Netflix and finals: The Romeo and Juliet of university students

By in Culture

Netflix and finals can be a potentially disastrous combination. However, with careful planning, an end worthy of a Shakespearean comedy is possible.

Using Netflix as a reward is a great way to prevent burnout.
Using Netflix as a reward is a great way to prevent burnout.

Before you start committing yourself to a new show, plan how you intend to do so. Netflix does not have to be something that prevents you from studying — it can be the reward. My advice for this is to be prepared in advance by creating a detailed schedule that includes what you plan to get done each day. If you get all of your daily tasks accomplished, use Netflix as your reward. An episode or two once you’ve finished is a well-deserved reward. Beware, this strategy only works if you channel your inner self-disciplined Brutus.

Self-discipline is something that is easy to talk about but much more difficult to execute. A 2014 Forbes article by Jennifer Cohen cites Wilhelm Hofmann, a social cognition researcher at Wesleyan University, on the benefits of self-discipline.

“People with high self control are happier than those without,” Hofmann said.

According to Cohen, the reason for this is that self-disciplined people have a much easier time making positive, logical choices than those who struggle to accomplish their goals.

To practice self-discipline with Netflix, start off with the simple rule: “out of sight, out of mind.” Remove as many, if not all, reminders of Netflix as possible for when you study. If you aren’t constantly thinking about it, chances are you can focus more easily on the subject at hand, and not on what your favourite character is going to do next.

Once on Netflix, there is an almost endless amount of shows or movies to watch, if you want something new, something old or something a little bit strange. Whatever you decide, there is something for you to watch.

One of the hottest, if not the hottest, Netflix shows at the moment is Riverdale. The story is loosely based on the Archie comics in the sense that the characters and story setting are like the original series. However, the storyline in the Netflix show is vastly different, and focuses on the murder of Jason Blossom. This murder in a seemingly innocent town shakes the community and reveals dark secrets that were once buried.

The success of Riverdale is due to how well-crafted and addictive it is. Every episode is packed with twists and turns, which keep the viewer on their toes. Riverdale also has the unique characteristic of being modern but also classic at the same time. It reminds viewers of their childhood and of reading old Archie comics while not having a care in the world.

The comics were based in the 1950s era, but the show takes this for a different spin. The dress style of the characters has a 1950s flair to it, but the show also includes references to modern day influences from Twitter and Netflix. Watch this latest hit, and enjoy seeing teens text in a classic 1950s diner.

For something a little bit different, Stranger Things is the show for you. The show fits in multiple genres, including horror, supernatural and science fiction. The plot revolves around the disappearance of a child — which involves the supernatural, as does the ensuing search. What the residents of the fictional Indiana town don’t know is that a nearby research facility experiments with the supernatural, and the results of these experiments directly harm the community members.

The show has been very well received, and like Riverdale, has the perfect amount of nostalgia without being tacky. Stranger Things is an excellent choice for viewers who want a thrill. You can rest easy knowing that a second season is on its way.

Regardless of what show you choose this final exam season, let finals and Netflix be your Antony and Cleopatra — Shakespeare’s power couple.

Kezia Fourie

Photo: Lauren Klassen