The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Be aware of higher ed hazards

By Susan Tallant/editor-in-chief

Welcome to the world of higher education—the best place to get an education and the worst environment to retain knowledge.

Late night cram sessions, coupled with smorgasbords of Jäger bombs and pizza, have devastating effects on learning and memory according to an article written in Psychology Today by Steven Kotler.

So here are a few suggestions for a better semester:

First, get 40 winks. Sleep is crucial for remembering facts and procedures, yet a whopping 80 percent of undergraduates qualify as sleep deprived, according to a survey at Stanford University.

“ If someone goes without sleep for 24 hours after acquiring a new skill, a week later they will have lost it completely,” Kotler said. “So college students who pull all-nighters during exam week might not remember any of the material by next semester.”

Second, quit eating fast. Too many French fries, greasy pizza and chips are literally eating students stupid.
A study by Ann-Charlotte Granholm, director for the Center for Aging at Medical University of South Carolina, compared rats fed a high trans-fat diet with a group fed a low trans-fat menu.

After six weeks, the high trans-fat group made more errors, had fewer proteins critical to healthy neuro functions and had inflammation around the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

“ These are the exact types of changes we normally see at the onset of Alzheimer’s, but we saw them after six weeks,” Granholm said.

Last, stop overindulging. Most students think after the hangover wears off, the mind and soul return to normal. Not according to a study by Kimberly Nixon and Fulton Crews at the University of North Carolina’s Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies.

After giving intoxicated rats a week to shake their hangovers, testing began. At first, performance was normal. But 19 days later, the bingers’ performances worsened and the normal rats produced almost twice as many new brain cells as did the binge drinkers.

“ It was the first time anyone had found that alcohol not only inhibits the birth of new cells but also inhibits the ones that survive,” Nixon said.

So eat (less fat), drink (less on the weekends) and be merry (or at least smarter). Here’s to a great semester!

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