Uni Stories: Sleep isn’t for the Weak

Every time I go for a lecture, I would always see at least one person who lays down on their desk after listening to an hour’s worth of lecture. It’s like there’s a curse in the lecture theatre that makes at least one poor kid fall asleep at the most crucial moment of the lecture.

It first starts of with a yawn, then some slight nodding off, then a full blown sandman attack… until the lecturer hints at the class to wake the guy up. Some lecturers who aren’t amused even shout at the poor kid or even humiliate them in front of the whole class.

Contrary to what most students think about sleep — in which I’m indirectly referring to the phrase we all know and love: Sleep is for the weak, it isn’t. Smart people value their sleep. It’s vital in their daily routine as it keeps their minds fresh and ready to get down to their day-to-day business. So, let’s get down to the root of the problem: Why do students sleep in class?

Blame the boring lecturer or warm and comfy seats in the lecture hall all you want, but scientists deduced that lack of quality sleep is the ultimate killer of them all. We all know that you’ll definitely fall asleep or feel drowsy throughout the day if you don’t get at least 6 hours of sleep (Some require more, some less. It depends on each individual, really). Since almost everyone knows this fact, then why don’t students get enough sleep every night?

I guess it all boils down to inefficient time management skills.

It’s the start of a new semester and I keep hearing of students abusing their new-found freedom in university by staying up all night to play mobile games, surf the internet, watch movies on Netflix etc. when they should actually be clocking in quality hours of sleep. It doesn’t help when the exposure to blue light (from playing mobile games or staring at their pc screen before going to bed) makes it even harder for them to doze off. Here’s a study on how blue light affects sleep.

Here’s THREE things you need to do in order to get more quality sleep:

  1. Make a Timetable

Time is a valuable asset of every student. That’s why it’s important to make a timetable or at least a to-do list to keep track of everything. Not only is making a schedule important, keeping to it is just as essential for it to make your life more organised. Planning ahead really does wonders for you, your mind and your body.

Set a fixed time where you should go to bed every night and be sure to stick to it! If you still have pending unfinished assignments at the end of the day, it means you didn’t plan well throughout the day, and that you should take that as a reminder to cut out any unnecessary stuff from your daily routine. Mundane things such as scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed can throw your schedule off if you unknowingly go overboard. So make sure to stick to your timetable! And also make sure to instill more discipline in your life.

2. Form healthy habits

Sleeping at fixed times every night is also beneficial to your health. Out body craves regularity, so staying up late cramming for exams won’t do your body any justice. Staying up past your bedtime almost always results in you feeling lethargic and drowsy the next day. So, stick to your bedtime, your body will thank you.

On a side note, eating or snacking late at night is totally going to mess up your metabolism and even make you gain weight. Girls who snack at night, beware! That’s why it’s also good to stop eating three hours before bed. Late night munchies may help you sleep better, but unless you want to gain an extra pound plus increase the risk of developing chronic diseases while you sleep, it’s generally a good idea to keep your hands away from your fridge.

3. No electronics before bed

This may seem like an impossible task, especially for university students who need to complete their assignments and do revision using their laptops or phones every night. I’m not saying you can’t use them, but keep them away one hour before bed everyday. Even though most smart phones these days are equipped with a blue light filter, it’s still just a filter. Blue light is still emitted through your phone screen, albeit in smaller amounts. You fall asleep quicker in a very dark room, so be sure to allot at least 1 hour before your bedtime where you put down your phone completely. Plus, is it too much to ask to give your eyes a break after staring at a digital screen for a whole day? You still need your eyes in the long run, so it’s better that you start caring for it from now on.

What doggo here says is true. People who study moderately but sleep more tend to remember more, unlike those who study a lot but sleep less. Now excuse me as I go catch some Z’s. Zzzzz.

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University Rant

Time flies. One day I’m cheerfully hopping along the path to kindergarten and now I’m already a freshman in university the next.

I had been really looking forward to university life though. After my SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examinations, I had a five month-long break in which every day was like torture to me. I would wake up each day, not knowing what to do, lazing around the house, doing menial chores etc. Sure, I got a part time job as a maths tutor, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my hunger for freedom. I’d been on a rigid schedule for almost 13 years already! Who doesn’t hope for a bit more freedom? On the occasions that I get to hang out with my friends, I’d go join them, but to feel empty afterwards just the same.

Now that I’m here, I feel elated to be part of the community of students again. I don’t know about you, but I like to keep myself busy, because it helps keep my brain active. Plus, being here now in a totally new environment forces me to be independent and make new friends, so that’s definitely a bonus.

