Reading period is a dismal time. Though it masquerades as a luxurious nine-day stretch free of classes and full of time to get ahead on finals, we all know that’s not the case. Chances are, it was your boring 9:00 am that continued; meanwhile the class that stopped meeting right away was the one in which your participation grade has been…subpar, and you had just decided at the last minute that you wanted to improve it. Oh, well. By now, your assignments have probably piled up to a point where you can’t even remember what you’re forgetting to do—not to mention all the non-academic tasks you need to accomplish before leaving campus, like finalizing your summer housing or returning a week’s worth of clothing to your BFF who lives in Perkins (how can you motivate yourself to do that when it’s just so far?!). If you’re human, you’ve probably let all social concerns fall to the wayside at this point. However, if, you somehow still have the capacity to care what other people think of you, here’s some insight into what you might be doing to piss people off:
1) You’re complaining about how much work you have.
You’re not special. Everyone has a ton of work. I’m guessing that approximately 75% of Brown’s student population would report having a harder finals period than the ‘average’ student (take a crack at that one, APMA concentrators). Just face it, everyone else is way too busy with a) their own papers/projects/exams and b) feeling sorry for themselves to have time to feel sorry for you, too.
2) You’re bragging about how little work you have.
Okay, if this is the case, you are special. But trust me, no one wants to hear about it.
3) You’re going out and making too much noise.
If you’re throwing down in a dorm during reading period until late into the night, just know that your neighbors would like to see you fail all your finals and consequently never grace Brown with your boisterous presence again. I’ll give you Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but if you’re staying up and blasting The Chainsmokers on a Monday night, just know that there is an army of tired, angry students who would totally take you down if they weren’t so busy trying to study.
4) Alternatively, you’re staying in.
In general, if your friends are rallying on a Saturday night and you announce that you’re staying in, they might briefly whine about how you used to be fun before setting off on their mission of debauchery. During reading period, however, you might be shocked by the extreme backlash with which your responsible decision is met. During this sensitive time, your friends’ reactions are exacerbated by their own guilt and insecurity because your choice is an unwelcome reminder of everything they should be doing. At least you can take comfort in the fact that it’s not personal!
5) You’re spamming their newsfeeds with images of the house you’re trying to sublet.
Honestly, 99% of your Facebook friends do not care how “ideal” the location is, how “negotiable” the price is, or how desperate you are to not pay two rents for an entire summer. I’m not saying I don’t understand why this is a necessary evil, I’m just saying that most people (especially your non-Brown Facebook friends) probably resent you just a little bit.
6) You’re talking about your amazing summer internship.
Some unfortunate souls are going to be working 9 to 4 at their hometown pools or maybe even doing a decent internship but without any compensation because we—sorry, they—didn’t get their shit together in time to get funding from Brown. We don’t need to be reminded about your “sick” marketing internship in New York where you will not only making bank but your boss also apparently brings in mimosas for casual Fridays. (honestly pls tho have pity my future is so bleak)
7) You’re not showering (or at least not as often as you should be).
Do I need to explain this? If your hygiene is first (or second, or third) to go in the struggle to prioritize work, people have noticed. And the last thing they need to supplement the smell of tears, late-night delivery, and old library books is your B.O.
8) You’re tagging them in a million finals-related memes.
Your procrastination is already hurting you enough—it doesn’t need to hurt anyone else. While this list is just another example of an attempt to find humor in the dark days of finals, I’ll be the first to admit that there’s probably no need for more; the Brown Dank Stash of Memes is absolutely inundated with memes about how screwed we all are for exams. While (most of) these are funny, and perhaps provide a necessary stress relief, some (disclaimer: myself not included) would argue that there is such a thing as too many memes, and they would appreciate it if you would stop distracting them. Because let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to laugh at jokes about how you’re going to fail all your finals when you’re not actually going to.
The truth is, unless you’re literally doing someone else’s work for them or offering your leftover meal swipes to random passersby, everyone is going to hate you during reading period no matter what. So you might as well do whatever you want.
Happy Reading Period!!!!!