Procrastination helps you get by, but what are the consequences?

My intuition tells me that I would not be alone to say that one of the great lessons learned from public school education was survival through procrastination.

It is a skill learned through time. Baby steps of skipping chapters of assigned readings leading up to confident strides off the campus midday. There are plenty of ways to make a passing grade, but cramming and smart friends are the ones I would recommend.

After high school, the stakes are raised. A student in a Memorial Hall class is more of an island in the academic ocean, and real work pays off far better than any cram session.

Not only this, but college professors know bulls— when they see it. And in an enforcement style that mixes intolerance to BS and indifference to the progress of those who perform it, old habits of procrastination and skirting by are hard pressed to serve as well as they had.

But as in any evolution, the strong survive and the determined find a way.

In fairness, all-out laziness is not the only reason students procrastinate. Students need money to live and jobs to make money, and jobs take away time. Depending on one’s need and quality of pay, it could take more time than there is for school. A full-time work schedule could wear on even the brightest student’s academics.

Jobs, family, health reasons; all take time away from school. This is not to say there are no genuinely lazy, unmotivated people on this campus, but it would be unfair to judge that simply on grades.

Like other individuals with like-minded priorities, I have found a way to pass my classes while working a full-time job on minimal pay and with, let’s just say, not the maximum amount of class work I should have done.

But after eight-plus years of mastering passing grades with non-passing behavior, I start to wonder if it’s a convenient act or if I’m just unmotivated and don’t care.

It’s like the adage that if people are called a monster enough, they’ll become a monster. Or tell a lie to people long enough until it becomes a truth in their minds. If individuals bulls— enough, could part of their lives be bulls—?

Am I taking my education seriously? Am I thinking too far into my responsibilities as a student? Could I possibly not be procrastinating enough?

There’s no straight answer to any of these because everyone comes into college with different priorities. And no matter what those priorities may be, college will certainly supply an education in those areas, whether it comes from inside the classroom or off-campus.

I’ve come to the conclusion recently that I genuinely wish I had time to complete all of my class work. Wading your way through excuses and incomplete assignments seems to take as much work as following the syllabus word for word. Procrastination is still work; it’s just a different schedule.

But from years of being stuck in a relax-and-cram-lifestyle, I start to wonder if I’m that smart of an individual or just good at understanding what professors want to hear from me.

I’m not sure. And, honestly as a senior graduating this spring, it’s probably too late to change even if I wanted too. I suppose the concern of being a poor student speaks to the virtue I have in my academic life.

But then again, having fun was also an important priority of mine when I came to college. And if I could earn a degree for that, it would be with honors.

Sean Rose is a journalism and English senior. E-mail [email protected]