Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

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How do we keep our college students well nurished and well rested?

It seems to be a common idea that students that study hard will be mal-nurished and have just a few hours of sleep in their day.

In public schools from k-12, there is definitely nutrition breaks, with subsudized meals during school hours, but students may not have gotten the amount of rest that doctors say as healthy. This lack of sleep is probably more prevalent in higher grades around 6-12 grades(maybe more prevalent in 9-12). Is this a sign that something among school systems needs to be changed?

Now to the main focus of this discussion; which is more important nutrition or rest? Well, I beleive that both are equally important. College is the beginning of many individuals' independence and the workload shift are usually a far cry from current public high schools. This change in difficulty in academics isn't easily adjustable for everyone, but what if we added some subsudized nutrition breaks in colleges (maybe this system is less viable among all colleges)? The more important thought in my mind was how do we keep students well rested and attentative in classes? The gap of workload from public high schools to colleges seem to catch many students ill-prepared. This causes students to either give up or spend much more hours on assignments than if they were prepared.

Is there better system in which students can be well rested and well nurished to maximize their learning capacity?

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    Aug 6 2012: As a mom and as a former student, I do not think you can do anything about the sleep question other than start classes later. A combination of biological sleep patterns and high levels of energy and of passion for life (they cannot possibly sleep they might miss something -who knows what but something crucial) makes sleep except in the late night early morning hours impossible.
    As to nutrition which I think we can do something about, it simply takes a decision to offer healthy alternatives and leave them there on the menu for awhile while they are ignored. I would take a page from RED bull and use their marketing techniques by picking out the 'cool kids' and athletes of all sorts and inviting them for free palitable and healthy parties where really cute girls and guys were the experts and hosts. This would give nutrition a strong dose of cool factor and help others adapt. You have to leave some of the junk in place and maybe eliminate more and more as demand decreased for it or as the worst were identified on a rubic which had been decided upon in advance.
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      Aug 7 2012: Funny idea, but very valid in the mindset of college people. =)
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    Gail .

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    Aug 13 2012: I don't remember the name of the research program, but I did read about inner city students who were given scholarships to college under the condition that they abide by the rules of the scholarship. (The students were not necessarily academically brilliant).

    The rules of the scholarship were that the students had "quite time for study" every single evening for specified hours. This was to last for six weeks - starting with orientation. Students had their own dorm floor, which was strangely quiet relative to the other floors during study hours.

    At the end of six weeks, the requirement was lifted. Curiously, the students retained the pattern, and not a single student left school before graduation. Given that these were inner-city blacks, that's quite a record. All the students loved being able to practice self-discipline and owning responsibility for their successes.
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      Aug 13 2012: Huh, who would have known, boundaries can be set in such a way to promote such discipline. =)
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    Aug 7 2012: What is the average length for getting a degree now days ... 5 years or six. The reasons vary. However, the reason I bring this to the discussion is the answer to your question ..... MILITARY ACADEMIES. They eat right, sleep well, exercise often, study hard, and graduate in four years or not at all.

    College is all about paying for your books, labs, tuition, etc ... food and sleep are not mentioned as a requirement for graduation or a school concern. Money is the bottom line not education or concerns for your child.

    For arguments sake say your are getting straight A's and cannot pay for the next semester at enrollment, nor can you pay for the books, and labs required. Name a school that says no problem we will foot the bill welcome back. NOT.

    It would be interesting to compare the three schools (Public, private, and academies) to see if there is any need for concern in the eating and resting habits.

    Top Romien is under rated and sleep is over rated ... got a test tomarrow ... gotta cram .... gotta go.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Aug 7 2012: In your opinion Bob, how would compare "Public, private, and academies" on the topic of well rested, well nourished students and rank the best to worst?
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        Aug 7 2012: Just on appearances no facts to go by.

        1) Military academies: Set routine, manditory formations including for chow, manditory lights out, minimum exposure to outside influences.

