It’s 4am the day your paper is due. You sit by your desk with aching, bloodshot eyes, hair in a tangled knot atop your head, empty Red Bull cans scattered around the floor. You can practically smell the hopelessness in the air, or maybe it’s just perspiration from how nervous you are about finishing on time. You’ve procrastinated. Again.
We all do it. It’s one of the major flaws of our species (the species college student). I bet some of you are procrastinating by reading this! We’ve all faced the consequences of our procrastination at some point or another; maybe it was a bad grade or maybe you got sick from lack of sleep, but it hasn’t stopped us. After each and every mistake a small part of us says “I will never do that again,” but it’s a lie. I could try and come up with techniques to help typical college students like myself combat the urge to procrastinate, but honestly where’s the fun in that? Instead, this week I set out to find the most creative ways my peers have found to avoid being productive. Here are the top twelve in no particular order.
12. “I take naps. While holding the textbook.” Yep, this one is me. It’s happened so many times that I’ve lost track. Maybe a small part of me was thinking my skin would absorb the information and I wouldn’t have to put as much effort in when I woke up. Or maybe I just didn’t have anything to cuddle with, who knows. Once I woke up with the textbook open across my face so that was fun.
11. “I watched 2 hours of My Little Pony.” A quality show.
10. “Sometimes I help other people with their work.” You couldn’t get yourself to do your homework, so you did someone else’s. Nice.
9. “Looked up Halloween costumes. In April.” That’s how much you know college students love Halloween weekend. We plan six months in advance.
8. “I’ve built a castle out of flash cards [that I was supposed to be studying].” This actually may be one of the worst ones because it’s so close to actually studying, but falls short.
7. “I’ve composed a song on the bottle (you know how you can blow into a bottle like a flute?) because the bottle is the only thing I can play. …Don’t quote my bottle blowing, that sounds dirty in retrospect.” It wasn’t even an instrument. A bottle.
6. “I looked up patterns for early 19th century naval uniforms.” I have nothing to add to this. I’ll just leave this one here to resonate with you.
5. “I didn’t want to do homework so I watched all five Twilight movies in a row. They were so bad.” This is even better when you consider that this was one of my guy friends.
4. “Cleaning:” the ultimate way to avoid being productive by doing something else that’s productive.
3. “I had a mini fruit war that ended with a pomegranate exploding on the ceiling of my apartment.” I honestly don’t see anything wrong with this.
2. “I learned all the capitals of the world one time and I tried to start to learn French.” Trying to avoid learning by learning is one of my favorite procrastination techniques.
1. And last but not least: “Last year, I got really into headstands during finals week. I would try to do them instead of doing any real work. Still haven’t mastered them.” I hope you did better on the finals then you did at the headstands.
If you’ve happened to find yourself blowing in bottles instead of studying, don’t fret. You clearly aren’t alone. I’ve personally done variations of at least half of these to put off furthering my education. What I can say from my vast experience avoiding my studies is that if you are going to procrastinate—not that I condone it or anything (but hey, we all know it’s going to happen)—you might as well pick something that will end up benefiting you, like cleaning. If that’s not your style, at least pick something that’ll make a great story. Whether you procrastinate or not, just make sure to get the most of your incredibly overpriced education and have a great year!