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What to do during dead week instead of studying

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Blog Editor

DECEMBER 08, 2022

Dead week is looming over our shoulders, so of course it begs the question: How many different ways can we procrastinate studying for our finals? The answer is infinite, because if UC Berkeley students are good at anything it’s putting off their work until the very last minute. While much of that procrastination will entail scrolling through social media and watching an unhealthy amount of Netflix, I promise you there are significantly more interesting ways to avoid studying this week. Here’s a creative guide to procrastinating your studies this week!

Bake like your mental health depends on it

If you’re anything like me, you’ll likely be stress-baking all week long instead of doing any of your actual work (it’s ok because I tell myself it is). Take the time to make some ultimate fudge brownies from scratch, because chocolate can fix all of our problems. If you want something more time-consuming and distracting, then try your hand at baking macarons or croissants. Not only will your tastebuds be in total bliss, but your mind will also be numbed to your impending final exams and projects.

Gather your friends and play Sardines

Sardines is the slightly more sadistic sibling to the classic game of Hide-and-Seek. One person hides while everyone else tries to find them. When someone finds the “hider” they join them in their hiding spot, and this goes on until there’s one poor soul left wandering about by themselves. It’s especially fun to play on campus because there’s so many obscure places to hide in the plethora of buildings and underground libraries. Not only is it a great way to distract yourselves from all the stress, but you also get to spend some time with friends before everyone goes home for break.

YouTube deep-dive

If you’re feeling like a hermit — don’t worry, that’s completely valid — that’s why YouTube exists. Click away all those pesky tabs littered with final papers and exam work, and open up YouTube. While the site has educational potential, with many professors uploading lectures and study guides, it’s also a phenomenal place to go on obscure deep dives. You could start with a video tutorial on how to do Gru’s dance from “Despicable Me” and, before you know it, you’re watching two guys build a house with whatever they can find  in nature. It’s a slippery slope — one that could have you sliding down the YouTube rabbit hole for hours, learning how to do the most irrelevant yet entertaining things.

Museum hopping in San Francisco

The Legion of Honor and the de Young museums — which together make up the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco — have so much to offer! And guess what, admission is free every Saturday at both locations so go take advantage of it. With sprawling costume exhibits, the stunning view from the Hamon Observation Tower and the ancient art in the Hall of Antiquities, there’s so much to see. You can even join in on the activities in both museums, such as Sketching in the Galleries at the de Young. Another great museum is the Exploratorium, where you can learn about the science behind amazing phenomena, play with hundreds of interactive displays and enjoy their DJ booth. There’s dozens of amazing museums and opportunities in San Francisco, making it the perfect escape just a BART ride away!

Catch up on sleep

Honestly, many of us might be too exhausted from the potentially severe lack of sleep this semester to do any of the above activities. Go crawl into bed or crash onto the nearest couch and shut your eyes for a few hours … or days. I wouldn’t be opposed to sleeping all of dead week away. It’s your chance to bring your sleep deficit back up by about 168 hours. Dead week is filled with a multitude of optional and unenticing commitments to study, but sometimes you just need to pass it up for that much needed sleep. Plus you’ll feel refreshed and energized to tackle those final exams — but if not, there’s always caffeine!

To be real with you, many of us will end up just grabbing a snack and overanalyzing everything this week. You might feel like surrendering to the void, but don’t let yourself get pulled into this dejection. Distract yourself from the impending doom of finals by taking advantage of all the time you have now. Give these activities a genuine try amid your studying. You might be surprised with the relief and joy a little bit (or a lot) of distraction gives you.

Contact Veerle de Jong at 


DECEMBER 08, 2022