It’s been quite a while since year 2016 began, and naturally most of our good intentions have faded to dust, stowed away in some dark closet of our brain. In January, the year seemed like a virginal white paper on which we could draw a whole empire using only a pencil. Things like trips to foreign countries, a new job, or simply becoming a better person seemed to be within reach. Well, now it is July. All those good intentions are gone, without having left anything to hold on to during the exam period.

In order to somehow succeed, we finally have to be true to ourselves: Away with the lies! No, we won’t be able to read all the assigned literature next semester. The same goes for the estimated 3000 sports courses that we won’t take. The year will simply end in the usual way: tears, whiskey and the same old question: “What the heck am I doing here?“. There’s only one cure: insight and understanding. Here are the five classic lies when it comes to studying:

  1. I still have enough time to read the literature. There’s simply no more dangerous lie than this one. You’ll end up carrying a burden of ever increasing amounts of paper. In the end, these mountains of text will probably only be good for lighting a huge fire that might burn you to death.
  2. The appartment needs cleaning urgently. Even though the broom never looked hardly as desirable as during the exam periods: this love is not real! It’s just a cheap alibi, a cold and damp kind of distraction that cleans everything but your conscience.
  3. It’s not possible to fail a language course for beginners. Well, everything is possible, if you really want to. Even though it seems desirable to have a bag of Tortilla chips and Guacamole while watching a subtitled episode of „Narcos“ to learn Spanish, this won’t to the job. Guacamole doesn’t help with absorbing vocabulary, not even if it’s Spanish!
  4. I’ll just have to check my Facebook account real quick (sic!). Mark Zuckerberg might sound nice, but he nevertheless is responsible for a pandemic of internet addiction. Social media is everywhere and attention seeking neurotics cry for air even in the libraries! Every minute spent in front of books is filled with boredom that can only be withstood by posting on Facebook (#LibraryBoredom). For every paragraph, one animal clip has to be watched. Unfortunately, Facebook is not some easy fast food joint: it is running sushi! And in appreciation of the next slice of fish, we lay in the corner with our full bellies, swearing on every Japanese out there.
  5. Rewards are important. For every worked through slide, I’ll watch an episode on Netflix. Just a very short one. Just this small page, and I will have EARNED my break. After all, you can’t work yourself to death! What do those university people think – nobody ought to tell me when to earn what. This is not a Stasi country. I will watch my episode NOW. Pow! The slides can stay where they are – I will decide when and where to do what! I will watch a short episode now. And probably a second one. All those shitty slides have no use anyway… bye, bye, Honecker!

The same lies everytime! But not this year. Not this year! We will confront the enemy now and attack! This time, we won’t lie to ourselves, because everything will become better. We will be smarter and we’ll just trick our own good intentions! Why do we need those anyway? There’s nothing bad about studying a little and being busy for a while. It will work better this time, for sure. And if not, we still know where the whiskey stands.


Translated by Dennis Dellschow

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