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?


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.


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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Dining Halls, an Official Ranking (and Not At All a Completely Biased List I Made Up)

BREAKFAST:

Weekdays: Ratty or V-dub (because you don’t have much of an option)

Andrews doesn’t open until lunch, and the Blue Room will drain all of your points, so your best bet for weekday breakfast is either the Ratty or the V-dub.

Both have omelets made-to-order, cereal, fruit, and all the other breakfast essentials. But even though the waffle maker at the V-dub is way underrated, who really has the time to walk all the way to North campus before morning classes? Plus, for some reason, the Ratty’s coffee is much superior to the V-dub’s.

 

Weekends: ANDREWS! (or Blue Room)

Nothing beats Andrews Commons brunch so please don’t try to fight me on this. The granola bowls make you feel like a beacon of health, even though we both know you poisoned your body the night before–and the breakfast burritos are so worth the line. You can put TATER TOTS in your breakfast burritos. What more could a hungover college student ask for?

But if you’re not feelin’ the walk over to Pembroke or don’t want to wait until 11 for breakfast at Andrews to open, Blue Room muffins are always a good call–plus the weekend is the only time you can use meal credits there, so you might as well take advantage. Blue Room also has way better coffee than Andrews.

LUNCH:

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Here’s What You Should be for Halloween


Fellow Brunonians, the time has come for everyone’s favorite weekend of the semester: Halloweekend. And that means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween costumes. Well, actually, the time came about a week ago–so you’re starting to run out of time. But fear not, we’re here to help with costume inspo for every type of Halloween partygoer.

If you’re feeling lazy:

If you’re not about to blow money on something you’re only going to wear once and don’t want to spend more than five minutes getting ready, we can help you make due with what you already have in your closet. Throw on a pair of jeans and a flannel and you’re an instant lumberjack! Wear some dark reds and black (and maybe a touch of red lipstick?) and you’re a lazygirl vampire. And since you’re a Brown student, you probably already have everything you need for a hippie costume! Ripped or flared jeans, tie-dye, florals, and Birkenstocks will do the trick.

If you’re what the kids call ~extra~:

You’re not about to go unnoticed this halloweekend, that’s for sure… You either want to show a little (or a lot) of skin in an over-the-top cop or firefighter costume–or shine bright in a glitzy angel or devil costume. Or you can just take a page out of the Mean Girls handbook by wearing lingerie with animal ears–I won’t judge.

If you roll with a squad:

You’ll wear a group costume or no costume at all, so you better make sure to get a bomb costume for you and your whole squad. For a super easy Hogwarts costume, you and your friends can wear pleated skirts/black pants, sweaters, button-down shirts, and ties. If you think Harry Potter costumes are a bit played out, why not go as your favorite Pokémon characters or as the Scooby Doo gang?

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If Brown Study Spaces Were Celebs

The study spaces at Brown have personalities as distinct as the students reading, solving, and mingling in them. While some are socialites and partiers, some are stress-filled and anxiety-inducing, and others are just plain lazy. So if you’re a freshman looking for the best places to crack open a book, look no further. By comparing them to celebrities, this post will obviously tell you everything you need to know about the campus’s various study spaces.

Sci Li stacks: 2007 Britney Spears

This one is obvious. If you find yourself in the Sci Li stacks, you’re probably on the verge of stress-shaving your head. I honestly don’t know why anyone would go to the Sci Li unless you have five exams and a paper due the next day. This place gives me major anxiety.

Okay, I’m being hyperbolic, but only a little. The stacks are a sad, sad place.

If you can get one of the closed study rooms in the Sci Li basement (you can reserve one of those room for 3 hours max. with the Sci-Li staff at the Help Desk in the basement!), or if you’re a fan of the study spaces scattered throughout the building, maybe you’ll like the Sci-Li more than I do – but, seriously, beware of the Sci-Li.

The Rock: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

The Rock is an easy choice because of its variety of study spaces. You can do group work in the “coffee shop” area in the first floor lobby, as well as in the many (!) study rooms on the first floor, fourth floor, and level A. Solo work can be done on the first floor in the main area, the stacks, or in the absolute quiet section of level A. The Rock is also superior to the Sci Li because of its chiseled pecks, 8-pack, and biceps.

Andrews Commons Study Rooms: Taylor Swift

Andrews Commons is a place to eat, socialize, and scope out cute athletes. If you say you’re going there to study, you’re probably lying. But TBH, that’s okay because under the T Swift school of thought, any social event is virtually unmissable–and passing up a chance to meet your potential next S.O. is a crime. Just don’t go here thinking you’re going to get real work done, when you’re really just going to drool into your curry over 24-year-old hockey players.

The study room above the dining hall is usually silent (and actually silent! Unlike! Arnold!), but, seriously, it’s hard to stay motivated – especially when Andrews is a million miles away from everything and you just wanna go home. If distance from your dorm is what you need to keep you outta home sweet bed, you might want to give Andrews a go.

Arnold Study Lounge: Kim Kardashian

Another study space where hardly any studying gets done is Arnold Lounge. Arnold is ostensibly a silent study space, but no one respects that. This is more like a freshman stomping ground for socializing, meeting friends, and stopping by the vending machines for Vitamin Water chasers (and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!). Like Kim K, Arnold Study Lounge goers are always down to party, so I highly recommend going to Arnold if you want to meet fellow Keeney dwellers, but again, don’t go here to do your CS homework or Econ problem sets.

The Blue Room/ Faunce: Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana

This truly is “the best of both worlds” when it comes to study spaces. Looking to socialize yet also seem like you’re getting work done? The Blue Room is the place to go. It’s always filled with students eating subpar sushi and pretending to look busy on their laptops while actually taking a Buzzfeed quiz about what flavor latte they would be based on their outfit choices (not that I do this, I just heard some people like that kind of thing).

Have more serious work and need to focus? Faunce usually has open study spaces that are much more quiet suitable for intense studying (like Leung Gallery the floor above the Blue Room, or the study spaces in the basement below the Blue Room).

Your bed: Bruno Mars

If you can actually get work done horizontally, I respect you infinitely. For the rest of us, saying you’re going to do work in bed is the equivalent of saying “I’m going to take a long nap, but I don’t want to seem lazy.” Sometimes, you might even get into your bed thinking you’re going to read – or even write a paper. But once you sit in your comfy bed, all motivation goes out the window, and you become about as lazy as Bruno Mars. Your bed is the place to go when you’re in the mood for a Netflix marathon, but it’s not the best study locale.