Indiana Daily Student

An apathetic art form

So, heard of any big news lately? \nI was going to write a column about the Coach Knight situation, but then I remembered that you guys have heard, seen, read and said it all. It's not like I'm going to unearth some new outlook that will make everyone in America say, "Oh! What an insightful writer. Now my whole viewpoint has changed!" And what do I know about basketball, anyway? So I will go ahead and write about something else.\nHeard of any good column topics lately?\nGuys, it's 1:16 a.m. Like many of my fellow Hoosiers, I've been doing a bit of procrastination in the homework department during the past few days. (Mom, Dad, I'm getting it done, I swear. I'm gonna bring home a 4.0 this time.) So here I am, alternately listening to Spanish CDs, reading "Macbeth," following my fake stock portfolio and halfheartedly thinking about column topics.\nBut in my experience, procrastination is truly an art form. The first few times you do it, it's hard work! You really do feel guilty you're watching "Iron Chef" while you have a 10-page paper on a didactic novel to write. There are times when you see your roommate hard at work while you're satisfying the sudden urge to make Rice Krispie treats and long to be a good student. You know watching the MTV Video Music Awards for the fifth time is not exactly productive, but you feel the guilt and do it anyway.\nAfter you turn in a few half-baked homework assignments and the wrath of God has not fallen upon you, you become addicted. Like a beginning shoplifter just feeling the thrill of the conquest, you seek out bigger and better things to put off: midterm papers, group projects, physical exercise and keeping in touch with your family. Your list of priorities begins to slowly reverse itself, and you find yourself almost proud after every "victory."\nAnother step on the slippery slope is bringing your friends down with you. After a few minutes of persuading, your roommate suddenly thinks a midnight run to Steak 'n Shake is in order, too. If misery loves company, procrastination wants to marry it. It's easy to feel bad when you're figuring out Bon Jovi chords on your guitar instead of reading those five chapters, but when your friend is belting her Richie Sambora to your Jon Bon Jovi, things seem a little more justified.\nSo there you are, shameless at your lack of effort, seducing your friends into blowing off assignments. And now we've hit the worst procrastination demon of them all: Pride.\n"Check this out! I didn't even read this book, and I got an 'A-' on the paper I wrote about it!"\n"Dude, that's awesome. You must be really smart!"\n"Thanks, I know!"\n(Note to every English professor I've ever had: I swear to you, I've never done this! This is just an example. I had a friend who pulled this kind of thing once, I promise.)\nJust when you're riding high on your crest of self-congratulation, the inevitable happens.\nYour conscience returns from being bound and gagged in the recesses of your twisted and apathetic little mind.\n"Laura! What are you doing?"\n"Hey man, pipe down! I'm trying to watch 'General Hospital' here."\n"Laura, look what you've become. You're a vegetable!"\n"Shh! Oprah's trying to talk."\nAnd then, after wrestling with yourself for ages, a sad truth hits you like a slap across the face. \n"Laura. You're watching a rerun of 'Full House.'"\nHas it come to this? You become saddened, sickened that you ever sunk to such a low. Then, you become remorseful and vow to change.\nYou start doing homework like it was the first day of seventh grade all over again. You whip out the highlighters, the flashcards, the clear plastic binders. You even seriously consider going to office hours, just to introduce yourself to the professor.\nAnd after about two weeks of being Joe IU Student, the siren song of procrastination leads you back onto the couch.\nSo the cycle continues, simultaneously ruining your college career and putting you in the same boat that every student is in ' sailing toward a community of closet procrastinators just like you.

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