Procrastination: I’ll Make a Title Later

With a synthesis paper deadline fast approaching, junior Elliot Cheung ponders the culture of procrastination in the storied cloisters. (Amy Kang)

With a synthesis paper deadline fast approaching, junior Elliot Cheung ponders the culture of procrastination in the storied cloisters. (Amy Kang)


Procrastination: I’d look up the definition for it, but I’m too lazy. I’ve been meaning to write an article about it for quite some time now, but I kept pushing it back.

Everyone procrastinates. Where there is work, there are people putting it off. It seems as if we students have an inherent aversion to doing work. To me, the need to procrastinate is a rather interesting phenomenon – although to be fair, what I find “interesting” might not be so appealing to other people. Often, I don’t dread doing the work, yet the supernatural force of procrastination pulls me away regardless.

Take writing this article for instance. I decided that my next opinions piece would be on procrastination shortly after finishing my last online article, Top Nine: Reasons Why Papers are the Best. I sat on the idea for four weeks, not because other work was particularly busy, but just because I never felt like actually writing the article. Why this is I’m not entirely certain. I write online columns for fun, not because I have to, so it’s not like I put this article off because it’s something I dreaded doing.

And even worse, I’m still procrastinating. While writing those three short paragraphs, I watched several pointless Youtube videos, refreshed my Facebook countless times for no reason, unwound and rewound my headphones twice, went to get a snack, came back, checked Facebook yet again, and then proceeded to admire the decor of my room, which consists of a huge mess of clothes and books with a small space for my laptop – none of that should be of any interest to any sane person. Yet while writing, the most mundane things suddenly become fascinating to the procrastinating mind. Maybe you should wait until you’re writing a paper to read this article, so it might actually seem good.

Now, I’m writing this article for fun. No deadlines, no pressure. But when doing actual schoolwork, procrastination can have terrible consequences. Yet, we all still procrastinate anyway.

Procrastination is particularly apparent in writing papers. Let’s face it – most people start writing far closer to the deadline than necessary, often putting it off until the night before it’s due. I have even heard stories of people who have started major papers the lunch period of the due date, which in my opinion is probably cutting it a bit close.

Of course, there’s always that one guy who writes six pages on the day the paper is assigned. That guy gets a lot of groans and glares for his hard work, while everyone else takes pride in their procrastination. Procrastinating has almost become a status symbol within the SJS community. The night before papers are due, Facebook always explodes with posts of people boasting about how much they procrastinated. More procrastination gets more comments, likes and overall attention. And on due dates, students brag about how late they started the paper and bond over mutual procrastination. Those who are organized and finish papers early receive boos and hisses from their peers. It is as if society demands and promotes procrastination even though everyone knows how bad it is.

Which, of course, is now my best excuse for procrastinating, among the many others I’ve fabricated over the years, including “I’m waiting for inspiration,” “I work faster in a time crunch” and “I’ll write my paper after I finish this article for the Review.”

All that being said, I really should wrap this article up and get back to my synthesis paper, and you should stop procrastinating and get back to work too.

Elliot Cheung
Staff Writer


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