Exposing Procrastinators for Who They Really Are

Dontacia Mason, Staff Writer

As 2018 comes to a close, this means the end of the semester. Have you ever had Mr. Fitch? Do you know someone who had Mr. Fitch? If so, then you know the emotional roller-coaster we are all on. But does it have to be this way?

How many weeks are in the semester? About 90 days. That’s 18 weeks of school.

In AP English Literature and Composition, we are required to type eleven writings. Seven of which are essays, two are newspaper articles, and two are reflection letters. Don’t forget about quarterly portfolio checks.

We have all been procrastinators at least one point in our lives. I’m a procrastinator as well, but I know I could get essays done. I have done two essays in one week (two essays which I could have finished at the beginning of the quarter, but instead I waited until the last minute). Instead of planning ahead, at the end of the semester, I’ve completed five out of seven essays.

School can be stressful, and who wants to be stressed all the time, right? It’s in science. The prefrontal cortex, located behind the forehead, in the brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25 and deals with decision making. As a result, we’ll continue to make unexplained decisions for the years to come.

But I’ve noticed a pattern:blaming the teacher constantly, avoiding the situation in general, or constant complaining. I’ve gathered statements from students taking AP English Literature and Composition. Three weeks prior to the semester deadline, I asked nine of my classmates, “What are you doing today after school?”I wanted to know if they were using their time wisely or if they were complaining about things that they were doing to themselves. I have decided that they should remain anonymous for everyone’s integrity. Here’s what they said:

“I’m going to eat, do some homework, and practice.”

“I’m actually trying to avoid doing these essays. They really stress me out. I think they’re out to get me.”

“Going home. Watching Youtube, eating, and then crying myself to sleep because I’m stressed. And you can quote me on that.”

“In my bed, doing homework, watch tv. I will procrastinate.”

“I going to watch tv.”

“I am going home and I am doing homework.”


“I’m going to this party at [Redacted] house. I don’t have anything else to do anyway.”

“I could tell you how I’m going to work hard when I get home, but let’s be serious. I won’t lie for the sake of this article. I have worked on some parts of my essay. There’s so much to do in this class and every other class, I’m mentally drained.

I then asked how the student felt about the class a couple days prior to the deadline at the end of the semester, before essays needed to be checked. A follow up was required to see if anything of my classmate’s plans had changed. And “changed” is an understatement. I received mixed emotions which were understandable. Here is what they had to say right before the deadline:

“Why are you asking me this again? Yes, I’m stressed out. I have two essays, two, to write – due all on Tuesday.”

“I’ve gotten zero sleep, but that’s my fault. I’ll attempt to do better next semester.”

“I’m set. All I have to do is finish my article and my reflection.”

“I’ve gotten nothing done basically.”

“I regret not working on my essays a little by little every day, but it has to get done.”

“I’m going home and going to sleep. I’ve deserved this.”

“You know what, I understand the purpose of this article. I don’t like how you are exposing me, LOL, but I appreciate the eye-opener. I see how much I’ve procrastinated, and it looks silly.”

“I’m going home to watch Netflix and work on these essays.”

“Why are we being tortured? I  just wanted a fun college experience. Instead, I’m crying every night. I’m exaggerated but this is hard. Or should I say challenging.”

Notice how not only did the tone change, but the responses got longer. Either we are trying to better ourselves or blame others.

We all struggle from time to time, but it is our duty to do what is right for ourselves. The title of this article is just an exaggeration. My classmates are important. We bounce ideas off of each other. We build each other up. A school wouldn’t be a school without classmates. As 2018 comes to a close, this means the end of the semester.

Have you ever had Mr. Fitch? Do you know someone who had Mr. Fitch? If so, then you know the emotional roller-coaster we are all on, but it’s worth it. It’s worth the challenge. You now know what to expect so prepare yourself.

Thank you, Mr. Fitch, for the push I needed to finally go places. Writing essays changed from a weakness to a strength.