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May 24, 2015 | by  | in Opinion |
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Review: Study Aids

Because God forbid we put in effort when there might be a substance to do it for us!

Coffee

★★★

A beverage with potential, but not without risk. Depending on your personality, coffee may be the kick you need to make up for your all-night Netflix spree and hold your eyes open without the need of a specula made of toothpicks. However, be cautious of the easy descent into the dark underworld of pretentious coffee drinkers: it’s a slippery slope from your first experimental “flat white, two sugars” to “large-soy-double-shot-caramel-macchiato-latte-no-foam”, drunk exclusively by waistcoat-clad hipsteresque pseudo-intellectuals as they out-critique one another over the burnt, bitter, over-extracted, and wrong-origin, because everybody knows that it’s the strength of the coffee that makes you a man, and pretentiousness is the most true demonstration of penis length without whipping it out on the counter in Vic Books to assure the world you’ve got the equipment to earn the right to a mere trim mocha.

If you can’t resist joining the Cocky Coffee Club, at least its common laxative effect will help flush the shit out of your system before you settle down to write your essay—though many rely on exactly this shit to reach their word counts, buyers beware.

Energy Drinks

★★★★

An excellent supplement for the coffee-averse, it’s hard to go wrong with a drink that is far too literally “artificially flavoured” (in that it simply tastes artificial—maybe why they forgo recognisable flavour names in lieu of the subtly ambiguous labels like “thunder” and “zing”) with a hefty dose of caffeine and sugar.

An easy aid to keep your mind on track as your midnight deadline looms—but beware the imminent warnings from your peers as they raise their eyebrows and remind you how bad they are for you as they sit in the healthy cradle of their triple-shot-trim-hazelnut-praline-frappuccino-extra-cream.

Ritalin

★★

Now it’s hard for me to review Ritalin without bringing in bias due to the fact that I get it prescribed due to my near-debilitating ADHD, but despite my complaints about the side effects I tend to have a barrage of peers telling me how lucky I am to get it without illegal measures.

I’m not entirely sure what’s so lucky about the nausea, laxative effect (what is it with laxatives and study aids?), increased heart rate, loss of sense of self, unexplainable anxiety and nervousness, strict dose control regulations, trichotillomania, constant “offers” (see: relentless nagging) from friends to buy some, and insomnia that accompanies the apparently-desirable pill I have to take if I want to function at normal levels… But if these sound like your idea of a good time then by all means, continue to gaze in envy as every decision I make regarding eating, sleeping, drinking, and socialising is dictated by a tiny pellet of compressed powder, and don’t give up hope you can find someone to source you the goodies.

Note: I’m told that grinding and snorting some “ritz” is the best fuel to clean your whole house after an illicit party with only three hours before your parents get home.

Marijuana

★★★★★

Not so much a “study aid” as a great way to knock the edge of the stress at the realisation you’ve pissed your years at university away and can now enter the “real world”, broke and under-qualified for anything (yet ironically pretty much on par with your peers who actually graduated).

Facebook blockers

★★★★★

After study week is thwarted by investing your time into finding a drink or pill to make your course content find its own way into your brain without ACTUALLY studying, a potential “last resort” is to spend less time sharing your essay word count and deadline countdown on Facebook or Instagramming a sepia-tone picture of your #study in the #park with your #friends (and of course the #reminder you’re in #wellington and the #appreciated alert that it’s #sunny for the #unaware) and more time doing work. Facebook blockers are a great way to cut out the constant bleeping of chat as your friends share how #fucked they are for exams, and eradicate distractions like stalking your ex and then needing a study break so you and your flatmates can agree their new partner is like, totes a downgrade.

All jokes aside, software for blocking Facebook and other guilty pleasures is free for download, so Google away and watch your grade average make one last desperate reach out of the “fuckit I’ll be a stripper” pit.

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