Am I a masochist? Reflections on my time management skills

I’m a procrastinator. There, I said it. In fact, I have an exam tomorrow that I’ve hardly studied for, along with an essay due tomorrow night. I know for a fact that this kind of pressure would drive many sane people insane. In fact, it’s driving me insane too. But the scary thing is that I’m used to it — this is just my default mental state now. And I think this is the case for most, if not all students at this university.

Yes, procrastination is bad. Yes, there are ways to manage your time so that you aren’t starting your studying the night before the exam. Yes, I know I have a problem. But at the same time, I tend to think there’s some sort of validity in my lifestyle choices. Given the ludicrous amount of work that is expected of U of M students, along with extracurriculars, part-time jobs, and maintaining a healthy social life (not really sure I do this but I’m sure many of you manage to), who has the time to not start a paper just a few days before the due date, if not the night before? Can any of you relate to this? Or am I just horribly maladjusted to college?

Sometimes I think I like the pressure, even thrive on it. To compare my situation to “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” I am the grandmother, and the University of Michigan is the person holding the gun to my head. It’s certainly not a healthy relationship, but I do think the pressure put on me by my classes and the university at large is sort of motivating. The process of writing a paper in one night is horrible, but the feeling of finishing it before the midnight deadline, and the feeling of getting positive feedback on it (doesn’t always happen to be fair)… there’s nothing else quite like it. It’s like a war against myself and my own sanity, and when I win… sigh. It’s pure bliss.

Looking over this, I am clearly not okay. Send me some finals self-care tips if you have any. Winter Break can’t come soon enough.

One thought to “Am I a masochist? Reflections on my time management skills”

  1. THIS. ALL OF THIS. I relate. The part you mentioned about receiving positive feedback on work you’ve procrastinated plays a huge part into why I still do it. It can sometimes feel like we’ve got this procrastination thing down to an art form, and when we do just enough to finish in time, we can successfully convince someone that it is deserving of a high grade. I wonder if there’s anything to be said about this possibly bringing out our best work… If we were able to start a week ahead, would the results be as good? To me, it often feels like the process of finishing something right before the due date produces a concise, straight-to-the-point version of my work, which I do value. I wonder how our work would change or even grow if we, all of the sudden, had more availability to get a head start.

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