Why the MLB Playoff Race and Studying for Exams Are Really the Same Thing

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Ahh yes. Fall. The leaves are turning and the girls with sweaters and Ugg boots carrying a pumpkin spice latte are starting to reappear. While football is consuming the majority of our time on Saturdays and Sundays, the MLB Playoff race (well, now it’s the postseason I guess) gives us sports fans something to find interesting during the week.

While the premature champagne celebrations by teams clinching a playoff birth can get a little old, the real entertainment comes from the race to get into the playoffs. As a college student, I equate these playoff races (and the incredible stress they cause) to students furiously cramming for exams. While you may say “but Nick, its only October, I have two months until my exams”, trust me, they are coming for you faster than you can say anxiety attack.

Students have an incredible ability to procrastinate and put off work until the last minute. So do baseball teams that coast all summer and wait until September when they’re 5 games out of a playoff spot to actually start trying. It’s human nature. Whatever the case may be, I find great entertainment in watching both scenarios unfold in front of me.

Take the Washington Nationals for example. While they hadn’t exactly coasted all summer, their meltdown was hilarious. It was all over SportsCenter and every major sports blog. The icing on the cake was the little scuffle between hothead burnout Jonathan Papelbon and franchise poster child Bryce Harper. THAT was high quality MLB action, stuff fans love to see (unless you’re a Nats fan, then I’m sure it sucked).

This sort of meltdown is something that every college student finds entertaining during exam week. You’re stressed. You haven’t slept in like 36 hours. Your eyes are practically bleeding from staring at a computer trying to memorize every fact about Israeli culture that your brain can handle. But then one kid sitting near you in the quiet section starts screaming every curse word imaginable, smashes his computer on the ground and storms out of there like a bat out of hell (yes I have actually witnessed this).

While that kid probably needs to be locked up in a mental institution, it is still relatively amusing and gives us the sense of relief that “hey, at least it’s not me”. Same goes for the other teams watching the Nats meltdown. They’re just glad they made it through the regular season without embarrassing their organization on national TV.

HOWEVER. The icing on the cake here is that you, college student, and you, MLB team, probably saw these meltdowns and thought you were all good. Thought you had it in the bag. Then comes the exam/playoffs and you too have a meltdown of biblical proportions. Those crazies you were laughing at mere moments ago will be watching you too and thinking, “hey, at least it’s not me!”.

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