I admit it, I'm a procrastinator

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Keith Allen


The last second.

I always have to wait until the last second.

It really doesn't matter what I am doing, I always seem to wait until the last second.

Now that it is the end of the semester, I can see the evil in my ways. I'm feeling the punishment of waiting until the last second.

For me, this last weekend brought about the thought of why people procrastinate. I think I may do it a bit better then most, and worse than others, but I do it. I learned the trade from my high school days when in one class, I would be doing my homework f or the next. I also remember working on my assignments in the class that they were due, hiding them from the teacher's sight. Those moments began my road to becoming the procrastinator I am.

But in college it seems this trait has blossomed in me, as many other students have also found. While talking with a friend the other day, I asked the question, "Have you ever noticed that most college students don't start their major projects until days before they are due?" These major projects include term papers (which I am guilty of putting off), lab assignments and more. I remember last year when my friend was trying to get into the architecture school, and he spent the entire last week trying to ca tch up on making his portfolio. I never thought he was going to make the deadline, but, amazingly enough, he did. Isn't that the way it always goes? I always seem to finish an assignment as close to the deadline as possible, as if I'm daring myself. But s omehow it just gets done.

While watching the NBA playoffs this weekend, I theorized that maybe procrastination is a learned behavior. I'm not a sociologist or a psychologist, but I noticed that we play life like the last seconds of a basketball game (I'm not trying to be "deep," j ust hear me out). My best friend in high school always said that basketball games only needed two minutes, with both teams starting at 100 points. (Though the joke was, it still would last an hour because teams would take timeouts.) Think about it. How ma ny times have you seen a game that could have been played in less time, with the ending still being the same? The same goes with our assignments. I've often wondered how many times a teacher's assigning of a paper the week before it was due would put a st udent on the ball to get it done? It would for me.

But wouldn't it be better if we got started a bit earlier? Instead of playing the last seconds of the game, we should play the entire thing. The great thing about playing four, 12-minute quarters in basketball is that there is a chance to screw up, but th ere is also the chance you can come back. How many times have you seen a game where a team was down and somehow pulled it out? If we worked on our projects throughout the school year, it would make our lives easier. And when it came down to the final seco nds, you might be tired, but you sure would have the motivation to finish the project.

I've noticed that I don't have the motivation to start a project after the semester has worn me out. The energy to go about these tasks just isn't there. I'm wooed by the many temptations around me. And on top of that, I'm always asking myself, "Why do I do this to myself?" But I've made a pact with myself to attempt to stop this problem.

I admit I am a procrastinator. My message to you is to not become what I am, and if you are, recognize this in yourself and do something about it. We are in the last seconds of the semester, the clock's ticking and there isn't an overtime. Procrastinators , remember how you feel. I know I will.

Keith Allen is a journalism senior and Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions editor.