Friday, December 22, 2006

Procrastinators of the World, Unite! ...Tomorrow

Reading week is over, and finals have officially begun. My reading week was…well, the way mine typically are: rather unproductive. I can’t say I really did any schoolwork at all to speak of. You’re shocked? Well, you shouldn’t be. You see, I have a problem—and I’m finally ready to admit it:

I am a procrastinator. [hides face in shame]

Like, a really really BIG procrastinator. I am one of those people who is completely unable to study until the night before a test—at which time, I have been known to lose my cool, panic, stress out for hours, realize it’s too late to study, go to sleep, and then wake up early in the morning, an hour or two before the test, to try to cram the material into my poor mushed-up brain. This has been my system ever since high school—and the scary part is, it’s worked for me. But I can’t say it’s any fun. The problem is, though, since I never seem to have any awful repercussions for my irresponsibility, my negative habits are reinforced, and I don’t change my ways. This is bad.

So this year, I determined I would be different. At the very least, I’d cut out the stressing part, which serves no purpose and is rather horrible. To my own shock and wonder, I actually did it! This past semester I was actually able to minimize the amount of time I spent stressing out over my work! The solution, I think, was that I filled up my schedule with so many extracurricular activities that I simply didn’t have any extra time in which to stress. The little unscheduled time I had needed to be used to get the schoolwork done, so there was no room for the stressing time I was accustomed to.

However, the system broke down when it came to reading week. My extracurriculars were over for the semester, and there was no class. This left me with oodles and oodles of free time. I didn’t know what to do with myself—so I just didn’t do anything! I only had one paper to write (still unfinished), but since it’s not a research paper, I didn’t stress about it—or spend any time on it either. Instead, I hung out with my roomies (who I had barely seen of late due to my ridiculously busy schedule), reread a book for pleasure for the first time in forever (Pride and Prejudice is sooo good…if you are a girl, go read it! Or if you are a guy who actually appreciates great literature, read it too! :-), blogsurfed, and thought about beginning to study for my finals, but never actually did.

Now, finals have begun, and I am wholly unprepared. My first one was statistics, this morning, and I naively figured that since the final is open notes and the midterm was easy, I wouldn’t have to spend more than half an hour preparing. So I left it till yesterday afternoon. When I finally opened up my notes, I was shocked to see that I couldn’t make heads or tails of anything! My initial reaction was panic, but eventually I solicited the assistance of a friend and after studying for an hour or two eventually felt mildly prepared. Then, after lighting Chanukah candles, I went out and refused to think about the final any more—until 8:40 this morning when I arrived in the classroom to take it. The final is now over, and, fortunately or unfortunately, this system also seems to have worked out ok. Again, my irresponsibility is rewarded. Hoorah!

However, the finals coming up this week promise to be much more difficult, so I’m really going to have to study at some point…I wonder when I’m going to do that? Hmmm…

This procrastination thing is really getting out of hand…help!


esther said...

Oh, SJ . . . I am responding to your call of unification! Let's all do nothing and then freak out about how much we have to do later.

Lizzy said...

Things I did this past week to procrastinate:
1) painted my nails (which i NEVER do).
2) went for pizza and baskin robbins
3)spent hours on end in caf
socializing and mooching off of other people's caf cards.
4) reading your blog and posting on it for the very first time.
and the list goes on....

SJ said...

Esther - come over and we can have a doing-nothing party!

Lizzy - Hoorah! I love your list-- especially #4! Keep commenting :)

jackie said...

(((((cyberhugs))))) Hey sj,

Before you know it, the tests will be over! Then you and I can party together over intersession! :-)

Hakol Yihieh Biseder....tomorrow....

And until then, study parties can be fun, too! You just need lots of Milners to keep it going.

Ezzie said...

Oh, I am *so* the wrong person to be commenting here...

Unfortunately, I was exactly like you. I actually never changed my ways, and it never came back to haunt me (yet), so I never learned a lesson. The only difference is I didn't really stress about it... ask FrumDoc. He's the same way.

Actually, don't, that won't help. Hmm... good luck on your finals, anyway! :)

David Lantos said...

There should be a 12-step program for this. I'm David, and I have a procrastination issue too. Like you, Hashem keeps rewarding me despite my procrastination. Actually, I think I am slowly getting better over time.

I procrastinate when confronted with a scary, heretofore unknown task. If I delay by surfing the web or something, I feel like a lazy blob. When I successfully confront the task, I feel AWESOME. I think things are getting better because that positive feedback is slowly reinforcing.

By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed the previous doughnut-related posting. That was greatness.

SJ said...

Jackie - thanks for the chizuk. I am now officially done with finals...hoorah!

Ezzie - Wow, you really have the best of all possible prep + no stress + success = awesome!

David - Sounds like you're truly on the way to recovery! Shkoyach! Now how do I get aboard your program?

kasamba said...

Step away from the computer!!!!

My daughter has her British state exams and puts off studying every day- it's making me crazy!!!!
Be a good example to her- PLEASE!!!
And good luck!!!

SJ said...

Kasamba - I am sorry to be such a bad influence on the youth. I am both pleased and regretful to report that I finished my finals, that they went just fine, and that I studied for every single one solely the night before the test.

But you can tell your daughter that if I had to take British state exams I would surely study well in advance. Indubitably.