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How to Survive Recess Week

In the blink of an eye, it’s Recess Week! What happened? How did six weeks of the semester zoom by so quickly? How did Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ get so famous when it’s so bad? Why is Community not renewed for six seasons and a movie? How do I survive this perilous week?

These are just some of the unanswerable questions in life we can ponder philosophically about for the rest of time… oh wait, what?  We apologize for the mistake; we will be answering the very last question on that list, and Alan Teo will be taking you through this conundrum: “How do I survive Recess Week?”

Step One: Acknowledge that ‘Recess Week’ is, in fact, a misnomer

Ten years (or more) ago, the word ‘recess’ brought joy and excitement to our hearts. ‘Recess’ meant a time of fun, laughter, games, and snacks. ‘Recess’ was a break from the mundane, monotonous lessons in primary and secondary school years.

In fact, if we take a look at the definition of “recess” on Dictionary.com, it states: temporary withdrawal or cessation from the usual work or activity.

Now, if we look at what ‘Recess Week’ actually means – it is merely a week entrenched in the midst of project deadlines, mid-term tests and group presentations – hardly the ‘withdrawal from the usual work or activity’ it proposes to be.

Thus, just like how ‘Acceptance’ is the last stage of grief (as proposed by Kübler-Ross), we need to accept the harsh reality that ‘Recess Week’ is more accurately named ‘Study-Like-Crazy-And-Chiong-Assignments Week’. In fact, comparing Recess Week to grief is quite an apt analogy, if you ask me. Once you have accepted this misnomer, you will be more mentally prepared to face it.

Step Two:  Set up camp in the Central Library everyday

Research has shown that the amount of time you spend in the library is positively correlated to the grades that you get. Of course, whether you buy into the validity of this research is another matter altogether.

Nevertheless, it seems to be the trend for every student to go to the library during Recess Week and occupy the CLB as if they believed in the above correlation. It’s not as if every one of them came to study – we observe people watching TV shows, surfing Facebook and even playing games on their laptops.

The library fills up really quickly too – by noon, one would start having difficulty finding an ideal seat – one that is neither next to a potential Snorlax, nor next to a group of friends who is going to giggle and pepper the silence with murmurs every five minutes.

Therefore if you want a seat, you’re going to have to head down to school early. In fact, I’m going to wrap up this article quickly so that I can quickly chope (to reserve) my prime seat in the library!

Step Three: Stock up on caffeine

In the ideal world, ‘study’ and ‘sleep’ would mix like oil and water. Our brains should be hardwired to ignore the ‘sleep’ signals that the hypothalamus is sending us when we are studying. Unfortunately, in the real world, study and sleep are like lovebirds that recently got attached; they are like earphones cables left in your bag for too long and got tangled, or like paper notices stuck on cheaply-painted walls – I digress – it’s hard to separate them.

It is therefore necessary to stockpile energy drinks, coffee or any semblance of caffeinated substances to tide you through this hectic week – you’ll need them to battle the ultimate zzz monster. If the usual remedies don’t work, you may even want to try the George Kuah Energy Drink, which may make you as ‘elite’ as he is.

Step Four : Complain on Twitter and Facebook

Because everyone loves to listen to you whine and complain about the stacks of readings you need done by the end of this week, do remember to tweet about it often. The more the merrier! Remember to mention that you’re in the CLB (even if you’re not in it, just complain about how crowded it is, you can’t go wrong) – it may give you a mental edge over those lazing about at home.

Don’t let up on Facebook either – spam it with those ‘What People Think I Do’ memes which everyone can’t get enough of. Your friends are certainly dying to see what next creative thing you can conjure out of this meme! How’s this for an idea: “What People Think I Do during Recess Week”.

Final Step: Pray hard

Human effort can only take you so far – you may have to rely on supernatural powers to survive this arduous week, and start praying to God to tide you through this tough ordeal.

Of course, we’re not in any way encouraging you to pray to any particular God. NUS is, after all, a ‘multi-ethnic and multi-religious community’. As the Provost said, we should respect the religious customs, beliefs and sensitivities of others. Or else true joy may indeed elude us.

So go forth and pray to your respective Gods, and ask for strength and wisdom to get through this period. If you don’t have one to pray to, it never hurts to try the Bell Curve God, where offerings are made in hopes that the bell curve will go easy on you! (We hear he likes Nissin Cup Noodles, Nutella and Oreo.)


One comment on “How to Survive Recess Week

  1. Pingback: Writing Stuff and Statistics | this is alan's blog

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2012 by in Advice, Humour.
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