Essay deadline: Next week. Exam date: 10 days. Revision timetable: Completed, tacked to wall, colour-coded, already a day behind. Books on desk, pens lined up, snacks prepared. You are ready to work.
Half an hour later: You’re ready to die. The prospectus never told you that there would be work to do between the raucous partying and extended sleeping. You feel asleep in your lectures, you were “ill” for your seminars, and you never understood the introductory module anyway. University is horrible and it’s only at the end of the academic year that you finally realise it.
Fortunately, Inter:Mission can provide you with distractions, and not just our latest reviews, interesting features and witty writers… Here are some wastes of time that might just save your mind.
Join a new social network. Checking Facebook every five minutes? Beginning to realise most of your friends are terminally boring? Twitter is the obvious choice: you can “follow” famous people (who turn out to be just as dull as your real friends) and legitimately update every few seconds. Pinterest is the new kid on the block, and you can browse online magazines looking for hipster photos to ‘Pin’. If you feel guilty about wasting your time, LinkedIn is technically an investment in your future career.
Organise your iTunes. You’ve been meaning to do it for ages. Make a Motivation Playlist of hardcore dance and a Chill Playlist for winding down at 4 in the morning.
Bake a cake. Baking is a satisfying distraction – the cooking process is enjoyable, the washing up process feels useful, and not to mention you end up with CAKE. The smell of baking will attract other over-stressed students from miles around for a whinge. My best friend stress-bakes and I will never ever leave her side. Whether you make a masterpiece to please Mary Berry herself, or eat a Sainsbury’s packet mix straight from the bowl, cake is a wonderful waste of time. For a healthier alternative, make batches of soup or stew to stuff in your freezer.
Take a walk to the ASS library… … and then walk home again immediately when there is nowhere to sit because some engineer is watching Peep Show.
Watch Peep Show. There are seven series of Peep Show, available for free on 4OD. They’re only, like, 20 minutes long each! That’s a respectable length for a study break. You might as well watch three in one go. Or a series.
Exercise. Exercise is a great stress reliever, as well as compensating for all those Haribo you’ve been cramming into your head instead of facts.
… And set an alarm. Especially if you want a seat in the library.