In Defence of Unhealthy Study Snacking
These days we are constantly told what to eat while studying to help our brains perform. Eat fish for better memory, get plenty of fruit and veg for your vitamin intake, eat garlic to ward off colds, flus and vampires, etc.
What you never hear is that if you feel sad and overwhelmed, ice cream is the best comfort food ever. Eating 85% coca dark chocolate is all well and good, but guess what, it doesn’t taste like chocolate, and having a cup of green tea is really lovely and dainty while studying, but it is no substitute for a strong cup of coffee or a can of Red Bull when you are trying to pull an all-nighter.
Everything is best in moderation, but you know what? During busy, difficult days at law school, what my brain wants, my brain shall have. Here are some helpful scenarios to try and understand what your body is really telling you during assessment season…
Pulling the All-Nighter
It’s late. You’re tired. Sleeping is not an option because you have an assessment due at 9am and you’re only halfway through. Whether or not you should have left it this late is now an irrelevant argument. Brain tells you that you want a coffee, your conscience tells you that this is bad for you, and that you should have a cup of tea instead. Brain is insistent, what do you do?
I’ll tell you what you do! You have a cup of coffee! If you don’t you will likely end up falling asleep, or getting too cranky to do any kind of intelligent work. A cup of coffee isn’t going to kill you. Your brain will be happy, you will be happy, your tutor will be happy, and your conscience will get over it and have that cup of tea tomorrow.
The Cram Session
It’s the week before exams start and you are doing a semester’s worth of reading. You understand that you could have done this week by week and it probably would have been a more effective learning technique, but hindsight can rack off because it’s useless to you now. Brain tells you that it needs sugar, and lots of it, pronto. What do you do?
If you were thinking of having a handful of almonds to stave off cravings, we all know you are lying to yourself. Get down to the nearest vending machine and get the most sugary bag of lollies you can find. I personally can’t go past sour worms during a big lot of reading. Healthy snacks don’t always get the job done. Sour worms do.
I’m not saying that you should only ever eat junk food, but the pure and simple truth is that life at law school is hard and stressful. While self-control is lovely, sometimes you need to just let it go. You deserve treats!
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