        2) Private schools: More selective students that are serious abut education; tuition paid by parents, less concerns about food and rent, gives more time to study, proper diet, and better facilites to reside in.

        3) Public schools: More exposure to outside distractions such as sports, parties, meeting/dating and other diversions. may have to have to work, takes cheapest rent most occupants to share house, poorer diet, takes more time to graduate.

        I rank these on the obvious. Most structured to the least structured. However, it should be noted that we are still talking about late teens and early twenties. Just because there are rules does not mean that they are always followed. Nor does it mean that advantages are not disregarded.

        You could probally draw the same conclusions about private high schools and public schools but again it would be on the obvious environmental, economic, and national academic ratings.

        All the best. Bob.
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          Aug 9 2012: Bummer, that politics are too involved with their own image that they can't actually get anything done to implement better systems that work........makes me really mad to think about it. =/
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    Aug 6 2012: College students make their own choices of how much sleep they get. Most enjoy their new freedom from the on-site vigilence of parents to make choices with respect to eating and sleeping. Of course they have plenty of breaks when they can eat something and many eat during class as well. At eighteen years old and older for most of them, they also need to keep track of their own keys (or get locked out of the dorm room) and decide whether to take a jacket, umbrella, and so forth. Many or most do not yet cook for themselves, do grocery shopping, and so forth, and have dormitory living, often with adults or older students on-site, as a buffer between the supervision of home and independence.

    It is good for college age students to learn to make choices for themselves with respect to nutrition, sleep, and whether to wear a jacket. Are you proposing that school staff be employed to enforce bedtimes for students between age 18 and 22?

    I don't think the length of time students take on assignments or the amount of preparation they have in high school are closely related to the amount of rest they get. Some of the best prepared students take the heaviest courseloads and sleep the least.

    I don't understand the subsidized nutrition breaks. My daughters both got fellowships at university that reflected their financial need. Financial need is assessed by taking into account not only tuition but room and board costs. So what they ate was not subsidized by lowering its price but rather by the fact that they received financial aid to assist with all expenses.

    What, Derek, were you thinking of as effective strategies for making students sleep? A dorm curfew/ a lights-out curfew like at summer camp for school-aged kids?
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      Aug 6 2012: I was intending to scrutinize the level of difficulty and amount of time to work on assignments jump and doens't gradually increase from k-12. If difficulty gradually increased overtime, then maybe the individuals' skill will meet the next level with adding just a bit of extra time to their studies, instead of dedicating their whole day to a handful of classes. Something could be done to possibly change that jump for students. I probably asked a stupid question....=/
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        Aug 6 2012: I think admissions policies at universities and colleges probably take into account whether the student in question is prepared in terms of work habits and academic preparation to stretch into what will be required of him. What happens further at the university is that students may start with one course of study in mind that turns out to be too taxing and then switch majors. This settling out can take a year.

        I don't think your concern is stupid. Parents, for example, often worry about whether kids are sleeping enough. When you have your own kids you realize, though, that at some point these decisions are suitably theirs.
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    Aug 6 2012: Yes it is a fantastic system called get rid of the nanny state and let people take care of themselves aka life.
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      Aug 6 2012: this is the kind of culture China has...
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      Aug 6 2012: Hi pat, so when you say write "nanny state" you mean that schools shouldn't take care of their students or are you saying that the way schools baby their students sets them up to be ill-prepared for higher education/life?
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        Aug 6 2012: It is really hard for me not to be sarcastic right now, but the point is that the goverment can't take care of everyone.

        Even if they could it is truly the unkindest cut of all to enslave people to the government either though high taxes or dependence on the government hand outs.

        The analogy I make is that a tiger is a beautiful animal and very dangerous but they belong in the wild no matter how much fear they cause, they are only really a danger when people take away their habitat.

        The Nanny state de-fangs and de-souls human beings.
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          Aug 6 2012: I appreciate your restraint pat. Thank you for the reply.