It’s now 2 o’clock in the morning and you have successfully defeated Super Mario Brothers, watched Lilo and Stitch for the nineteenth time and created an accurate replica of the Statue of Liberty out of Play-doh. The only thing you have left to do is that fifteen page philosophy paper on Aristotle…or is it Socrates?
Right now, however, that doesn’t seem to really matter as you lazily plop down in front of your computer. You aimlessly begin typing away on your paper when, halfway through the introduction, you realize that you have no idea what you’re writing about. You attempt babbling for a few more sentences before giving up and staring mindlessly at the white screen in front of you.
After a few moments of this mind-numbing existence, you crawl under your bed only to find your philosophy book still wrapped tightly in the plastic it came in. You knew that you’d get around to opening it eventually. Now that it’s finally open, you crawl onto your bed, hoping to comprehend enough to complete your paper.
Six hours later, you finally print your paper with just enough time to run across the Great Lawn and make it to class before your professor. You confidently hand in your paper and sleep through class before heading to your next one. You take your normal seat in the back of the room, but then you gasp as your professor reaches into her briefcase and begins distributing your in-class final exam. Yup, that would be the final exam that you forgot to cram for because you were too busy typing your philosophy paper.
If the above scenario sounds even remotely familiar to you, you’ve probably fallen victim to the habit known as procrastination. It’s common among college students who believe that they have all the time in the world to finish something, until the night before it’s actually due. This becomes most apparent at this time of year, as finals and the end of the semester rapidly approach.
As the days wind down, it seems as if the workload gets heavier, as we are forced to immerse ourselves in reading, papers and projects that we have been neglecting all semester long. It’s not that we were necessarily busier a month ago, it’s just that the due dates seemed so far away. However, as the end of the semester rapidly approaches, procrastination catches up with us, especially the night before something major is due.
In fact, that night just may be one of the scariest, most harrowing experiences of your life. Just as can be expected, everything that could possibly go wrong is likely to happen while you’re cramming for that final or wrapping up that paper.
Your computer will crash, losing the fourteen pages you’ve just typed, the fire alarm will sound, beckoning you into the cold for a few hours or your printer will run out of ink, preventing you from printing out those diagrams necessary for your presentation.
For some, procrastination is a part of life that provides a time for deep exploration into the world. I know people who would argue that they learn the most enthralling facts or complete the most interesting projects when they actually should be writing a paper or studying for an exam.
Some claim that they accomplish their best work while procrastinating. Maybe these people should find work in a menial job with intense deadlines, allowing them to achieve greatness in another field.
Although procrastination does seem to have its perks in the end, it’s better to avoid it. While your roommates are pulling their hair out and your best friend is having a nervous breakdown, you’ll be the one laughing from the sidelines.
It may be too late to save yourself this semester, but if you’re still deciding on a New Year’s Resolution, consider the avoidance of procrastination.
If you’re looking to learn pig latin or have aspirations to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower out of chewed bubblegum, procrastination just may be your calling.