Tag Archives: Student Life

Lifehacks for your sleep

It’s two a.m. and you’re tossing and turning in your bed. You have to get up at six to get to your 8:15 class on time (officially), which stresses you out, making it even more difficult to fall asleep. Your sweet old grandmother’s advice to drink warm milk with honey hasn’t worked. All you want is to not be tired in the morning for a change. Sound familiar? Now, ideally, you would examine your life and question every decision that has gotten you into this situation and improve all the areas that prevent you from sleeping. Exercise regularly. No Netflix binges. Stop eating unhealthy food. But what’s that you say? Ain’t nobody got time for that? You want a few tricks that will help you sleep well without actually sacrificing anything or significantly changing any aspect of your life? You’ve come to the right place.

1.5 is the magic number

This is by far the most important rule. 1.5 is the length of an average sleep cycle, so you should aim for the hours you sleep to be a multiple of 1.5 (3 hours, 4.5 hours, 6 hours, 7.5 hours and so on). Interrupting a sleep cycle is pretty much the worst thing you can do for your sleep. It will leave you tired, no matter how many hours you slept. This leads to some counter-intuitive truths sleeping 7 hours will leave you more tired than 6 hours, because 4 x 1,5 = 6. Get the idea?

Blue light is a no-go

Fair enough, you say, but you’re having trouble even falling asleep? It might be because you’re staring atpic a screen all day every day. That’s right, your mother had a point when she told you to put your phone away. But relax you don’t have to give up your Netflix binges and nightly meme-browsing on your phone. The culprit is the blue light emitting from your screen (wave-length between 400 to 495 nm). It inhibits the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you sleepy. But that can be improved pretty easily. You can filter out the blue light with the help of apps, such as f.lux for your computer or Twilight for your phone. (Warning: side effects include being asked from time to time why your screen is tinged orange-ish. Or so I’ve heard.)

Eat to sleep deep

Ok, you’ve followed all of the advice but you’re still not happy because you wake up in the middle of the night? Might be natural, in which case you should just accept it as part of your natural sleep pattern, or, what’s more likely, it might be because of your blood sugar dropping rapidly. To make sure that doesn’t happen:

DON’T: eat simple carbs in the evening, like white bread, white pasta, candy or literally anything that’s a carb and that’s white.

DO: eat complex carbs in the evening, like whole grains, beans or oatmeal. They take longer to break down and to absorb, so they will provide your body with slow and steady energy.

There you have it. If these tips don’t help you, you might want to look into slightly more extreme methods, like traveling to Tibet studying with Buddhist monks until you overcome your earthly desire for sleep or replacing all of your blood with coffee.

Author & Picture: Maria Diamantopoulou

Living with strangers

After finishing school, many people in their 20s look forward to starting their very own life in an unfamiliar town with new people. In order to find a room, you try to present yourself in the best possible way via, for example, the WG-Gesucht website and try to explain why, of all those millions of roommate candidates, you’re the one they’ve been looking for forever. And after surviving a marathon of housemate interviews, you just want to lie on the floor of what could be the one and wake up one morning only to realize that you’ve moved in with new potential friends… or not?!

Polaroid

Moving in

It’s happened. You’ve found a room which is perfect and you’re going to move in with complete strangers, because it’s always better to have somebody around you, even if it’s just anybody. To be honest, being huddled up with strangers, for example, three other girls you don’t know from Adam, can be tough – as the case when I was looking for a flat. So, what do you need to own to make living together manageable?

Tips from an old hand

After living in a shared flat for a few years now, being an old hand when it comes to living together with strangers, I’ve realized that you need six basic things to make cohabiting in the new environment more “enjoyable”, while at the very same time making sure that you send out positive vibes.

Tatort

The six necessities

  1. A mug: first of all, you need a mug to represent who you are. You like watching Tatort? Why not buy a Tatort mug, so everybody knows what you’ll be doing on Sunday evening?
  2. A perfumed candle: to make the new room more comfortable, and, like a dog, to mark your territory.
  3. Headphones: even if you love your roommates, you don’t want to hear everything they do. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
  4. Tupperware: nothing makes you look more like an adult than owning various kinds of Tupperware.
  5. A dressing gown: Be proud of your nakedness. But please don’t overdo it. When leaving your room in the morning, don’t rub your nakedness in your roommates’ faces.
  6. Special underwear and socks: do yourself a favour and buy unusual underwear. Otherwise, you’ll be standing in front of a hundred black socks and panties after doing the laundry.

