News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

Procrastination Essay_Draft 4


It’s a problem we’ve all faced: you sit down to write the greatest, most important essay of your life, (one that coincidentally happens to be worth 10 percent of your first semester grade and is due tomorrow. “NO MOM, I COULDN’T START IT BEFORE TODAY I WAS REALLY BUSY, GOD!”) You open up your word processing document, title it something like “BEST MOST AWESOME ESSAY EVER” or, if you’re feeling practical, “Beowulf Final Essay”.

You format the document correctly and then take a well-deserved break and immediately switch to the web browser to peruse your social network of choice for anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour depending on your self-control. This constant and irritating cycle of procrastination plagues almost every student, regardless of the amount of time they have available to complete the assignment, or their level of motivation.

Sure, the methods by which we choose to procrastinate may differ; playing video games, reading a book, making some sort of baked good, or even completing some other assignment that’s significantly less important and isn’t due for two weeks are all valid strategies of procrastination. Before you know it, it’s 10 p.m. and you’ve written the title and not much else. Yeah, that cat picture was pretty funny but now it’s 1 a.m. and you can’t even remember who Grendel was, much less his (her?) symbolism within the text. At times, it even seems like procrastination is linked to assignment importance: the more an assignment is worth, the longer it will take to complete due to procrastination.

There are obvious downsides to procrastination. It’s stressful to know you have other things to be doing while you’re trying to have fun, staying up late to do homework isn’t exactly pleasant, and waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment doesn’t always result in turning in your best work. Procrastination, however, also has unique benefits that may not always be obvious at first sight.

Students, as a group, lack free time. Sure, students don’t spend all their time at home, but the hours in which they are not actively in class are expected to be filled with other pursuits, often academic: there is, of course, homework, but other activities such as volunteering, clubs, test-prep, and athletics are all seen as necessary addendums to the already taxing high school curriculum.

Some of these activities can be fun, but attempting to balance all of these many activities in addition to school results in the loss of time for socialization and things like reading and watching television, as well as sleep.

It may not seem like playing “Cube Runner” or surfing your Facebook news feed for longer than is probably strictly warranted is any kind of great victory for your burgeoning autonomy, but if taking five minutes to do something that you want to do, maybe at the expense of 10 lines of your essay, is the thing that prevents you from curling up under your desk and screaming, then by all means, take that quiz to see which Kardashian you most resemble.

Procrastination isn’t always good, and doesn’t always help your peace of mind, and if you’re finding procrastination to be a problem, there are plenty of resources in place to help you find a method to keep yourself focused.

But sometimes a little bit of procrastination can be the thing that keeps you sane in what seems like an unending flood of obligations and responsibilities.

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