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Anyone who has spent a few hours watching Netflix, a student’s best friend and worst enemy, has seen this message pop up.

During the school year, the constant assignments prevented me from starting the long list of recreational books I want to read. It was also challenging to keep up on my favorite TV shows each week. Summer break provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on reading and shows. As Spring Semester finals were coming to an end, I had this perfect plan of reading classic novels over the break. That plan fell through as soon as I watched the first episode of Parks and Rec. I wasn’t strong enough to walk away from Pawnee, Indiana and my book list remained untouched. If you have your own book list, check out Hina’s post for motivation to help you complete it.

I’ve spent so many hours on Netflix that I like to think of myself as a “Master Binge Watcher.” For those who aren’t familiar with the term “binge-watching,” it’s when you watch multiple episodes of a show one after the other. I’m not an expert…yet. Some may think that binge-watching is a waste of time, but I see it as extreme relaxation. I watched the entire Season 3 of Orange is the New Black–in a day. I don’t regret it because it was a pretty good season. Thanks to binge-watching, I had more time for equally satisfying activities, like going to the beach or going for a walk.

I don’t recommend spending all day, every day in front of your laptop or TV for the whole summer. It’s good to give your eyes a break from the screen and get outside, like Anya’s been doing this summer. After a hectic school year, it’s nice to take some time to relax and do nothing but engross yourself in an entertaining, visual story. With a month left until classes start, now is a good opportunity to watch that show you’ve been dying to start, because you wont have much time for it once classes begin.

Netflix provides limitless possibilities of ways to spend your day on the couch. Before you sit your butt down for the next few hours, here are some tips to help you on your way to becoming an Master Binge-Watcher:

  • Do a little exploring to pick a show that you know you’ll still be committed to finishing even after you’ve made it through three seasons out of seven. If you haven’t already seen it, you should watch Parks and Rec.
  • Make sure your Internet is working well. There is nothing more frustrating than glaring at the screen, waiting for the show to buffer.
  • Get comfortable. Submerge yourself in a mountain of pillows and snuggle up under a cozy blanket. If you’re going to participate in extreme relaxation, you better do it right.
This guy doesn't have enough pillows, in my opinion.

This guy doesn’t have enough pillows, in my opinion.

  • Have snacks but limit the drinks because you don’t want to get up in the middle of an episode. Remember to go to the bathroom and plan bathroom breaks during the transition between episodes. If you really don’t want to waste time in the bathroom, adult diapers are a good alternative.
  • Make sure to stand up and stretch. You want to keep your body loose and limber for all the relaxing you’re about to do.
  • Plan your day accordingly. Do not to schedule anything that will interrupt your Netflix session. You don’t want to have to leave your comfort fortress to go to the grocery store or walk the dog.
  • If your show has multiple seasons, don’t wait longer than a few consecutive days before getting back in it. You lose momentum and might forget the storyline, and you might even lose interest. Freshmen year, some of my friends were really excited to start Breaking Bad. Unfortunately, they would often go weeks before watching another episode. They lost interest in the show and only finished it (I think they did?) because, after taking a long time to watch four seasons, they felt obligated. Completing a show should be enjoyable, not a chore.
  • Finally, accept the fact that you’re going to do nothing but stare at your screen for most/all of the day. And remember to blink. I know how easy it is to get so into a show that you just want to have a staring contest with the characters, but you need to keep your eyes lubricated so that you can watch the next 4 episodes, pain free.

If you have any more binge watching tips, show suggestions, or even if you aren’t really a binge watcher, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you have to say. 🙂

So take your pants off, kick your feet up, and continue watching.

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