Your way to heaven

Seems simple, and it is! I can’t promise that by only purchasing these simple items you’ll be on your direct way to heaven – and by heaven, I mean the joys of respecting one another’s dirty habits and the inability to clean up the crumbs in the kitchen. But trust me – those tips will make it easier for all of you and you’ll be learning to love each other anyways, and maybe – if you’re really into it – even share the broccoli you bought at the market.

Author & Pictures: Chiara Leick

“A chipped glass is ruined forever”

Could you imagine giving away your child? To some stranger you’ve never met? In a completely different country? With a different language which your child doesn’t speak? Completely impossible for a parent, right?

Or from a child’s perspective: could you imagine leaving your parents in order to head off to a new country with a language you don’t speak? Meeting some strangers that will look after you and possibly keep you safe? You wouldn’t know if or when you’d see your parents again. Could you imagine such a thing?

Flashbacks

1_kleinOn stage, we meet a mother and her child; the mother is teaching her daughter to sew a button on her coat. The girl is about to leave – without her parents. And she’s only nine years old. She doesn’t want to leave, but the mother promises to join her later. “When is later?” “In a month, or two…”

The light fades and another part of the stage becomes the focus. A mother and daughter enter the attic; the young woman is about to move out. Her mother tries to convince the young adult to take this and that, crystal glasses (only eleven, as one of them has a little damage and “A chipped glass is ruined forever”), cups and so on. We, the audience, can sense some slight disagreement between the two: things unspoken, stories untold. As the story on the stage unfolds, we are introduced to all the things that are happening now and all the untold secrets from many years ago, in a well-hidden past.

The first pair we meet are Eva Schlesinger (Lotte Albrecht) and her mother Helga (Mel Schuster). The second pair are Faith (Jorid Kretzschmar) and her mother, Evelyn (Anna Hilbl). But Evelyn IS Eva. She has been adopted by her foster mom, Lil, (Nika 2_kleinKriss), has been given a naturalisation certificate and changed her name as well as her birthday. She has got rid of her past as a Jewish-German child that was sent away to England for safety reasons. Her daughter, Faith, didn’t know about her mother’s past and by chance finds out about it while she’s rummaging through her own childhood treasures in the attic.

Lots of emotions

The play is about the individual struggles of a child who is sent away because of the Holocaust. There are lots of stories about the children transport that mainly the British organised to help save at least some of the children in danger. Between 1938 and 1939 ten thousand children were taken to Great Britain. When we read about this Refugee Children Movement, we usually get information about their safety or that they more often than not were the only members of their families to survive and consequently most of them never saw their parents again.

What we don’t read about are the struggles and their individual stories of suffering and distress that must have come with being relocated in another country, with people they had never met before, and having to adjust to the new environment. The hardships they went through, growing up and not knowing about their families.

Great teamwork

TitelbildThe AnglistenTheater has succeeded in bringing these struggles to life in the flashbacks during the play between the “now” and “then”. They take the audience on a journey through the life of a young girl who is developing into a woman that at some point has developed into the mother we see in the “now”. To a great extent, this is director Rudolf Beck’s achievement, of course. But there is so much more that makes this production an outstanding experience. Both the stage and costume designs as well as the light and sound help to draw you right into the story; the actors’ marvellous skills make everything absolutely believable. They all played their parts extremely well and if I had to choose, I couldn’t say which performance I liked best. But I imagine that it must have been very difficult to play the young Eva and the grown-up Evelyn in such a convincing way that you can almost feel all the emotions yourself.

Go watch it!

3_kleinWhat I especially liked was the great sound design (Josef Demling). For example, when the ratcatcher (Ian Steffy) – a recurring figure in the play – makes his first appearance by sneaking in from behind the audience, a beautiful but at the same time eerie melody accompanies the action. We hear this lovely, dazzling tune during all his appearances. Whenever you hear it, it feels like it’s hitting something deep inside you and almost makes you want to jump up and follow the ratcatcher and his flute.

Considering the topic of the play it is obvious that it is rather strong stuff to digest, but it is well worth watching. So go and see Diane Samuels’ Kindertransport produced by the AnglistenTheater! There are still three more shows: Mon, 11th | Tue, 12th | Thu, 14th, all starting at 8 pm in lecture hall II (Hörsaal II) in building C.

Text: Angie Czygann
Fotos: Klaus Satzinger-Viel
Cover picture: AnglistenTheater

Torn between two worlds

The weekend’s near! You’re already planning your days off. You’re probably going to study. Maybe you’ll go on a day trip or just stay in Augsburg and spend your time here? Most likely, the weekend is something you don’t plan very precisely. Well, when you go home each weekend, things don’t work like this. Even though they probably shouldn’t, your plans already take shape on Monday, eventually forcing you to rethink your situation:

This Friday, I’ll hope to get the earlier train

Of course, you’ve tried to outsmart Digicampus and get Friday off. But sometimes this doesn’t work, so you have to attend uni on Friday and hope to get your tram to the train station in time. And even if your train trip only takes one and a half hours, getting the later train will mean that you’ll have less time with your family in the evening.

