Musings Of a Procrastinator
They say SWOTVAC is a week designated for the semester’s revision – but for most of us we have to actually learn the content before we can revise it. It’s an emotionally tumultuous period, as you spend the better part of a week in a library and permanent state of study-haze.
Join us as the editor’s run through their very own SWOTVAC and procrastination musings.
As a former Arts student, I’m not used to ‘studying’ – we rarely had final exams, instead, 50-60% weighted essays were due within days of each other. Bleak.
I have found that Masters coursework entails studying and memorizing coursework for regurgitation and contextualization. Consequently, I’m having to reteach myself study techniques, which is particularly problematic when you have The Internet and a plethora of delightful cafés a stones throw away from campus.
For me, SWOTVAC is oddly depressing. During the semester you scrape by week-to-week and, if you’re like me, don’t revise as you go. When you’re thrown into the study abyss of SWOTVAC and begin going over the semester of content you are struck by this melancholic enthusiasm; stemming from the too little too late realization that you genuinely enjoy learning all this cool-but-somewhat-nerdy stuff. You make all these false promises to assiduously apply yourself next semester, only to be swept up in the binds of work, relationships and hedonic youthful pursuits. Oh, how I love student life.
I’m not sure I can really offer any valuable advice, as an amateur myself. Perspective is perhaps the greatest tool you can wield in face of the perilous slippery slope of stress and anxiety. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but in the instance you forget that, I’ll just leave this here.
After 23 years and countless hours expended with my head in a textbook, something suddenly became as apparent as the smatterings of flour on my clothes. I realised, that I have consumed a comparable amount of time baking to avoid studying than I have actually studying.
Now, while this may mathematically seem a tad far-fetched, consulting any of my friends regarding the copious cookies, muffins, cupcakes and slices I turn up to ‘study sessions’ with, will result in an undisputed affirmation of said fact.
Mastering the art of procrastibaking is no fine feat. It requires an almost dogged determination to take any ingredient found in the cupboard and produce something, anything to eat and avoid the scholarly task at hand at all costs.
Be prepared for some possible disasters, especially if the procrastibaking is done under little sleep and maximum distraction (refer to my recent feature for hints on one of my previous culinary mishaps).
When you’re looking at all the study you need to do, and get the urge to muster up some culinary delights/disasters; a favourite recipe of mine is Martha Stewart’s White chocolate-chunk cookies. Personally I substitute the raisins for Macadamia nuts, but to each their own procrastibaking tastes!
Let the baking begin!
Internet: the ultimate tool in procrastination. You sit down at your desk ready to pump out a solid study session only to see that there is room for one more tab on your browser.
“Don’t worry” you say to yourself, convinced you are only going to check your email just to make sure nothing important has come through. And that’s just how it starts: from there you go to Facebook to YouTube and on and on. Yet, now that you have started to procrastinate do you know what sites to go to next? Later in the week I’ll show you the deep dark corners of the internet where you could get lost for days, buried in cat videos and looking at things you wish you could buy.
Even with the seemingly insurmountable amount of work to catch up on during SWOT VAC, procrastination is bound to set in at some point. Instead of allowing it to drive me into a spiral of shame and get the better of me, I try to procrastinate productively!
After some trial and error in my past attempts at studying for final exams, I’ve found that the best form of productive procrastination is exercise. Whether it is heading out for a short 30min run at a park nearby, getting out of the city for a morning hike amidst nature or going on a bike ride on any of Melbourne’s cycling trails, leaving the house/library to work up a sweat has never failed to clear my mind and keep me sane during arduously long study periods. Turns out taking the occasional break from the books isn’t that bad for you after all!
Now that you’ve read this. Time to get back to work!