We all know what it's like to have the mid-semester feels. Who could describe it best? Bob's Burgers of course!
That big paper is due tomorrow, or that huge biology final is coming up. Your schedule has gotten hectic and you don't know how the heck to start working on that paper or study for that exam. The formal definition of procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. Yes, some of us are procrastinators on the daily, but for others, it only happens on a rare occasion. Whether we admit it or not, procrastination has hit us all at some point or another so far in our lives. If it hasn't hit yet, it inevitably will in the near future. Like it or not, here are the stages of procrastination.
You say "I'm going to get this project/essay/chore/etc. done right away"
You start out having a great confidence that you will get it done right away, when really, you definitely won't.
Distractions begin to kick in
Your phone lights up with Snapchats from your bestie. What if its an emergency?! You must open it right away, its for the best! Once your on Snap, you move on to checking your Instagram feed, which leads to a Facetime call with your long, lost friend. What project were you even working on to begin with? You've been on your phone too long to remember.
Lying to yourself and saying your "working" on the item that needs to get done
We all know that this happens: you open the Google Doc. or Word Doc. but it remains blank while you pet your dog, eat food, and scroll through all of your emails.
Skewed perception of minimal progress
Wow! You just got a page of your essay done! You excitement plummets as you realize its 12 a.m. and you still have 14 pages you need to do in order to have the 15 page essay done for class at 8 a.m...
Panic mode begins
You begin to panic as you realize 2 more hours went by and nothing got done. You quickly eliminate all distractions and get your ass in gear. You waited till last minute, but you will still put in a decent amount of effort.
You FINALLY finish and feel very accomplished
You finish the paper around 3 a.m. with eyes that keep going down. You pat yourself on the back and jump into bed. You swear to yourself it WILL NOT happen again.
Whether we like it or not, procrastination will always be a thing that sometimes seems unavoidable. But I promise, it is quite avoidable. Next time you get a task, try to get it done as soon as possible after getting it. Commit to the task, promise yourself a reward, minimize distractions, and keep your mind on it 100%. We all have and all will procrastinate at some point. But I promise you if you try hard, you will indeed get the task done and no last minute panic and stress will be on the table. I know you'll thank me later.
In high school, I dedicated four years of my summers and falls to marching band, specifically color guard. Of those four years, I was in a leadership position for three. Let me just say, marching band picked me up by my attitude and threw me to the ground. As I look back on my time in marching band, I realized just how many things it taught me.
1. Keep your chin up, shoulders back, and chest forward... always
It is something that all band nerds know by heart, what all of our directors have yelled at us while our bodies are covered in sweat and all we really want to do is sit down and take a drink of water. My director told us to always carry ourselves with pride, even in the worst weather, even when you feel like you are despicable and worthless, you pick your chin up, put your shoulders back, and put your chest forward.
You got this. I cannot tell you how many times before an exam or interview that I stand at attention and hear her voice in my head, and my confidence is instantly boosted.
2. Always listen to and respect your peers
Marching bands are set up in sections, each with a section leader, who happens to be one of your peers. From the very start, you are forced to listen to one of your peers. The level of respect that I learned to have for others the first year in band shaped the rest of my high school life.
3. Never be afraid to book it to reach your endgame
When running drill, there have been multiple times when I have had to "book it" to get to my dot. I have learned that when I need to get somewhere, I should not be afraid to push myself to get to that point. So what that I might be tired or I do not want to do it, I still have to get to my dot. If you have to book it, you have to book it. Don't let anyone stop you from getting to your dot.
4. You're never as cold as you were that one game you forgot to wear your Under Armour
You might think that you're cold, but remember that one game at the end of the season that you thought that it wasn't cold enough to wear your Under Armour and that you would be fine, and then it was halftime and you couldn't feel anything and wow, it's cold... and then you realize that you will never be that cold again, so hey, it's actually pretty warm.
5. No matter how bad you want to move, hold your ground, maintain your attention
Four years of spending long amounts of time standing completely still, even when there is sweat running into your eye and bugs crawling up your legs, have taught me that I need to hold my ground. I was not allowed to move in those moments, so why should I let someone else's opinion sway me off my beliefs? Bad and terrible things can happen to you, but as long as you hold your attention, you can get through it and come out victorious.
6. Smile through it all
In my nightmares, I swear I hear both my director and my coach yelling at us to smile. Every run-through, every review of a selected piece of the music, smile, smile, smile. Smack yourself in the face? Smile. Boyfriend just broke up with you? Smile. Your entire life is falling apart? Smile.
No matter what is happening, put on a brave face and smile through it.
7. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
You can never, ever, ever use enough sunscreen. I forgot sunscreen the first day of band camp my senior year... boy did I learn my lesson.
8. Roll-steps are super useful in everyday life
I spent four years working on my roll-step, and I have found many uses for it in everyday life. Have a cup full of water, a large pile of books or other items, or need to be silent to sneak past your RA? Roll-step will get you through.
9. There's nothing that a water break can't fix
No matter how angry I was, how tired, or how fed up, a water break could fix it all, almost all of the time. I have found that when I am pissed off or anxious or depressed in my life, sitting myself down, getting a glass of water, and just sipping it slowly while I let my mind clear seems to be the best technique for me.
10. The best tan you will ever get is the tan from band camp
11. If you've suffered through band camp together, you can suffer through anything together
Once you have gotten through five days of absolute Hell and frustration, you can get through literally everything.
12. Go with the flow
Things change so fast in marching band. Last week your drill had you at the bottom hash of the fifty, but now you're dead center on the thirty, but are you going to question it? No. Just go with the flow of things, it will all be okay.
13. When it rains... it pours
And when it rains, your silk will no doubt stick to you with every pass of your body, and all of the woodwinds will be sprinting to grab their cases. All brass practice?
14. How to make the most out of nothing
It is no secret that marching bands are often one of the least funded clubs/sports (depending on how your school categorizes it) in a school setting. But still, with what little we have to work with, we still find a way to put on amazing shows and fundraise until we can't fundraise anymore.
The new uniforms and flag silks are worth it, even if it will be going towards next year's class and you're a senior.
15. If you put yourself out there, you can make friends anywhere
Every Friday night, you would be meeting a new band, making friends during the third quarter. Every week we would get practice with making friends. Trust me when I say that the friendships you make in marching band are ones that will never fade.
16. Perfect practice makes perfect results
Half-assed practices were a no-go. Anytime the band started deflating, our director would be sure to yell at us until we all perked back up. My most vivid memory of senior year was during band camp when my director has us all scream at the top of our lungs because we were all frustrated. It helped.
You cannot get something done unless you have to right attitude for it. If you are moping around and not giving 110%, then why are you even trying to do it at all?
17. If you think that you've reviewed enough, you haven't. Go again
You can have a perfect run through, but there is always something you can improve on. Keep pushing yourself and keep going over the same stuff over and over because you only have one chance to prove yourself.
18. Whatever you're going through, just remember that you have survived 4 years of band camp
Life likes to kick us on our asses and push our faces into the dirt. When I'm feeling down, I remind myself that I survived four band camps. I have survived four weeks of Hell. If I can do that, then I can do anything.