Academics
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Maryam Hassan / Staff Photographer

If you’ve been paying attention to columbia buy sell memes in the past 24 hours, you may have come across a common theme.

Under their “Time Management and Productivity” tab, the Berick Center for Student Advising posted—and promptly removed, as of Tuesday evening—a “Free Time Calculator.” While the page’s title evidently drew clicks from the overworked midterm-takers of Morningside Heights, its content was… unexpected.

The greatest offense wasn’t even that this “Calculator” didn’t actually contain any sort of application. Instead, there was a chart detailing what the University proposes as “average” weekly amounts of time spent performing various activities, such as hygiene,class hours, sleep, and mealtimes. Of course, any chart viewer would probably have been wary of a graphic followed by the rhetorical subtitle, “Why do I want free time, anyway?”, but this quip hardly figures among the most problematic elements on the page.Columbia didn’t get its reputation as one of the most stressed-out universities in the country for nothing. People here tend to take work, and the competition that it entails, more seriously than, well, everything—including their own well-being. We’ve taken it upon ourselves, in true Columbia style, to provide you with a thoughtful analysis of the administration’s latest attempt to address the stress culture that their institution engenders.

1. When even your “free time” sounds like a problem set.

2. When was the last time you had 6 hours of sleep every night in a week?

3. Add one credit, and our chart avatar is down to 5 hours of free time per week. That’s a whole…... 0.7 hours of free time per day, or a little under 43 minutes. With that kind of time, you could wait in line at Joe in NoCo and maybe almost get your drink.

4. This is funny! Is it supposed to be funny?

5. OK, props to Columbia for giving us an hour for each meal! (and for making us feel bad since we don’t eat meals with friends that often)

6. Point blank: This is obscene.

7. Interesting, because a recent study posted on the Teacher’s College website cites 2.5 hours per week as the bare recommended minimum for exercise.

8. Generous average, actually.

9. Showering, laundry, cleaning. And, you know, looking presentable and being generally healthy. Anyways, we’re glad Columbia hopes we clean our rooms.

10. Right. 2 hours. That’s 17 minutes (and 8.5 seconds) for all of the above every day. Enjoy your weekly shower!

11. 9/7 = 1.285714. That is some bold rounding, Columbia.

(*) Where exactly do extracurriculars figure in here? Good question. Athletes, any insight?

12. “Light shade,” “Jumbo shrimp,” “Hell’s Angels”

13. Is this sponsored content?

14. Because nothing helps you decompress like a good physical.

15. Wow, look who read Nietzsche! Four for Glen Coco.

16. New York is only the 2nd-least affordable rental market in the United States. Should be easy as pie.

17. Hm, seems fishy. Classes might be hard? There could be a crippling stress culture on campus?

madeleine.leddy@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpectrum

Columbia University Time management calculator Stress culture
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