Barnard College's Monthly Magazine
by Gloria Noel and Maitland Quitmeyer
We may embody the Butler archetype at our best in the semester, but at our worst, our study buns are coming undone and online shopping takes precedence over reams of JSTOR articles. Yet when midterms last from syllabus week to finals week and when work snowballs faster than the great Halloweekend Blizzard of 2011, who can blame us for taking a break (or two)?
Procrastination– it’s inevitable.
Professors, parents, and psychologists caution us to stay on task throughout the semester. While they claim that focused study is more rewarding (and certainly healthier) than its alter- native, this advice is far from tried and true for the average col- lege student.
Dr. Timothy Pychyl, psychologist at Carleton University in Ottawa, has studied the connection between social media use and productivity among college students and identifies Face- book, Twitter, and StumbleUpon as the cause of the downfall of work ethic. Unfortunately, for Barnard Students, social media are only the tip of the iceberg. Our procrastination habits are much quirkier than simply logging on and checking in. When a problem set is looming and a discussion post is due on Course- Works, we get creative.
So the next time procrastination hits, undoubtedly at the start of reading week, try a new recipe or invest in a hula hoop. Rally up a group of Barnard girls who are similarly staring at their computers or scrubbing away at dishes while Foucault or econo- metrics waits for them. Get away from your computers, your mountains of books, and your beds to do something else. The work will eventually be done, right?
Those with an artistic edge crochet, draw, sing, or find the perfect playlist of study music. While Hannah Goldstein, BC’12, dreams about the creative endeavors she would like to pursue in her free time like sculpture and creative writing, Maitland Quit- meyer, BC ’14, swears by an eight track2of film scores and Disney themes to set the tone for her (eventual) work. It’s the process of finding the appropriate tunes, however, that takes the longest.
Who said that all college students do is nap and eat junk food? Under the pressure of work and deadlines, many Barnard stu- dents turn to exercise, proving that Millie is truly one fit bear. While some bike for miles at the gym, others do laps around the quad or throw impromptu dance parties to keep the blood flowing. Above all, a casual walk on the Upper West Side or across Central Park provides many with a sense of accomplish- ment, fatigue, and a reminder of the great city that surrounds us.
Lura Chamberlain, BC ’12, admits to hula hooping in her suite, an antic that drives her roommate crazy from time to time. When not hula hooping, she spends time talk- ing to and4distracting her roommate– something famil- iar to all of us. “Hey, have you seen this YouTube video?”
When exercise fails, Lura turns to cooking, a hobby shared by Deanna Bennett, BC’14. Why go to Hewitt or John Jay when you can spend hours perfecting pasta sauce? Bonus procrastination points go to taking extra efforts to buy ob- scure ingredients and pressing garlic without a garlic press.
The most common procrastination habit, cited by an over- whelming number of Barnard students as most fulfilling and time consuming? Cleaning. “I would clean the whole world,” one anonymous student sheepishly confesses. Judith Zackson, a stu- dent at Teacher’s College, further admits that vacuuming and windex-ing are only appealing to her when she has a paper due.