The Gustavian Weekly

The times they are a-wastin’

By Darcy Coulter Staff Writer | February 15, 2013 | Opinion

None of my top sites are the Gustavus Moodle page, and I’m proud of it. <em>Darcy Coulter</em>

None of my top sites are the Gustavus Moodle page, and I’m proud of it. Darcy Coulter

darcy_coulter-1There are a lot of things I could be doing right now. Even though there aren’t any major papers or exams staring me down yet, I do have some reading I should do; as the PR Chair for multiple organizations, I could probably be making a poster or updating a Facebook page; and I should probably write an article for the opinion section. Instead, I’ve spent the last hour scrolling Pinterest.

College students – yes, that includes overachieving Gusties – love to procrastinate. We all do it, and we all have our favorite procrastinating activities. Some of us watch YouTube videos for hours, some of us scroll Tumblr, catching up on the latest memes, and most of us have a TV show or two that we just can’t stop watching.

We get to the point where we stop allowing ourselves to go on Facebook and Twitter (but we have to cheat) or where we resolve not to procrastinate all semester, even if it kills us. I’ve been thinking: maybe we should embrace our procrastination.

Don’t write me off yet – there is a method to the madness. We spend all of our time procrastinating, we feel guilty and beat ourselves up, and then we throw together a five-page paper in two hours. It is our cycle. It is the way of the college student. But I would submit another option for consideration: embrace it. Learn to love your procrastination.

Here’s how it works: the next time you find yourself opening a new tab for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube or whatever your favorite website might be (who among us can honestly say they haven’t done some Grib-stalking?), instead of feeling a rush of guilt about the time you’re about to waste, set a timer. Give yourself 15 minutes or an hour – and be realistic. This is not the time to set unattainable goals. The next step is key: enjoy it. So often we feel racked with guilt the entire time we’re scrolling Tumblr and before we know it, we’ve sat in a puddle of self-hate for an hour. Not healthy! Give yourself the time to breathe, and then stop when your timer goes off. Stopping won’t be quite as hard if you’ve truly enjoyed the time you’ve spent.

Gusties are busy. Everyone knows it. We all feel the need to take the hard classes, join every organization and find a job on or off campus. We spend so much time running from place to place, finishing readings over lunch and writing papers as fast as we can that we don’t take time for ourselves. Maybe your procrastination is just a sign that your brain needs you to slow down and stop trying to do everything at once, and it’s time to stop feeling bad about it. Anything can be healthy in moderation, even a little time wasting.