Roost Readings

Welcome bird

Roost Readings is where you will find tips and resources while you are living at, and attending, BGSU. Each month a new Roost Reading will be sent to your BGSU email. You can always find details from the previous editions here.

February heart

Staying Healthy

February is a time that a lot of students use to get healthier. It’s not easy to get up and go to the Rec when the wind feels like it’s cutting through your coat or to grab that salad for dinner when French fries are staring you in the face. It is easy to stay on the couch or in the bed and binge-watch shows while eating bad-for-you-snacks. Making healthy choices seems so much harder during the Winter months. But it extends beyond physical health, food and exercise. Good choices around mental health, sexual health and relationship health are important too. This issue of Roost Readings is loaded with things to consider as you work to get/stay healthy this semester. More information about your health can be found at the BGSU Wellness Connection.


Prevent the Flu from Getting to You!

With the exception of Hawaii, every state in the United States is facing a widespread flu outbreak. What can you do to protect yourself? Here are some tips for fighting the flu before it starts:

  1. Wash your hands. Frequently. If it is inconvenient to wash hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  2. Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  3. Clean and disinfect your phone, desk, steering wheel and other areas you touch frequently
  4. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially after touching a surface that hasn’t been disinfected
  5. Stay healthy: sleep, eat well, exercise, minimize stress, don’t smoke/stop smoking, etc.
  6. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine

  


   

Fighting the Winter Blahs

With less daylight and more cold, the Winter Blahs are a very real thing for many people. It could be a letdown after all the excitement of break, or it could be your body trying to go into a hibernation-type state. The Winter Blahs (also called the Winter Blues) are not the same thing as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD has major depressive episodes with specific medical and psychological diagnostic

criteria, while the Winter Blahs are more of a milder depression that don’t interfere with daily functioning. These links will give you tips for fighting the winter blahs and provide you more information about SAD:


Healthy Intimate Relationships

Whether you are in a serious relationship, dating casually, or just hooking up, making sure your intimate relationships are healthy is important. Although communication is essential in any relationship, one other area is also crucial: CONSENT. It is absolutely critical to have verbal, expressed consent at every phase of intimate contact.

According to the BGSU Code of Student Conduct, consent is present only when an individual has the capacity to voluntarily, knowingly, and affirmatively agree to engage in a sexual activity. This means that an individual cannot give consent when:

  • They are impaired by any drug, alcohol, or intoxicant
  • They are forced, threatened with force, tricked/deceived, or persuaded/pressured in any way
  • They are unconscious or otherwise unaware that the act is being committed
  • They have a mental or physical condition that impairs their ability to voluntarily, knowingly, and affirmatively give consent
  • They are pressured/coerced by supervisory or disciplinary authority
  • Consent may be withdrawn at any time, whether any activity has begun or not
  • Prior relationship or sexual activity in and of itself does NOT constitute consent
  • An individual must be of legal age (as defined by the state) to give consent

January snowflake

Boosting your academic performance

Welcome Back! We hope you’ve used your break to refresh yourself and to prepare you for the upcoming semester. Maybe you didn’t perform as well as you’d have liked, or maybe you did great and want to continue that pattern. This issue of roost readings is all about helping you to succeed academically.


Sleep is Important!

You may think that pulling an all-nighter will help you study for that exam or finish that paper, but research indicates that getting a good night’s sleep is more important than most people realize. Sleep deprivation can increase anxiety, forgetfulness, reaction times, and poor decision making. It can decrease energy, concentration, coordination, and motivation. And it can trigger depression, obesity, and other health risks. Learn more...

These websites have great information about the advantages of a good night’s sleep:


Set SMART Goals

It is easier to reach your academic goals if you create a plan of action on how to achieve them. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed) Goals help students set up a plan for success. Use the following resources to help you:


Know Your Learning Style

Studying is not “one-size-fits-all”. Everyone has a different way that they best take in and retain information. The VARK is a helpful resource that can help you understand how you learn best. Take the Vark Questionnaire and then check out the academic helpsheets to get you started on the best ways to read, study and learn.

