You find the perfect carrel for the afternoon in the library. Your books are open, highlighters ready, and you’re wearing the perfect sweatshirt—the formula for productivity. The plan is to be in the library for four hours, so you’ll get four hours of work done, right?
Wrong. This only actually happens if you are an overachiever. But you’re not. How do I know this? You’re online right now. Overachiever doesn’t even bother bringing her computer to the library—no need when she’s reviewing her homemade flashcards. You, on the other hand, are dating your MacBook Pro. By bringing it to the library with you, you cut the time you’ll actually be studying by at least 75%.
But don’t beat yourself up about your non-productivity! Yes, during finals you’ll need to go into airplane mode, but that’s at least a week away and there are thousands, nay millions, of websites to visit! Art to scroll through! Profiles to update! Here’s what your laptop screen at the library says about you:
It is not your fault for getting sucked into the FB black hole. Blame Zuckerberg. Still, it’s mildly embarrassing to have a classmate catch you on on photo #86 of your friend from high school’s fiancée. You are clearly procrastinating and are a bit of a gossip. But who isn’t? It is super important that you make an informed decision on whether your friend from high school could do better than her.
Even Facebook seems too demanding on your attention right now. Scroll, scroll, scroll, hahahaha, scroll, scroll, LOLZ, etc. Your plan is to sit in the library long enough to convince yourself that at least one of the concepts your professor covered has osmosissed its way into your brain.
Ahh, the most deceptive of the screens. For some reason, we associate checking email with doing work. Really though, you’re just flipping through Groupon, or more likely, G-chatting. The beauty is, no one will judge you for it! We’ve all tricked ourselves into thinking that Gmail is a respectable Chrome tab. You don’t feel the need to minimize when someone walks by because, hey, you’re just on Gmail, nothing to see here. Now back to Inbox, refresh, refresh, refresh.
Why are you enrolled in school? You should be designing upper-class MILFs’ bathrooms, or at the very least have a shop on Etsy. On the other hand, maybe you’re just really hungry. The pictures of homemade cookies-in-a-brownie-in-a-mug-wrapped-in-a-calzone are fucking mouthwatering. Do you want to go get something to eat?
5. Slate/The Atlantic/The New Yorker:
You’re putting off your class reading but have a bit more dignity, or shame, than the Facebookers. The culture articles are just thought-provoking enough that you’ll have something to say to your crush in the coffee cart line, but not so demanding that you’ll have to read them further than say, the third paragraph. “Hey Derek, did you see that article in The Atlantic?” “Yeah, the one about Girls. It was totally tokenism, I agree!” Cue kiss. (Thanks, online culture magazines!)
Just a PSA to all the square students letting them know that you are hipper than they are. You’ll lean your shoulder to the side so everyone walking behind your carrel can see that you’re listening to the new Neutral Milk Lamar Vile Ocean single, but please don’t interrupt while you have your headphones on. That’s bad music etiquette.
7. Thought Catalog:
Are you feeling OK, sweetie? I know you just broke up with your boyfriend and don’t know if you will ever be happy again, but you have to remember that you have a lot going for you. You are an educated woman, for crying out loud! You can write a five-paragraph essay—it is his loss.