This is my last article this semester, so, naturally, I don’t really feel like writing it. Or doing my homework. Or doing anything, really.
Practically all college students can relate to this feeling, especially at the end of a semester. This phenomenon goes by many names: Procrastination. Senioritis, for those about to graduate. And, most seriously and pejoratively, laziness. I say, “pejoratively,” because I think I sometimes kick myself too hard over “laziness,” and I don’t think I’m alone. I expect the best of myself and my work. I don’t try to just make good grades, write good articles or make good video projects for my cinema classes. I don’t just want good work; I want to be the best at that work.
But there are times, like pretty much everyone, that I save my homework for the next day and binge-watch YouTube for an hour or two. Sometimes I hang out with friends longer than I plan or hang out with friends I run into rather than plan to meet. After these completely normal activities, I can feel a sense of guilt.
As much as God wants me to work hard with the resources and tasks He gives me, He also commands rest. The fourth commandment, concerning the Sabbath, teaches the principle that we should refresh ourselves—personally, socially and spiritually. So why am I so quick to call our procrastination laziness? I think there are a couple of reasons.
The first reason is that laziness is a problem that must be confronted. There are times when we wait too long to start assignments and don’t finish them. I find myself tempted to turn in my Collegian articles late because I know there won’t be any major repercussions for myself. But that wouldn’t be loving or kind to those waiting for my articles. We need to be careful to still do the duties God gives us.
The second reason simple procrastination gets confused for laziness is the environment we live in as college students. Since I reside in the dormitories, I can treat college life as separate from regular life. Since life then revolves around classes, the homework I receive becomes my main duty. Doing something besides my main goal, then, feels odd, foreign and must be laziness.
Finally, rest gets called laziness because we realize we need to fight laziness. The easiest way to fight temptation is to say “no” the moment it arrives. A simple break can seem like the start of a laziness attack, causing me to lash out at it or berate myself after taking one.
I may be speaking only to a small audience. More than likely, college students struggle with actual laziness. But for those of you like me, remember that as much as we need to make sure laziness does not control us, we can’t beat ourselves up over taking a break. Breaks are natural, normal and can even be a gift from God.
So, why not procrastinate a little more and read the next article? Don’t worry, it’s okay.