More can be found on ThoughtCo.com about study techniques and knowing your learning style. And, regardless of your learning style, these study tips may help:

  • Review material right after class
  • Don’t do all of your studying the night before a test; review all week
  • Find a comfortable, quiet place to study with few distractions
  • Start by studying the most important information
  • Review general concepts first
  • Take notes as you study and review the notes
  • Try studying with a group of others who are serious about the test
  • Don’t study later than you normally go to sleep

Start Strong

Don’t wait until you have academic trouble to seek out your professors, get tutoring or gather resources. Put in the work from the beginning so that the end of the semester won’t seem so overwhelming.

OFFICE HOURS

Your professors and graduate teaching assistants have time set aside to meet with you and other students. Take advantage of this! If you attend office hours regularly, your professor will know that you are making the effort and doing your best, and they will also invest in your success. Plus, if this is a professor in your major, you’ll already have a relationship for when you need that mentor, letter of recommendation or academic reference. Learn more at:

THE LEARNING COMMONS

By now, you should know about the Learning Commons. But do you know about all the services they provide? In addition to tutoring in Writing, Math and Statistics and a variety of other subjects, the Learning Commons also features Study Skills Assistance and Academic Coaching. Additionally, Supplemental Instruction—which is loosely structured, peer-led review sessions of the material covered in class—is available in a limited number of subjects.

The Learning Commons

ACADEMIC ADVISORS

If you have questions about what classes to take, or about your degree requirements, set up a meeting with your college office advisor. Learn more about academic advising and check out the information provided by these BGSU colleges and programs:

December

Stressed out?

Stress Management Tips

  • Stop. Breathe: take a few deep breaths when you start to feel stressed.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no or to reschedule meetings or events, even fun ones.
  • Go to the gym and get some exercise. Take a walk or go swimming.
  • Admit when you feel stressed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Find someone you can talk to.
  • Make a schedule and try to stick to it.
  • Write a stress journal.
  • Watch how you cope with stress.
  • Take a break when you have been studying for a long time.
  • Leave extra time to study before a test or quiz.
  • Prioritize assignments, tests, and quizzes.

As the semester draws to a close, stress becomes more prevalent. Final exams, planning for next semester, and going home for the holidays can sometimes be stressful for many college students. Here are some stressors you may be experiencing, as well as tips and campus resources to help you recognize and manage them. This list is not comprehensive. Hall Staff, including your Resident Advisor and Hall Director, are available to talk/provide additional resources.


What is Stress? How do I know when I’m stressed out?

Stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge. It can be good or it can be bad. Signs of stress include change in sleep or eating habits, irritability, worrying, less patience than normal, sadness or depression and physical changes, such as frequently getting sick, headaches and being tired all the time. Recognizing, responding to and managing stress can help students be more productive and better prepared.

LearnPsychology.org has some great resources and techniques to help recognize and manage stress.


Financial Stress

Stress about money can affect your performance in the classroom, your ability to sleep, and/or your relationships with others. The Office of Student Financial Aid is your one stop shop for anything dealing with your money at BGSU. They will help you to plan for funding your education and good financial health. Plus, the office and website have information about the FAFSA, scholarships, deadlines and important financial aid forms and information.

Student Financial Aid Office

Perhaps your final is worth half of your class grade. Or possibly, you haven’t performed as well as you thought you would and you REALLY need to get a good grade on your exam to boost your overall grade. Or maybe you are used to achieving at a certain level and want to continue that performance. Whatever the case, exams tend to be a huge stressor for college students. Here is a checklist to ease your stress and to help you be more prepared for finals week.

