You know what really grinds my gears?
Just like every other college student in the country, I suffer from a severely bad habit called procrastination. Procrastination is when someone has to do something, yet they decide to do something unproductive (like watching three episodes of Pretty Little Liars, not that I did that…) to avoid doing what they should actually be doing….and it usually leads to doing the important thing at the very last minute, which then leads to a ton of stress that could have easily been avoided if we had decided to do it FROM THE BEGINNING.
I have a couple of procrastination stories that I would like to share with you: one where my procrastination has almost lead to my ultimate demise and another where procrastination has actually benefitted me (which isn’t always the case).
I will share my horror story first.
When I was a senior in high school, I wanted to go to a top-notch university, so one of the schools I applied to was Harvard. HOWEVER, I wasn’t aware how much work it was to apply, and so naturally, I put it off until the last minute…which wasn’t the greatest idea. The day before winter break, I was still asking teachers for letters of recommendation, having my transcript faxed over, and trying to gather all the “needed documents” required to fill out the application; and the day my application was due, I was still trying to finish my last essay MINUTES before I had to submit it. Needless to say…it did not end well. I received my rejection letter in March, cried, got over it, and now here I am, happy (for the most part) to be at UNM. I guess you can say this story had a happy ending since I’m doing quite well at UNM, but I’m always going to regret not putting in more effort into the application.
Now time for the instances where procrastination has been my best friend.
I don’t know about you guys, but when I do assignments last minute, I tend to actually do quite well. My brain has this weird thing where it actually functions better under pressure, especially when it comes to writing (math and science are a totally different story though). When I sit down and actually try to write, my mind goes blank. I get really bad writer’s block and I cannot for the life of me think of anything to write. Yet whenever I am pressed for time, it’s like my brain unlocks some special gene or something that opens up a whole flow of ideas, and my writing actually comes out better. Just this last week, I finished an assignment several minutes before it was due in the morning and when I got my paper back, I had gotten a 100%!
However, the downside to doing everything last minute is that it creates A LOT of unwanted stress. As soon as I feel myself beginning to put things off, I know I’m going to regret it later. And the thing is, I KNOW that what I’m doing isn’t good, but I still do it anyways (mostly because I’d rather watch mindless television while munching down on food after a day of work and school than sit down and do homework…which requires more thinking). Yet even as I procrastinate, I keep thinking and stressing about how I need to do my homework. And by the time I get around to doing it, I’m pulling my hair out and drinking 5 cups of coffee so I can pull an all-nighter and finish the assignment last minute.
So the moral of the story is to not procrastinate. Just kidding, that’s not going to happen. The moral is to TRY your hardest to do things in a timely manner. Oh, and I recommend going to one of those time management workshops that they give here on campus because they help you realize how much time you truly waste. There are tons of different resources on campus that can help students become better, more successful students. With that being said, I hope people actually take advantage of those resources because procrastination leads to high levels of stress, and stress leads to an increase chance of a heart attack, which leads to death.