Is the screen distracting you from your studies?December 22, 2015

Not at all.

You missed the telly, and you can't have it by yourself in the common room. You weren't a huge fan of football, and you kept your distance from your housemates. (They predicted which teams would win Euro 2016. It was too early to tell.) You were hooked to your laptop, as there were too many deadlines. It prompted you to check other people's tweets. And then you saw the latest photo of your cousin on Facebook. She was riding a scooter, with her beach bestie, on Kon Tao. She tried to pull a leg, remarking she missed her work shift. You were green with envy, unaware that you spent more than an hour in front of the computer screen.

BA majors won't mind the distractions, even wanting to unwind now and then. This would be the routine between an hour (or more) of writing and researching. But it consume so much of your time. If you're a student of the English Department, then you must practise self-discipline. But you object to it, as loafing is part of the creative process. Let's look at the other options:

Try sleeping. If you think you have been in front of the screen for too long, then you can lie down and catch up on your sleep. You have a few hours (of sleep) the other day, and it's affecting your concentration. You deserve a rest.

Turn off the phone. Your parents will understand it, even your mates who want to share the good news. (You're hoping it's not their parents financing their backpacking trip in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam next summer.) You can check out your missed calls and unanswered text messages later.

Read a book. This is your chance to indulge in pleasure reading. You haven't done it for weeks, so one chapter will be good enough.

Reach out to your housemates. When was the last time you had a conversation with them? You certainly missed the banter, not to mention the taste of beer. Maybe they are available this Friday.

Take a walk. You wonder if this is a good idea, as the temperature is rising. You don't fancy a stroll on a warm day, but you don't have any other choice.

Listen to the sound of music. Your coursemate isn't a huge fan of Ed Sheeran, and he didn't hide his displeasure after leaning about his third studio album. You are rather amused, while recalling the lyrics of "Photograph".

Plan your holiday. You are experiencing alarming symptoms these last two weeks. You can't stay in one place. You like long distance walks. You don't mind driving your folks. You keep on asking your mates about their travel plans. It's not too early to plan it.

Do you have other suggestions? Tell us. Be sure to close the screen afterward.

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