The best ways to procrastinate while doing a Cambridge degree

Apologies to Toope for the lack of academic rigour

Since exam term has arrived, students across the university have lots of work and revision to be getting on with. So there is no better time to practise the highly important life skill of procrastination. We make a huge show to our families and friends of how busy we always are in Cambridge, and yet often it becomes clear that we frequently spend masses of time achieving absolutely nothing.

Perfecting this skill of procrastination is, of course, something we all aspire to – especially in such busy times. So to help you along the way, we have put together some suggestions of the best ways to procrastinate while doing a Cambridge degree.

Dive into a series on Netflix

Let’s start with an obvious one. Netflix is a highly popular way for students to waste time. Is there any Cambridge student who hasn’t sat for hours on end streaming some quality (or not.. we won’t judge) TV when they should have been working? There’s nothing better than finding a series to binge watch, curling up in a blanket and immersing yourself in a world free from the stresses of your degree.

Naturally, the biggest challenge you’ll face is that at some point, you’ll need to turn it off and get back to work. But like all high-level procrastinators, you know that that’s a problem to deal with later.

Me pretending I always look this sophisticated while watching TV (Image credit: Declan Boyd)

Go to Mainsbury’s for no reason whatsoever

If there are two things that everyone in Cambridge loves, they are wasting time and Mainsbury’s. So why not combine the two and use an unnecessary shopping trip as an excuse to procrastinate? This tip is naturally most convenient for students at central colleges – but extra procrastination points for anyone at a hill college who’s dedicated enough to wasting time to make the trip.

And you can offer yourself excuses that this isn’t procrastination at all. Walking to the shops contributes to your daily exercise, and if you actually buy something, it surely wasn’t a waste of time! Or so you tell yourself…

And since you’re already there, why not try the Sainsbury’s caterpillar cake, second on the Tab’s definitive caterpillar cake ranking!

An absolutely essential shopping trip (Image credit: Katy Lawrence)

Stare out the window for ages

It’s amazing how much time can pass you by when you’re just staring out the window and daydreaming. Of course, one of the advantages of being in Cambridge is that you have an excuse to do this!

Since Cambridge is unbelievably picturesque and many of our colleges have great views, you can always convince yourself that you’re not wasting time at all. You’re just fully embracing the privilege of being in Cambridge. After all, it would be rude to be in such a beautiful city and not make the most of the view from your college room…

Getting this photo to look okay took more time than writing this whole article… (Image credit: Declan Boyd)

Spend time on Camfess/Crushbridge/Kindbridge/Grudgebridge/Queerbridge/other Cambridge Facebook pages

Reading through Camfesses and Crushbridges are entertaining in itself, and that degree of entertainment makes it a thoroughly enjoyable procrastination method. If you want to be daring and to really achieve something through your procrastination, you could even submit a post yourself.

One of the advantages of this is that you can pretend it’s contributing to your degree, and so you have an easy excuse to give yourself. English students could do a Camfess comparing Cambridge colleges to Shakespeare characters, Classicists to Greek gods, Mathmos to… actually I have no idea, I’ve never met one.

Camfess stealing my job and giving extra procrastination tips (Image credit: Author’s screenshot of Camfess)

Tidy your college room

At any other time, this might seem to require too much effort. But when you have a 2000-word essay to write and are searching for absolutely anything else to do, the urge to organise everything in your room can suddenly seem very appealing.

Of course, it’s important to make the process last as long as possible. So make sure to think extremely carefully about where things should go, rearrange anything that has the slightest possibility of being in the wrong place, and just waste as much time as possible until everything is in such a tidy state that literally nothing can be done to improve it.

Turns out making your desk messy for a Tab article is also a great timewasting strategy (Image credit: Declan Boyd)

Do random quizzes on Sporcle

Sporcle is an addictive way to pass the time while also gaining some sense of achievement. Try things that sound kind of useful or relevant to Cambridge but really aren’t: for example, there’s one quiz which sees how many Cambridge colleges you can name in eight minutes (I’ve just tried this and it’s harder than you might think!).

Alternatively, if you feel like you don’t need an excuse to procrastinate, there are so many Sporcle quizzes on so many different subjects not related to Cambridge: sports, TV, music, etc. There’s something for everyone, so why not give it a go?

Sporcle makes me wonder whether I know enough about my uni… (Image credit: Declan Boyd, screenshots from Sporcle)

Spend more time reading the Tab!

If you’ve read this far, then chances are you’ve already wasted quite a bit of time – so congratulations to you! After all, why else does this or any other Tab article exist besides offering Cambridge students an opportunity to waste time reading about Graham Virgo’s astrology charts or Cambridge’s favourite caterpillar cake?

The Tab even offers help with some procrastination methods, such as recommending Netflix shows to watch! So really, there’s no reason why the Tab shouldn’t be your number one go-to when you’re taking an unnecessarily long break from your work.

Shameless self-promotion (Image credit: Declan Boyd, screenshot from the Tab)

So there you have it – how to procrastinate in Cambridge. Apologies if this list was too short: there should have been ten tips, but I put this off for too long and only had time to do seven! Oh well, at least you know it’s coming from a procrastination expert!

Feature image credit: Declan Boyd, screenshots from Pixabay and Medium

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