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Katie Naymon

More by Katie Naymon

4 Scientific Reasons Why Summer Makes You Happy

7/23/2014

There’s a lot to love about summertime. No class! Shorts and tank tops! Casual patio parties! But beyond all of the obvious seasonal perks this season brings, there are actual biological and physical reasons why summer puts you in a good mood. We talked to Dr. David Neubauer, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, about the connection between summer and your good mood.

1. You can eat more fresh foods

While you can certainly get fresh foods year round, summer in particular seems to be teeming with fruit and veggie options. “There are lots of reasons to focus on a whole foods, plants-based diet,” says Neubauer. “There are positive effects on our bodies and brains, and on our thinking and feeling.” These effects include physical effects like good digestion and clear skin as well as harder-to-measure effects like mental clarity, alertness and energy. “There’s been a lot of speculation that a vegetarian diet can have effects on cognitive functioning and mood,” Neubauer says. “We need more research to prove that. In the meantime, eat as healthy as possible.”

When you’re shopping, skip the processed foods and support a local farm at your weekend farmer’s market. The fruit and veggies there will often be organic—and delicious! Some foods that are in season during the summer are carrots, cantaloupe, blackberries, and, of course, watermelon. When you eat well, you feel good; hence, a better mood. Need ideas? Check out our article about the best foods to eat this summer to keep you healthy.

Career Body Language: 8 Nonverbal Ways to Shine in the Workplace

6/17/2014

The way we carry ourselves impacts every part of our lives. From facial expressions to how we sit and walk, we’re constantly judging and evaluating people based on visual cues. In the workplace, your body language can make or break how your coworkers and superiors view you. By now we’ve all heard about the firm handshake, but there are other ways that people judge us based on body language during internships, in summer jobs, and in school. We talked to Dr. Carol Kinsey Goman, a body language expert, and Joe Navarro, an adjunct faculty member of nonverbal communication at Saint Leo University, for body language tips to use in the workplace.

1. Perfect the handshake

Yes, you’ve heard this advice before, but it’s worth reiterating as it’s probably the first thing you’ll do when you meet someone in a professional setting. According to Dr. Goman, limp, weak handshakes come across as delicate and incompetent.

So what makes the perfect shake? “Make it firm, palm-to-palm, and web-to-web (the skin between your thumb and index finger),” Dr. Goman says. “Stand, square your body to the other person's, smile, and look him/her in the eyes.” You’ll be seen as confident, outgoing, and warm.

2. Don’t fidget

Marijuana: What You Need To Know Before You Smoke

6/10/2014

Weed, pot, cannabis… no matter what you call it, marijuana is a hot topic these days, with more and more states legalizing the drug. Many people say marijuana is safer and less addicting than alcohol or tobacco—but is it really safe? We talked to collegiettes and Michael Pierce, M.D., a Connecticut-based psychiatrist, for the lowdown on getting high.

You, on marijuana

You probably knew the kids in high school who smoked behind the school or baked weed into brownies. But in college, many students still turn to weed for a buzz. What about marijuana makes the drug so appealing to college students? According to Dr. Pierce, THC, a chemical found in marijuana, mimics specific neurotransmitters in your brain after it’s inhaled or ingested, which then activate certain neurons that will create side effects in your body.  Smoking pot causes several different side effects. “You get giddy and spacey and fascinated by sounds and visuals, then you get the munchies and feel like taking a nap,” Dr. Pierce says.

Marijuana affects people differently, but the most common short-term side effects include distorted perception, loss of coordination, and increased heart rate. Sometimes, anxiety and paranoia can occur, depending on the person.

The Pros & Cons of Rooming With a High School Friend in College

6/4/2014

Going to college with your high school friends can be awesome. They’ll get all of your inside jokes, they make college feel a bit more comfortable, and you’re guaranteed to have a good friend the moment you step on campus for the first time. A lot of collegiettes go to college with a friend or two from high school, and some take it a step further: they room with them. Her Campus talked to collegiettes across the country about the pros and cons of rooming with their high school friends in college.

Pros

You can discuss the rooming situation in person

Since you and your classmate likely live close-by, you can actually sit down together and plan out your room! Because you’re avoiding the random housing lottery altogether, you won’t need to worry about the preferences of someone you haven’t even met yet. So go ahead, talk about decorating your room and coordinate who’s bringing what. It will be way easier to figure this out with someone you already know.

You’ll already have common ground

Rooming with an old classmate means they know your background and what your hometown is like. You won’t have to defend your giant Chicago Bulls poster or get confused looks when you talk about your crazy high school teachers. These girls have experienced a similar high school experience as you and can commiserate over homesickness with you.  

Does the Pill Make You Gain Weight or Make Your Boobs Bigger?

5/21/2014

All medications have potential side effects, and the Pill is no exception. Weight gain and breast enlargement are often reported from girls on the Pill—but does that happen to everyone and is it really caused by the Pill? We talked to a gynecologist and collegiettes across the country to separate fact from fiction so you can choose the right birth control for you.

Does the Pill make you gain weight?

Some girls report slight to moderate weight gain while they’re on the Pill—but actually, weight gain is rare. According to Dr. Anne Burke, an associate professor of gynecology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, very few women experience significant weight gain on the Pill. “Most scientific studies indicate that the Pill does not cause weight gain.  In the few studies that have shown an effect, it's been in the range of 3-4% [percent of women who gain weight on the Pill]. I never say never: some women may gain weight on the pill, but most really do not,” she says.

“I’ve been on the Pill since high school,” says Justine, a student at Johns Hopkins. “I never gained any weight from the Pill.” Emily, a student at the University of Virginia, also did not experience any unpleasant side effects: “I had heard a lot of rumors that starting birth control might make me gain weight, but I didn't feel any changes in my body! I actually lost weight while I was on it,” she says. According to Dr. Burke, most girls will respond to the Pill like Justine and Emily—with no significant weight gain.

