Monday, May 5, 2008

Procrastination in the Maze or Savouring the Moment

Procrastination is a word thrown around loosely on college campuses. Ask any college student if they procrastinate and the answer will probably be a defiant 'yes'. I find procrastination to be a relative term. Some people wait till the tenth hour to start research papers, others prepare for presentations only minutes before they must speak, and I do almost all of the work and put off my final edit until the night before. I might even be tempted to call my blogging an attempt at procrastination, but alas, it is for a class.

So, I'm not your typical procrastinator. I do not spend hours on youtube, but instead loose chunks of time surfing the web for interesting blog posts and newspaper articles. My procrastination so called procrastination with papers is often laughed at by my peers, but they do it to. It can be hard to get out that last reference, a conclusion, or an abstract because as much as each student avoids saying they like the work, they don't want it to be over. I might be tempted to call procrastination "savouring". Nobody questions when an adult slowly ready the last few chapters of a good book or keeps that last slice of chocolate cake for later. They are not procrastinating to read or eat, but savouring the special moment.

It is special when you finish an essay, art piece, and especially the kind of large projects that come with a senior year in college. I spent the last week with my thesis slowly editing and rereading portions that were finished, avoiding the end of my conclusion, because I didn't want it to be over. What is the difference between procrastination and savouring? I'm not sure. Surely those people who write 20 page research papers at the last minute are procrastinating...yet, those who do well were often thinking about them for days and weeks before. Who is to say that they didn't want to savour the writing? I find that with artistic work people tend to work in bursts of creativity. They think about the idea for a while and then work for hours on end painting, building, writing, and so on and so forth. Are they procrastinating or savouring the creative process? Again, I'm not sure.

Okay, so when my friends are on youtube for hours on end I tend to expressly place them in on the side of procrastination. But when an individual writes a page, watches a youtube video, writes another page, checks their email, writes a third page, reads a blog, who is to say that they aren't savouring the moment. That the individual is not procrastinating, but merely loves working on the essay. We just have to get college students to admit just how much they love school and writing.

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