Should I avoid that chocolate or not?

It hit the news this week: consumer advocate group As You Sow released a survey that chocolate has more lead content than recommended. In fact, they said the lead in chocolate is nine times the amount considered safe by California law. Looking at the pile of empty candy wrappers on the corner of my desk, I’m not feeling great about this news.

Will lead in chocolate keep you from eating it? (Credit: Cooperative Home Care)

Will lead in chocolate keep you from eating it? (Credit: Cooperative Home Care)

Then again, there are a bunch of studies supporting the health benefits of chocolate, particularly the dark blends. Is chocolate good for you? Check out these recent news articles and decide for yourself if chocolate is a good way to improve your mood—or if it’s just going to add to that freshman 15 you’ve been trying to avoid… Read more

It’s about time you master the art of napping

I’m willing to bet that there have been plenty of times when you found a quiet corner in the library or student union to curl up and take a nap. It really is a fine art to know how to nap, especially to power nap.

It’s the essential skill for college students who are burning the candle at both ends. So don’t get caught napping in class. Let’s learn how to take a nap. Read more

7 study tips to help you ace your next exam

College students dread this time of year – midterms. It’s worse when one midterm and one final exam constitute your whole grade. But if you practice good study habits, you can excel.

How I feel every time I study for exams. (Credit: GraphJam.com)

How I feel every time I study for exams. (Credit: GraphJam.com)

It just takes some common sense, prioritizing and determination. Here are some college tips on how to study effectively. Read more

Study and workout at the same time? Why not!

Ah… the gym—a place too many of us should go to but don’t. I know it’s way too easy for me to just roll over and get some extra sleep, rather than getting up and out to start my day with exercise. If you’re like me, you’re looking for workout tips for how to get fit this spring.

You can (and should!) workout and study at the same time. (Credit: Elhenyo's Pictures)

You can (and should!) workout and study at the same time. (Credit: Elhenyo’s Pictures)

Whether you are the kind of college student that likes to do crunches while memorizing notecards or the kind who thinks that rolling out of bed is enough activity for one day, incorporating a little exercise into your daily routine can provide many benefits. Even though it’s hard to make myself do it, I know I always feel better after I’ve had some activity in my day! Read more

Go ahead and have that cup of coffee!

Admission: I love Starbucks. I dig independent coffee shops. I brew coffee at home. I add all sorts of crazy stuff to my coffee to make it just the way I like it (sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, sometimes imitation rum extract to emulate the out-of-season Tiramisu Latte Starbucks had for awhile). Some people might say that I drink too much coffee, even though I only have 12 to 16 oz. per day. (I don’t count decaf. Who would?)

In need of coffee? Go for it! (Credit: Pexels)

In need of coffee? Go for it! (Credit: Pexels)

But even if you’re not calculating caffeine amounts, there are studies that suggest coffee health effects can actually be–believe it or not–positive. That’s right! It might be able to extend your life, prevent cirrhosis related to alcohol consumption, and reduce the risk for getting type 2 diabetes. Read more

You ask, we answer: My roomie has an allergy!

Dear J,

My new roommate is allergic to peanuts! My favorite food to sustain life on, is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. How will I go on!?!? Even if I give up my soul food, I’m terrified that a soap/food/product I buy will have peanuts in it! What should I do?

Best,

Rebecca W

Rebecca,

I’m sorry that your PB&J relationship is on the rocks! I’m no doctor but I’ve definitely had a roommate with a shellfish allergy so here is what I can tell you. Read more

Winter skin is the WORST – Here’s what you can do to help it

It’s that time of year again. I don’t mean the time of year when you have to keep your ice scraper handy in your car, or when you have to worry about trudging through snow (or the mud it leaves behind when it melts) across campus. No, I’m talking about the annual recurrence of dry winter skin. Having dry skin, especially when you have papers to write and need to spend time at the keyboard, is no fun. But here are some DIY recipes to fight winter skin.

How do you avoid dry winter skin? (Credit: California Life)

How do you avoid dry winter skin? (Credit: California Life)

Whether you need a DIY moisturizer for your hands and face or a little lip balm to keep you from getting chapped, check out these tips and see what will work for you! Read more

4 ways to avoid feeling overstressed

My name is Maeve Clair and I am a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. I am majoring in Biology and Psychology. I hope to pursue a career in medicine, so my schedule consists of mostly science classes right now. Having completed three semesters of college, I am very familiar with the feeling of stress.

What helps you from becoming overstressed? (Credit: Alys Tomlinson, Getty Images)

What helps you from becoming overstressed? (Credit: Alys Tomlinson, Getty Images)

Although I wish I could, I cannot tell you that there is a quick fix to never feeling stressed in college. Fortunately, I can provide you with a few ways to prevent feeling overstressed with your college course load. Read more

Avoid all-nighters and study without a coffee IV

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I swear it’s not impossible to skip the all-nighters when studying for upcoming exams! Sure, we can’t add hours to our day to allow us more time to study – that just means we have to make the most of the time we do have to prepare!

Find out how to keep yourself from all-nighters and coffee IVs. (Credit: Pinterest)

Find out how to keep yourself from all-nighters and coffee IVs. (Credit: Pinterest)

Here we tell you why you should resist all-nighters and what other options you have for studying. You can even leave your coffee IV in the dust! Read more

9 do’s and don’ts for getting focused second semester

I have the hardest time getting focused after the holidays. Whatever promises I’ve made myself while I’m on vacation are much harder to put into practice once I’m back at my desk! This is doubly true for college students who have a long holiday between first and second semester–and it can be really rough if your first semester wasn’t your best.

What helps you get focused? (Credit: Happiness Weekly)

What helps you get focused? (Credit: Happiness Weekly)

Need some life hacks to get focused, get organized, and improve productivity for your classes? Check out these do’s and don’ts on how to make your second semester better than your first. Read more