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Diary of a procrastinator on the night of a due date

Some students have the ability to write a paper days, weeks or even months before it is due. These students are focused and organized. They likely have decreased or low stress levels and can enjoy the privileges of guilt-free relaxation.

This article is not for those people. I dedicate this piece to my fellow last-minute warriors — the people who cannot seem to escape procrastination and the many distractions of the Internet.


I now present you with my own essay writing endeavor.

Twelve pages are due at midnight. My classes have just ended and I need to get home and start writing.

3:57 p.m.

On my way home, I realize that I can’t begin studying on an empty stomach. Cue trip to King Soopers for snacks and microwavable dinner.

4:27 p.m.

Groceries are put away at home and I have opened up my laptop. First step is to very briefly check email and social media. Briefly. I also begin writing this article, giving me the excuse to take breaks from time to time.

5:46 p.m.

First bout of panic. Checking Facebook led to a slew of Buzzfeed articles in order to find out if I could properly identify who my “Grey’s Anatomy” boyfriend is and if they could guess where I lived based on my taste in music. I was pleased with both results (George O’Malley and The Rockies, both very accurate). That is, until I looked at the clock.

6:23 p.m.


Got distracted once again after cleaning up my kitchen led to cleaning my room. My floor is spotless, just like my open, blank Word document.

7:02 p.m.

Panic-induced writing concludes with four relatively well-written pages. I congratulate myself on completing a third of the paper by eating dinner.

8:30 p.m.

Second bout of panic. Ate dinner while watching an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Autoplay on Netflix is not a friend of mine in times like these.

8:57 p.m.

Wrote another page. “Grey’s Anatomy” is still on in the background.

9:45 p.m.

Three more pages completed. What is this essay even for? How is it furthering my education? I am now contemplating whether or not my college degree is going to be worth all the money I am spending. Will I even find a job? I need to start networking more.

10:15 p.m.

End of small, not-yet-quarter-life crisis: sent resume to several different companies before returning to essay.

11:21 p.m.

Major panic ensues. Ten total pages completed. Two more still needed and I have not yet cited my sources. Thank goodness this is a rough draft.

11:53 p.m.

With minor distractions throughout the final 30-minutes of writing, the last two pages are finished and sources have been (somewhat questionably) added.

11:57 p.m.

After one last check, the paper is submitted. I have chosen to ignore any judgement I might get from my professor by sending it in so close to the deadline.

Four and a half episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” a clean room, 16 open browser windows and 12 pages later, I am done.

To my fellow procrastinators, may the clock be ever in your favor. Good luck with the rest of the semester, Rams.

Collegian A&E Writer Aubrey Shanahan can be reached at or on Twitter @aubs926.

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