Things I Do Instead Of University Work

Assignments creep up on you quicker than alcoholism or an Easter muffin top.  One minute uni is all bar games and painful break-the-ice rituals, and the next you’ve got a 10,000 word assignment worth 110% on a subject you don’t remember enrolling in. When you have to Google words in the essay question, you know it isn’t going to be fun. Which is why over the years I have mastered the art of productivity in the face of

When you have to Google words in the essay question, you know shit’s about to get real. But it happens, and it’s why my years at uni have allowed me to master the art of productivity in the face of deadline. Unfortunately, this productivity does not always translate to actually doing a good job of the assignment. But it does ensure a better work/life balance, and makes me far better at procrastination. Here is a incomplete list of all the things I’ve done since my friend told me on Thursday that I had three assignments due this week.

As a student of communications, I often find ways to pretend things I do for fun somehow relate to my degree. For example, I must read every trashy article in Cosmo because it’s a magazine and one day an editor will be amazed by my substantial knowledge regarding back issues of every magazine ever, subsequently hiring me on the spot. The downside of this is an ongoing war with my mum over going out the weekend before my assignment is due. Allegedly, it’s not conducive to getting the good marks she knows I can achieve.  I am yet to understand why she doesn’t believe alcohol fueled, sweat infused, shame soaked nights won’t help me add clarity to my essay. Twerking is mental and physical.

I always shower, but when an assignment is due, I feel the need to shower more often, and for greater lengths of time. A shower is an underestimated time killer. Not only do you spend precious minutes taking off your clothes, waiting for the water to heat up, singing, washing, drying and putting clothes back on, but you are also locked in a room where you can’t possibly be doing your assignment. Related activities include painting your nails, general grooming and making faces in the mirror (oh, how childish). Nail painting is a huge time waster for me because I effectively paint my whole hand/foot and then spend hours scrubbing galaxy blue off my person. During assignment time, I also suddenly begin to moisturise my skin and maintain my cuticles.

I hate cleaning as much as I hate maths. I think cleaning is generally a waste of time. When  I am rich I will pay people to follow me around and pick up things I inevitably drop. As a result, my room generally looks like an episode of Hoarders. However, given my assignment is due so soon and I really needed a break from Googling words like ‘discourse’, ‘literature review’ and ‘people who write essays for money’, I decided to buckle down and clean my room. That translated to colour coding my underwear and then having a nap because holy shit cleaning makes you tired.

The internet was actually created by people who had something due and didn’t want to do it. So instead, they created a platform to share enough pointless information to waste your entire life reading/watching/listening. I practice my research skills by finding out where Blair’s dress from the most recent Gossip Girl episode was from, or finding a demotivational picture I haven’t seen before and sharing it to other people who are shit at life.

There is nothing good on free-to-air TV. Fact. However, in an assignment induced procrastination spiral, TV suddenly becomes fascinating. I need to watch the Portuguese News; Australian news is so mainstream and linguistically easy. A movie from the 90s about a cartoon dog who gets lost? I’ve been meaning to watch that one for ages.

As I begin to face the fact I’m likely going to fail uni and will need to find a day job, I turn to researching potential careers that don’t involve uni degrees or flipping burgers. Potential career moves include being the assistant for James Franco’s brother, a burger taster in NYC, a magazine test reader. I have experience in these areas that surpasses ‘qualifications’.

It didn’t take nearly long enough but at least typing away makes my Mum smile at me and bring me tea and chocolate.


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