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Nan Zhu

More by Nan Zhu

Not Getting Enough Sleep in College: How Bad Is It Really?

2/22/2013

Whether they're slumming it on a dorm bunk or living large atop a king size mattress college students are notorious for pulling all-nighters to cram for exams and write papers, and for staying up late on most other nights to party and socialize. Sleep isn’t exactly a top priority for most of us. Even though it’s been drilled into our heads over and over again how important it is, so are classes, club meetings, extracurricular activities, and maintaining relationships. I mean, how bad can a few all-nighters a semester really be? Sleeping in on the weekends cancels them out, right? How much sleep are we really getting… and is it enough?

How much are college students sleeping?

In an online survey of 100 college students, 68% reported sleeping six or seven hours per night on weekdays, with another 20% sleeping five hours or less. Upon first glance, six or seven hours may seem like a decent amount of sleep, but Sharon Glezen, MD, Medical Chief of University Health Services at the University of Rochester, warns that “the need for sleep differs from patient to patient. Some college students are awake and alert after six hours of sleep per night and others require nine or more.”

Because of this variation, as well as the fact that the quality of sleep can differ (seven hours of tossing and turning definitely isn’t the same as seven hours of deep sleep), it’s more important to focus not on how much students are sleeping across the board, but whether or not they are sleeping enough. This is subjective and can be gauged by how students feel the next day – how tired or rested they feel.

The Best Questions to Ask During An Interview

11/26/2012

You’re nearing the end of your interview and things have been going smoothly so far. You arrived early, prepared answers to all of the most commonly asked interview questions, carefully selected an appropriate outfit and brought along a copy of your resume just in case. You feel confident in the answers you’ve given, when all of a sudden the interviewer turns the tables on you and asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” There’s nothing worse than responding with a blank stare and the awkward silence that follows.

Do Geeky Guys Make the Best Boyfriends?

9/12/2012

I’m sure you’ve run into both of these breeds around campus. First there are the tall, buff, popular guys often sporting their football warm-ups with perfectly messy locks, flashing their toothpaste commercial-worthy smiles. Then there are the “beta” males. Instead of jerseys, they rock collared button-downs tucked into their khakis or T-shirts with math and video game references plastered on the front. You won’t see them strutting around campus like celebrities, as they’re usually tucked away in the library or their dorms. While you might seek them out while cramming the night before an exam, they’re not exactly the first people you call when you’re looking for something fun to do on a Friday night.
 
Yet these geeks, nerds, and dorks (or whatever other social label you want to stick on them) are becoming coveted for more than their brains. Beneath their glasses and moments of awkwardness lies desirable boyfriend material… or does it? Contrary to the movies we’ve grown up with of girls drooling over the hunks while heartlessly rejecting their nerdy secret admirers, people will now often tell you to forget about the hot popular guys because the geeky ones actually make the best boyfriends. But is there really any truth behind this advice and how many of us actually believe it?
 
According to My Calculations
 
In true geek fashion, let’s approach this in a logical, calculated, and organized manner, shall we? Though you probably aren’t doing a double take when you pass them on your way to class, nerdy guys do possess several qualities that girls often look for in a boyfriend.
 

 
Intelligence
 

What I've Learned As a Freshman RA

2/25/2012

Moving into a dorm is one of the biggest adjustments for freshmen living on campus. As if rooming with a stranger and sharing a single bathroom with a dozen other girls aren’t tough enough, you also have to deal with that darn RA who always seems to be busting you for something and butting into your business. You know, that stranger you met on the first day who greeted you with a cheesy smile, helped you move your stuff in, answered your parents’ barrage of questions, and repeated five million times to let her know if you needed anything.

Yup, that’s me. I’m currently an RA in an all-freshmen building at the University of Rochester. It’s definitely been a crazy, entertaining, and interesting school year so far, and yes, I’ve been through it all: being woken up at 4 a.m. for lockouts, mediating roommate conflicts over boyfriends staying the night or food being stolen, and knocking on doors to break up parties, only to wait in the hall for five minutes to the whispers of “Shoot guys! It’s my RA!” and the clinking of plastic cups and ping pong balls.

