Battling the Procrastination Plague as a Marist Student

I think we all can agree that the weekend is the long-awaited gift we receive after a tedious and stressful week of nonstop classes, papers, and presentations. Finally, our last class on Friday is over so the rest of our day can consist of napping, eating, and going out- a college student’s dream.

If we can agree on that, I think it’s safe to say that Sunday mornings are the absolute worst time of day. They are a rude awakening, or better yet, a slap in the face. The minute you wake up, all the things you have to do for tomorrow and for the rest of the week begin to fall right into your lap and the responsible, good-student-you-know-you-should-be conscience sits on your shoulder, telling you to get up, eat some breakfast, and get moving. “Go be productive,” it says. “Don’t start watching Netflix until you at least start that paper,” it says. We’ve all been there.

So I guess the question is: what exactly can we do to make this horrible, weekly scenario a little less awful and a bit more tolerable? Lately, I’ve actually found something that has been helping me face my own personal procrastination phenomena head on: it’s all about the atmosphere.

I know, most people love the library, and don’t get me wrong, I do too. It’s the perfect place to get your grind on. You can sit in fairly comfortable seats, get yourself a nice, fat Starbucks at any time of day from Elza (aka the cutest little lady on Earth) at the Library Brew, and have an unbeatable view of the Hudson River from any of the huge windows facing the water. It’s pretty much impossible to get better than that. I mean, you could even go to Lowell Thomas or Hancock and sit in even more comfortable chairs and do your thing there.

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However, the more Sundays that pass, the harder it is for me to focus no matter where I go on campus. Maybe it’s the idea that I’m on campus all day for classes the whole week? Or perhaps it’s the repetitiveness of going to the same two buildings to study? But for some reason, this past Sunday I decided to change things up a bit and drive two minutes up the road to the CIA, the Culinary Institute of America, to grab a bite to eat.

I’m sure you’re probably thinking, “Wow, that’s random,” because it is, but don’t be fooled, I’m not that good at finding spontaneous places to go on a whim. I’ve actually been to the CIA several times in the past and remembered that on Saturdays and Sundays when classes aren’t in session, there is a café called The Egg that is pretty much open all day. I figured I would go grab something and enjoy lunch off campus for a change.

To my surprise, there were dozens of tables on a patio outside of The Egg with this incredible view of the Hudson. I bought myself a cup of coffee, took out my laptop, and started working on my Com Research homework. It was about 65 degrees outside, the wind was crisp and chilly, and my latte had just the right amount of foam; my Sunday morning wasn’t half bad.

I ended up sitting out there doing my work for over three hours, completely disregarding any sense of time. I found myself to be more productive in those short three hours at the CIA than I had been the entirety of last Sunday in the library back at Marist. It occurred to me then, that it truly is all about the atmosphere.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Marist’s incomparable Hudson River views, and it’s not like the CIA’s views of the Hudson are significantly better or anything. After all, it’s the same river. It’s just the concept of being someplace else; straying from the norms of what you might be used to, that really plays a part in this experience of atmosphere that I’m talking about. Looking at students I’ve never seen before working alongside me, smelling the aromas of student-cooked meals, and watching people of all ages roam the campus for its beauty and noteworthy eats, I found myself simply content.

Sometimes it’s nice trying something different and so out of the blue. Sometimes it’s good to leave the “Marist Bubble,” especially on a Sunday morning when homework is calling your name. Trust me, if you suffer from the procrastination plague like I do, a change in scenery every once in a while can be a simple and easy cure.

Kristen ContiComment