficult to take breaks that are completely non-academic. Taking a few minutes to read a chapter of an old favorite can be a welcome distraction. Books you enjoyed as a child or a young adult can be particularly good choices.
Good luck with everything! It’s just a few more days now! You can do it!
November 17th, 2009 § § permalink
As the weather turns cold, it makes sense to think about ways to stay healthy. Here are a few common-sense suggestions, to help combat the typical winter illnesses that plague us.
1) Eat a balanced diet, including breakfast! The more nutrients you get in your system, the more resistant you’ll be to cold and flu viruses. The farmers’ market on 61st is still open, and is a great place to get leafy greens, grass-fed meat, eggs, and other local groceries. Also, drink lots of water, particularly if you feel like you are coming down with something.
2) Get some sun. As the days get shorter, it can be difficult to get enough sunlight. Try going for a midday walk on sunny days- the natural light will make you feel better, and vitamin D can work wonders for your immune system.
3) Exercise! It really does help. If you’re at the gym, though, be sure to wash your hands before and after using the machines; a lot of germs are spread at athletic facilities.
4) Forget just washing your hands at the gym, wash your hands frequently, period. How many people coughed before using that library computer?
5) Try to get enough sleep. Eight hours or more can help boost immunity, and sleep deprivation makes you more vulnerable to infection. I know it is tough, but try to get to bed on the early side: those first few hours are so valuable!
6) Minimize stress. Easier said than done, right? At least make an effort to do something relaxing each day, even if it is only for a few minutes. Try reading a few pages of something for pleasure, watch a TV show, or just sit quietly for a few minutes.
If you do feel that you are coming down with something, it usually makes sense to try to rest up immediately and nip it in the bud. Even one day of bed rest can really give your body the chance to take care of itself. Here’s to a healthy, productive winter!
September 17th, 2009 § § permalink
Around the MAPH office, we all know the feeling of panic that’s likely to set in after your first less-than-stellar grade. And we’ll do our best to answer your questions about how MAPH works, from course scheduling to academic challenges to living in Hyde Park, but the truth is that we don’t know everything. We can give you a band-aid or an aspirin, but more serious illnesses are beyond our diagnostic skills. Lucky for you, the University has a whole hospital. Furthermore, the University of Chicago is big enough that they have people on hand to answer questions and handle all kinds of situations that we can’t (like, say, how to quit smoking or decode the rules and stipulations of your health insurance — though in either case, we’re happy to commiserate).
So when you need help, and you’ve got a problem that you suspect is beyond the scope of our capabilities, or if we’re closed, or even if you just don’t quite feel ready to tell us about what’s going on, resources are available to you. And you can find a clear, organized list of resouces at help.uchicago.edu. We hope you won’t need them, but why not bookmark the site, just in case?