In case the title didn’t give it away, I’m currently suffering from a serious case of procrastination (if you don’t understand this reference, please look it up right now; it all makes better sense now, right?).
Studying, for those who have entertained the idea (or pretended to), is pretty much a synonym for being bored. I’ll admit that after finishing a long and in-depth essay, I do feel pretty accomplished and proud of myself! However, I have to get there first. A flaw with the wonders of technology are that it is just so hard to take my eyes off that funny cat video.
Actually, weirdly enough I have a ranty rambly piece in the nerd bank. That is to say, I blurted up some words on a page one time, and it actually relates to what I’m blabbering on about now. So, for your amusement… for one night only (and every other night and day for eternity, this is the internet)… I present, myself!
Warning: This is a longer one, feel free to pause here to make a cup of tea.
We all know, we’d much rather be watching cat videos on YouTube, than analysing poetry or doing quadratic equations. However, we should be so lucky! The youth of today have more distractions than ever before, thank to the wonder that is the internet. Globalisation (basically, the world is smaller because it’s better connected) has vastly altered the dynamics between work and fun. Work hard, play hard is an alien concept to many; as much as we say it, it’s just not true. I do not know a single person who works as hard as they play, and so it should be. As Mark Twain famously said – “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”. We learn in a vast number of ways and schooling is just one of those means. Yes, it’s true that our education career, our GCSEs, A levels, BTECs and apprenticeships are valuble. They are the piece of paper that says “yes, I am capable of working hard”, but spare a thought for people whose pieces of paper don’t say that. They say “I didn’t put in enough effort” or “I’m not good enough to work for you”, but why? Is it effort, is it ineptitude? I doubt it.
It’s progress. It’s the miracle of the space era (as some have called it); of technological and medical advances that now require the younger generation to work until we are AT LEAST 70. A few decades ago, that wasn’t even a life expectancy in this country, its still isn’t in some parts of the world. We now have to accept the fact that we could be spending over half a century in a single profession. How scary is that? Think about how long your schooling qualifications took, times twenty, and the rest. The rest of your ‘short’ life (that really isn’t so short), spent working. So we rush to study when the opportunity is thrown at us, only to fail and end up in the wrong place. Or maybe we do really well, get into university and get an honours degree… only to end up in job we hate with people we loathe.
Everyone of this generation, of this day and age, rushes. Our minds race as we fall asleep in front of screens and wake up to sirens. We rush and rush, always needing to be somewhere else, doing something else… but why? Fifty years of work, and we still rush. I say, don’t. Don’t rush and race, slow it down. If you want a gap year, take it. Don’t weigh up the costs versus what you might gain for your CV; if a gap year looks enjoyable then do it. If you want to study abroad during your degree, embrace it, do it. People take multiple undergraduate degrees, and we worry about whether it’s worth doing one. It’s expensive, it’s £9,000 a year, but it isn’t upfront. It’s new friends and new experiences and a subject that you get to choose, that you get to study with like-minded individuals. Although, it’s true that it can be hard to get there.
There are countless distractions – you could try to count them all but it truly is impossible. Websites with videos, and photos, and blogs; books, and music, and board games; baking, and exercise, and socialising… We have been presented with innumerable opportunities and resources, but it’s too much. This is a curse in disguise. Forget about appropriateness, security and privacy for just a moment, and consider just the amount of things you have viewed online. The internet is a drug, it draws us in but we cant help it. We need the internet, we need it to learn and to connect. We now use it for a DBS check (similar to the old CRB check), for banking, even to adopt. Times are changing and yet, our education is the same. Maybe the qualifications have different names, and different scales of marking; but we still studying a subject and hand in coursework or sit exams. We still study traditional subjects and find little room to utilise all the wondrous things we find online, and in our day to day life. It is hard to reach your fullest potential, when everyone else’s is thrust upon you. When all you see is nonsensical ramblings of a distracted mind, only to realise you’re looking at your own work. I would even go so far as to say that this is what you’ve just read; nonsensical ramblings of a distracted student, struggling with the concept of study versus the appeal of procrastination.