Passionate procrastination

Rachel Schwartz

Procrastination has been a defining feature of my time in high school. I could blame all of those times during junior year when I collapsed into bed at 3 a.m., finally having printed my lab on an overwhelming workload and time-consuming extracurricular activities. I, however, would be denying that time spent on YouTube could have contributed to a full night’s rest. For a long time I was wracked with guilt over the time I spent procrastinating. I lied to my parents and I became a master of switching back to Excel when I heard their footsteps in the hall.

This year I have reevaluated how I feel about procrastination. The energy I used to put into beating myself up over time I had wasted drained me emotionally and left me feeling like a fraud. I have realized not only that my work process requires more time than what I thought I could allow myself, but also that all that time I “wasted” has made me a more dynamic person.

In the hours I spent exploring the internet I discovered new passions and resources to feed them. My voracious appetite for food blogs inspired my interest in food science, which I am now considering for a career. My discovery of YouTubers who focus on feminist activism and sex positive education has sparked in me a fiery passion for critical thought about social constructs and inspired a commitment to issues I will hold for the rest of my life.

I used to worry that I was lying to myself about loving learning. Why else did I face such a block when I tried to complete schoolwork? With the changes I’ve made in my senior year, I’ve been able to reconcile my interest in school with my work ethic. Finding that the time I had wasted resulted in a new body of knowledge reaffirmed my confidence in myself as a student. Now rather than worry about whether or not I can get it done on time, I worry about whether or not I have taken advantage of all the wisdom my teachers have to offer.

I am sad to leave this place where I know so much wisdom and information is left to be explored. I wish I could have fully dedicated myself to every lesson taught during these past years. I have learned that to learn the best I must give my full self to the present.