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YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT WRONG

Before you move away to college, you might want to take a look at four basic things you think you've been doing right all your life, but according to cracked.com, you actually don't have a clue.

EMMY BOYD, Wharton High

Sleeping

When you wake up at 3 a.m. and stress over why you aren't sleeping, doctors will often prescribe you sleep medication so that you can snooze uninterrupted. This is wrong, according to some experts. They say stay calm and allow yourself to fall back to sleep naturally, rather than lying there wondering why you're awake, counting how many hours of sleep you'll get if you fall asleep right that second and other stress-producing, counterproductive thoughts.

Sitting

Contrary to popular belief, the human body is not designed for the right-angled back support given by typical chairs. Chairs cause the weight of our upper abdomen to be supported solely by our spines, which is a definite no-no. Instead, some doctors recommend "active sitting," or sitting on anything that doesn't have a high back, like an exercise ball.

Bathing

Showering every day does NOT get rid of gross bacteria; it just moves it around. For example, a colony of bacteria can move from your feet to your head or your groin to your hands (ew, gross!). Studies have shown that there are no measurable differences in the number of bacteria colonies a person is host to regardless of how frequently that person showers. But that doesn't give you an excuse to go a week without showering, guys.

Brushing your teeth

While brushing twice a day is still recommended, doing so right after a meal is supposedly bad for you. According to British dentists, acidity in food and drinks causes tooth enamel to soften, and brushing after eating can strip it from your teeth, making them more prone to cavities. Try brushing some other time, like in the middle of the night and after your 2 p.m. class (unless you've just snacked, in which case that's no good, either).

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Grad brag

Seniors: Graduation is finally in sight, and we know you are all stoked. What better way to let out the excitement than to share it with tb-two*? We're giving you the spotlight by creating video testimonies in which you will brag about being a grad! If you're interested, come out to 97X's Backyard BBQ on May 28 at Vinoy park in downtown St. Petersburg and find the tb-two* tent. If you can't make it to that, though, we're sure we'll see you at our year-end celebration and recruiting pizza party in the first-floor auditorium at the Times on May 26, 490 First Ave. S, 5-6:30 p.m. For full effect, bring your cap and gown for the shoot.

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A Pee story

AP exams always suck, especially when you can't concentrate. A lot of times it's because you're falling asleep, or you're too busy staring at a piece of eye candy sitting a few seats away, or because you have to use the restroom.

At Lakewood, we take our AP exams in a fellowship hall at a church across the street.

Eerily quiet to begin with, the church's hall is even more hush-hush while students are testing, and the bathrooms are conveniently located just a couple feet away from a row of the bored, head-scratching test takers who have nothing better to do than listen to you pee.

Okay, maybe that was just what my friend and I did during our AP English Comp exam junior year, but regardless, it left me never wanting to pee during a test again - way too embarrassing.

This year though, it was bad. I got out of bed late, and after throwing on sweats and rushing out of the house, I had forgotten to pee. (I did, however, remember to brush my teeth). So I'm taking my AP Literature exam, trying to hold it for as long as possible.

Finally it became impossible, and on my walk of shame to the bathroom, it dawned on me: I could run the water while I'm peeing so it will just seem like I'm washing my hands. But what if people think I'm just peeing A LOT? That can't happen.

As I stepped into the bathroom the roar of a recently flushed toilet lit a light bulb. As soon as the coast was clear, I went into one stall, flushed the toilet, quickly went to another to take care of business, then flushed that one.

Crisis averted, and I'm pretty sure I passed the exam, too.

TAYLOR LAPUMA, Lakewood High

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Word of the Week

(Word courtesy of freevocabulary.com)

Want to widen your vocabulary horizons - or just gain 50 points on your SAT reading and writing scores? You'll easily become sesquipedalian (used to describe someone who uses big words - duh) with the help of our weekly, easy-to-remember definitions for otherwise mind-numbing SAT vocabulary words. Send us your gramercy (n., obsolete - thanks) later.

manumission - n. Emancipation.e.g., I can't wait for when the last carton of stuff is unloaded from my parents' car and carried into my dorm room. Ahhhhh, the ultimate manumission!

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