So, I’m supposed to write an article for the Monga blog. And the thing is, I WAS writing it. In fact, I was sitting in the library just a couple days ago, typing it out (and procrastinating a little, don’t tell my editor) when I suddenly realised something. The library. Was. Dead. Silent. I wasn’t even on the third floor of the library-I was on the first-but there was absolutely no sound of talking. Students were everywhere: on the couches, at the computers, on the ground, but their heads were either buried in their books or they were staring at their screens (in some cases, they did both, damn these multitaskers). I have to admit, I felt pretty good. Here I was, in what was supposed to be the nosiest place in the library, and I was halfway (all right, maybe a little less) through with my work; I didn’t even have to glare at some idiot having just a little too much fun in front of me! (I’d like to be joking, but sadly I’m not.)
But after a while I realised it was a little creepy. I mean, I know the Death Weeks are here and ready to stay, but the fact that everyone had the same look on their face unnerved me. I can’t even explain how it looks, it’s like a cross between concentrating really hard and looking like you’ve been sick for a few weeks (a zombie. That’s exactly what they looked like). Turn to the person sitting next to you and ask them how they feel. Go on, I dare you. It won’t matter what course they’re taking, you’ll hear tired, stressed or dead from them if they’re being honest. And let’s face it, Monash administration obviously didn’t get the memo to go easy on the kids because they’re supposed to be having the “best time of their life”. It’s crazy how often people tell us that our time in university is supposed to be fun, like WHERE DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME? Between assignments, exams, bitchy groupmates, sadistic lecturers and other responsibilities, we seem to exist in a half-life on minimal amounts of sleep and gallons of coffee.
So, POSITIVITY TIME:
You WILL get through this.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshie-yeah, welcome to Monash, you poor sucker-or a student with so many semesters under your belt you’ve lost count-the real MVP-: this too shall pass.
But, in the meantime, I have some suggestions for you to try during the long hours of studying or completing assignments:
- Spend an hour doing something you enjoy. (YES, A WHOLE HOUR)
See, most people say to take ten minute breaks, but I don’t get that. You get up, take a few steps and get some coffee, all the while thinking “Oh god, there’s so much to do; I WANT DEATH”. And that’s it. Your ten minutes are up. BUT if you spend a solid hour watching your favourite TV series (Breaking Bad, OITNB, Sherlock, GoT, I can give you a list if you want), or reading a book, or just lying down on the floor, I guarantee you’d be able to continue for a much longer time because you’ve ACTUALLY rested your poor, aching brain. Of course, if you have zero willpower (like me), put a remarkably loud alarm that disturbs your family members/housemates, and gets them to ask you what it was for: at this point, you hurriedly close the tab for 123movies and say that you were studying. It works EVERY time.
If you’re a university student, you’re pretty much craving food every second of the day; there’s just something about food that warms our cold, dead hearts. So when you’re tired, stressed or sad, do yourself a favour and listen to the wise words of Remus Lupin: “Eat. You’ll feel better.” (Harry Potter reference for all you non-believers). Chocolate is a good bet, but I’ve found that a tub of ice cream does it for me. I mean, there’s something about finishing an entire Cookie Dough special that makes the inner child in me triumphant, and my conscience weep. Good times. Of course, most of the time we’re also broke, so be proactive! Get your friends to buy you some food, or look for random events around Monash with free food (I’m kidding, I’m not responsible for any food going missing).
- Play some music
Now, I’ve asked around and most people seem to listen to music whenever they’re stressed. So, I was going to suggest some songs/singers, but apparently my taste in music is ancient (lies), and my friends laugh at what I listen to, so I’ll spare you the horror. In my defence, there’s a reason that people call the oldies the ‘goldies’, so please, no hate. Anyway, music has some sort of healing property that reduces anxiety, so I’m assuming that all of you need it to get through three years of Monash (four for the unlucky ones). If you can’t study or write your assignments with music blasting in your ear, take some time off and find a quiet corner, since there’s so many of them now, to listen to your tunes.
I feel like I should put a disclaimer here though, these are just some things I do when I’m out of my mind with all these assignments (like now) and it may not be what everyone enjoys. I’m pretty sure that some don’t like to watch TV (GASP), or don’t eat ice cream (DOUBLE GASP), so go find something else that takes your mind off your work for a bit.
My point: Don’t forget to give yourself a break. While stressing out about assignments and tests may be good only because it pushes you to do better, it doesn’t help AT ALL if you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown. So go have some fun between all that work! And good job people, you’ve made it through half of the semester already!
Words by Natasha Fernandez
Photos by Andrew Peter Lim and Chris Oh