In Belgium we have this thing called ‘blok’. It’s the name for the two to three weeks of marathon studying between the end of classes and the start of exams, related to the verb ‘blokken’, which basically means ‘hardcore studying’. It’s obviously not a very pleasant time, so here are some tips to survive those study marathons!
1. Hydrate. Of course has been said again and again, but that’s because it’s so important! I usually get myself either a half-liter pint and a (reusable!) straw. Straws really help me to drink more, but they’re not very good for the environment, so if you can get your hands on a reusable one, go for it! You can also try adding fruit to your water for some extra flavour.
2. Breathe ouside air at least once a day. I don’t care how you do it. Take a walk at noon, go on a morning run, breathe really deep when you’re in line for the library, stick your head out of a window, I don’t care. Just do it. You need the oxygen and it’s not good to sit inside all day.
3. Don’t wear stuff you sleep in. Now, I’m not saying you can’t wear pjs. What I’m saying is, don’t wear the pjs you wore to bed. Not even if you study at home. Don’t do it. Make sure your brain knows that studying and sleeping are two very different things.
4. Get off your butt during breaks. Sometimes when I’m on a roll at the library, I can study a whole afternoon, with breaks only to go to the bathroom and to refill my waterbottle/make new tea. It works, because I walk around. Point being, have a dance break! Go for a walk! Move!
5. Sleep is useful. I get that if you have an exam the next day and you really need to finish this last chapter, you stay up until 3am. But otherwise, don’t do that to yourself. You can do that tomorrow morning. Your brain needs sleep, you’re not wasting time. Promise. Take care of yourself.
“Last time we saw you, you were trying to kill everyone. What are you up to these days?” “It varies from moment to moment.”
“Darling, you have no idea what’s possible.”
“You do seem like you’re in desperate need of leadership.”
“I’m upset! I’m very upset. You know what I like about being upset? Blame. Right now, that’s the mindset that I’m in. And you know who I’m blaming?”
“You’re officially pardoned… from life!”
“It hurts, doesn’t it? Being lied to. Being told you’re one thing and then learning it’s all a fiction.”
“Well, I tried to start a revolution, but didn’t print enough pamphlets so hardly anyone turned up. Except for my mum and her boyfriend, who I hate. As punishment, I was forced to be in here and become a gladiator. Bit of a promotional disaster that one, but I’m actually organizing another revolution. I don’t know if you’d be interested in something like that? Do you reckon you’d be interested?”
“Piss off, ghost!”
“Please, kind sir, do not cut my hair. NO! NOOO!”
“The revolution has begun!”
“I guess I’ll have to go it alone. Like I’ve always done.”
“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Korg. I’m kind of like the leader in here. I’m made of rocks, as you can see, but don’t let that intimidate you. You don’t need to be afraid, unless you’re made of scissors! Just a little Rock, Paper, Scissors joke for you.”
“You know, I used to want to be a Valkyrie when I was younger, until I found out you were all women. There’s nothing wrong with women, of course, I like women. Sometimes a little too much. Not in a creepy way, just more like a respectful appreciation. I think it’s great, an elite force of women warriors.”
“No, I don’t have a phone, but you could have sent an electronic letter. It’s called an email.”
“Whatever she is, we can stop her, together. We can face her, together.”