I take my procrastinating very seriously. If you’re waiting for the day where I get some studying done before alphabetising the content, colour coordinating my book shelf, cleaning my room (just kidding, I’d study before doing that), baking an array of utterly disgusting treats (the oven is the portal to hell) or working out a variation of marks I hypothetically need to get in order to obtain different averages, then you’re going to be waiting for a very long time. I’d recommend waiting for Godot, rather. It’s a safer bet.
People who aren’t procrastinators at heart will never truly understand the curse with which people like myself are plagued. It’s really not as simple as just sitting down and working, take my word for it. And, if you don’t want to take my word for it, I’d be happy to fight with you about it. So, if one more person tells me to “just pay attention”, or to “just turn off my phone”, I’m going to take their un-doodled-on study-notes, spend a whole day doing an online Origami course, and make those perfect sources of knowledge into a swan. And then I’ll cry because I still don’t understand the use of metaphor in Kincaid’s “Lucy”, but I know how to make a fucking paper swan.
In what is possibly the most desperate means of avoiding work that I’ve sunk to yet, I’ve categorised a couple of different types of procrastinators, for they’re a breed both diverse but typical in nature.
1. The social media whore
Now, I’d just be lying if I claimed that I haven’t already sold my soul to the Internet. I am it and it is me. There is no selfie that goes unSnapchatted, no amusing moment that goes unstatused, no “OMG THE MOUNTAIN” scene that goes unInstagrammed and no mundane daily activity that goes unhashtagged.
But there are others who either deny this pre-existing obsession, or allow it to lay dormant in the time prior to exams. These people are the lurkers, usually, who know everything that’s happening in people’s lives – because everyone stalks but only the brave admit it – but never make any physical show of it. During exams, however, the lurkers come out to play and hand out likes and wallposts like those people who hand out promotion fliers at traffic lights, similarly in the attitude of “I don’t care if you actually read it, just take it”. Everyone’s profile picture gets a like. A Snapchat of your desk with your carefully positioned stationary is mandatory. A proceeding Snapchat of your bored face which, ironically, is supposed to show people how much you’ve been studying. It’s all a part of the SM-whore’s daily exam routine.
2. The gym bunny
In what I can only assume, from observation, is a desperate attempt to convince themselves that they have got their shit together, there are people who suddenly do all the things they haven’t been doing all semester, and give them unproportional weight on their priorities list. Like laundry. And finally sorting out your stolen driver’s licence at home affairs. And trying out that quaint Italian bistro on Long Street that you read about. And emailing your extended relatives who you haven’t spoken to in ages. And exercising.
The Virgin Active in Claremont significantly lacks oxygen at this time of year from the number of overweight, unfit, tequila-soaked students using up all the clean air whilst trying to incline walk for more than 10 minutes. I suppose the realisation of “well, my brain isn’t going to make me money” is largely prevalent in terms of motivation for this. But, mainly, I suspect the thought process is more: I need to avoid studying, but it needs to seem valid. I KNOW. MY HEALTH. Yes. My health. People always harp on about how important that is. It’s that thing I’ve been poisoning with alcohol with a higher alcohol percentage than my DP mark, right? That thing I’ve been spiting with chicken nuggets all semester? Yes. It is important. I must health until I’m healthed enough to work. Healthy. Yes. Healthy is important.
3. Netflix and chill
While there may be people who you assume are hard-working students diligently rotting behind their bedroom desk, they’re most probably just hibernating in bed watching series by themselves. This category often merges with the social media whore, who is usually an expert in multitasking after years of pretending to be talking to someone when they’re actually scrolling through a social media site. However, it can be separated into its own category. This is primarily because these people have their parents on Facebook who pop them a message which reads, “Grey’s Anatomy, eh? That doesn’t sound like Economics to me!” if they’re caught fraternising on the many, many outlets of joy and distraction. Worse yet is when other people’s moms tell on you. “Danny’s mom said that you all went to Camps Bay the other day? Mm. Hard student life, eh?” (My mom doesn’t ever say the word “eh”. I don’t know why I keep doing it). Ah, boy, that mom-network is a thrillingly powerful, but terrifyingly viral organisation which I hope, one day, to be the leader of.
You know you’re at least one of them, to some degree. Whether you reward your hour of studying with a 7 hour series-break, or decide today is the day you internalise your inner Nigela Lawson, or take to a new crafts hobby, or just find yourself watching videos of cats flushing the toilet by themselves, you’re definitely not studying as much as you should be, let alone how much your mom thinks you are. Just know one thing: no matter how bad it gets, take a deep breath and think to yourself “at least I didn’t just spend two hours writing a blog about it”.