Jump to a Tip:

  1. Ask for Help, Go to Office Hours, & Use Tutoring Services
  2. Mental Health & Stress Relief
  3. Test Taking
  4. Managing your College Budget
  5. College Drinking Consequences
  6. Sex & Physical Relationships
  7. Plan Ahead (Summer Research Opportunities)
  8. Networking
  9. The Dangers of Sexting
  10. Winter Vacation

Tip #1 - Ask for Help, Go to Office Hours, & Use Tutoring Services

Greetings Science Sisters!

Most of you have probably been in school for a few weeks now and we just wanted to send you our first college success tip!

Weekly Advice from Nadia, aka Ms. Johnson – but now that you guys are WHSP alumnae, you can call me Nadia ;)

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help: this was one of my biggest mistakes during my freshman year of college!  I was too proud to ask for help.  Turns out, you look stupider when you do poorly in a class that you could have aced than when you ask for help and get a better grade!  Professors and TAs are almost always willing to help - and if they aren't, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED - go to the tutoring center (more on that below), find a study group, ask fellow students, do whatever it takes!

Go to Office Hours: Professors and TAs have to offer office hours, and almost NO ONE ever goes to them (I know, I had office hours when I was a TA!). Go to office hours, introduce yourself, ask a few questions.  It goes a long way (it could be the difference between a B+ and an A-).  Just like in high school, Profs/TAs will oftentimes reward students when they know those students put in extra effort.  The other part of this is - GO TO OFFICE HOURS EARLY, NOT JUST RIGHT BEFORE THE TEST!  Everyone floods the professor with questions the day before the test, but if you are having trouble, talk to the Prof/TA RIGHT AWAY, not after it's too late!!  If you are taking a class that you know will be challenging for you (like Chemistry), go see the professor/TA NOW.  Introduce yourself, let them know that you are a little nervous about the class, and ask if they have any advice/suggestions for doing well.  Then make it a habit to go every week and ask questions about the HW.  I cannot tell you how big of a difference this will make!

Use the Tutoring Services: you may as well take advantage, they're FREE (well, your mandatory student fees pay for them, so not technically free)!  I didn't know this when I was in school but you can get free tutoring!  Take advantage of it - use it for ANY subject that you feel a little shaky about.  And if you master a subject, you can even apply to become a tutor next year – which is a great way to reinforce the subject for yourself and to make a little extra cash ;)

Next week Cathryn (aka Ms. Smeyers) will provide the weekly tip!

Keep us posted on how you are doing – WE MISS YOU!!!!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Tip #2 - Mental Health & Stress Relief

Hello Science Sisters!
It’s time for you weekly WHSP advice from Cathryn, aka Ms. Smeyers!  Nadia (Ms. Johnson) and I are trading off weeks.  Last week, we gave you the following pieces of advice: don’t be afraid to ask for help, go to office hours, and use the tutoring services.  This week, I want to focus on mental health and stress relief.  Here’s my advice…

Create a Space:  As you are settling into your new living quarters and class schedule, make sure you find a quiet and comfortable place where you can go to concentrate and get your work done.  You could pick a coffee shop, a nook in the library (that was my preferred location), or somewhere in the dorm.  If you don’t have a noisy roommate, you can definitely just set up a desk in your room.  Just make sure it is clutter free and organized, so you don’t get distracted.

Create a Schedule:  One of the biggest differences between high school and college is the class schedule.  There is so much more freedom and time, when you’re in college, but it’s important to use it wisely.  Make sure set aside a block of time to study (at least 2-3 hours) each day.  It is equally as important to schedule in some time to take care of yourself (physically, socially, and emotionally).  Unlike high school, where you are told what to do (socialize during lunch, homework during free period, exercise after school) nobody in college is going to stand over your shoulder to make sure that you are planning wisely.  It’s up to you to make a balanced schedule that works for you.  You’ll be surprised how quickly all that free time will be filled up!

