The university of procrastination


By Emma Goodwin

Obviously, the point of going to college is to get a degree. But there are many crucial life lessons you learn along the way that will follow you everywhere you go in life.

One of those life lessons is how to procrastinate like a champion. You might think you’re good at this skill now, but you’re wrong. Procrastination is a new beast in college, so best learn the ropes now with Procrastination 101.

1. Watch a new series on Netflix

When I was in high school, I remember telling my dad he could cancel the Netflix subscription because I didn’t like it. I was a fool back then.

I won’t tell you how many series I finished freshman year but let’s just say if you make a reference to a non-black-and-white television show, I will be able to pick it up. Start with basics like “How I Met Your Mother” or “Parks and Rec.” Your job is to get through the seasons, not to finish that paper.

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    How likely are you to do work after?

    Netflix is a pit of oblivion. Hitting “Play next episode” is just so easy. It’s highly unlikely you’ll do anything productive ever again.

    2. Do other homework

    You know you have too much work when you procrastinate big projects with little ones. Who cares about the exam worth half your grade tomorrow? You have a two-page paper due in a month that is clearly more deserving of your attention. Yes, this is paradoxical and counter-intuitive, but you’ll do it anyway.

    How likely are you to do work after?

    Hopefully after doing one assignment you’ll be on a roll and ready to jump to the next one after a short break.

    3. Join a club you care about

    When you join a club with a cause you’re passionate about, you’ll be motivated to do the work – especially since it was your own initiative that pushed you to that club in the first place.

    Easily, any work or meeting for the organization will push your other assignments to the wayside – and it’s a great way to convince yourself that you really were too busy to start studying until the night before a big test.

    How likely are you to do work after?

    Since this assignment has nothing to do with actual classes, you won’t have the same energy as the option before. You might tackle a short assignment, but the odds are not largely in your favor.

    4. Do a high-intensity workout

    If it’s an assignment you really don’t want to do, you’ll do anything to delay its completion – including getting up off your lazy butt after hours of watching “The Office.”

    Try something that will make you a little sore. This is great because when it’s over, you’ll be a little more energized, and in a little pain.

    How likely are you to do work after?

    You’ll have just the brain power to buckle down and work, but will be too sore to move, and therefore, too sore to procrastinate any more. As long as you don’t take a nap, you should be golden.

    5. Take a nap

    Chances are this will come when you’ve sat down to do homework, got 15 minutes in and realized you’re deliriously tired.

    How likely are you to do work after?

    This is the riskiest option. Your nap might accidentally last until tomorrow morning – in which case, good luck when grades come out. Or you’ll wake up feeling energized and your test will go as good as it can after binge studying. Like I said: Big risk, potentially big reward.

    No matter what form of procrastination you choose, the best of luck in your studying endeavors – and may every question you don’t study for be multiple choice.

    Emma is a junior in LAS.

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    Tweet: Opinions editor Emma Goodwin explores different procrastination tactics and their results.