1. Procrastination can happen across state lines
It doesn’t matter where you are — whether you are in Charlottesville or your hometown, you can always find a way to not do work. Procrastination is a universal language, and I’ve always found it even easier at home than on Grounds. When I’m on Grounds, I have to pirate episodes of “House Hunters” off the dark web. When I’m at home, I can just use the episodes my mom has already recorded. I’m not saying it’s easier to procrastinate at home, but make of it what you will.
2. Carrying someone through a group project — now possible virtually!
Back in the olden days where project groups typically met in person, slackers had to at least show their face. Now, through Zoom, they can take their lack of assistance to the next level by muting their microphone and turning off their camera, making them all but nonexistent. There is nothing better than doing three-fourths of the work for people whose face you’ve never actually seen.
3. Stress eat — on your family’s dime
Most people seem to split into two categories — stress eating or stress-induced hunger strikes. I fall into the first category and used to satisfy my desire to eat away my finals with O’Hill cookies and an unhealthy amount of visits to the dumpling truck. Meal swipes aren’t free, however. That’s why I’m excited to go home, where I can stress eat on my parents’ dollar. Because my parents are going to read this column, I feel obligated to say that I love them for more than food.
4. Have your siblings talk way too loud about a darty as you study
Have you ever wanted to recreate the atmosphere of Clem 2 at home? I’m sure you have. But you run into the same problem each time — at home, who is going to spend the entire time sitting at the table next to yours, talking about absolutely anything and everything but schoolwork? Luckily, you can hire your siblings to recreate the typical Clem 2 atmosphere — 10 bucks if they spend an hour listening to music with earbuds in at a volume that must cause hearing damage.
5. Stall your studying by taking unnecessary trips to Starbucks
On Grounds, I like to reward myself every 13 minutes while studying by taking a walk over to the Newcomb Starbucks for a tasty little muffin. There’s nothing quite like mixing business with pleasure. At home, this becomes a little harder — more of a journey or a pilgrimage than a quick walk. All the same, it’s important to reward effort. Frequently.
6. Recreate the positives, such as Lighting of the Lawn
While Lighting of the Lawn is still happening virtually, nothing can replace in-person Christmas decorations. That’s why I am hosting the “Lighting of My Lawn,” where I will flip the switch that blows up the inflatable sledding penguin that guards my home from November to January. It will have less a capella than Lighting of the Lawn, but is that a bad thing?
7. Take a fun day trip to a new location
Even during finals season, you can always find a way to unwind in Charlottesville. From restaurants and vineyards to hiking trails, there is always something. Depending on where your hometown is, however, that might not be the case. It is important to get out of the house, though — it’s a mental boost. Therefore, enjoy some of the great sights of your hometown, such a Target parking lot or your richest friend’s backyard deck.
8. Hang out with friends and complain about stress
This is a classic — the U.Va. Stress Olympics. “I have three group projects due on Thursday!” “Three? That’s amateur hour! Are you part time?” This is actually one of the few activities that is better virtually, as your friends aren’t able to see your tears over text. And, if you are actually looking to share your emotions, you can easily do so in GIF form. As someone who has searched up “crying GIFs” at least three times per day this semester, I can tell you that there are some fantastic options.
9. Pull an all-nighter in your childhood bedroom
Nothing will be more depressing than getting stressed over college finals in the same bedroom where your biggest worry used to be what to wear to school the next day. Ah, simple times. Bonus points if you still have a few old stuffed animals lurking around the room who you can turn to in these trying moments. In my case, this is a four-foot tall sock monkey who I always struggle to make sure isn’t in the background of my Zoom calls. But that’s just me.
10. Remember the grading policy options
If all else fails, remember that you could just decide to go credit/general credit/no credit. Wait, the decision period already passed? Huh, that’s interesting. I mean, we are in an unprecedented global pandemic and all, but I guess we’re locked in now. Good luck, I guess. Hope you made the right decision!