Procrastination, or How to Get Through Finals Without Freaking Out

Welcome to Finals Week and Ways to Waste Time

It’s finals week, and that means stress, exhaustion, and
emotions are running high in Isla Vista. With the weather and our
professors seemingly conspiring to make this week as miserable as
possible, it seems like most Isla Vistans will spend the next
several days stressed out, bummed out, and burnt out. But it
doesn’t have to be that way. finals.jpg According to my hasty calculations,
this is at least my tenth round of college-level finals — if you
include summer classes and such —so I think I’ve earned the right
to consider myself a bit of an expert in the field. Sure, I may not
have retained all of what I learned while cramming for the many
finals I’ve taken over the years, but I have learned one thing for
sure, and that’s how to get through finals without freaking

For me, the key to excelling during exam week is remembering not
to take it too seriously. Sure, tests are important and — as their
name implies — finals are your last chance to prove to your
professors, parents, and TA’s that you deserve a perfect grade,
even if your attendance and attention-span were a little less than
stellar. But, let’s face it, no matter how long and hard you study,
there’s a limit to how much you’re going to retain. So why not step
away from the note cards, put down your pens, and try one of the
following activities — expressly designed and road-tested by me,
the paradigm of procrastination — to give your mind, body, and soul
a chance to rest, reboot, and regroup during this hectic week.

What better way to relax when it’s raining than with a good
movie? When the weather outside is frightful — or just plain cold
and wet — nothing beats curling up on the couch with a cute boy and
a fabulous flick. Luckily for us Isla Vistans, we have Emerald Video
on Pardall Road, a place where you can pick up both. Well, there’s
no guarantees that the crazy sexy cool collection of film geek guys
who work the counter at Emerald will go home with you, but I can
promise that a trip to Emerald guarantees you’ll be going home with
a great piece of entertainment, if not a great piece of something


And I know I’ve gushed about this movie Mecca before, but really, you can never say too
many good things about the only place in I.V. where you can get
Disney‘s overhyped and underwhelming big-budget
blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and
Parker Posey‘s latest underhyped and oversexed
indie flick The Oh in Ohio in one trip. oh%20in%20ohio.jpg Plus, they have a killer collection of
TV shows on DVD — check out Absolutely
, Weeds, and Big Love for
enough comedy and drama to brighten up your entire week — and
entire shelves dedicated to directorial phenoms like David
and Kevin Smith.

If a movie doesn’t sound like enough of a break for you — or if
you’re a film major like me and you really just want to get off the
couch for a change — how about a cocktail party with a twist:
nonalcoholic drinks. We all know we go to the
University of Casual Sex and Beer and how proud we
are that UCSB proves U Can Study Buzzed, but just
in case studying and drinking don’t mix well for you, I have a way
to get all the socialization of a night out on the streets without
any of that pesky hangover stuff to get in the way of studying in
the morning.

Here’s my recipe for a perfect pre-finals party: board games, lots
of board games. Sure, it sounds like the makings of a party
straight out the Babysitter’s Club, but believe it or not,
a night of board games can be fine fun for everyone. Grab a few of
those cute little cup-holder crates full of peppermint mochas,
pumpkin lattes, and white and dark hot chocolates for the
non-caffeinated folks in your crew and stock up on candy canes,
popcorn, cookies, and veggies. Then check out some unconventional
new board games like Pimp City — available at — a pimped-out and pumped-out
version of Monopoly where your the pimp and you have to master the
art of succeeding in a world full of cat fights, truth or dare,
neighborhood watch, slammer time, sugar daddies, and, of course,
the obligatory tricks and ho’s. pimp%20city.JPG For something slightly less risqué, try
one of the games from the Scene It library. These
DVD-based board games let you test your trivia knowledge on topics
as diverse as movies, television, sports, James Bond, classic
films, Friends, Disney movies, Nickelodeon, Marvel Comics,
and more. More information is available at

Finally, if you’re just looking for a quick study break, why not
do a little mindless web surfing? Sure, it’s not going to get you
away from your desk, but it can help you take your mind off your
work. Everyone knows about,, and, but did you know there’s plenty of other
places to procrastinate online that are slightly more off the
beaten path and slightly less likely to garner derisive stares from
your roommates than your Facebook-stalking habit will. Check out for
full-length, free episodes of your favorite ABC shows, including
Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and
Lost. Full-length episodes of NBC’s shows, including the
buzzed-about 30 Rock, Studio 60 On the Sunset
, and My Name Is Earl are available at For
clips ranging from recipe how-to’s from Food
superstars to hilarious moments in British
television, check out and And for music and
your daily fix of the television equivalent of eating an entire bag
of Cheetos in one sitting, Laguna Beach, check out Just don’t
blame me when you feel fat, depressed, and covered in processed
cheese afterwards.

Ultimately, from movies to mocktail parties and
plenty of entertainment on the internet, there are lots of options
for people looking to chill out instead of stress out during finals
week. Because let’s face it, studying is nice and all, but
procrastinating is a much more fun way to pass the time. And, since
there are no classes during finals week, you’ll always have time to
study later. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.


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