Saturday is going to be busy.

If your family members live as closely to each other as mine, my Saturday schedule might seem familiar to you: first, you have a late breakfast with your family, already suspecting that the day might turn out to be stressful. At midday, you go get the groceries for your grandparents and spend some time with them, chatting about the past week at uni, a certain president’s failures, and the most recent Bundesliga news. In the evening, you visit your other grandparents to have dinner with them. After dinner, it’s time to finally meet the gang and go out, and depending on how busy Sunday will be, you might, of course stay out a bit longer.

Sunday ain’t fun-day…

train3After an even later breakfast on Sunday, the bags have to be packed. Being tired (and sometimes a bit hungover), you realize what’s coming: a train ride, lasting longer than an eternity; then a tram ride, most often packed with smelly people next to you; an exhausting walk home, because you don’t have one of those trendy suitcases with wheels on them and your bag gets heavier and heavier with each step you take. You’re finally there, so you unpack your bags, put your home-laundered clothes into your wardrobe, and store the food you brought in your fridge. Sleepily, you sink into your bed and as you’re about to fall asleep, you suddenly remember: there was homework due tomorrow!!!

But is it really worth it?

This advice might be helpful, especially if you’re new to being a student: commuting home over the weekend sure is great because you get to see your family, your hometown friends and feel the nostalgic, regional vibe of your home. But if you don’t manage to take one step back from your family responsibilities after moving out, your weekly trip home will be exhausting rather than relaxing. And even though it might hurt in the beginning, you’ll eventually have to focus on one of those two worlds because if you continue like this, homework won’t be the only thing you’ll miss out.

It’s your decision!

Sooner or later, you’ll find out that staying in Augsburg for the weekend more often will benefit you: you’ll be less distracted from your studies, your weekends will be more relaxing, and maybe it’s going to be easier for you to make friends here. This is why, from my personal experience, I can say that for the sake of your student as well as your private life, it’s important to find the right balance between going home and staying in Augsburg. Your family will always be your family, no matter where you are, so they’ll understand. It’s only natural that you’ll have a hard time figuring it out at first, but I’m sure you’ll eventually sort this out and succeed in your new, exciting life, too!

 

Text & Pictures: Marcus Wiesenhofer

Student species

student_About 20,000 students populate the University of Augsburg, which means different people from all over the world, who, at first sight, have almost nothing in common. Well, they’re all students, of course – mammals with particular habits, such as the mass migration from the campus buildings to the Mensa at 1.16 PM. So, as I’ve spent a lot of time in lectures and courses, it’s quite simple to divide the student animal kingdom into three main categories… 

Those who bring food to class

Everybody longs for a snack, above all when you’ve spent the whole day at university and you’re getting a little peckish. A muesli bar, some yoghurt or an apple re the most popular. But not for him. No, the food lover goes big. It’s five p.m., and a pungent odor in the university corridors announces, well in advance, the arrival of BigFood. And here he comes, almost limping, since he’s trying to walk and devour the noodles at the same time. Red sauce all over his mouth and a passion for chopsticks – because eating with a fork is too mainstream. Big food’s ready to contaminate the air of another lecture theatre, usually sitting next to you, and contributing indecipherable questions – his mouth is full! – to the class discussion.

Those who pinch your things

No, I don’t mean your bike, money or smartphone. University thieves don’t aim that high – they just look for your stuff. Innocent copies, pencils and clips, which fall into the hands of those professional thieves. The strategy is always the same: they sit next to you, ask if they can read your copies, and, once the class is over, your marvelous printed sheets have disappeared. After the “Gosh-why-am-I-so-forgetful?” moment, you realize your neighbor has pinched your materials, and sometimes even deprived you of your motivation to study (in the process increasing the number of procrastinators among students as well as Netflix sales).

Those who can’t hold it anymore

Who doesn’t love lectures? Listening to the professor talking away, jotting something down, snoozing in your seat. Not really. Someone in the middle of your row stands up and turns up all the tilt-top desks, as if they were dominoes. The incontinent student faces an obstacle course, with hurdles made of jackets, backpacks and other (unfortunate) students, who are mercilessly attacked by the athlete’s knees. The gymnast finally reaches the door, while the heads follow him, making sure he hasn’t injured himself (or hoping that he has!). Nature is calling and it’s only polite to answer – and go to the loo. Pity that it’s always the same person, sitting in the same place, during the same lecture.

Text: Veronica Armellini
Picture: Daniela Armellini