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Sarah Casimong

More by Sarah Casimong

7 Sneaky Ways Stress Could Be Hurting Your Body


Though some of us work well under stress, the unwanted side effects can get pretty ugly. It might give you that push you need to get your best work done, but is it causing more harm than good? Even though you might think you can handle the lack of sleep and added pressure, there are other more serious side effects that you can experience that should make you think twice about freaking yourself out before every exam.

We spoke to Dr. Kenford Nedd, president of the International Stress Control Centre, about the negative effects that stress can have on our body. Think another stressful cramming session will be worth it? Think again.

1. Jaw problems

You may not be aware of it, but stress could be causing you to grind your teeth at night.

Rachel Lytle, former HC Campus Correspondent for Penn State University, spent five amazing months studying abroad in Spain, only to return home to realize that the stress of being out of her comfort zone had caused damage to her teeth.

“When I got home that summer, I went to the dentist for a routine check-up and they told me that I have been grinding [and] clenching my teeth in my sleep. I had no idea I did this, but the proof on my teeth doesn’t lie.”

While Rachel now wears a night guard when she sleeps, Alyse Schember from California Polytechnic State University takes ibuprofen to relieve the pain of grinding her teeth.

7 Signs He’s Never Going to Commit


They say relationships are complicated, but non-relationships can be just as complicated — if not more so. Are you still hoping that your friend with benefits or recent hook-up will ask you to be his girlfriend? His motives might be a mystery, but there are some obvious clues that you should look out for. If you’re wondering if your guy will ever officially become your guy, we’ve come up with a list of seven signs that say he might never commit.

1. He has a reputation for being a player.

“He avoided telling me where he was going and what he was doing,” says Soniya*, a junior at Carnegie Mellon University, who later found out that her friend with benefits was also busy wooing another girl while hooking up with her. “I should have guessed he was with someone else and that was why our hook-ups always took place at random times, like Sunday afternoons or Tuesday nights.”

Dr. Carole Lieberman, author of Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them & When to Leave Them, warns us to stay far away from a player — no matter how hot he is.

“If you think you'll be the one to tame a guy who has a reputation for being a player, think again,” she says. “These guys hide deep-seated psychological reasons for not committing to one girl — such as insecurities about their desirability — that only a therapist could change.”

2. He only wants to hook up and he’s not interested in getting to know you.

Looking back in hindsight, Soniya noticed a few signs she should have paid attention to when she started hooking up with her best guy friend. One of the signs was that the whole relationship (or non-relationship in this case) revolved around hooking up.

6 Bad Eating Habits You Picked Up In College (& How to Fix Them)


There’s a reason collegiettes gain the infamous Freshman 15. Whether it’s the stress of classes, the busyness of trying to balance a full course load and a social life, or the seemingly unavoidable late-night snack temptations, there are so many aspects of college life that can lead us to develop some pretty poor eating habits. And here’s the kicker:  once we’ve started, it’s not so easy to stop, especially when our schedules are as busy as ever. We talked to collegiettes to find out what bad eating habits you’ve picked up and got some expert advice from Vancouver-based nutritionist Elizabeth Campbell on how to turn these habits into healthier ones.

Bad Habit #1: Developing a dependence on coffee

Many of us feel like we need coffee in order to keep us alert for our early morning classes. If you’re relying on the caffeine in your coffee to get you through the day, you’re not the only one.

Phyu-Sin Than, a junior at Mount Holyoke College, who recently bought a coffee maker for her room, also has a self-described dependence on coffee. “I've picked up drinking coffee a lot, which suppresses hunger, and that's not healthy. I'd be too busy to sit down and have a proper meal, so I usually end up snacking and having coffee a lot of the times.”

Anti-Valentine’s Day: 5 Ways To Not Celebrate February 14


So you’re single this year and you can’t seem to avoid the sickeningly sweet couples, no matter where you go. If you’re hoping to avoid the surge of PDA during Valentine’s Day and you don’t know what to do, fear not! You don’t have to mope around your room, doing homework if you don’t have a date. Instead of sulking alone and weeping into your pillow, throw a party for you and your single girlfriends and get your Anti-Valentine’s Day on!

1. Break out the anti-romance tunes to belt at the top of your lungs (& make a music video!)

It’s time to make a playlist of the best anti-love anthems on your iTunes. What’s better than sing-shouting “We are NEVER EVER EVER getting back together!” with your girlfriends? If you’re willing to take it one step further, why not direct and star in your own music video featuring one of the songs? Here’s a list of some songs that you can get creative with:

8 Creative Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Guy


As it gets closer to Valentine’s Day, your class notes are starting to look more and more like a brainstorm of potential gifts that you can get your Valentine for that special day. You want to be romantic and thoughtful but not too cliché. Stuck? Here are some creative Valentine’s Day gifts that are even sweeter than the box of chocolates he’s probably going to get you.

1. Let him be a model for the day

If your guy loves the camera, Valentine’s day is the perfect excuse to hire a professional photographer to shoot couples photos.

If you can’t afford a professional, ask around your campus, or look on Craigslist, to see if there are any student photographers who are willing to do it for free or at a discounted price. Ask to see portfolios—you’ll be amazed at how talented some amateur photographers can be.

Make it a fun day, posing at places that hold special memories of your relationship (in his car where you had your first kiss, or the park where you had a picnic for your birthday). It can be as romantic, serious or silly as you want. You can even recreate iconic photos of famous couples, such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Bonnie and Clyde on the run, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s nonviolent protest, or Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding, to name a few.

