I write this column in the midst of midterms week at school, a time when procrastination peaks. We get out of school at noon, giving us an extra three hours to “study” for our upcoming exams. Some of my friends make an attempt to learn by going to the library, while others (like me) acknowledge that no real studying occurs until the sun goes down and go work out at the Y or get lunch at a variety of places. Even before writing this article, a task much more entertaining than studying for midterms, I went out to lunch, hung out at the library, came home and took a nap, watched a couple episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and finally here I am at 8 o’clock writing away.
Whenever I need to, I set up camp in my room, close the door, put on a Pandora playlist, and pump out the work. In order for me to study successfully, I know I need to be by myself with a little background noise (just no barking dogs). The library does work for some people, but all my experiences lead to the same result: what could be accomplished in an hour at home turns into three hours at the library. The same events occur every time. You meet up with friends to work together (making it clear that you’re actually going to work this time), I mean two heads are better than one right? Then after completing the first problem, the topic shifts from physics and Spanish to whose rec basketball team is better. That then turns into a conversation about how the Jets would probably be better off starting Nick Folk at quarterback and ends with a discussion of how badly we all want Five Guys right now.
Don’t get me wrong, some people are able to pop in headphones and study hard for hours on end at the library, but I am just not one of them. I, however, think this form of procrastinating is actually a good thing. So what if it may take an extra couple hours to complete your assignment or study for a test? While studying at the library we gain valuable social skills that are just as necessary, if not more necessary, than the knowledge we obtain from studying. Sure, tomorrow I may need to know how to find the average value of a function using Rolles’ theorem, but when I join the workforce the constant (yet always entertaining) talking and arguing with my friends will make me more comfortable and sociable around my co-workers. And I can’t forget the obvious of how important working with others will be as I transition into college and beyond, or so I’ve been told.
Maybe procrastinating at the library isn’t really procrastinating at all. Sure it is a lot more fun than going home and becoming a recluse for a couple hours, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get any benefit from hanging out with friends and doing work at the same time, albeit at a slow pace. I mean as long as all my work is finished does it really matter how I get there? It has taken me three and half years as a highschooler to find a balance between working in solitude and “studying” at the library, but finally, just before my last high school midterms, I have a plan that works for me.
Will Bruschi is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.