The Most Productive Ways to Procrastinate During #FinalsSzn

Finals season is coming… And you know what that means: you’re already behind on your work, you’re on the verge of about eight mental breakdowns, and you’re counting down the days until winter break. But even though we all love to complain about like, literally living in the Rock, much of that time is spent chatting with friends, lamenting about how behind you are on work, and procrastinating in a million other ways. In my opinion, procrastination is not only an unavoidable part of finals season, it’s a necessary one. Procrastination can be a healthy usage of time–so long as you do it right. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to procrastinate (somewhat) wisely during exam week.

1. Take a nap

One thing’s for sure: you’re not getting enough sleep this week. But you won’t be able to get any work done if even that fourth cup of coffee can’t keep you awake. Taking power naps is arguably the most “productive” procrastination technique.

2. Work out

Release some endorphins! Get strong enough to fight any professor who doesn’t give out extensions!

3. Eat a snack

Fact: calories don’t count during finals.

4. Have a movie night with friends

When your brain is overflowing with thoughts of Faulkner, 1’s and 0’s, and GDPs, sometimes you just need to take a break and watch Elf (probably with some hot chocolate in hand).

5. Do your laundry/ clean your room

If you can’t be productive, you may as well feel productive.

6. Make a dope study playlist

This counts as studying, right?

7. Floss?

Dental hygiene is never a waste of time.

8. Take Buzzfeed quizzes

Because what’s more productive than discovering what kind of donut you are based on your taste in men?


A Very Providence Thanksgiving

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and the first major holiday, Thanksgiving, is almost here! Countless Brown students will travel home to have dinner with their families and face the inevitable questions of curious relatives (“How’s school going?”… “Have you made any friends?”… “Do you know what you want to study yet?”… “So, what do you want to do with your life?”). However, this break is a mere four days, meaning that many Brunonians (myself included) will be spending the holiday weekend right here in lovely Providence. Lucky for us, there are a multitude of activities to keep us occupied and content. Let’s explore a few possibilities!

  1. Thanksgiving Dinner at the Ratty!

Those of us who will miss home-cooked meals in our hometowns have nothing to fear… the Ratty will be open from 11:30am until 7pm, providing a traditional New England Thanksgiving experience with convenience and comfort. Don’t miss out on roasted turkey and all its trimmings, served for both lunch and dinner! The Ratty is one of the social epicenters of campus year-round, so it’s certain that the Ratty will be host to many different “Friendsgiving” meals this year!

2. Black Friday Shopping at Providence Place Mall

Ah, Black Friday, the hallmark of American consumerism. If your Thanksgiving meal has left you feeling guilty for consuming “too much food,” burn off those calories by taking a few laps around Providence Place Mall and checking out the best discounts you can find. While you’re there, check out the Holiday Market event located on Level 1 of the mall, which starts on November 20th and features holiday-themed vendors!

  1. Farmers & Artisans Market at the Providence Arcade

Support local businesses this season and do your holiday shopping at the Providence Arcade! This event has been occurring every Sunday from 11am until 3pm since November 5th, and don’t worry if you miss it this week, since it continues until December 17th. This is sure to be a very different (likely less chaotic) scene from Providence Place this weekend!

  1. Take a trip to Newport

You don’t have to leave the lovely state of Rhode Island to add a little adventure to your life (or if you just want to get away from Providence for a day trip)! Make use of your free RIPTA access and embark on a journey to Newport, and see all the holiday festivities this seaside town has to offer! The Museum of Newport History hosts Holiday Lantern Tours on Fridays and Saturdays starting on November 24th. November 24th is also the first day of performances of the Newport Nutcracker ballet at the Rosecliff Mansion, which is sure to be a special holiday treat!

  1. Spending time with your friends!

Thanksgiving will be a much-deserved break – in some ways, even more so for those of us remaining in Providence. We won’t have to worry about delayed flights or jet lag, and our living environments are sure to be far less chaotic with fewer people on campus for a few days. Although we can’t be with our loved ones back home during this time, our lives will slow down enough that we can actually cherish the friends who are right here with us. It’s easy to be dismayed about not returning home during this holiday, but rest assured that you are not alone! Take some time to play some board games, watch some movies, and just talk about life with those around you.

Whatever you do this Thanksgiving, make sure to take some time for yourselves and express your gratitude for the communities that mean the most to you. Finals may be just around the corner, but this break is all yours.


Life Hacks: Cooking without a Kitchen

There are plenty of things to complain about when it comes to living in a dorm. There’s the tiny beds, the lack of space, and the need to share a bathroom with a hall full of strangers. But if you’re like me, the thing that dorms are gravely missing are kitchens.

I’m no 5-star chef, and I’m definitely not complaining about the dining halls on campus. But sometimes, I just don’t feel like leaving the comfort of my heated room to withstand the arctic tundra that is Providence winter, just to grab some grub. If you’re anything like me, you long to be able to cook in your dorm. But if you’ve got a microwave and an empty stomach, look no further: these hacks will get you through the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Winter break (read: home-cooked meals!).

Hopefully none of this happens

  1. Brownies in a mug

To make warm brownies, all you need is brownie mix, water, and a microwave (and ice cream, if you wanna get fancy).

2. Upgrade from Cup Noodles

No place to boil water? You can actually cook ramen noodles in the microwave! Just put the noodles in a bowl, cover them with water, and microwave them for around 3-5 minutes. Then add the flavor packet or any other spices and sauces you like! You can also add whatever veggies and proteins you want to make it a full meal.

3. Chocolate chip cookie in a mug

If you have the ingredients to make this mug cookie, it only takes around 10 minutes total to prep and cook. SO worth it.