Exercise: For both your physical and mental health, it’s important to make sure that you remain physically active.  Regular exercise helps combat weight gain, prevents conditions and diseases, and improves your mood.  A regular exercise routine can lower stress, anxiety, and even depression.  There are generally plenty of options for exercise on campus.  Most colleges have a recreational or fitness center.  If you haven’t already, check it out!  You will likely be surprised as to how much is available, and most universities offer classes (yoga, Pilates, step) for a really reasonable price.  If going to the gym isn’t your thing, look into participating in some intramural sports, or carve out some time to run or power walk outside.  
Nutrition: Oftentimes, when students get to college, their diet deteriorates.  Keep in mind that what goes into your body affects you both physically and mentally. Your diet provides the nutrition you need at every life stage for body function and day-to-day health. You can eat healthy foods that fulfill these criteria, or you can indulge in foods that have too much of less-beneficial nutrients at the expense of the good stuff. Your choice may determine how often you get sick, how your children will develop, how much you will weigh and even how long your life will be. A poor diet raises your risk for potentially fatal illnesses, such as heart disease.  It also makes you more susceptible to stress.  Make smart choices in the cafeteria.  It’s of course okay to indulge in some treats (pizza, ice-cream, etc.) from time to time, but don’t make this a regular habit.

Hope these tips are helpful!  We miss you girls and are always available if you need anything.  Next week Nadia will provide the weekly tip!
Keep us posted on how you are doing!
Cathryn & Nadia
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Tip #3 - Test Taking

Hello Science Sisters!

It’s officially fall – nothing reminds us of college quite like this time of year!

Cathryn’s advice last week included tips for staying academically, mentally and physically healthy while navigating your freshman year.  Since mid-terms are probably right around the corner for most of you, this week I’d like to share a little advice about studying and test-taking:

Be Test-Aggressive:  For more challenging classes like biology and chemistry, mid-term exams often involve remembering a ton of information.  Most science classes involve weekly homework problems – make sure to do all of these, and review them when you are studying for the exam.  If you get homework problems wrong, figure out why you got them wrong and learn that information – it will probably be on the test.  Also, go to your professor or TA and ask if they have any old exams that you can use to practice for the mid-term.  Another great way to study is to do the problems that weren’t assigned as homework from the back of the book!  Doing well in tough classes is a lot of work, but if you aggressively pursue each topic, it can be done!

Be Pro-Active:  If you haven’t already started studying a little every day for your more challenging classes, now is a great time to start!  Block the time off in your planner and find a great place to hunker down with a hot cup of tea (or some other fall weather treat) and get to it.  Studying a little every day is preferable to cramming the day or two before – it helps you retain information and reduces stress and anxiety.  If you’re not great about keeping yourself on a schedule, join a study group or create your own!

Learn From Your Mistakes: If your first mid-terms don’t go so well, figure out why and make the appropriate adjustments.  Did you study enough?  Did you study the right stuff?  Did you spend enough time on all of the topics?  Everyone has a bad test or two in college (I certainly did!), but just because you didn’t get the “A” that you wanted doesn’t mean you can’t nail it next time – but you may have to adjust your approach to do so.  If you don’t learn from your mistakes the first time you’re bound to repeat them!

Happy Autumn – Cathryn will send you a tip next week!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Tip #4 - Managing your College Budget

Hi Science Sisters,

Last week, Nadia gave you some great tips about studying and test-taking.  We hope those are serving you well!

This week, we're going to to focus on managing your college budget.  Here are some helpful tips that will help you stay on top of your finances:

Be Cautious with Credit:  College students are a big target for credit card companies.  You're out of the house and have a lot more freedom over your spending.  Plus, most college students are strapped for cash and see credit cards as a really good option.  You may have already seen promotions around campus encouraging you to sign up for a credit card and get a free t-shirt, frisbee, etc.  It's also nearly impossible to check out of a store (Target, Walgreens, etc.) without being asked if you'd like to sign up for a credit card and get money off your purchase (I know I've fallen into that trap before). While getting one major credit card (and using it very wisely) is a good option for building your credit history, you should not go out and apply for every credit card that's available to you.  The more credit cards you have, the easier it is to spend and get into debt trouble.  Here are a few websites that provide very useful advice about managing credit in college:  

- http://credit.about.com/od/buildingcredit/qt/collegecredittips.htm
- http://www.scholarships.com/resources/campus-life/money-management/avoid-credit-card-debt/
- http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/college/story/2012-08-22/credit-cards-students/57219442/1

Give Yourself an Allowance:  Give yourself a weekly allowance for food, entertainment, clothes, etc., and stick to it.  If you have money left over at the end of the week, put it in your savings account.  Also, a special note about eating out...IT ADDS UP!  Most of you probably have a campus meal plan.  You are paying a lot of money for that meal plan, so it is important that you use it to your full advantage.  Ordering in or going out on occasion is fine, but don't make this a habit.  You'll be surprised how quickly those little things can add up.  