Final Exam Prep Tips

  • Know the exact time and location of your exams
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes early for your exam
  • Make sure you have all of the semester’s notes, syllabi, books, and handouts
  • Eat well-balanced meals
  • Pulling an all-night session is not the best idea
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Establish study goals for yourself
  • Study with a partner
  • Study where you usually study and feel comfortable
  • Make sure you have pencils and erasers for your exams
  • Address questions and issues about the class prior to the exam
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise
  • Don’t drink too much caffeine
  • Don’t try to cram a semester of classes into a couple hours of studying
  • Stay in your regular routine
  • Dress appropriately
  • Relax and take your time
  • Double check your work

The Stress of Being Home

It can be hard transitioning back home after the freedom of college. Here are some tips for a harmonious break:

  • Be aware of possible conflicts ahead of time and be prepared to discuss and negotiate them. (Curfew, Use of the car, phone and internet usage, chores, etc.)
  • Be flexible. The transition will not just be difficult for you. Remember you are going back to a house that was used to you not being there for a semester; you are not the only one who may have changed over the semester.
  • Communication is the key.  Be sure to speak up right away if you see a conflict coming on. It’s best to address things from the start instead of letting them blow up into a huge argument later.
  • Act like the responsible adult that you’ve become. Show the people back at home how much you’ve matured by being in college for a semester: do your own laundry, clean up after yourself, etc. If you want to be treated like an adult, you’ve got to act like one.

BGSU Counseling Center

When you need help handling your stress, you can go to the Counseling Center. Students go to the Counseling Center for a variety of reasons: study/test taking concerns, stress/anxiety reduction, relationship issues, depression, family concerns, eating disorders, sexual concerns, grief and loss and other related concerns.

BGSU Counseling Center

Counseling Center services are offered to currently enrolled BGSU students who have paid the initial fee and are provided at no additional charge. Initial appointments and consultations/assessments typically occur during walk-in hours, Monday through Friday, 1:30 – 4 p.m. On-going counseling is by appointment only; regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Some evening hours may be available.)

Stress Tips and Relaxation Exercises | On the Counseling Center's website there are additional self-help tips. Click on “Stress” for tips on reducing stress and for breathing and relaxation exercises that you can try when you feel stressed.

Stress Clinic and Other Programs | The Stress Clinic is one of many programs that you can request from the Counseling Center relating to mental health and wellness. Visit this page for a list of available resources.

November

Believe it or not, relationship drama is normal.

So now, maybe for the first time ever, you have a roommate. You may have discovered that things you “thought” wouldn’t bother you actually do. This is perfectly normal when living with someone, and so are disagreements about how to manage your shared living space.

Roommate Issues

If things get out of hand with your roommate, you may want to move out, but space is tight this year, so changing rooms may not be an option. But there are ways to adjust that don’t involve anyone moving:

  • Remember that you don’t have to be best friends with your roommate; you just have to be able to live together. One of the key components of living together is communication. Have you tried to talk through the conflict?
  • Refer to your roommate agreement and hold each other accountable to it. If it needs to be adjusted, work with your resident advisor (RA) to make the appropriate changes. If you didn’t fill out your roommate agreement, you should make one NOW.
  • Recognize that you won’t ever agree 100% on everything. There must be some compromise—from BOTH of you.
  • Ask your RA to mediate the conflict. If your RA is unable to help, reach out to your Graduate Hall Director or Hall Director; they should be able to help you work through this.

Quick Tips for Addressing Roommate Conflicts

  1. Talk early, often and in person; address issues as they arise
  2. Set reasonable expectations
  3. Re-visit the roommate agreement often
  4. Develop a mutual understanding
  5. Compromise
  6. Be aware of and control emotion

Other helpful resources:


Who said growing up was easy?

You may not be interacting with others in your life the way you used to. Maybe you have changed -or- maybe they have. Whatever the case, it is important to keep communicating with one another and working on the relationship.

Adjusting to Changes in Other Relationships

One of the best ways to adjust to changes in your relationships is to tell them what you expect from the relationship and LISTEN to their expectations. It is always better to work through any issues before they become problems; tweaking disagreements is easier than repairing something that is broken.

It can be hard transitioning back home after the freedom at college. Here are some tips for a harmonious family time:

  • Be aware of possible conflicts ahead of time and be prepared to discuss and negotiate them. (Curfew, Use of the car, phone and internet usage, chores, etc.)
  • Be flexible. The transition will not just be difficult for you. Remember you are going back to a house that was used to you not being there; you are not the only one who may have changed.
  • Communication is the key. Be sure to speak up right away if you see a conflict coming on. It’s best to address things from the start instead of letting them blow up into a huge argument later.
  • Act like the responsible adult that you’ve become. Show the people back home how much you’ve matured by being in college: do your own laundry, clean up after yourself, etc. If you want to be treated like an adult, you’ve got to act like one.

