Studious Students – Students that pay attention in class, prepare in advance for class assessments, complete assignments well within the due date and save time for additional reading as well. Personally, I think that this is a species as fictitious as aliens from Mars, and here are some of the reasons why:
Long gone are the days when the mere mention of food during exam days made students nauseous. Every time we open our books, we are assailed with strong undeniable pangs of extreme hunger. I’m talking about my-stomach’s-gonna-claw-its-way-out-if-I-don’t-eat-soon starvation here. Any plans to group study with friends in university inevitably lead to a detour to one of the many IBA cafés. And what is with that irresistibly tempting food/coffee smell when you cross the threshold?! After all, you can’t expect us to study on an empty stomach, can you?
One of the many wondrous coincidences in our wacky world includes weddings – weddings that are especially scheduled during our exam ‘season’. And coincidentally the aforementioned weddings are either our cousins’ or some significantly close relative’s which absolutely CANNOT be missed! The enjoyable (but time consuming and DISTRACTING) pre-wedding shopping, rehearsals, family daawats and all the various traditional rituals that accompany a wedding keep us occupied for days. Make the mistake of mentioning the words “but my exams…”, and you are backhanded by an uncaring “but you have exams ALL the time!” Sadly, it’s true. Ah, the never-ending hourly exams…
Another major runner in the campaign against studious students is the television. The person who dubbed it the ‘idiot box’ couldn’t have imagined just how correct his statement would be! By some mystical force, every time we attempt any sort of assignment, our favourite show or some movie we’ve wanted to watch for a long time pops up. And voila! Books are tossed aside as we glue our eyes to the screen. Oh, well, we are not to be blamed.
After a six-day long week, a weekend feels like a sanctuary from the grueling university schedule. Getting up early on a Saturday or a Sunday seems unnatural in any case, and getting up to study? Forget it! Not going to happen. Weekend is the time we get to recharge our batteries and prepare to survive the upcoming week with our sanities intact. Add the fact that it’s also the only two days when the whole family is present at home, and so, we usually have a family outing planned on Sunday as well…
5. Cell Phones
The 21st century has wrought an incredible change in the human structure. An extra attachment to the palm of our hand! No it can’t pulverize stone to dust, or attract giant metal structures ala Magneto. It is infinitely stronger. It is a cell-phone. Our parents used to spend hours on the phone as teenagers. We spend the entire day! The mobile keeps ringing, beeping or buzzing every few minutes. And only the most iron-willed can resist its call. With new designs coming out daily we have everything; a phone, SMS packages, an Mp3 player, a touch screen PSP, camera, access to Internet, Whatsapp, those addictive game apps… the list goes on. Now if they’d just fit a fridge in it…
Having trouble sleeping? Try studies instead of sleeping pills. Knock yourself out in twenty minutes with Calculus, or for stronger dosage, try Economics. Ten minutes maximum. Guaranteed! The minuscule black and white print, and complicated diagrams and graphs act as effectively as a sleeping pill… without any side-effects (unless you count the horrible marks we get on our tests). All subjects no matter science, commerce or humanities give us a gentle pat into the la-la land. It is no wonder that demand for coffee, red bull and other caffeine related products shoots up as exams draw nearer.
7. Individual Hobbies
Everyone has to take some time to indulge in their favourite hobbies. Be it reading novels, or playing video games, painting, sketching, baking, or shopping: we all have some interest that we absolutely CANNOT resist! These hobbies may be productive or simply a way to relax at the end of the day, but the one thing they all share in common is that they greatly diminish the time that may have been employed in studies. And I’m pretty sure that everyone will agree. Even watching grass grow is more interesting than studying for a test.
8. Panic Attacks
The first step when we gear ourselves to study for a test is to confirm the syllabus with friends via snapshots on Whatsapp. Once this onerous (and confusing) task is done, we move on to the next big and perhaps most important phase. Counting the number of pages and weighing the handwriting size against our brain capacity and time availability and so working up an unhealthy level of tension. This is followed with bouts of depression interspersed with “What am I going to do?” and “We HAVE to get the quiz postponed. This is IMPOSSIBLE!” We recount the pages, hoping desperately that we made a mistake the first time. No such luck. The fuse blows! Tear glands go hyperactive and the self-recriminations begin. Why, oh why, couldn’t I have started the preparation a little earlier? Why did I wait for the last minute? Even worse: Whatever we do manage to study gets erased thanks to these ‘panic attacks’.
Feeling lonely or bored? Open your text-book. No. I’m not trying to make you suicidal. Just wait for 5 minutes and your siblings or your friends will appear like moths to a flame or a genie from a lamp, depending on size. Almost 90% of awaited discussions, creative arguments or fights, bribery or blackmail on confidences accidentally made, and any soul searching (in case of those rare siblings that actually get along with each other) occur in front of an open text book, preferably in the IBA library. Siblings manage to be distracting even if they are not present. They possess the frustrating ability to empty your pencil case. So in case you actually manage to work up the determination to study, time is wasted searching for a pen. Until you give up and move on to something better. Like the computer.
10. Online Social Networking
The most common book accessed by all students is Facebook, but something less conducive to studies would be difficult to find. Those who manage to fight the temptation of updating statuses every five minutes and poking friends are ensnared by the addictive mindless games. The endless plethora of photos and funny videos coaxes even the laziest person to make some comment or hit the “like” button. And let’s not discount all the other sites. Hours pass like seconds, and I’m pretty sure that everyone has at least once experienced the disorientation that comes when you look up from your screen expecting daylight in the room and then encountering twilight instead. Twitter, Myspace, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram… The list is long, and grows daily. With all the cyber activity how can we be expected to spare time for homework?
I guess all of it explains the spiraling nosedives our GPAs have taken. Now, only if our parents understood…