Reading Period Survival Guide: This Is Your Brain on Food

Assortment is key. Don't forget the flowers for a much-needed breath of life.

Thank God warm weather finally showed up, just in time for the first wave of pre-reading period freakouts. While many of us prepare to pack our bags, stick to our guns, and camp out in our carrel of choice, let’s be real: that’ll get depressing reeeal fast, and bummed-out-ness is no suitable mood for cranking out that 15-pager that you saved for the night before. Luckily, food is here to help (isn’t it always?). Library snackage is an easy enough way to lure people into being your friend and serves as a nice treat to punctuate the monotony of the exam cram. After the jump, some ideas for stocking your very own cornucopia.

Caffeine. We wrote last reading period about diversifying your coffee order, but you needn’t stop there. Stir a packet of Swiss Miss hot chocolate into the hazelnut coffee from the library cart for a Nutella-inspired boost. Bam. If tea is your power-up of choice, options are a bit more limited–can someone tell whoever stocks tea in the Rock to stop pushing the caffeine-free stuff? Your safest bet is to BYOTea. Nab some at the Ratty, or be really indie and outsource from Tealuxe.

Protein. Almonds (duh). Granola with almonds (so you can pretend it’s healthy). Craisins with almonds (complete protein). PeanutButterBanana&Honey sandwiches (PB&J is so ’90s). Cheeeeese (Cabot cheddar and Narragansett Creamery in Little Jo’s, mof*ckas).

Guacamole. Jo’s is open ’til 2, little ones.

Vegetables. Or, you know, vegetable cream cheese. The crazy folks at Blue State got the novel idea to make their version with fresh, real vegetables: crunchy bits of bell pepper, celery, carrot, and radish abound. Far cry from that packaged nonsense with microscopic bits of dehydrated vegetables. Ask for two so you won’t be left in a lurch long after they’ve closed.

Chocolate. So much chocolate. Get creative with this, because you’re worth it. And at 4am in the FriSC, anything goes. Campus Market sells Chocolove, a brand of snooty/delicious chocolate with a love poem on the inside (read it in the SciLi to help restore your faith that happy things happen in this world). Dark chocolate with freeze-dried raspberries can count toward your daily intake of fruits. Alternatively: Little Jo’s. Candy by the ounce. Measure your life in peanut M&M’s.

Ice cream. JK. Don’t take that to the library. Skip to the conclusion of the chapter (that’s all you need to know anyway) and go on the prowl, for springtime was made for deluxe frozen treats. Harney & Sons, tea giant, teamed up with SoCo Creamery to create Earl Grey, chai, and green tea-flavored offspring in addition to SoCo’s constantly rotating non-tea flavors (spicy chocolate, Berkshire berry, and lavender honey among them). Pints have been spotted in The Gate, Campus Market, and Jo’s. Best of all, though, is GaGa Sherbetter: creamydreamy ice cream studded with flecks of real fruit. Get it in lemon, which is so addictive that you’ll devour it in no time flat.

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