Sunday 22 April 2018

10 things to do instead of studying for your finals

Students sleeping in lecture theatre
Students sleeping in lecture theatre

Jamie Tuohy

In need of procrastination inspiration? We've got you covered.

Before they can enjoy their three months of sweet freedom, Irish students are inevitably burning the proverbial candle at both ends as they try strike a balance between studying for exams and having any form of life.

If you're reading this - you're most likely a pro at procrastinating anyway, but the following 10 things may help you from losing your marbles if you're currently chained to the desk before finals roll around.

1. Develop an interest in a completely different discipline

Oh, you have six Shakespeare plays to analyse or eight macroeconomics chapters to revise? Not to worry! Instead of studying the material that is going to appear on your exam, why not become an expert in a completely different field such as the philosophy of biology?


2. Spend 3 hours making a study schedule

Nothing plays into the menacing hands of finals procrastination better than spending the morning making a schedule of all the things you plan on avoiding studying for the rest of the week. An essential emblem of the exam period, study timetables will be planned with razor-sharp precision, colour-coordinated by module and will subsequently be tossed aside in favour of a YouTube tutorial on 30 different ways to knot a tie.

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3. YouTube tutorials

YouTube can actually be surprisingly helpful when it comes to exams, with lots of universities uploading a whole lecture series onto the site. However, you go on to search for a lecture on gender construction in early modern theatre and before you know it, it’s six hours later and you’ve watched Zoella’s entire back catalogue of beauty and shopping haul videos or the complete first season of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Bites. It’s a slippery, slippery slope.

4. Coffee breaks

Caffeine and finals go hand-in-hand, but in the run up to The Most Important Exams of your academic career, coffee breaks are exponentially-increased, so much so that the ratio of coffee intake to study comes in at around 5:1. The coffee break may act as necessary respite from the library, but when you’re averaging five of them a day, it may be time to have a word with yourself.


5. Becoming a Domestic God or Goddess

Your room is in absolute ribbons for the majority of the year, so WHY in a misappropriated wave of productivity does nearly every student decide that right in the midst of finals is the perfect time for a spring-clean? Don’t just stop there; keep avoiding that revision by getting out the Marigolds and giving the cooker a deep-clean right before tackling the freezer’s expanding ice block. No really, do it – it’s what your lecturer really wants!

6. Worry about what everyone else is doing, but don’t actually do anything yourself

Okay, so it’s only days before your first exam and you realise that if you’d actually started studying weeks ago instead of becoming an expert in philosophical biology, then you’d be set for it. However, instead of finally getting down to it, panic sets in and you begin quizzing your friends – fretting over how much they’ve done and how much you have left to do. Of course, none of this actually acts as the catalyst to actually sitting down and doing it.

Students sleeping in lecture theatre

7. Watch a whole TV series in one sitting

Remember that box-set your brother got you for Christmas? Well, now is obviously the perfect time to watch it from start to finish. Quel examens? Just sit there and don’t worry about the fact that your exam paper won’t feature questions on what exactly Carrie was wearing in the 3rd episode of the 5th season of Sex and the City.


8. Travel home to see your parents

Obviously you’ve been telling your parents that you’re immensely stressed so when your mother suggests coming home for a night “just to relax and forget about exams for a while”, you jump at the offer. As your family wait on you and hand and foot, practically spoon-feeding you a mountainous dinner, it’s never been easier to “forget about the exams” you haven’t given a second thought to in weeks!

9. Go stationary shopping

This goes hand-in-hand with making the study timetable. No respectable student could ever contemplate beginning the study process without a little stationary binge beforehand. Miniature heart-shaped post-its, multi-coloured paperclips, gel-tipped highlighters and an array of polly pockets that you’ll never fill – they’re all the absolutely essential props to exam procrastination!

10. Twitter and Instagram

The social age is the ostensible death of study and Twitter and Instagram can become the villainous harbingers of academic vacillation. After convincing yourself that today’s #trendingtopic is imperative to your exam, you’ll find yourself scrolling through the most futile and superfluous Tweets in a bid to avoid study – or else discover yourself 94 weeks’ deep in someone’s Instagram. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll #TBT to 15 minutes ago if it means you can procrastinate for a little bit longer!

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Follow Jamie on Twitter here.

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