Knowing your student rights and responsibilities.

Are you aware of the rules at BGSU and recognize that there are consequences for not following them? Did you know that you have twice as many rights as you do responsibilities? Are you aware that certain violations of the Student Code of Conduct can impact the jobs you are planning for your future?

If you didn’t read the Student Handbook and the Community Living Standards when the semester started, now is a great time to really dig into them to know what we expect of you and what you can expect from us. Happy Reading!

October

When homesickness strikes, don't let it get you down.

You're moved in, classes have started and life has begun at BGSU... but you keep thinking about home. Some students feel right at home when they first move-in and others take a little longer to warm up. No matter where you fit into this, how you are feeling is normal.

What is Homesickness?

Most students experience homesickness at some point in their college career but what is it? Lola Kolade, author of "How to Deal with Homesickness Freshman Year", describes it nicely; "More often than not, “people misinterpret what exactly it means to be homesick. It’s not about missing home—[your] house, [your] bed. Very often it’s about missing what’s normal and comfortable, what we’re used to, and not quite being comfortable with your new way of life.”  At its core, homesickness is a longing for the familiar."

Overcoming Homesickness

Did you know that staying on campus during the weekends can increase your grades, your involvement and your likelihood of graduating? Even if these facts don't make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, hopefully it helps you focus on overcoming your homesickness. It is perfectly normal to miss home, but you can get through it.

Here are some tips that can help:

  1. Get to know the BGSU campus and the surrounding community. Soon enough BG will start feeling like your home.
  2. Talk to a friend or relative who has also gone away from home before, chances are they have been where you are and they will have some tips to help you of their own.
  3. Research student organizations that you might be interested in joining. There are over 300 student organizations, chances are there is one just right for you. Learn more.
  4. Utilize the Student Recreation Center for more exercise.
  5. Plan a home visit. Going home all the time will work against you but, scheduling a home visit a few weeks from now can give you something positive to look forward to when you are feeling down.
  6. Invite friends and family to come visit you until you feel settled in.

Other helpful resources:


Strengthen Your Academic Success

One of the most important keys to academic success is starting strong. BGSU has a lot of resources to help you start strong and prevent academic stress later on in the semester.

BGSU Resources

  • Residential Academic Resource Center (RARC) | Each traditional Residence Hall has an RARC staffed with Academic Peer Mentors who can assist with understanding your syllabus and Canvas; with time management, organization, note taking and library research skills; and with course registration. Please note: Apartment students should use the Falcon Heights RARC and Greek Village should use the Conklin RARC.
  • Learning Commons | In the Library, there is the Learning Commons which provides writing consultation and tutoring for a number of classes. (But hurry—individual appointments fill up FAST.) They also provide academic coaching and supplemental instruction.
  • Go to your instructor's office hours | Your professors and instructors may be among your most valuable resources. Go to their office hours! Another great resource is your Academic Advisor. Login to your MyBGSU account and click on "My Advisor" to learn how to connect with them.
  • Brush up on your Study Skills | College can prove to be much more difficult than high school, no matter how tough your work load was. The Learning Commons has provided some helpful resources to help you enhance your study skills here.
  • Ask your Residence Advisor (RA) | Still not sure where to turn? Your RA is a great resource to ask questions and help guide you to the information you need. They have been where you are now and are always happy help.
FSRC

Roost Readings are brought to you as part of the Falcon Success and Retention Curriculum (FSRC). FSRC is the overall framework for community building, programming and services in the BGSU residence halls. In addition to social interaction, the five priorities that are emphasized in the model are Academic Success, Safety and Security, Engagement, Inclusivity and Personal Growth. These form the basis of the FSCR Curriculum and encourage BGSU students to successfully transition to college life, invest in themselves and their hall community, build strong relationships with others in their residence hall and on campus, and remain at BGSU through graduation from the institution.