As finals season comes into full swing, all are beginning to feel the stress. Be it a final paper, quiz or presentation, college has a funny way of making everything due within the same small frame of time. As deadlines come closer and closer, there is a need to push everything back to the latest possible point, so as not to face them. We all have our stories of procrastination, from insisting that we have to wait until the next hour to start the paper to downing ten cups of coffee before opening any textbooks. As with any article about procrastination, it is easy to just say, “Don’t do it.” To say that, however, would be akin to saying that abstinence is the only valid form of contraception.
The key to getting out of a procrastinative slump is one of finding confidence. I know that personally, the biggest issue I face when it comes to writing is the fear of not making sense, and as a Philosophy major, the fear is somewhat justified. Procrastination is difficult to overcome, because as students, we place value and pride in our work. Part of our identity is tied to our academics. If we did not value our academic ability, then we wouldn’t be at school. Faced with the enormity of finals, one often finds themselves asking if they are worth it. This in turn, if expanded on, could turn into a full-blown existential crisis. Take it from the Philosophy major, I get it.
The important thing to remember is that your value is separate from the final. The modern world expects a lot of us. When we read about old academics and schools, it seems as though they know so much more than we do. However, those academics did not have to account for such things as ‘Postmodernism’ or ‘The Doppler Effect.’ The point of this being that when you’re around complicated topics for so long, you begin to think that they are the norm. The things we are learning are difficult, and knowledge is selective. The Historian is not the Mathematician, nor is a Writer the same as a Chemist.
Recognize what you value, both in class and in yourself. You cannot treat every final as being the most important or you’ll burn yourself out. If you are burnt out, there is no shame in taking time to do other things. Treat yourself, and respect yourself. You’re under a lot of stress. If there is no time left, well then, there’s not much to say other than, “Do your best, and get it done.”
It may be a slog, but take it from someone who just finished an article, there is no better relief and release than knowing that it’s all behind you.