It seems like the majority of Wes students correlate the food truck scene with going out. After a long night of partying, there’s nothing better than a falafel, grilled cheese, or cupcake. From personal experience, I know this to be true.

Obviously, for those of us who go out on Thursday nights, this same mentality applies; however, for those of us who don’t, we somehow eliminate the food truck scene from our brains. It’s not that we aren’t awake  from 11 to 2 am, we definitely are. We’re slaving away on the final paragraphs of essays, finishing problem sets, and cramming for exams. Nor is the problem that we are not eating. Man, we’re eating alright! We’re making WeShop runs up the wazoo, jamming Cheez-Its  into our mouths as we finish the last chapters of our readings, sobbing over pints of ice cream because we still have six paragraphs left of  essays that are due tomorrow… Now, I know what you’re thinking, “why would I ever walk all the way to William Street when I’m freaking the f*%& out because of all the work I have?” Well dear friends, here is my perspective on the matter.

First of all, the truth is that you probably don’t spend more than forty-five minutes at a time actually doing work. In between, you’re checking Facebook, chatting with friends, using the bathroom, banging your head against the wall, whatever… Now, if you added up all that time you spent lollygagging (which is a normal and completely acceptable element of the study-process), I’m sure that it would be at least 20 minutes.  In those 20 minutes, regardless of your location on campus, you could probably mange to walk down to William Street, grab a snack, and get back to your destination. But why? Why waste your time waiting on line for a Monger when you have so much to do?

Well, here’s the way I see it. Browsing Facebook is not a very satisfying break. Taking a walk around Sci Li? Not a very satisfying break. Furthermore, crackers? Boring. Chips Ahoy cookies? Ew, why? If you sacrificed a little Facebook browsing time and instead took a walk down to William Street, here’s what you would accomplish:

1. You’d be getting a little exercise (taking walks has been scientifically proven to amelioriate academic performance. It increases the circulation to your brain, thereby improving your focus.)

2. You’d be getting fresh air, which acts to rejuvenate and stimulate an exhausted mind.

3. Studies have shown that it is best to do work in designated  areas. That way, your brain knows that when you’re in the library, it’s time to study. Taking a break away from your “study area” means that once you get back, you will assume the mindset that it’s time to focus back in and get things done. Your brain will register your time away as a real break, and when you get back, it will be refreshed enough to work for a longer period of time without needing to rest.

4. You’d be eating something delicious, and probably a lot more fulfilling than crackers.(According to the Purdue University Health Center, eating real meals as oppose to snacks while studying keeps your energy up. The best meals include protein and carbs. Um, grilled cheese anyone?)

5. Eating desserts (like NoRA cupcakes) actually triggers endorphins in your brain. If there’s ever a time to get that extra boost of happiness, it’s when you’re studying, amirite?

Going to a food truck on a night when you’re not necessarily going out is a great decision. It’s like a mini vacation. You’ll come back revitalized, refreshed, and full. If anyone needs a midnight snack, it’s the people who are doing homework, right?  Imagine all the calories you burn thinking! So next Thursday night, when you’re just itching to get out of that chair at Olin and you’re craving a midnight snack, walk down to William Street and get a grilled cheese and a cupcake. Just try it, believe me. It’s a great way to live.

-Ari

Sources:

http://www.relatemag.com/2012/02/5-effective-study-breaks/

http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2009/11/05/whats-the-best-way-to-take-a-s/

http://astudentsrealm.blogspot.com/2012/04/6-things-to-do-when-you-take-break-from.html

http://ask.metafilter.com/58373/How-to-refresh-your-mind-during-a-study-break

http://www.3fatchicks.com/why-eating-dessert-releases-endorphins/

http://www.afli20.info/designate-a-study-area-in-your-home.php

http://www.afli20.info/designate-a-study-area-in-your-home.php