Newman Small Group Study Rooms

A student receives help on an assignment from a friend in one of the library's group study rooms, Newman Library, Oct. 6, 2018.

Finals week is upon us, and for students who have project-based classes instead of exams, finals week is already here, hitting us relentlessly with meetings, papers and all-nighters filled with  tangible work on top of studying.

Projects, by their very nature, are a legitimate product that must be produced and are graded solely on their quality. You cannot pretend to study for  a project and have a one-in-four chance of guessing the right answer . Therefore, the question remains: How can this be procrastinated? 

“I procrastinated so much for a project once that I slept through my class, failed an exam and missed an assignment the next day,” said Erin Hall, a junior computer science major. “I think procrastination shows you what you’re capable of.”

Well, evidence proves that it really can be done, and there are many fun ways to go about not working on a project that requires real labor.

The first step is always simple: Make it a task to not do your work. It’s just as simple as that. Instead of stressing out knowing that the project is in the back of your head like an infection from your high school’s gym mats, just make procrastination one of your tasks. That way, it’s like you are getting something done and off your to-do list.

The next step is much simpler than the former; not doing the work. Whether it’s a serious paper, a group project or something from one of those science classes you thought was an easy A, putting off the work until the night before is a skill almost on par with actually doing the work. It’s like in middle school where the class cheater would have their smart friend wear flip-flops to the test and wiggling certain toes in accordance with answers — true story. You’d think all that effort could have been put to studying, right?

In terms of what to do when procrastinating your projects, stressing about it is not a very fun way to spend your time. Instead, try to make a highly unnecessary project schedule with unrealistic expectations. If it works for major construction companies, it can work for you. In fact, try spending more time on this than the actual project. Make it a project to procrastinate your project. It helps to know that there is a schedule you aren’t keeping up with.

If it is a group project, make sure to choose a group of people just like you. Then, you will never be able to let them down. This doesn’t sound the best, but you are still choosing people exactly like you. Then, your group will be able to power through the night collaborating over how quickly you’re throwing up random stuff onto paper and getting it done. Nothing makes better friends like equal parts of suffering.

Regardless of how you spend your time procrastinating — cleaning your room and workspace, stress eating or watching endless videos on your phone — it was definitely worth it. Imagine if you could take all the times you swung that razor scooter into your shins when you were young  and compress them into one minute of pain, but you would never feel it for another year. Procrastinating on projects is much like this, except it’s twice a year, and multiple nights during those two times. Whether you like your dish of stress hard-boiled, poached or scrambled, you only eat it for breakfast.

So, the night before hits and you have accomplished very little in terms of a finished product. You are keeping your roommates up with your racket, a mix of random music, typing and frantic pacing. The fatigue is setting in and work starts to slow down, but fate keeps you up and you finish just in time to get that half-hour of sleep your parents told you they had when they were in college. Procrastination could very well be genetic, after all.

The best part of this is that if it works out well, it will forever curse your brain into the baseball logic that you have to do everything the same to keep winning. ‘Til next semester, other projects.

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