Writing your essay is boring – do this in the library instead

There’s more to procrastination than Facebook

| UPDATED noad

It’s deadline season, and we’re all feeling the pressure.

The whole student body descends upon the library at 10am sharp and you know you better get there earlier if you have any hope in hell of getting a seat.

So whether you’re one of those weirdos who set up camp in the library and are there from 9am to 5pm, or you prefer the slightly more chilled vibes of the Amory study area, you’re going to have to take a break once in a while.

No one can work for eight hours straight without losing their mind. So instead of whiling away this time on Facebook or going for senseless “walks” around the forum, here’s some fun games to keep your procrastination game strong.

Marco Polo in the library

If you’re not afraid to piss people off, this is for you.

Clearly you are not in a swimming pool. And it is recommended to have your eyes open, for there is a fairly (read: very) high chance you will walk into a bookshelf. But apart from that, it’s basically the same as the childhood classic.

Best played with 3-4 people, you need a good, solid group of procrastinators for this game. Start at one end of the bookshelves, and one person closes their eyes for 30 seconds while the others scatter around the bookshelves on that floor. After that the person who had their eyes closed attempts to find the others by shouting “Marco!” and the others shouting “Polo!” back and following their voices. Whoever gets picked first is “it” next. Obviously.

Spot the signet ring

Signet rings are one of those things most people don’t really notice until they come to a place with an extreme concentration of the upper-middle classes. And you really do notice them at Exeter, since there are an awful lot of posh people here.

This game is best played with a friend who is also studying in another part of campus or the library: simply begin at the same time and then text/WhatsApp each other how many signs of old British wealth on people’s pinkie fingers you’ve spotted after, say, 15 minutes. Jolly good fun, really.

Hide and seek in Amory

This is for the ultimate procrastinators. The guys who do what they want and don’t give two shits about leaving a desk occupied with their MacBooks for an hour while they’re away.

Amory, as we all know, is an enigma – an impossible maze designed by the same twisted minds who created the Rubix Cube and the hotel from The Shining. Thus, it is the perfect location for a game for (sort of) grown-up hide and seek.

Because Amory is so big, it’s best when more people take part, so 6 or more players is ideal.

Suggested ground rules: no toilets or classrooms.

Can also be turned into a game of dry Marco Polo, but this would require some serious yelling.

The most ridiculous item in the Market Place

With this game you have a lot of agency with the word “ridiculous”. Make of it what you will, but essentially it involves going to the Market Place during your study break and seeing who can find the item most out of place within the usual sandwiches and drinks that you’d expect to find at a campus shop.

Some reasonably priced snacks to accompany essay-writing

Then at the end of your study session you can compare the days’ find with your friends. Something to look forward to, really.

Bonus points if you actually purchase the item.

Ask the ever-present napper what they were dreaming about

You know that whatever study space you’re in on campus you’re going to find at least one poor, exhausted soul with their head bent over their work taking a quick forty winks.

They’re taking up valuable study space anyway

So what could possibly be more fun than waking them up and inquiring what it was that they were dreaming about?

They might be so shocked that they actually tell you. And even if they’re annoyed at being awoken from their slumber, quite frankly, it’s their own fault for taking up valuable study space. Either way, it’s a good way to waste 5 minutes.

And finally, a classic…


Now, I’m not a monster. I would never suggest nor condone playing bogies in a silent study area, but quiet study/group study is a free for all.

You know how it goes: with at least one other friend, take turns saying “bogies”, starting off at a standard room volume, and then going louder and louder until one person ends up yelling “BOOOGIIIIIEEEEESSS” at the top of their lungs and the other player(s) are too mortified to carry on.

You could play bogies on your own, but that would mean shouting on your own, seeing if you could one-up yourself, and that would be a bit weird, wouldn’t it?