Whether you need to blow off some steam from homework or you’re trying to distract yourself from the seemingly never-ending waiting period before getting your college decisions back, there are going to be times when you just don’t feel like working and want to have some fun.

Binge watching Netflix works great in most cases, but there will come a point where you might be looking for a bit more mental stimulation than just staring at a glaringly bright screen for hours on end. Here is a list of suggestions for things you can do to take a break from (read: avoid) schoolwork but still feel like an intellectual.


 

Watch TED talks!

Inspirational words from inspirational speakers

Inspirational words from inspirational speakers

I’m a sucker for watching videos, but I like to complement my random YouTube binge sessions with some TED talks. There’s something for everyone, from feats of memory to new perspectives on introversion. My personal favorite is spoken word poet Sarah Kay’s touching deliverance of her work and her subsequent explanation of how she fell in love with spoken word.

 

Grab coffee with a friend!

You don't have to have coffee of course; my drink of choice would be hot chocolate for winter time and an iced mocha for warmer weather

You don’t have to have coffee of course; my drink of choice would be hot chocolate for winter time and an iced mocha for warmer weather

Now that things have settled down (somewhat), you might be surprised at how long it’s been since you’ve actually sat down and had a real, face-to-face conversation with your closest friends. Who knows, what you intended to be a quick catch up session might turn into a deep and thought-provoking conversation on a Wednesday night.

 

Watch Jeopardy!

I live for the moments when Alex Trebek raps the clues

I live for the moments when Alex Trebek raps the clues

For anyone who loves trivia, Jeopardy is a daily godsend that can always be counted on for half an hour of nerdy entertainment. Bonus: Let out some pent-up frustration by yelling answers at the screen!

*College counterpart: go to the local bar’s trivia night!*

 

Go see a play at the performing arts center!

Oh, the anticipation!

Oh, the anticipation!

Live theater is underappreciated in my opinion; I love the feeling of excited anticipation as the lights dim and the theater quiets to a hush. There is such a wide range of options too; see your friends in action during the spring musical, go support your local theater, or check out the latest critically acclaimed show in the nearest city!

 

Organize your calendar!

No satisfaction quite like organizing your life (or at least pretending to)

No satisfaction quite like organizing your life (or at least pretending to)

I have six different colors for various parts of my life (classes, extracurriculars, work, etc.). I like to tell myself that taking the time to stay organized is preparing me for the “real” world (where I’ll more likely need close to sixty different colors to keep track of everything going on in my life), but really, it’s just a distraction from dealing with how hectic my life actually is. Nevertheless, organizing allows you to plan your time so that you can continue to stay involved in all the activities you’ve devoted so much time to; just because you’re a second semester senior doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off!

 

Play Words with Friends!

Like Scrabble, but more colorful

Like Scrabble, but more colorful

This is like the low-maintenance level of Scrabble; you can take your time, rather than play in real time while your friend stares you down from across the table. If Scrabble isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other puzzles and games out there: try the New York Times crossword puzzle, or buy a book of Sudoku!

 

Listen to Podcasts!

So many options! Like the radio, but you get to control exactly what you hear, when you hear it. Commercials are still a thing though; they can't really be avoided, unfortunately

So many options! Like the radio, but you get to control exactly what you hear, when you hear it. Commercials are still a thing though; they can’t really be avoided, unfortunately

This is a great one to be paired with other activities such as baking or exercising; I can’t recommend this one enough! For suggestions, check out some of my favorites here.

June Xia

June is a junior at Cornell University studying biology. She attended public high school in the Philly suburbs, where she ate lots of water ice and hoagies. June enjoys watching TV, playing candy crush, and reading the New York Times. Writing poetry and knitting kept her sane during admissions season, plus a lot of chocolate and hugs; she made it out alive, and is all the more introspective and aware thanks to the experience.