Quality procrastination: Way of life for UC Berkeley students?

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UC Berkeley students received an unexpected gift from PG&E this past week: a five-day weekend in the middle of midterm season. A. Five. Day. Weekend. 

Feelings of joy, elation or relief were pretty natural and the immediate reactions of students who were blessed with an extended weekend during such a hectic season. Us students were given extra study time for that midterm we felt a little underprepared for. We could get a headstart on readings and homework assignments. We were able to catch up on sleep so that we were well rested for the week to come. We could finish projects earlier and do them more thoroughly. So, thank you PG&E, Carol Christ and abundant power during the power outage! Y’all really gave us the opportunity to use our time wisely. But did we? The UC Berkeley meme page suggests that we used our time a little differently. Instead of using this lengthy weekend to our academic advantage, we did what a lot of us do best … procrastinate on the s— that needs to get done. 

Procrastination, particularly on schoolwork, is something that UC Berkeley students are notorious for. Not every student falls weak to the powers of procrastination, but it is a force that affects most. UC Berkeley students are very capable and this is a force that we work well with, however. Regardless of how unhealthy procrastination is for students in the long term, many of us participate in it because more often than not procrastinating works out and can be a beneficial evil. Really, procrastination for students is like going to Taco Bell on Durant Avenue at 2:23 a.m. It’s not necessarily good for you, but it can be good to you. For instance, while we could have used this long weekend to do all of the previously listed things, we decided it would be a better use of our time to do things like: 

  • Make memes for way too long
  • Read memes for way too long
  • Leave to go on last-minute trips
  • Party
  • Sleep innnnnnn
  • Spend time doing extracurriculars
  • Lie in bed and watch Netflix all day
  • Make some art
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Bring textbooks outside to reassure ourselves
  • Pray that the power outage cancels classes for the rest of the week
  • Nothing 

Many of us were able to do all of that and so much more. Some students were even able to plan and be productive in other realms of their lives the realms of life that are unrelated to schoolwork. Students would not have been able to do all that was done with those five days if we did not procrastinate. Procrastinating in those moments was good to us (as long as you didn’t think about it too much)! We did many unnecessary things but gained a handful of different memories and experiences. The things that students needed to do could wait just a little longer. 

For UC Berkeley students, it doesn’t matter if we are given a two-week extension or a five-day weekend — many of us will wait to get started on our mandatory work. But on-brand to UC Berkeley students, we still manage to get the necessary s— done. Not only do we get it done, but we spend less time doing it. And the icing on the cake is our ability to complete our s— at a relatively high-quality level despite such a small window of time. This is one aspect that makes UC Berkeley students so special: our ability to do quality work last-minute. We do a million other things aside from our schoolwork, yet still, we complete our mandatory s— with quality. Not everyone can do this, but UC Berkeley students aren’t everyone. Our skill level of procrastination is unmatchable.

Sure, there would probably be less stress about school if we did not procrastinate. And procrastination probably shouldn’t be celebrated and recommended. But would we be the well-rounded UC Berkeley students that we are without our quality procrastination?

Contact Gina Wright [email protected].