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Battling the Sunday Scaries at Duke

By Kelli Wilson, Class of 2024.

The Sunday Scaries are REAL, and knowing myself and other procrastinating Dukies like me, they are not going anywhere. We are all guilty of pushing off our work until all the pressure falls on one dreadful day. However, over the past year, I have cultivated a plan that helps me battle against the Sunday Scaries. Keep reading for my tips towards Sunday Successes instead!

This may be a hot take, but setting an alarm is a must. Nothing crazy like 7:00AM, but early enough to where you’re not rolling out of bed past noon and completely missing the opportunity to get breakfast at Panera’s in the Brodhead Center. Another main motivation to get out of bed is simply the coffee at Bella Union (my absolute favorite cold brew on campus). After getting fueled up, it’s time for the most important decision: Where should I study?

Where you choose to study can make or break your efforts to fight off the Sunday Scaries, and it all depends on what type of work needs to get done. Here is how I break it down. For casual studying and review with friends, the tables on the second floor of the Brodhead Center have the best vibes with good (and extremely loud) music bumping (and, of course, easy access to a snack… or more coffee). However, when work needs to get done, I swear by Fitz. Although I’m a student in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, I always make my way to the Engineering Quad to study in the Fitzpatrick Center. Get up to the third floor for a perfect view of the chapel and sunlight pouring in from every direction! Although tables and chairs are separate, everyone is quietly supporting one another from a distance, and there is a communal understanding that IT. IS. GRIND TIME. An added bonus is that right downstairs is Twinnie’s Cafe, which sells Starbucks coffee and delicious sandwiches so you don’t have to trek back to the Brodhead Center for more fuel. You may be able to tell that food and coffee are a major key to Sunday Successes.

View of the third floor of the Fitzpatrick Center. The stairway can be seen leading up to the floor, with a few students studying at tables. A large piece of red abstract sculpture art is hanging from the ceiling. Through a large window is a view of the Duke Chapel.
Third Floor of the Fitzpatrick Center at Duke University

Sundays are not complete without a little bit of relaxing and being with friends. It’s nice to end the day having fun instead of procrastinating all day and setting myself up for a stressful upcoming week. I always make an effort to eat lunch or dinner with my buddies and take a break so my brain doesn’t get fried. At the end of a long day, you HAVE to treat yourself. For me, it’s with a chocolate chip cookie from Sazón (or any pastry from Café will suffice). We all gotta celebrate the little victories, and getting past the Sunday Scaries each week is definitely a victory. Halloween just took place and Spooky Season is in full swing… but that doesn’t mean our Sundays need to be so scary.

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