4. Boost your leftover Chinese food with microwavable rice

Leftover chinese food rocks, though leftover rice never tastes quite right–even after heating it up. But microwavable rice is a lifesaver (and a huge staple in my diet). And the fact that you can buy it in one-serving cups like these is life changing. If you have the funds (you can get some small ones for pretty cheap) and storage space for it, I’d recommend getting a rice cooker. It might only serve one purpose, but hey – rice is amazing. 

5. Nachos

Hungry teens have been making microwavable nachos forever. Just add shredded cheese to a plate of tortilla chips, microwave it, and you’ve got instant nachos.


Famous Fictional Brown Alums

  1. Josiah Carberry
       

The OG of Brown alums that aren’t quite real. This professor of psychoceramics (the study of cracked pots) has been around since 1929 and in the years since he has been featured in the New York Times, been awarded an Ig Noble Prize (basically the Nobel prize but fake) and is the namesake of Jo’s, the most beloved late-night eatery on campus. He even has his own page on RateMyProfessors.com.

2. Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl

The Gossip Girl protagonist gets into Brown, but we find out in Season Three that she defers to stay in New York. Worst choice ever.

3. Brian Griffin, Family GUY

Turns out everyone’s favorite cynical, liberal cartoon dog went to Brown too. Too bad he dropped out to join the Peace Corps. An activist who fought (intermittently) for various causes, including marriage equality and the legalization of marijuana, Brian would have fit in well on College Hill today.

3. Summer Roberts, the OC

No one expected that this materialistic, shallow high schooler would go to Brown, yet of course upon arrival, she becomes a radical environmental activist. SO Brown. But wait, she tries to free lab rabbits from the science lab and gets suspended for a year. Why are fictional Brown students so troubled?

4. Dr. Elliot Reid, Scrubs

This doctor from Scrubs goes to Brown too and attends a fictional sorority ΩΒΓ (it spells out the first three letters of OB-GYN). But the real question: was she PLME??

5. Julianne Potter, My Best Friend’s Wedding

While at Brown, Julianne made a deal with her friend Michael O’Neal that they would marry each other if they hadn’t found anyone by the time they turned 28. At 27, Julianne learns that her friend will marry a 20-year old University of Chicago student. But we know that real Brown students would never break a marriage pact in favor of someone from the UChicago.

6. Carrie Bradshaw

Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City, reveals in her new book, Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel, that everyone’s favorite fashion-forward New Yorker went to Brown. We’re guessing she did Lit Arts, lived in 257 Thayer, and ate at Den Den every weekend.

7. Emma Watson… oh wait, she’s real

Oh wait, that actually happened. Brown and Hermoine Granger––name a more iconic duo?

8. Bridget Vreeland, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Here is Blake Lively again, playing a character who also goes to Brown. Suspicious? Is she trying to tell us something, like how she wants to be a Brunonian IRL? Ms. Lively has yet to respond for a comment.

 

 

 


Blue Room Muffins Ranked

Now $2.45 each, Blue Room muffins are likely the reason why students will be running low on points before the end of the semester. Great for breakfast, second breakfast, brunch, breakfast for dinner, dessert, Blue Room muffins come in a variety of flavors, but which one is the best?

Pumpkin

Tis the season. Goes perfectly with any of the many pumpkin spice beverages currently offered by practically all of the dining establishments on Thayer. You can never have too much pumpkin.

Apple Cinnamon

Like a slice of apple pie but in muffin form. Portable. Delicious.

Pistachio

Almost alarmingly green but that’s not important because it’s yummy.

Banana Nut

Nut to muffin ratio could be better but still a pretty solid option. Unless you’re allergic to walnuts. Then please steer clear.

Cornbread

A bit dry but cop some butter from the Ratty to spread on it and then microwave for a warm, sweet and salty treat.

Lemon Poppy Seed

The smell and taste are vaguely reminiscent of Windex or some other cleaning solution but not in a bad way.  

French Toast

Tastes strangely like bananas, which is fine, but I feel a bit lied to?

Double Chocolate

Controversial opinion: too chocolatey. Can something be too sweet? (Yes.)

Blueberry

Can’t not think about that girl from Willy Wonka which really isn’t desirable?

Raisin Bran

Raisins??? Enough said.


Winter Blues

As a southern girl from Charlotte, NC, my first Northeastern winter came as a shock to me last year. I had to buy my first puffy winter coat–and scarves became a necessity, rather than a cute fashion statement.

Back home, school was cancelled if there was even a chance of snow–and if a couple of flakes did fall, they usually melted before the first snowballs were thrown. It rarely gets colder than 30 degrees in Charlotte–so, before coming to Brown, my winter gear consisted of little more than a few sweaters and jackets.

While the first few freezing fall and winter days were a fun novelty for me, I also found that it’s easy to feel blue when you’re used to this being your inclement winter weather (note the Carolina blue skies and light dusting of snow on the ground that cause most North Carolinians to stay off the roads all day):

and instead wake up to this gray, bleak, hideous winter:

But fellow sun-lovers: don’t fret. I’ve found foolproof ways to beat those winter blues.

1. BUY A WINTER COAT

 

 

The coat you wore in the South or West Coast will not cut it here. Take it from a stubborn southerner who thought she could make it the whole winter with her old coat… get a warm af coat, like yesterday.

2. On that note, load up on as much fuzzy shit as you possibly can

 

 

I’m talking blankets, robes, Snuggies, sweatshirts, earmuffs, etc. Then put them all on at once and proceed to be hugged by everyone who passes by you.

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