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BEZAWADA: Students can finish semester strong by following a few steps

Opinions Column: Traipse the Fine Line

Here, I shall list the five most mind-blowing steps on how to effectively handle the semester as it draws to a close. Actually, it is more like nearing the conclusion of a bad book with a defeated acceptance that many loose ends and plot holes remain. But who cares? The weather is supposed to be phenomenal this weekend and you should spend your well-deserved fun in the long-awaited heat.

With that, please follow this trustworthy guide to a sparkling finish of the school year.

First: Procrastinate. Or, if you are like me, procrastinate upon your procrastination. Meta-procrastination. It is almost god-like, really. You keep WebAssign open on your computer and have your notebooks, pencil and calculator splayed out on your bed. This evokes the convincing illusion that you are legitimately working on Calc II when in reality you are looking up 24/7 lofi beats on another tab while checking Snapchat on your phone while doing essentially anything that is not Calc II. I do not mean to brag, but I am pretty good at it. Netflix is too tempting. To be fair, even Oscar Wilde could not resist temptation, and he is one of the greatest, sassiest figures in English literature. So that is saying something. Just ignore the fact that he worked hard regardless to proactively market his work and respond to criticism. It is hypocritical and invalidates procrastination — the worst thing that can ever happen to a student in this day and age.

Second: Waste time on the buses. While we just listen to music and awkwardly avoid accidental eye contact with strangers, some people are getting down all their notes on their laptops and notebooks. How very offensive of them. And that is just the lucky seated people. Even standing passengers somehow manage to type essays on Google Docs or draft e-mails to their professors via cellphone. It is some kind of magical, physical and mental balancing act. Of course, it is not like you should, you know, try to figure out how to balance your own time instead of spending it complaining about your friends in other schools whose farthest walk to class last 5 minutes. Personally, I struggle to remain awake on the bus, let alone hold my drink upright. Forget about standing. I am too busy laughing at memes about standing behind the white line. Guess I should not even bother trying.

Third: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. It is a term taught in Communications, in which you do something, expect a certain outcome and the result winds up as you predicted. For example, you set a goal to start sleeping at least a little bit earlier than 3 a.m. You tell yourself there is no way you will actually do that. With that subconscious assumption, you stay up until 3 a.m. yet again the next day, fulfilling your own prophecy. It is sort of like the comfort of pessimism — the “optimism” of pessimism — when you expect nothing good to happen, you are never truly disappointed, and when something good does happen, it is a pleasant surprise. This can be summed up by a conversation I overheard while refilling my bottle at a water fountain: “There’s just this huge difference between what I do and what I want to do.” In my interpretation, well … maybe that difference is you? 

Fourth: After a whole day of doing absolutely nothing, take a nice long nap. This activity can be applied to a variety of situations. After an entire day of eating, you could of course eat another wrap from Woody’s. Have to use up those meal swipes, right? Or, after a very productive "Game of Thrones" binge-watching session — oh wait, one more episode! Sleep, food and Netflix are beautiful, there is just not enough to go around. So when you do not have them, simply daydream about them. Better yet, I would refer you to the first step. Or you can just blame everything on the pesky preschoolers who are graciously assigned nap time but never care. They even have the audacity to protest, throw tantrums, complain. They should just give us their nap time so we can delay our assignments even further, as if we do not do the first step enough already.

Fifth: The absolute best method: skip class. You regain approximately an entire hour, sometimes even 3, of your life lost to scrawling notes and trying to wrap your mind around your professor's lecture. You know that feeling when you pay attention to your own wandering attention in order to retain your attention but in the process you lose your attention? It is an endless, infuriating cycle. Here is my tidbit: just do not come to class at all. After all, 300 students in a class is too little to ask for help from, and millions of students across the world are doing the same thing.

Follow my advice and I guarantee a great year. If that does not happen, you get no money back. Have a great year, Scarlet Knights!

Sruti Bezawada is a Rutgers Business School first-year double majoring in marketing and communications and minoring in Japanese. Her column, “Traipse the Fine Line,” runs every alternate Wednesday.


*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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