Take Advantage of Campus Resources  Your college tuition is expensive.  Take 100% advantage of it, and use all the free resources that your school provides.  Not sure what resources your school has?  Ask!  Don't be shy about contacting someone in student services and finding out what is available to you.  It's their job to fill you in on these things.  College campuses offer everything from free tutoring and  fitness facilities to free movie rental and access to games in the student union.

Ask about Student Discounts  Plenty of movie theaters, restaurants, and even local shops offer student discounts (especially in college towns).  Before you pay at the register, make sure you ask if they offer a discount for college students.  

Buy Used Books  Whenever possible, try to buy used books for your classes.  Often, you can find used bookstores on campus, but you should also do some research online (Amazon, cheapesttextbooks.com, etc.), before spending money on new books.  Similarly, ask around to see if you have a friend who has already taken the course and can borrow his/her book for the semester.

Stay Organized  Make sure you keep track of your spending.  Save receipts, use an Excel spreadsheet, log in to see your bank statement; do whatever it is that works best for you.  One helpful website to check out is www.mint.com.  This is a website that essentially organizes all your financial information for you.  You can monitor all your transactions on the web or on your phone, schedule alerts for yourself, and create and track your own budget.  I highly recommend checking it out!

Apply for Scholarships  Just because you may not have a scholarship now, doesn't mean you can't continue to apply for them throughout college.  Here is a great website that outlines some of the common myths about scholarships: www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarship-information/scholarship-myths/.  There are many different kinds of scholarships; you can apply for money to contribute to your college tuition or you can apply to participate in extracurricular programming or research.  Make sure you keep your eye out for deadlines and give yourself plenty of time.

Hopefully, the suggestions above are helpful to you.  If you have any other money-saving tricks up your sleeve that you would like to share with the group, shoot me an email, and I'll send the info out to the group. Also, if you would like more information or have any questions, don't hesitate to let me know.

Nadia will send you a tip next week!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Tip #5 - College Drinking Consequences

Hi Science Sisters,

Can you believe it's the end of October?!?  Most of you are well into your first semester at school.  You've likely already taken exams, written papers, found your way around campus, and met new people.  In other words, you're a pro : )!

Halloween happens to be one of my favorite times of year: pumpkin carving, candy, costumes, haunted houses, etc.  It's the best holiday, and if you disagree, please let me know, so I can tell you why you're wrong : ).  In case you're wondering, this year, Nadia (aka Ms. Johnson) and I are dressing up as Sofia Grace and Rosie from the Ellen show.  Don't know who they are?  Check out this clip!

I'm sure you've gotten (or are in the process of getting) your Halloween plans in place for this year.  Oftentimes, Halloween on college campuses involves parties, so we thought that perhaps this was a good time to talk about the dangers associated with binge drinking and give you some helpful suggestions on how to excuse yourself from uncomfortable situations you may confront.

Let's start by reviewing the following statistics about the annual high-risk college drinking consequences (click here to see the full list of stats):

Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes
Injury:  599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol
Assault:  696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking
Sexual Abuse:  97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape
Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex.
Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall
Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem, and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.

Pretty scary, right?  If you're reading this and thinking, "Yeah, but this would never happen to me," I'd like to point out that I'm sure that none of these young men and women thought that this would happen to them either.

We know it's not always easy to do your own thing in the face of peer pressure, so we want to give you some helpful advice.  We're copying and pasting some key points for a great Yahoo article below.  

Peer Pressure to Drink at College: Ways to Get Out of Drinking
Cool Ways to Get Out of Drinking when College Peer Pressure Catches You

Some college kids will feel "peer pressure" to drink. Some won't. I was in that second group, and because I was in that second group, I will offer some mighty cool ways for kids to get out of drinking while at college.
You might be thinking, "Just say no." This won't work if you say it the wrong way. Another common suggestion, when offered alcohol at a college party, is to simply say, "No thanks." Again, this won't work if it's said with uncertainty, and if the kids offering the drinks are pushy and insistent. A thread on an online college forum includes a posting by a college student who says that the polite "no thanks" will have no effect on persistent kids.

And she is right. To get out of drinking at college, and to handle any peer pressure to consume alcohol, a student's greatest weapon is HOW he or she declines. When I was offered alcohol, my standard response was "no thanks."

However...and this is a big however...there was just something about me -- my bright eyes, my vibes, my intonation -- that made my brief, simple responses work so well. I believe that only once did I have to go to Plan B with a student who was rather insistent. I was in a dorm room, the music loud, and there were a number of kids there, and lots of alcohol.