University is more than just dwelling and doing well in the academia. It also includes networking, holistic development and character building of an individual and many more aspects. As much as a person would like to, he or she cannot just dwell on their studies all the time as it’s not enough. Studying isn’t everything, don’t forget about making friends and building character. Your university life would surely be boring if you’d just studied all the time and didn’t give thought to anything else. All study and no play makes Jack a dull boy after all. Besides, the working world in this day and age demands students who are creative and are problem solvers. Here are some qualities a good student applicant should possess in this day and age.

Humans are social creatures, whether we like it or not, so making friends and networking is the way to go. On the other hand, one cannot just socialise all the time and neglect their studies. As much as networking is important to a person, this doesn’t secure your place in the university as universities are a place to grow and mature in thought and actions. It’s all about seeking a balance between the two.

 

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“Study hard, play hard,” should be the principle every university student upholds.

 

We had a campus tour today and I also managed to make a bunch of new friends. Although we were initially forced to sit together in a circle and that we had to introduce ourselves like we did back in primary school, we still had fun the whole time. I feel that sometimes this kind of forced interaction is good, in a sense that it pushes you out of your comfort zone so that you can meet more people outside your circle. Moreover, it quells an awkward mood or tension between strangers. I personally don’t like the idea of only mixing around in your own friendship circle as it primes you to think that you’re already “good enough” and that “these guys are the only pals I need”. It’s good to be exposed to a variety of people so that you’ll know which type of people you’re more comfortable mixing around with and which are the types that you should avoid.

You should make friends with everyone. Don’t just make friends with people fom your own faculty or class. Don’t be picky when choosing friends and never judge a person based on their looks. Who knows? Your life-long bestie could be studying something you never even heard of. Beauty fades, and that’s not important in the long run, but a good personality can last you a lifetime. Even if you’ve found your bestie, don’t be complacent and stop making friends. The friends in university are the friends that will tide the storm and share their happiness with you unlike in primary or secondary school. So never take them for granted.

So, what can you take away from this article? Study smart, play hard, mature and make lots of friends.

The time you spend in university is short, but everyone I know who’s been always tells me the same thing: The period of being in university is the best time of your life. You get to grow, physically (maybe) and mentally (definitely) and even have fun in the process. So be sure to make it count.

Spoiler Alert!

A few hours after the release of what could be Marvel’s best-selling blockbuster movie yet — Avengers: Infinity War, my inbox is already flooded with people posting spoilers and then talking about their theories about how the movie should’ve ended etcetera. How can some people be so blatantly OBNOXIOUS.

No amount of disgust can measure my disgust at those disgusting people who do such disgusting things right now.

I get that it was a really good movie and the reviews are really great, (Kudos to the directors and all the brilliant minds behind the making of this legendary movie) but did you HAVE to spoil the experience for the rest of us who haven’t watched it yet or doesn’t even have access to a cinema or Netflix? I just HAD to be living in the only state in Malaysia that doesn’t have a cinema too. (Fellow Malaysians should know which state it is. Feel free to take a guess in the comment section below)

If this doesn’t look awesome to you, I don’t know what does.

How does it feel to read about how your favourite superhero died? It’s like reading their obituary without going to their funeral when you’re clearly invited. Except you don’t know where and when it’s held 🤔

Consideration is key when it comes to things such as this. I get that you’re excited because you just saw what might be the best Marvel movie ever made, and that you want to spread your joy to everyone else, but posting spoilers in group chats only infuriates and disgusts those who were really hyped up to watch the movie in the first place. It kinda kills the mood when you already know who dies and what happens after that.

I was really bummed out after hearing that my favourite superhero Spiderman died in the movie too. I just watched Spiderman: Homecoming a few months ago and he’s dead already? People in the forums I regularly visit are also being inconsiderate by posting moments of Tom Holland being funny and so freaking adorable… …But that’s not the point. The point is, don’t spoil the experience for other people when you’ve already experienced it for yourself. It’s just plain rude and thoughtless.

Before you guys blow up the comments with something along the lines of “All this anger and frustration can be avoided if you didn’t read it in the first place, right?” Well, consider this: Everything we see gets processed by our brains in 50 milliseconds. 50 milliseconds for what you see to be interpreted by your brain whether you like it or not. I dare you to challenge the processing speed of your brain. I double dog dare you.

You try to force yourself to think about not reading spoilers, but the more you try to suppress the urge, the will to read it becomes stronger every passing second. Us humans are weird creatures — the more we try to avoid doing something, the bigger the inclination to do it. Your subconscious keeps coaxing you to scroll down to look at the spoilers even though you know it’ll ruin your overall experience afterwards. After you’ve finished, you’re left with the feeling of relief and guilt which occurs simultaneously. Same goes when you eat that delicious chocolate chip cookie when you’re supposed to be on a diet.

So, please. No spoilers the week after any movie’s release. If you really can’t help yourself but to post a spoiler or theory to make yourself feel good or something, please give us a warning beforehand.

Break

Hello, fellow Yolkies!

