Procrastination

I am a returning student.  That means I remember when all we had was black-and-white TV, and can hum the theme to “The Alfred Hitchcock Show.”   Studies have shown returning students are often more successful in college/university, possibly because they have more crystallized knowledge to draw from (i.e., life experience).  However, those same studies also suggest it takes returning students longer to regurgitate data for papers and exams, meaning it takes them longer to complete their assignments.  I like to quote that in my defense whenever it takes me longer than my younger colleagues to complete an assignment.  However, the truth is — I’m a procrastinator.

Can’t say whether I came by it “honestly” — my mother didn’t do it, and I have no idea whether my father did.  I remember honing my skills at procrastination while I was still in grade school.  By seventh grade I was a champ — I wrote my first term paper in three days, during which I got about 12 hours of sleep total.  That pattern continued through high school and my early years in junior college.  When I became a returning student, I discovered my body was less forgiving of all-nighters, so I had to modify my schedule somewhat.  However, I believe I may still be in the running for title of Queen of Procrastination.  (I have a better shot at it than Camilla does of becoming Queen of England, anyway.)

This blog owes its current existance to procrastination.  Yep.  I’ve been thinking about writing one since last Autumn, but reasoned I should pay more attention to my school work.  How virtuous.  But when I got right down to the wire (my last official class was last Thursday), and had two papers to write, I chose to begin writing a blog.  Now, I must admit I finished one of those papers last night at 3 a.m. (the easier one).   But the longer one is still cooking in my brain.

That last line is the key to why procrastination works for me.  On some level, I have already written that paper in my head.  I’ve been considering paragraphs, sections, the whole thrust of the paper.  It’s just not down on paper . . . yet.  Some of us work that way, and we might as well admit it works well for us.  I generally get “A”s, so I know it does.  I’ve talked with other students who struggle with the guilt of procrastination, because everyone and everything tells us we should not leave things for the last minute.  But it WORKS for us!  So I refuse to feel guilty about this choice, and embrace it as my way of doing things.  And take responsibility for feeling very tired the next day. 

So what are YOU “supposed” to be doing right now?  😉  Refuse to feel guilty!  Procrastinators of the World Unite!

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About judithornot

Lives in semi-rural Northern California, happily married, retired counselor, night person, knits, plays WoW.
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5 Responses to Procrastination

  1. judithornot says:

    PS I finished the second paper at 7:30 tonight. 🙂 Hooray!

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  2. hee hee – I’m reading your blog instead of working . And yay! for finishing your papers.

    I’m with you – that’s exactly how I work. A whole paper/report/whatever gets written in my head, long before it gets put down in words. But when I do finally sit down to write it, it flies out of my fingers faster than most. People ask why I can write so quickly – and I say it’s all because I’ve been thinking about it for a week!! I do think this approach takes the ability to hold whole paragraphs, pages, and outlines in your head, which some can and some can’t.

    I have to laugh about your “returning student” examples. The other day I was at a conference and sitting around with a fellow professor and his students – and we were geeking out about what computers were like when WE were in college 😀 It’s amazing to me that I can remember when we didn’t HAVE personal computers in college and when the first ones were introduced. Thankfully it was right about when I was writing my Master’s Thesis…

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  3. judithornot says:

    I thought about personal computers yesterday while writing my papers. There were nuggets of informaion I needed, and finding them online was so easy. I can remember when you had to go to the library for your research (and hope it was a good library), and then had to take NOTES! And I’ve still got the huge dictionary for looking up the spelling of words, but 90% of the time spell check comes to the rescue. Finally, if I had to compute all those statistics for my thesis instead of plugging numbers into a computer program . . . well, it would take me a LOT longer to graduate!

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  4. Coppermoon says:

    I never think of it as procrastination ~ more like “thoughtful planning” – but whatever works, right?
    I still remember the early word processors and how wonderful we thought they were – they would be so annoying now! Ok, so SOME progress is good….

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  5. judithornot says:

    Just realized I spelled “information” incorrectly in my response! Guess I’d better USE that big dictionary! 🙂

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