The "no thanks, I don't drink," didn't work. When Steve kept insisting, I said, "Well, you seem to be enjoying your liquor so much, I'd hate to take any of it away from you. If it's so good, I don't understand why you're so eager to share it instead of have it all to yourself." Steve got the message at that point.

The basics to fight the peer pressure to drink at college: When someone offers you a drink, 1) Look them in the eye when you give your response; do not look away! 2) Speak clearly; don't mumble; don't whisper or sound meek! 3) Be aware of your body language; don't slouch or nervously rub up and down an arm, etc.

Cool responses to avoid drinking at college: When someone is insistent that you try a drink, choose any of the following responses:

"I don't like the taste." (I actually used this a few times myself.) It will be exceedingly difficult for even the pushiest student to oppose this response. However, suppose someone does. Ask them to name a non-alcoholic beverage that they hate the taste of. Then ask them why they never drink it. After they tell you they hate the taste, say, "Then you certainly understand why I won't touch alcohol." Then smile huge with big eyes. The person will not bother you again, guaranteed.

"It makes me throw up, even just a few sips."

"I'm the designated driver." (Works only off-campus.)

"I've already had my quota for the evening." (Works only if the person doesn't know you haven't been drinking.)

"I have my period and alcohol brings on the cramps." (Guaranteed to turn a guy pasty white, and a girl will probably say, "Ohh, I understand.")

Click here to see the full article

We hope this information is helpful to you girls.  We don't mean to be preachy; we just know that you are smart girls, with tremendous potential, and we care about your well being.  You can always call or email us if you want to talk more about this (or anything else, for that matter).

Please have a fun and safe Halloween!  Send us pics, if you can!  We miss you! Also, extra credit for anyone who dresses up as a protein!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Tip #6 - Sex & Physical Relationships

Hello Science Sisters!

We hope all of you had a very fun (and safe) Halloween last night!  We haven’t received any funny pictures, yet – please feel free to send them along ;)

I recently came across this wonderful online article that discusses one of the most important health issues young women face—sex and physical relationships. I wanted to share it with you all.  I’ve copied the main points of the article below, and you can find the original here: https://www.medinstitute.org/2012/07/six-things-every-college-freshman-should-know/

1. Know who you are dating

While this certainly does not apply to everyone, you probably already knew your significant other fairly well before you started going on dates in high school.  Perhaps you and your high school sweetheart had known each other since middle school or earlier.  However, this obviously changes in college, as your dating prospects could literally be from anywhere, even a foreign country.  As a consequence, you need to take dating very slowly.  Even though that guy or girl in your dorm may seem fantastic, you initially know nothing about his or her character or values.  Only time will make this clear.  Therefore, the first few dates with someone you don’t know well always need to be in a public place, such as a restaurant or movie theater.  Date rape, where the victim knows the attacker, is more common than you may think on college campuses.

2. Not everyone is ‘doing it’

Even though it may seem like everyone is having sex in college (which they’re not), don’t assume that you should do it too.  You want to come home for Thanksgiving with news about new friends and classes rather than an unplanned pregnancy or STI.

3. It’s ok to say no to sex

No one is entitled to have sex with you.  Quite frankly, if your significant other truly loves you, he or she will be willing to wait.  Real love runs much deeper than physical attraction.

4. Avoid the punch

You have NO idea how much alcohol may be in a homemade drink at a party.  It is really easy to mask the taste of alcohol with mixers and Everclear, a tasteless/colorless beverage which is up to 95% alcohol.  Therefore, that cup of punch you have at a party may seem like it has just a splash of alcohol in it.  However, that punch could possibly “pack a punch” and have the equivalency of 4 or more drinks in it.  Before you know it, you could already be drunk and make a decision you regret like having casual sex. Remember – the law says you have to be 21 to drink.  I know plenty of people who have gotten a Minor in Possession (MIP) offense in college.  That is not something that you want on your record when you are applying to jobs and internships!

5. Watch your drink

You should always watch your drink at a party, even if you aren’t drinking alcohol.  Date rape drugs, such as Rophynol (aka ‘roofies’) or GHB, can easily be slipped in a drink without you ever knowing.  While historical statistics show that date rape drugs aren’t rampant in documented rape cases, that doesn’t mean you are immune to those risks.  In fact, one of my close friends strongly suspects that she was drugged at a bar a few weekends ago.  Anything can happen!

