Readers’ Forum: 4/2/19

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Taking care of yourself during finals

As a college student, the stress load of classes seems to increase as the semester goes on. Being a BYU student myself, I have experienced many struggles and difficult experiences, especially during this time of year. These experiences and stressors cause many of us to stop taking care of ourselves as we focus on schoolwork and finals. This causes our cortisol levels to rise from stress and our nutrition intake to decrease. As students, we forget to eat, as our minds are so focused on books instead of what our bodies actually need. We as students need to remember that our health should be first and foremost, not on the backburner where all the food we eat comes from vending machines. What is your body feeling when all you eat is crackers and gummy bears? Our bodies are being trashed in the name of cramming!

These habits are difficult to break, but a difference can be made step by step. For example, by just moving up our bedtime, we are giving our bodies the opportunity to heal and prep for the next day. Our ability to problem solve and complete assignments will increase, thus improving our college experience. Take time to plan healthy meals for the week. This will increase the amount of nutrients we are absorbing, as stops at fast food joints will be less frequent and home cooked meals more frequent. While working to make proper nutrition and adequate sleep our main focus, our cognitive levels will rise, thus increasing productivity. Just think, by being healthier we all can push through finals.

— Sierra Milam

Longmont, Colorado

General Conference

A deep, familiar voice from the TV fills my grandpa’s living room. It echoes, “From the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, this is the Saturday Morning Session of the 189th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Every six months, that phrase marks the beginning of a joyful family and food-filled weekend.

I spent this particular conference weekend in North Salt Lake at my grandpa’s house with other extended family. Throughout the weekend, however, the nagging thought that I should be doing homework kept coming. But surely spending time with my extended family, whom I rarely see, is a worthy reason to postpone studying, right? The internal struggle persisted all weekend.

Both Saturday and Sunday are filled with hours of conference, family activities and dinners. But before I knew it, Sunday night rolled around and the overwhelming reality that I had midterms, various assignments due and several other responsibilities the next week started to set in. Was I wrong to think that my family was more important than my schoolwork? Should I still try not to do my homework this Sunday? If only I had Monday off to catch up on studying.

Removing a day from BYU’s academic calendar would be a significant sacrifice. However, it would allow BYU to more closely align itself with its own mission statement: “ … the university must provide an environment enlightened by living prophets and sustained by those moral virtues which characterize the life and teachings of the Son of God.” The principles taught in General Conference help students become better students and people. The BYU administration should let its students be “enlightened by living prophets and sustained by … (the) teachings of the Son of God,” without the stress of midterms and assignments hanging over their heads. BYU should not hold classes on the Monday following General Conference to better live its mission statement.

— Annie Christensen

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

South campus traffic

Drumming your fingers on the steering wheel, frantically re-checking the clock and seeing the same digits for the fourth time; dealing with detours while driving can lead to both stress and impatience. These two emotions prove to be a dangerous combination when behind the wheel.

While driving my broken-down 13-year-old Prius, I’m forced mechanically and socially to be a slow and patient driver. Despite these positive pressures, the bus lanes on 700 North south of campus still manage to get my toes dancing impatiently. The mile-long median between the lanes divides the street, cutting off any cars attempting to travel north or south. While this median was put into place after educated traffic-engineers conducted studies on how to maintain street capacity, it creates awkward detours for drivers and funnels them all toward either University Avenue or 900 East. These unwieldy routes create tension on the road, as stressed drivers become unsure of how to get where they’re going.

However, there are two possible solutions for drivers. The first is to have one or two more controlled intersections where cars could cross where the median currently divides. Doing so would limit the confusion while navigating. The other solution would be to equip the streets the traffic is funneled toward — University Avenue and 900 East — with more efficient traffic signals. Currently, there are stoplights that do not ever turn to a flashing yellow. Sitting stopped at a red arrow at an otherwise safe turn is useless and fosters an impatient attitude on the streets.

If Provo wishes to improve its traffic flow with bus lanes, then changes should be made to allow drivers to navigate the south campus neighborhood with ease.

— Melinda Merrill

Richland, Washington

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