9 Ways To Have A Less Stressful Semester


You barely got through last semester without having a mental breakdown. All the partying, late nights and procrastination caught up to you in the form of one big stress snowball. This semester, you’re set on making changes to ensure that an avalanche doesn’t happen—and the good news is, you don't have to do it alone! We spoke to collegiettes about their experiences with stressful semesters and what they are now doing to make this semester less stressful. We also spoke to Susan Vincent, a counselor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, to get you expert tips on how to stay calm amidst all the craziness of college.

1. Be self-aware and realize which changes you need to make

Every collegiette is different. So while there are many great tips below, keep in mind that what works for one person might not work for another. Vincent suggests looking back at the stressful and successful times in your past semesters.

“Depending on who you are, maybe you want to start [looking] at what is causing you the most stress. So maybe you’ll start there,” says Vincent. “[For] other folks, maybe change is more difficult for them so they start [to change the] smallest thing.” She says it doesn’t matter what the first step is, what matters is that you make a change—no matter how little.

“Often with students, especially if they have a bad semester, they want to add on more [responsibilities] rather than slow down, look at what went wrong [and] self-evaluate to see what they can do differently. It’s about learning where you’re successful and building on that.”

2. List it out

How To Help A Friend Going Through A Tough Time


When it comes to being a friend, there is no need for a job description. We know what is expected of us: loyalty, honesty, care and fun, to name a few. But when a friend is going through a difficult time, we might find ourselves asking for some clear instructions. We often wonder whether we are doing too little or if we are overstepping our boundaries. Does she want us to express our sympathy or does she want us to leave her alone? Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a medical situation, family problems or a break-up, it hurts to see that someone you care about is hurting.

We spoke to Irene S. Levine, professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and founder of The Friendship Blog, about the dos and don’ts of helping a friend who is going through a difficult time.

Do accept that you cannot fix everything

An important thing to remember is that, as much as you want to help, many things are out of your control. Sometimes you don’t have the means to help, or even the best advice to offer. Do the best that you can to help your friend in whatever situation she is in, even if it means just offering your support. This is something that Katie*, a student from Northeastern University, realized.

7 Things That Could Be Messing With Your Sleep


It’s another night of tossing and turning. After many sleepless nights, you finally realize that telling your brain to shut off doesn’t work so well. It doesn’t help that you’re constantly looking at the clock as your anxiety about getting less and less sleep increases with each minute that passes. You’ve got an important test tomorrow morning, but you just can’t seem to doze off no matter how many sheep you count. So why are you having trouble falling asleep? We talked to Dr. Aneesa Shariff, staff psychologist at the University of British Columbia, about some of the factors that could be keeping you up at night.

1. Studying late at night

When cramming for an exam, you might use every bit of time that you have left in the day, right up until bedtime. But hitting the hay soon after closing those textbooks could be the reason why you’re having trouble falling asleep.

“Sometimes when we’re doing really stimulating activities close to our bedtimes, that can really inhibit our ability to then get into a relaxed state and fall asleep,” says Dr. Shariff. This includes studying late at night, which many collegiettes may be guilty of. Because studying and trying to retain information is mentally stimulating, it could keep you too alert to fall asleep.

The 9 Professors You’ll Have In College


When watching movies or TV shows set in college, you’ve probably had a laugh at some of the professors on screen because, admit it, you’ve had ones just like them. Although most TV characters are based on stereotypes, many of them are inspired by reality. So while many of these professor types are oversimplified generalizations, chances are you’ll come across a professor with one or more of these characteristics. Check out our list of the nine professors you’ll have in college.

The Hot Professor

If a little eye candy isn’t an incentive to learn, then what is? Sometimes you’ll get a professor that makes you never want to miss a class, because then you’d miss out on seeing his gorgeous face every Tuesday and Thursday. Usually the hot professor isn’t just blessed with good looks, he’s got the whole package — charm, wit, smarts, and the perfect smile. Victoria*, a freshman at Douglas College, realized that while having a hot professor is fun, it has its downsides. “I actually looked forward to going to his classes [but] sometimes it made it hard to concentrate ‘cause I was just being like a little schoolgirl, thinking he was so hot.” Why scope out frat boys when you can look at your professor and learn something at the same time?

The Very-Close-To-Retirement Professor

You’re bound to get at least one old professor at some point in your college career. There are those professors whose classes benefit from years of experience, and then there are those profs who use every last bit of energy they have to resist the pull of retirement.

The Top 5 Contradicting Dating Rules (& How to Deal With Them)


With dating experts giving us advice for our love lives left and right, it's easy to find ourselves torn between competing dating rules. Should you make the first move or play hard to get? Should you reveal your true self on the first date or hold back the baggage? And are matters of the heart as black and white as some rules make them out to be? We spoke to three different dating experts for the final answers to our most confusing dating rules!

“Never settle” VS. “Don’t be too picky”

We’re always told that we should have high standards and never settle for less. We’re also told that our standards are sky-high and our definition of “the best” doesn’t exist. So which piece of advice do we follow?

“If you don't find anyone attractive, you're being too picky,” says Lisa Shield, a Los Angeles-based relationship coach. “There are tons of great people out there but you have to open up and let people in. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that if they make an elaborate list of what they want in a partner, it will help them will get what they want. Usually, this can weed out too many prospects because no one can fit the entire bill.” Still, it’s important to keep your standards, especially if they concern your core values, which are the defining principles that make you who you are; like religion, politics, marriage, or monogamy. These are what Shield calls “non-negotiables,” although she advises against having more than five.