After-school snacks: my secret key to productivity

September 12, 2023 — by Zack Zhang
Graphic by Amy Luo
Some of my favorite snacks to eat after school are honey butter chips, shrimp chips and pocky.
Snacking may be a bad habit, but it’s a great way to keep myself focused while working. 

As someone who often goes to sleep past 2 a.m. after working on piles of junior-year homework, it may seem weird that I dedicate one whole hour to snacking after coming home from school. However, in my mind, eating is quite the excuse for being unproductive. Whenever I don’t feel like starting homework immediately after school, eating snacks distracts my mind from imploding and satisfies my cravings.

My habit finds its roots back in kindergarten, when I used to invite friends over for small “tea parties” full of snacks but no tea. Enjoying the simple moments in the afternoon, my friends and I would eat, chat and laugh together. Ever since then, I saw snacks as beyond just food. They became momentary, blissful escapes from the difficulties in life, especially as school work became more stressful and demanding. They became my way of recharging at the end of an overwhelming day. 

Through my consumption of a concerning amount of snacks for the past decade, I present to you my personal favorites:

  • Butter Honey chips: This is my go-to option to bring for a potluck or a party. Although a sweet-flavored chip may sound strange at first, it is indescribably addictive. The rich, salty aftertaste of butter blends with the not-so-overwhelming sweet taste of honey, making this snack taste like heaven in my mouth. My dad normally buys more than six bags at once, and miraculously, my family of five can finish them in less than a week. We started sharing this snack with friends after it grasped our heart many years ago; undoubtedly, everyone asks for the name of the brand to buy more themselves after they’ve tasted it. 
  • Häagen-Dazs’s ice cream bars: The best have a vanilla flavor with the crisp chocolate shell coating. I find ice cream bars not only more fun and convenient to eat, but also nostalgic and a classic that I have had since childhood.
  • Korean salted seaweed: With the crunchy texture and marinated flavor of dried seaweed accompanied with olive oil and salt, it is undoubtedly the best snack to compliment my YouTube binges  because I can just eat with the box and not get my hands oily. The only downside, perhaps, is that these seaweed boxes come in family sizes, so it’s not as easy to sneak the package to my room without getting noticed.  

I am aware of the numerous downsides and negative effects of over-consuming artificial snacks, but they are an unusually effective way for me to destress. At the end of a tough day, coming home to my lovely snacks gives me a lot of motivation and comfort, helping me stay on task later in the day — even when the day stretches to 2 a.m.

Tags: chips, snacks
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