Opinion

Time-honored tradition of procrastination lives on

Normally around this time of the year, one can most likely hear the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” ad nauseum. While that time may begin soon in whichever way you celebrate the holiday season, it certainly won’t begin before the end of final exams. You remember those exercises in school-sanctioned sadism? In any event, we’ve all known about them for some time, and yet how many of us put off studying for them until the night before? You know who you are.
This is what usually happens with me for regular exams: I keep saying to myself, “You’ve got plenty of time, you can do it tomorrow.” And then tomorrow arrives and I find myself rushing around like a crazy man, drastically attempting to fill my brain with all the information printed about Australopithecines.
Yes, it’s that famous procrastination dance. Whether it’s studying or shopping for Christmas cards (have I forgotten about that again?) or getting into the gym to workout, everybody at one time or another will put something off that they should do now. Why do we do this? Could it be that subconsciously we all subscribe to the notion that “What’s worth doing, is worth doing later?” Or could it be an evolved learned behavior? I’ll answer that later.
This sort of thing starts when we’re young, and it’s not long before it becomes an art. Confronted by something that’s unpleasant, like, say, emptying the trash, one tries to find some way to postpone the inevitable bag haul to the can outside – after all, one might get abducted by a photographer from the National Enquirer on the way outside.
This technique just gets more refined from there until suddenly one is faced with the Underwater Basket Weaving final exam from hell. But what’s a person to do? Certainly cramming for a final exam in college is a time-honored tradition; who are we to break it? For those of you who desire to break the cycle of procrastination dependency, never fear! Help is only a decision away. Procrastinators Anonymous can help you get out of this rut. I’m planning on joining – first thing tomorrow.

Scott Wacholtz is a junior majoring in computer science and political science.

December 6, 2002

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