It’s 9 p.m., you have a 10-page paper due tomorrow and you’re feeling good: you have the whole night (and morning) ahead of you. What could possibly get between you and completing this paper? Sure, you should’ve started it earlier, but you were waaaaaay too busy to even think about it and, besides, there’s no looking back now. All you can do is forge bravely ahead into the vortex of procrastination and self-pity that you are inevitably doomed to enter, with its various stages listed below. See you on the other side.
Stage 1: Blissful Oblivion
“If I start writing now and don’t stop, I can probably be done by 11:00pm and get, like, 10 hours of sleep,” you tell yourself wishfully with a wholehearted, adorable belief in your own lies. You imagine yourself typing the final sentence of your groundbreaking essay and glancing confidently at the time, impressed with your agility. You’re honestly the best. Now, all you have to do is actually start writing. *Open Microsoft Word document*
Stage 2: Unavoidable Distraction
Hey, remember that TV show you used to watch in 9th grade and were completely obsessed with? You don’t, until the moment you have to start writing this paper. But, how can you start writing when you don’t even know what those actors are doing with their lives these days? This is critical information. While mindlessly IMDB stalking these strangers and searching for old episodes on YouTube, you might as well check your newsfeed, text a killer one-liner into the group chat and play around with Snapchat filters. While you’re at it, you might as well Facebook stalk that kid who used to sit in front of you in AP Biology. All of a sudden, this information seems totally relevant and interesting. Besides, what’s the difference between starting at 9 p.m. versus starting at 10 p.m.?
Stage 3: Shameless Self-Indulgence
It’s currently 12:30 a.m. even though you could’ve sworn in was 10 p.m. five minutes ago. How did this happen? It’s seriously time to get to work. But, wait, how can you work when you’re starving? You absolutely need to get food immediately, and then you can definitely churn out an amazing essay in no time. “If I write three paragraphs now, I’ll reward myself with something highly caloric and temporarily fulfilling,” you tell yourself in a blatant act of bribery. You force yourself to write three paragraphs and then treat yourself to the most convenient food item you can find. Normally, you’d be able to finish out this paper now, but you can’t ignore the fact that you’re exhausted. Eventually, you’re able to get your hands on some caffeine, and continue forging ahead.
Stage 4: Frantic Desperation
Congrats! You’re five pages in. That’s great except for the fact that you’re only halfway done (sorry). It’s also 2:30 a.m. and suddenly you’re feeling weirdly reflective and philosophical. “What even is an essay?” you ask yourself after rereading your most recent paragraph so many times that half the words don’t look English anymore. At this point, you’re growing increasingly hopeless and start analyzing your life choices. In a brief moment of desperation and lunacy, you wonder what would have to happen to you in order to not be required to turn in this essay tomorrow. You promise to never put yourself in this situation again. You’re great at keeping promises to yourself so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Stage 5: Relieved Acceptance
Realistically, if you just keep writing, you should be finished by 4 a.m. and be able to call it a night morning. This single thread of hope is enough to sustain you, and allows you to complete your sixth, seventh, eighth and, eventually, ninth page. A rush of relief washes over you as you begin the tenth page. You’ve made it to the finish line. Life is beautiful.
Moral of the story: You should 100% procrastinate as much as possible. See ya at Midnight.
Photos/Gifs: tumblr.com, giphy.com