It‘s past three o‘clock in the morning. A combination of caffeine, prescription drugs and sheer willpower has kept me up until now. I have this creepy voice on my Mac that announces the time every hour on the hour. It‘s like Steven Hawking sneaks up on me every 60 minutes and, for lack of a better term, whispers in my ear. I shudder.
I have thoroughly analyzed the shit out of the opportunities available for freed slaves during the post-Civil War era and compared it to Jewish mobility as America‘s most successful minority group. I have quoted things, drawn parallels, and have made love with my thesaurus tonight. I just pumped out 2,000 words distributed among 14 paragraphs. I have said another man‘s name, Stephen Steinberg, out loud so many times tonight I could have offended a certain someone. I have listened to hours on end of Pandora. For some ungodly reason T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Ne-Yo seriously spark some sort of analytical fire in my brain. I like to think the little version of me running on the treadmill in my head is sprinting to get away from Lil Wayne‘s incoherent voice and towards my education and merits.
How many of us, the college students, have been in this situation? To my left, a rock. On my right, a hard place. As hard as we try, we end up chugging Redbulls the night before a paper, an o-chem midterm, or a big project in an attempt to stay awake. But we are left to wonder whether we should sleep now and attempt to wake up early and finish whatever work is left, or should we duke it out, stay up and just buy a triple mocha in the morning? Usually it‘s the former, but on the unfortunate occasion that I find myself still awake at 5:30 in the morning, it‘s good to know the Coho will put any number of espresso shots I deem necessary in my drink. And besides, this is the last time.
Every time is the last time. Every time we have learned our lesson: start your shit early. Be responsible and adult-like. And yet, here I am nearing four in the morning listening to R&B singer Genuwine ask if there‘s any more room for him in my jeans. No.
Just to keep you updated, Stephen Hawking just whispered in my ear again. Apparently it is officially four in the morning. I was in this same situation last week. It was really unlucky that my column was due on a holiday – Veteran‘s day. The day after my roommates surprised me with a keg in the kitchen downstairs. Monday was the new Friday that week; you all know what I‘m talking about. I‘d like to think more people would agree I had no choice.
There is something about procrastination that is initially so gratifying. Sure it‘s harder when you put things off until later, but how much better do you feel at that exact moment when you have made the decision not to work on something? Be honest. The second there‘s that switch in your head from worrying about finishing any given project to knowing it‘s as far away from your concerns as possible for the moment. I wonder what kind of chemical reactions are going on in our brains? All of a sudden your head is cleared. The world is your oyster and you can do whatever you please! Backpack through Europe! Start a business! Learn a foreign language! Actually, we‘re more likely watching “The Office,“ downloading more T-Pain or cruising the infamous Facebook. I guess we can learn to do our shit on time. But how? How! I‘m always busy, but I still find time to put things off even more.
I think instead of wasting their time on trying to defer kids from smoking weed (it‘s useless you fools!), parents should have a serious talk with their children about the negative affects of procrastination. The euphoric and ambitious feelings mentioned earlier are short-lived. Sooner than later, reality pistol-whips you but instead of a welt on your head, you have a crappy grade on your transcript. That was an unnecessarily graphic analogy. I guess it‘s not that serious. But it still sucks.
In any case, starting things sooner rather than later will prove to be successful. Learn from my mistakes and if you have anything due even in a couple days, for the love of Buddha, do it now!
If like SARA KOHGADAI you find yourself up too late to go to sleep, but too early to stop working, shoot her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. P.S: Much love to the cute Irishman with a lucky ear for helping edit my paper at 3 a.m.