6.  Set the boundaries before the ‘heat of the moment.’

In college, you will probably have much more alone time in a private place, like an apartment or dorm, with your significant other.  Sometimes, it is much more tempting to make hasty decisions, like having sex, when you are completely alone, without the risk of your parents barging in the room.  Make sure you set boundaries with your boyfriend or girlfriend before the opportunity presents itself.  You are much more likely then to make the smarter decision of abstaining from sex.

Savor your college experience in a healthy and safe way.  You may be a teenager, but you aren’t stupid.  You owe it to yourself to make smart and mature choices with your new-found freedom.

Please stay safe and healthy!  Remember, Cathryn and I are always here for you if you have sensitive questions—and we can help refer you to the appropriate resources at your school, as necessary.

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Tip #7 - Plan Ahead (Summer Research Opportunities)

Hi Science Sisters,

Your weekly tip for this week is simple: PLAN AHEAD.

I know it's just November, but the end of the school year and summer will be here before you know it.  This makes NOW the perfect time to start applying to some of the amazing summer science and medical programs offered throughout the country.  You would be surprised to see how soon deadlines are coming up! Participating in an academic summer program allows you to get a taste of a particular field, build your resume (graduate/medical schools look for students with experience), expand your professional network, and meet new friends.

You will also be pleased to know that many of the positions available are actually paid and offer free room and board!

There's a great online search tool called Pathways to Science, where you can look for summer opportunities nationwide.  Check it out!  Need a recommendation or  a reference?  Email us!  We would be thrilled to supply you with one.

I'm including two examples of available programs below, just to give you an idea of what's available.  Feel free to follow-up with any questions!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Program: Indiana University HBCU-STEM Summer Scholars Institute
Eligibility: Undergraduates from the following 13 schools can apply:  Indiana University (Bloomington), Alabama A&M University, Bennett College for Women, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Jackson State University, Langston University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Central University, Tennessee State University, Xavier University of Louisiana
Description: The Summer Scholars Institute, an eight-week program held at the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses, enrolls select HBCU and IU students. These STEM Scholars engage in continuous, substantive research at the Summer Scholars Institute and their universities.  The program includes colloquia with STEM Initiative faculty, professionals, and other academics, Committee on Institutional Cooperation Summer Research Opportunities Program, Technical writing training, GRE preparation, and Social activities.
Bonus: Summer scholars live in the IU dorms (Bloomington is supposed to be a beautiful campus, FYI : ) )  and summer scholars receive a $4,000 stipend, plus room and board!
Website: http://stem.indiana.edu/summerinstitute/

Program: The Summer Medical and Research Training Program (SMART)
Eligibility:  Undergraduates nationwide
Description: The SMART Program at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas has provided over 1,900 students from more than 240 colleges and universities an opportunity to experience research in a nurturing environment. Approximately 80 positions are available. The size of the program affords an opportunity to work closely and make friends with students from many different ethnic, educational and geographic backgrounds who share a common interest in research and biomedical science careers.  Students become functioning members of Baylor laboratories and contribute to research efforts in more than 20 basic and clinical science departments. Students and mentors are matched based on the student's educational and laboratory experience and mutual interests. Projects have included studying the effects of pharmacological agents or growth factors on cell function; isolating and sequencing genes; preparing DNA constructs for expression in transgenic animals or gene therapy; studying cell proteins, receptors and ion channels; analyzing infectivity of viruses or bacteria; using microscopy and imaging to study cells; and using computers to analyze data. Participants benefit from access to resources at the incomparable Texas Medical Center.
Bonus: Nine paid weeks of biomedically related research in a broad range of areas, Daily seminars designed for undergraduates, Free SMART GRE prep workshops, Career development activities, Housing at Rice University dorms
Website: http://www.bcm.edu/smart/

Tip #8 - Networking

Greetings Science Sisters!

Thanksgiving is upon us!  We hope you are able to spend some quality time with your friends, family, and loved ones, and enjoy some good home cooking tomorrow!

The advice for this week is to STAY CONNECTED.  Staying connected to former teachers, advisors, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, also called NETWORKING, is an important skill to develop as a college student hoping to launch a professional career in the future.  It has been estimated that 60 to 90 percent of all jobs are secured through a friend or family member.  That means that the bigger your network, the easier it will probably be for you to score a job when you need one!

To read more about networking in college, check out this link: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/09/28/6-ways-to-network-while-youre-in-college

Another great way to network is to attend our ALUMNAE REUNION!  Please RSVP here - your social network of fellow science sisters, as well as the vast array of faculty, staff, and students at Northwestern, are excellent resources that you should continue to cultivate!

