Non-Advice For Reading Period and Finals

By Y. Kit Wu

With reading period coming up, students have been subjected to a treasure trove of advice from friends, family, and administrators. Most of this advice for the coming weeks is valuable. However, there are some recommendations that serve no purpose other than to confuse freshman and frustrate upperclassmen:

“Take a break and get some exercise”
Exercise? Why start now? For the first time we have a truly legitimate excuse to avoid the MAC. It’s the perfect cop-out. “Sorry can’t go to Zumba, I’ve got reading to do.” And truthfully, a semester’s worth of neglect and second helpings of HUDS dessert cannot be rectified by a couple runs on the treadmill. Better to save the promise of a healthy lifestyle for New Year’s resolutions and next semester, right?

“Just relax”
How can one possibly relax? Final projects, papers, and tests abound, all worth ungodly percentages of our final grades. With only twenty-four precious hours in the day we should spare no minute for relaxation. Breathing, eating and possibly sleeping already take up far too much time. As the old saying goes, “Pain is temporary but GPA is forever”.

“You should study the entire time”
How can one possibly study the entire time? Classes are over and we deserve a break. What’s an extra one (or six) hours of sleeping in really going to mean for my future? For the past four months I’ve written papers, agonized over problem sets and spent too much time staring a computer screen. Let me play video games, eat microwave mac-and-cheese and complain about upcoming finals without the pressure of constant studying weighing me down.

“Don’t procrastinate”
This one should be better phrased “Build procrastination into your daily routine”, because it’s silly to think we won’t put off work. Procrastination is as essential to the college experience as are late nights in Lamont and ramen.

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