The best ways to improve your life while procrastinating

Close-up of a young woman lying on the bed in front of a laptop
Anna Sapozhnikov/File
Close-up of a young woman lying on the bed in front of a laptop

Midterms are currently underway across the campus, and chances are that you may be worried about reaching your full academic potential like the blue-book connoisseurs who preceded you. This is most likely because you’re busy trying to become a legendary procrastinator.

Instead of trying to study, you need to decide which legacy is more important to you: the confident student who was able to finish their test a full 20 minutes before anyone else in the auditorium or the student who was able to eat 17 Cheesy Gordita Crunch wraps at Taco Bell in one sitting (one for each lecture you missed).

If you’ve already thrown away your 10-page valedictorian epilogue filled with anecdotes of triumph and accepted that you’re going to coast through college — gaining a couple smudges on your once immaculate academic profile — then it’s your rightful duty to be sure that when the day comes again for you to procrastinate, you know how procrastinate like you mean it. So, for the future, here are a few ideas of how to be a top notch procrastinator. 

Call your parents

There’s nothing more unsettling for a parent than watching their beloved child move away from home. Imagine putting all of your focus, energy and self-worth into this single project for decades — leaving everything else behind, including all of your past dreams and desires, just for the chance to see your legacy thrive — then releasing it out into the angry sea of drunkards, homeless people, decrepit housing options and Antifa protests. As hard as it might be to believe, your parents have been exposed to everything you’ve yet to be exposed to, and, just because they don’t talk to you every moment of day doesn’t mean they aren’t always thinking about you. Call them and tell them you love them.

Find love

While drunkenly waddling across the potholed expanse of dreadlocked wanderlusters, hungry drug addicts and horny frat boys along Southside, you’re unknowingly looking for something that is missing (and might have not known has been missing from you). Whatever that thing is though, it’s probably not hiding underneath the table at Artichoke Basille’s at 2:45 a.m. And it’s probably not stowed away fluttering about in front of a laptop next to a hot apple cider on an outside bench at the Cafe Strada patio. It’s really nowhere specific at all, because it’s everywhere around you if you learn how to open your eyes to it. Learning to really open your eyes will require a process of self-assessment that will take main long, painful nights to cultivate. Don’t waste your weekends self-sabotaging or self-compromising, and don’t even think about residing in your hermitage trying to avoid any of it either. Find out where you want to be so that your own essence can gush out from your insides unapologetically. From this, you’ll realize that you’re not supposed to be anywhere, because wherever you are is where you should be. That’s when the love you’ve been unknowingly searching for will be found, and everything else will fall into place.

Meditate

This isn’t just a granola pastime practiced within Berkeley. It’s become a mindful practice that has gained lots of traction in Western medicine and continues to develop a plethora of substantial neuroscientific research. Virtually nothing independent of consuming substances can help reduce anxiety levels other than engaging in meditative practices. Going out to experience life and make mistakes isn’t the worst thing you can do yourself. But, for moments when you might find there’s nothing else to do or need to escape the stressors of life (or school), meditating is the best thing to do. 

Contact Paul Martin at [email protected].