Destination: Procrastination

By Khrystyna Halatyma

Staff Writer

Sometimes sarcasm can be easier than effort.
Sometimes sarcasm can be easier than effort.

Stealthily sneaking potato chips from her bag, senior Stephanie Palazzo was in lab D writing her Media Analysis paper on “Gossip Girl” two periods before it was due. Even though Palazzo only used her lunch and study hall to write the paper, versus the week her class used, she ended up receiving a high B.

This isn’t a once-in-a-school-year occurrence. Palazzo said that she procrastinates on everything from small homework assignments to studying for tests to writing three-page essays.
Yet, she’s not failing out of high school and she’s not the only one who procrastinates. Not only do I waste my time procrastinating, but I enjoy it.
As far back as I can remember, teachers have been telling me that procrastination is horrible and will be the death of my school career. What they failed to mention, though, was that procrastination has its benefits.
With structured procrastination I use my desire of avoidance of  important tasks to complete dozens of other smaller, more trivial tasks.
If anyone happened to walk into my room during finals week, they would have found it immaculate. I like cleaning my room as much as a dog likes peeing without a fire hydrant, but when faced with finals, cleaning suddenly seemed like the perfect way to spend my time.
Although this may seem like a waste of time, not only was my unfinished homework completely organized but all my dust bunnies had been exterminated.
Without procrastination, I would still be clueless about the fact that the earthquake actually shifted Eastern Japan toward North America by about 13 feet, shifted the earth’s axis by 6.5 inches, shortened the day by 1.6 microseconds and sank Japan down by about two feet.
That’s not something I want to be clueless about– that’s something that would make it to my Facebook status. If I hadn’t put off my trigonometry  homework, my friends would all be uninformed about this tectonic shift.
Without procrastinating, I would be a disorganized mess. So every time I don’t want to use the time in class given to me by my teacher to do a worksheet on evolution or learn about the correct ways to use commas, I whip out my handy dandy assignment notebook and write down what I should be doing.
At least that way, later that night when I’m procrastinating, I won’t have a valid excuse to tell myself, “Well I would do the homework if I knew what it was, but I don’t. So, what better to do with this time than watch hulu?”
Although procrastination is closely tied to teenage years, we aren’t the only ones guilty. Wanting to play rather than work comes with being human.

While social studies teacher Mike Sebestyen was procrastinating writing a final exam paper for grad school he was not aware that another, more important due date was about to top his priority list.
Sebestyen’s grade would become a zero if his paper was not turned in at the stroke of midnight.  Earlier that same day, Sebestyen’s wife went into labor.
While his wife was in labor, Sebestyen had to split his time between his wife, and final paper. Instead of breaking under the pressure Sebestyen successfully finished the 21-page paper at 11:48 p.m. — three hours and 53 minutes before his son was born. Not only was he was he able to help his wife get through labor, but he got an A on his paper.

But this only worked because Sebestyen had done research beforehand, was focused and determined while writing. Procrastinating until the last minute then half heartily doing the work will get you nowhere.

“I like having the pressure bearing down on me when writing papers. That’s where I found I do some of my best writing,” Sebestyen said.

I know if I put off large projects, it will hurt me in the long run, but for right now, procrastination is part of my lifestyle. It works for me and my crazy schedule.
Maybe someday I’ll be one of kids who does work right after they come home from school. Until then I won’t put off any of my homework for tomorrow because as Mark Twain says, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”