I’m just writing in to inform everyone that there will be no new posts this week. Yoloyolk will be taking a short, one week break for the time being as we’re still trying to adjust to our respective college lives.

Nobody said college was easy. I really want to hit Nobody right now.

We’ll keep posting regularly after this week! Till then, we hope that everyone has a good week ahead~ 🙂

– Zoe

Roommate

I’ve always wanted a roommate. I’ve always fantasized about how good it would be to have a person to talk to after a shitty day of class; how great it would be to cook, try out new recipes and enjoy a meal together.

I am a freshman in university. Just a few days ago, I’d just checked in to my new home — a twin-shared six bedded flat with a commune room outside.

My heart was hammering against my chest when I turned the door knob to the all-girls house I would be living at for the time being, anxiously expecting my roomates to welcome a junior to the dormitory. When the door was finally opened, it was as if there was nobody inside. Apparently, they were too engrossed in their laptops that they didn’t even realise there was a person standing in the doorway, bags in hand, waiting and wanting to be noticed.

Disheartened, I mustered a smile at their bored-looking profiles before walking to my room to unpack and settle down.

My roommate’s name is Julian. She is a Malay girl with a great personality. We talked for a bit then I decided to unpack first. While I did so, I noticed that the windows were closed and the floor was oily. It wasn’t hard to pinpoint where all the grease came from — Her hair. It stunk to the point the entire room was bathing in that awful stench. It was as if she hadn’t bathed in what seemed like years. Or if she did, she never shampooed or conditioned her hair at all. Ever. Well, as long as I use more detergent when mopping the floor and spray some Febreeze here and there in the room, it should be okay, right? I’m definitely not troubled about that, I thought to myself.

While we were chattering away merrily about campus life, my gaze was suddenly fixated on her side table. Her small study table was a mess of stationary, books and other knuck knacks. One particular cup caught my eye though. It was a transparent plastic cup with some liquid in it. I squinted at it in the dim lighting of our bedroom. I realised that it was no random liquid, it was a cup of Néscafe coffee. A cup of Néscafe left unattended for at least 4 to 5 days whereby it’s sediments had sunk to the bottom of the cup, and left a pool of muddy brown water on top. I inched closer. Ants were swarming in and out of the cup and their little feet were making their way to MY bed and MY side table. Wow, isn’t that exciting.

I wasn’t really grossed out by that either. Well, as long as you wash the damn cup and eradicate all the damn ants, it shouldn’t be a problem. Not a big one anyway. I can cope with that. It’s within my limits, I told myself as I willed myself to calm down.

I gaze around the room again and it fell on her bed. Her bedsheets were grey (judging by the colour of the undercovers, they were originally meant to be white) and grimy. I was surprised to also see that there were small dark spots in the middle of her bed. Was that ink? Or just coffee stains? Curious, I inched closer to her and craned my neck for a clearer look.

Based on my experience of being a girl for the past 18 years, those spots were definitely DRIED PERIOD BLOOD STAINS. Julian, apparently noticing my icy stare at those blood stains, hastily moved her butt to the middle of the bed to conceal it, but to no avail.

My expression at that moment must had given me away, as Julian suddenly had a rueful smile plastered on her greasy face.

So long as you change the bedsheets, this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Right? I was even surprised at my own optimism.

I gulped down the surrounding air (wrong decision) and something new filled up my nostrils. I started retching and managed to control myself from actually puking. That unforgivable smell must be coming from the toilets. I walked outside the room, passing the commune room and managed to trace the terrible smell which was located in the shared bathroom of the whole dorm.

The scene before my eyes utterly obliterated my sanity. I could tolerate everything before this, but what I saw made me reach my absolute limit. There were so many used and browning sanitary pads — used by various girls in the house — left unattended on the floor and in the bathroom. That was where the horrid stench was coming from. This unforgivable smell of fresh/dried period blood was wafting to every single room, yet the others were just sitting there, ensnared in the screens of their laptops, oblivious to the toxic fumes they’re breathing in all day.

I’ve decided to just pack my bags and to crash at my friend’s room that night.

Hype

It’s a normal Friday night, I sit here, patiently waiting alone in the corner of McDonald’s for my brother to jio (also known as belanja or treat) me to an order of the hottest item currently trending on the menu in Malaysia — the Nasi Lemak Burger. I’ve heard of the legendary Burger a while back when it was trending in Singapore, but now that it’s officially in Malaysia, I couldn’t help but want to try it for myself.

Finally! After such a long wait.

I don’t want to spoil the experience for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet (unlike some insensitive people who keep spoiling Avengers: Infinity War by posting spoilers everywhere. I’m literally reading an obituary every time I open group chats), so I won’t describe my thoughts on the burger here.