The 5 Best Ways to Fight PMS

4/29/2014

It’s a week before your period, and by now, you know the drill: bloating, fatigue, irritability and aches and pains. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is common and normal, but that doesn’t make it any more fun. PMS is the umbrella term for a variety of symptoms that happen before your period, and their severity depends on the person. Luckily, these symptoms usually stop at the onset of your period. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, at least 85% of women experience one or more PMS symptom as a part of their monthly cycle. So when you know your period is about to hit, try these collegiette and expert recommended tips to fight these unpleasant symptoms!

1. Get moving

When you feel tired and irritable, exercising might be the last thing you feel like doing. But according to Mary Clarkin, RN a Cleveland-based women’s health nurse practitioner, the endorphins produced by exercise can be hugely beneficial for PMS symptoms like cramps, aches and pains and even irritability. Clarkin says, “[Exercising] is also a good distraction.” Emma, a collegiette at Kenyon College, agrees: “I get cramps as part of my PMS. I start exercising more and doing more yoga because it helps.” Yoga, simple stretching or even a quick jog are all easy ways to get your heart pumping and your endorphins flowing.

2. Pop a painkiller  

The Dangers of Painkillers: Are You Taking Them Safely?

4/17/2014

There’s a pill for everything these days: menstrual cramps, allergies, cold and flu symptoms—and we’re popping them like candy. But when it comes to something as broad as pain, there are so many options out there that it’s hard to know which to choose. Painkillers can help relieve everything from a muscle sprain to cramps to post-wisdom teeth pain. But there are advantages and disadvantages to each type of painkiller; they’re not all created equal! It’s important to make sure that you know what you’re taking because when taken improperly, painkillers can be harmful to your body and cause uncomfortable or damaging side effects.

We talked to collegiettes and Kathy Hahn, an Oregon-based community pharmacist who specializes in pain about the ins and outs of painkillers.

Which painkiller should I take?

You’re probably popping the same pill for an injury, a headache and a stomachache—but there might be a better drug for you. According to Hahn, there’s no perfect pattern of which drugs work best for what kind of pain—it’s usually very subjective. Use the following list as a starting point but if something works better for you, by all means stick to it. Also, for many types of pain, a traditional over-the-counter pain med (a drug you can buy without a prescription) might not be enough. If the drugs below haven’t helped you manage your pain, talk to your doctor instead of experimenting. She can prescribe something stronger if you need it.

Once you determine which painkiller from this list suits your specific need, see the next section to find out how much you should take!

To Cheat or Not to Cheat: How to Resist the Temptation

4/13/2014

We’ve all been there: it’s 2am, and you have a ten-page paper due in 12 hours. Your cursor blinks on the blank Word document, mocking you as you scramble through notes looking for something to write. Hours pass, and finally you open your Internet browser. With SparkNotes, Wikipedia and the entire web at your disposal, it’s incredibly difficult in these situations to resist copying and pasting material. It can sometimes be even more difficult to say no to a friend who wants to copy your math problem set. Cheating happens in college—no doubt about it. But read on for tips on how to resist the temptation to cheat and how to say no to friends who might pressure you into it.

What is cheating and why does it happen?

When you take someone else’s thoughts and ideas without crediting them to that person, you’re cheating. According to Dr. Rebecca Gladding, psychiatrist and author of You Are Not Your Brain, cheating tempts college students for two reasons. “Someone cheats usually because either they really hate the course and they just don’t care [or] they are completely stressed out and they want to do well and they’re afraid they’re not going to do well and there [are] a lot of outside pressures.”  Gladding notes that usually in college, students cheat because of the latter: too much stress and too much pressure to succeed. For Lisa*, a student at Northwestern University, cheating was a tempting option because of stress. “I remember being tempted to do it a few times, especially during my first year when I felt like there was this immense pressure to do well,” she says.

What are the consequences of cheating?

Questioning Your Sexuality in College: How to Deal

4/5/2014

College is a great time to explore who you are from your career interests to your personal identity, including what you want in a relationship. But not everyone comes into college knowing exactly what they’re looking for, especially when it comes to sexual orientation. Gay, bisexual, straight, asexual—you name it: there’s an entire spectrum of sexual orientations out there and it can be frustrating to sort out if you’re questioning. We talked to students and Rosemary Nicolosi, staff counselor and coordinator of services for LGBT students at the Johns Hopkins University Counseling Center for advice on opening up about your sexuality.

What does “questioning my sexuality” even mean?

Just ask any gender studies major: sexual orientation is a tricky thing. It’s a term used to talk about whom you’re sexually attracted to (or not attracted to). Females who primarily like males are heterosexual (straight) and females who primarily like other females are homosexual (gay/lesbian). But there’s also a lot in between!

Sexual identities

7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Better Grades

3/11/2014

Whether you’re a pre-collegiette poring over SAT prep books or an upperclassman getting ready to take the GRE, tests can be stressful. But they don’t have to be! From food to music to learning styles, there are multitudes of proven ways to do better on every test you take, from midterms to MCATs. 

1. Chew gum

You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s no urban legend. Baylor College of Medicine did a study in 2009 where students chewed gum during a standardized math test. The gum chewers scored better than the non-chewing control group. Chewing gum improves cognitive performance in adults because it stimulates the brain by increasing blood flow, according to the researchers. The best part? You probably already have a pack at the bottom of your purse. If you’re allowed to have gum during your test, start chewing to raise that score! Chewing pre-test may also help. 

2. Play some background music...