Being an RA has, of course, involved enforcing school policy as well as serving as a resource for my residents. But what have I learned from them (besides the fact that wearing your ID card on a lanyard around your neck is the equivalent of tattooing FRESHMAN on your forehead)? What does an RA get out of living in a building full of freshmen? Here are some of the most important, and unexpected, lessons I’ve learned, and the true stories that went along with them.  
 

Don’t take everything so seriously.

HPV and Cervical Cancer: One College Woman's Own Story & How You Can Protect Yourself

1/15/2012

New year’s resolutions are popping up all over the place. Whether you make your own organized, numbered list each year or not, we can all resolve to be healthier, beyond the standard goals of eating better and exercising. January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about HPV and cervical cancer, and the perfect opportunity for you to start the New Year right. You can do your part by increasing your own knowledge about these diseases and how to protect yourself, and spreading that knowledge to your friends and family.  HPV and cervical cancer might seem like far away things that could never affect you, but they can hit all too close to home.
 

 
One Woman’s Story
 
Starting college is a crazy but exciting time for most of us: unpacking your life into half of a pint-sized dorm room, strategically enrolling in classes that aren’t held on Fridays, and meeting hundreds (or thousands!) of new people. So what would you do if, after your very first weekend on campus, your doctor called and diagnosed you with HPV?
 
This is how Joslyn Chaiprasert-Paguio’s battle with HPV and cervical cancer began. At 18, having just enrolled in her first class at the University of California, Riverside, she was visiting home and received the news that the results of her first pap smear were abnormal. “I felt faint, dropped the phone on the floor, and began to cry. My mom was nearby and picked up the phone to continue the conversation with the doctor,” Joslyn, now 27, recalls.
 

Why Your Roommate Might Secretly Hate You (+ How to Fix It)

11/19/2011

Whether it was the day you walked into your tiny dorm room freshman year, eagerly anticipating the arrival of your roommate who you’d stalked on Facebook all summer, or the first day of senior year when you moved into your first apartment with your three best friends, living away from home is one of the most anticipated perks of college. 

The freedom from curfews and parents is definitely nice, but living with people in such close quarters can be more than we bargained for. We’ve all heard about and had our own fair share of experiences, both good and bad, with roommates, and though you can’t always predict what types of conflicts will come up, there are definitely ways you can keep things from getting too out of control.

We probably all share some typical common pet peeves – the roommate who always leaves the door unlocked, has dirty clothes all over the room, brings over his/her boyfriend/girlfriend every single night, blasts loud music while you’re trying to study – so we may try to brush them aside and just deal with the situation as is. However, here are some real stories about bad roommate experiences turned worse, and advice on what to do so that your roomie relations never reach this level.  Make sure you aren’t guilt of any of these offenses, and if you are, shape up fast!

Bed Bugs at Colleges: What's the Deal?

10/30/2010

What do these three places have in common? The Elle magazine offices, filled with racks of expensive designer clothes ready to grace celebrities and models on red carpets and runways. Hollister, a popular and accessible shopping destination often frequented for casual outfits for class or just hanging out on the weekends. Your dorm room or apartment, in all its cramped and cozy glory. 

Give up?

As ridiculous as it may sound, all of these places have hosted bed bug infestations within the past few months, complete with evacuations and temporary closings. Popping up in a huge array of schools, homes, and public places all over the country, bed bugs do actually exist and have become a real issue in recent years.

The Elle editors were told to work from home while a trained beagle was sent in to find the bugs, Hollister in New York was forced to close and post a vague sign reading “We will reopen soon” on its doors, and students at Cornell University were kicked out of their infested dorms a few years ago and relocated to any available space in other buildings, some resorting to crashing in dorm lounges for the night.