This Thanksgiving, get in touch with your former classmates and friends while you are home for the long weekend; it is important to maintain and develop these connections because you never know when someone that used to be your classmate or teammate might be able to get you connected with a job, or has an in with the medical school where you are applying.  And don't forget to RSVP for our Alumnae Reunion :)

Happy Thanksgiving - we can't wait to see you next month!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

Tip #9 - The Dangers of Sexting

Greetings Science Sisters!

As your academic year progresses, we will begin sending you these emails less frequently.  Are there any topics you would like some more information about?  If so, please email us and let us know!

While the last email was about staying connected, this email is about keeping yourself (and possibly more importantly, your image and reputation) protected in cyberspace.

This morning, The Today Show featured an interesting story about a popular app that allows people to send photos that will “self destruct” in 10 seconds.  This story brings up some important questions, namely: what type of picture would anyone send that needs to be deleted almost immediately?  The purpose of the story was to raise awareness that students might be taking inappropriate photos and sending them to their friends.

Hopefully you are already aware of the dangers of “sexting,” but it is important to remember that if you post or send a sexy/scandalous picture of yourself, even using an app that deletes your photo, that photo could end up online forever, and could permanently damage your future chances of landing a great job or getting into a graduate program.  Aside from the emotional damage, you could also suffer professional consequences for years to come, all because of a snap decision.  So always remember to think before you hit “send!”

To watch The Today Show clip, click here: http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50068553/#50068553

To read more about the dangers of sexting, click here: http://www.healthsolutions.org/MIC/?event=sexting

We’re looking forward to seeing you all in a few weeks!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors

PS. Don’t forget to RSVP for our ALUMNAE REUNION!  Please RSVP here – we can’t wait to see you all and hear how your freshman year is coming along so far!

Tip #10 - Winter Vacation

Hello Science Sisters!

First of all, Nadia (aka Ms. Johnson) and I look forward to seeing some of you at tomorrow's WHSP alumnae event.  To those of you who can't make it, please send us an email or drop by and let us know how you're doing.  We miss you!  We are out of the office next week, but we will be back to work on January 2nd.  

In this email, we will address the following question:  How do you adapt to life at home during your first winter break from college?

For most colleges, winter break is quite a significant amount of time and can range from 2-4 weeks.  While vacation time is generally awesome, it can be a bit of an adjustment, after getting your first taste of independent college life.  Even if you live at home during the school year, you are likely used to a flexible schedule that allows you to come and go as you please.  During winter break, when you are living full-time under your parents' roof and abiding by their rules, you may feel like you're losing some of the freedom that you've established during your first semester as a freshman.

Fear not, however!  You are not alone, and many freshman across the country feel the same way as you (just click here, and check out this article in USA Today).  Additionally, I have found some great tips for making your winter vacation more enjoyable.  Some of the following are from the article "collegecandy: survive the winter break blues" at www.seventeen.com.

Make like Aretha and show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T
You might have grown accustomed to watching late-night T.V. as you snack on Dominos delivery and wipe your hands underneath the futon, but you're home now. Respect your parents' wishes when it comes to bedtimes, curfews and whatever else. Remember, it's only one month and it is their house. Indulge them a little - in their eyes, you're still their little girl.
Reunited and It Feels So Good
As much as you love sleeping in your own queen-sized bed, it's hard to deny that you wake up each morning missing your roommates' face staring back at you. Plan a get-together with your college friends that live in the area and your besties from home. What can be better than combining forces and creating a super-group of home and college friends? It will also help to stave off the home-from-college blues. And unlike your parents, these girls will laugh at your stories of your weekend escapades.
Take Advantage!
Take pleasure in the things that you can't do while you're at school. Relish in the fact that you can shower sans shower shoes and walk around in your ducky pajama pants without embarrassment. That you can stay up late reading a book in bed with the lights on.  That you can do your laundry for free and without fear that someone will take your stuff out of the dryer while it's still damp and put their stuff in there.

Get Out of the House
Yes, I realize that Chicago is freezing in the winter, but that's no reason why you have to stay cooped up inside your house.  Enjoy everything that our beautiful city has to offer!  You can ice-skate at Millennium Park, visit the museums (Museum of Science and Industry is one of my personal or favorites), or enjoy one of the many holiday movies that have just been released.  Also, click here to see a list of some of the free things to in Chi-town over the holiday season.

Whatever you do, we hope you have a great time and enjoy the break from school work (you deserve it!).  Have a happy and safe holiday!  We look forward to writing you in the new year!

Nadia & Cathryn
Women's Health Science Program Co-Directors