Getting back into the routine of school after four months of freedom can be challenging. Whether you’ve spent your summer working, travelling or camping, starting classes again might be daunting. The hot weather is gone, your vacation days are over, and you’re confronted with deadlines, expectations, and stress. As midterms are coming (not to mention winter, ugh), you might be tempted to procrastinate. Here are the top five ways to productively procrastinate, and why it is totally justifiable.
1) Cooking and/or Buying Groceries
When you leave the comfortable den of your parents’ house and get a place on your own, or with roommates, you’re faced with the harsh realization that no one will cook for you. Unless you have enough money to eat in HUB everyday, preparing meals will become a daily task. Yes, you probably will have to do that stats homework at some point, but you can’t starve to death, so don’t feel guilty about taking a few hours to go to No Frills (cheap!) and buying groceries. You’ll feel accomplished and leftovers are always better than KD.
2) Netflix Documentaries
Okay, TV isn’t necessarily a productive way to fill up your time, but Netflix has a billion documentaries that can be educational. Whether you watch an actual good, interesting documentary (Minimalism, Amy, The Beginning of Life) or something completely trashy like Kardashian, you’re still technically learning something about real people, right? Netflix offers many sub-genres and some of the “Social & Cultural” or “Science & Nature” ones can be beneficial in class.
Sometime last year I saw a Facebook post saying “University got me feeling bad for breathing when I could be doing my homework.” School is demanding, time-consuming, and stressful. Don’t feel guilty about postponing your homework to play videogames, take a bath, work out, or sleep. Meditation is a great way to relax and increase your well-being. Then you can go to your Buddhism class and talk about how zen you felt. Whatever eases your mind will help you be productive in the long run.
4) Student Clubs
Uni isn’t all about sitting in class, taking notes, and crying before a midterm. It’s also about making friends, discovering your talents, and developing skills. The U of A is massive, and meeting people can be difficult. Student clubs are great for that, because you meet people with similar interests. So switching from being a student to being an athlete, writer, or hide and seek player, and doing something you enjoy, is as important as finishing an assignment. I took two hours to write this article instead of rewriting my notes.
University sucks up your time, money, and energy, but it’s important to keep up with your social circle. No one wants to look back at their time in uni and reflect on how they aced their exams. Don’t spend all your time partying and passing out, but having a few beers at Dewey’s or going to a movie, is a justifiable excuse for why you didn’t finish your homework. You might not be producing anything, but your friends are promoting your happiness — and mental health is more important than school anyway. You can do your homework tomorrow.