I sometimes wonder if concentration has the ability to give up on itself. You’d think that, after years of going to school and attempting to be a responsible adult, the good organization and time management would come naturally. But, of course, it’s not until the 11th hour that one realizes that scrambling to keep one’s PDA on one’s self at all times is meaningless if one forgets to ever use said PDA. One might hypothesize that if one starts getting one’s self on a schedule and writing things down and such during break then one could be acclimated to the proper habits by the time school actually rolls around. But then distractions occur, and forgetfulness, and school comes along, and doesn’t always choose to wait for anybody to keep up with it. One can blame certain learning environments for this, but to lay no blame on oneself would be ridiculous, and, in the long run, counterproductive.
Much has been said of the balance between work and fun, the importance of keeping up mental health in stressful situations. However, there comes a point where it stops being need and becomes an addiction to indulgence. Where that point happens exactly, I’m not sure. But all the chastising in the world, both from one’s self and from others, may not get you out where you need to be.
The procrastination has to end eventually, but the word “eventually” makes a dark pact with one’s mind. It seems to allow you “just one more” before returning to task, yet it beats you up all the harder after that one more.
Suddenly frustration morphs into a sort of self-loathing, which expounds in the confusion of “why am I making things so miserable?” One can be convinced that one isn’t a bad person, and this could easily be true—some of the best of us have horrible organization. However, one can only hold out so long before harming others and one’s self, even if unintentionally. Your code of ethics and personality could be wonderful, but those habits need to be in place to get much of anything accomplished.
This is not to say you won’t fall, or that one particular event will necessarily kick you in the pants enough to get back on track. But you can’t let the almost certain initial failure prevent you from moving forward. You have to remember that anywhere you go. The best artists in your field have probably failed at it more times than you’ve even attempted it. But they plowed on through, slowly but surely learning from mistakes. In other words, “Why do we fall, Master Wayne? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up, not so that Alfred can always come save our butts. He loves you, but he’s got a life of his own, you know.”
Intern Chris White-Sanborn has fallen many times, but not nearly enough to get it right. Send your collegiate news to firstname.lastname@example.org, and good luck to you on your individual journeys.