After enjoying a hearty meal with my mom and my two brothers, I took a glance at the receipt. Holy moley! Two burgers for THIS MUCH? My usual order doesn’t even cost A QUARTER of what I’m seeing in front of me.

A student’s — on a tight budget — worst nightmare. Thank God I’m not in college yet. Love you, mom~ ❤️

Limited time menu items such as this have been a part of McDonald’s marketing scheme for decades. Prior to this, I’ve also tried the most recent Fish and Chips, the Thai Fish Burger and most of their various pies (I’m a sucker for pies. Bite me) including the not so well-received red bean or yam pies etc. Most of them tasted pretty good, if I might say so myself. The only similarity between all these items is this though: Their prices have been increased to at least 125% of their normal counterparts. In fact, they’d be more than willing to fork out their money to get their hands on “the latest trend” or “what everyone else is having”.

So, the question remains: Why do we feel inclined to buy limited time items? What’s all this hype about something new?

Marketing people — people who are studying marketing or are in the business know this golden rule of marketing: the scarcer the item, the higher the demand. It’s a psychological trick, but it works. People tend to want things they can’t obtain easily. We can’t help the way we think. It’s the human nature to want to get their hands on things that are not easy to get.

On a side note, here’s to all the single males out there: “Girls are like butterflies. Beautiful to watch, but damn hard to catch and keep for their own.”

I suggest that this phenomena has something to do with herd mentality. One sees what the other has, doesn’t want to feel left out, and since he is also capable of owning that particular thing, he’ll buy it for himself. Most of the time not considering the price too.Not because he likes it or anything, but its just so that he can fit in and do what all the “hip people” are doing.

My brother is a great example. He is a person whose hobby is another’s hobby. When I asked him why he likes video games so much, he said to me: “I dunno, I just follow what others do, it makes me feel included in their conversation.” He’s just an empty soul who is devoid of his own passion and zest in his life. (Sorry bro)

The same phenomena occurs in so many fields we see today. Like the latest VR wave. With the rise of AI technology and VR gaining popularity via platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, suddenly everyone wants in on this new technology. Most importantly, everyone is willing to shelve out big bucks for it too which in turn makes manufacturers of the gear all over laugh their heads off. This goes the same for the following examples: limited edition sportswear like Adidas’ Yeezy, or Mobile Legends’ limited time event skins, KFC’s Cheezilla and so much more.

“AHHH! Dinosaur alert! It’s coming closer and closer I can almost feel it… Oh, it’s just you, mom.”

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying following trends is a bad thing as I know not everyone feels inclined to buy limited edition items. So long as you’re happy with your purchase and feel good about making that decision afterwards, it’s totally fine.

Curious squad, where you at? You can also find out why people buy limited items and how to increase sales with this technique here.

Have a nice weekend, lovely Yolkers 🙋

Einz, Zwei, Drei…

“… Vier, Fünf…” I murmur to myself on a humid Monday night. I’m trying to teach myself German after watching some children’s videos on how to say one to twenty in German. Germany has always been my dream country ever since I was a little girl. Besides that, I’ve always been fascinated by the German language. So what better time to pick up German than now?

One thing that I regret now though is that I should’ve picked up German earlier. I could’ve learnt more and better when I was 14 or 15, when my brain had the ability to absorb just about any kind of information I can get my hands on. Now that I’m out of school, I feel a tinge of remorse over the fact that I didn’t include studying the German Language alongside balancing all my other subjects in my daily study schedule in secondary school. Then again, it’s never too late to start anything, so long as you our your mind to it.

Self study is better than waiting to be fed information.

As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “千里之行,始于足下” ( qiān lî zhī xíng shî yú zú xìa). The translation to this proverb would be “a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”. When starting out anything at all, one must have the intention, or the drive to want to attain that goal that he or she has set up for themselves. Like for instance, my primary goal of learning German is so that I can (hopefully) go to Germany and mingle with native speakers and have a great time there, not without knowing what to expect. Besides that, knowing an extra language also prevents you from being tricked or swindled of your money in an environment you’re not familiar with. So it’s always a good idea to learn the language of the country you’re travelling to before going over.

The fastest way to grasp a language is with lots of exposure. Constantly speaking, listening and reading is the best way to pick up a language quickly. Although quick fire solutions exist, learning anything still requires persistence and endurance. New habits need to be made and followed through. One should also force themselves to be more disciplined.

For beginners, I recommend using the app Duolingo. It’s a fun, interactive app that allows you to learn any language you like at your own pace. But for those who tried Duolingo and didn’t like it, there’s always other options to choose from, like Busuu or Memrise. It basically boils down to personal preference and the kind of approach you’d like to take when learning a new language. Here’s a list of learning apps currently trending in the App Store.

Learning something new may pose as a challenge to some, but it’s definitely worth it when you manage to conquer it one day. Now excuse me, as I log into my Duolingo account for my daily German lesson.