Friday, August 08, 2008

My Friday Story


Procrastination

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going." Ecclesiastes 9:10

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done." - Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT

My first year of University was smooth sailing. Everything was fresh and new and exciting and I wanted to do the best I could so I went for all my classes and tutorials and studied hard. I didn't have many friends but I had excellent grades.

My second year was a whole other story. Suddenly there was a small Nigerian community. The list of things to do was endless house parties, clubbing, restaurants, afro-Caribbean organisation parties, lol or just chilling. It wasn't just that there were other Nigerians, I also had a good group of British flat mates with whom I partied as well. I can never forget Cheese night with music from the 70's and the obscene number of pints students could drink. I found that I started becoming lazy. I would miss a class here or there saying, I'll go tomorrow, or next week. If we went out late at night I'd definitely not go for any morning classes. I just wasn't able to balance the fun part of uni life to the academic part. Guess what? I had quite a few resits that year. It was a real eye opener because I had never had to repeat anything in my life.

Final year came and I had to work extra hard to make up for my second year results. I promised myself, I'd read my lecture notes everyday, do my coursework as soon as I received them, read continuously...Yeah right. Promises don't work. I wasn't as bad as I was in my second year, but I still wasn't as good as I could have been. Before I knew it, we were in the third semester, exams were drawing close and my 10,000 word dissertation deadline was only a few weeks away. I only probably had a skeleton draft of what I wanted and had seen my supervisor maybe 4 times the whole year giving him the minimum of what he required from me, I thought I had time.

PANIC set in. The only time I ever used to work well was under stress but I wasn't ready for the stress I experienced. I made a study timetable and started going to the library everyday. It became routine, a pack of malteasers, a bottle of coke, me and the silent section of the library. I had never read or learnt so much in my whole three years. The exams were easy and I was happy but exams were only a percentage of the final grade.

The lecturers know what they are doing when they give you a whole year to prepare your Dissertation. The more I worked on the paper, the further I seemed from the end. Soon the deadline was only a few days away and I was working on the paper day and night. I don't think I slept for 2 or 3 days before the deadline and I was still working on it as I watched the minute hand on my clock strike 12pm on the day of the deadline. The flood of tears came as I furiously cleaned up the paper, printed three copies and bound them up as required. I lived on a different campus so I had to beg my flat mate to drive me to my campus to submit the paper. He was very concerned because I wailed all the way there. When I arrived, they had bound all the boxed up to prevent latecomers from submitting and had a different place for submitting late work. The implication of submitting your work late was a 40% cap on your work even if you got 200%. 40 would mean that I would get a grade that I could not take home to my parents, because my second year results also accounted for part of the final grade and the resits had been capped at 40% as well. I sat on the floor in silence and wailing intermittently, thinking about how my father was going to disown me and how disappointed my mother would be and how I would definitely not attend graduation. I was in some kind of lucid state because I hadn't slept in three days.

The lady at the desk looked very worried, I guess I looked mad. She told me to fill out a petition form for the board who would decide if I had a reasonable reason for being late. If they approved, my grade wouldn't be capped. I held on to the hope of and wrote my poor heart out. I begged them to not break my father’s heart because he had paid international fees for three years only for his daughter to come home with a worthless degree. I told them how I hadn't slept for 3 days and how I had tried my best to get things done even though I realised I started late and I begged for mercy and pardon...They must have thought I was bonkers. All the crying started a nose bleed and finally the lady at the desk begged me to please go home and that she was on the board and would make sure she let them know how distressed I was.

Now I look back and laugh, but it wasn't funny at all. Immediately I got home I fell on my bed and slept for 24 hours straight. My flat mates said they had come to my room banging pots and pans and I didn't even flinch. Wicked people lol. Anyway God touched that woman’s heart and the board too because my score wasn't capped. It was a miracle!

I learnt my lesson this time, but every once in a while when I put things off, I remember what went down that day and it gives me the motivation I need...especially at work with msn, gtalk, facebook, blogspot and the likes.

"The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious." Proverbs 12:27

Prayer: Lord, help me to continue to work diligently and to overcome procrastination, sloth and negligence. Teach me how to make the most of the precious time you have given me here on earth and to work with passion and vigour.
Picture from here

30 comments:

Eniola said...

Amen to your prayer hon!! Procastination is a bitch...speaking of which, there is something i should have done now, that i've been putting off...Will we ever be free???
Gtalk, people.com, facebook, and latetly gossip girl are not helping me at work oh!!!

Anonymous said...

Amen o!
Nice post, I'm so glad I read this.I seriously need to get rid of this useless procrastination spirit in my life..lol.

Anonymous said...

good piece!!.Amen for me too..as i have mails to respond to but am blog surfing..

LondonBuki said...

I remember your dissertation day!

ROTFLMAO!!!! I wish I witnessed your display that day... I had to make do with your phone calls...

Thank God sha.

I feel you TMinx, there are so many things I mean to work on and I have only done half of these things - they were the easy ones!

Love ya x

TMinx said...

@ Eniola, lol, I wonder how you watch gossip girls without people commenting on the fact that you are watching a show..
@Anonymous1, lol, we all do.
@Anonymous2, respond to your mails oh!
@LB, lol, that was a day!

Standtall said...

I really feel you on this. You have earned you 24 hours sleep. Did you wake up hungry?

TMinx said...

@standtall, this happened yrs ago oh.

Standtall said...

Yes I know dearie. I just want you to cast your mind back to what you did after waking up. Did you grabbed all the food in sight? (lol)

Writefreak said...

Preach it sistah! Putting things off never pays! Some of us need to always battle procrastination but we win! lol

NoLimit said...

wow lovely and inspiring post! couldn't help laughing at your wailing fit!
Men procastination is crazeee!
wish I could say I don't anymore...but that will be a big fat lie!
Ok...I'm back to work!

Anonymous said...

gosh im in my first year and im alredi messing up!!!!today i cried out of my english class!!!arrrgh university!!procastination!!!
thanks for the post tho!!
hopefully ive learnt a lesson!

OluwaDee said...

I join you in saying that prayer.

Overcoming procrastination is something we all have to learn. Am glad you learnt it earlier (at least u weren't 40 with no investment) in life.

Nwanyi Ocha said...

ooohhhhh, why did u have to do this post ehhh, im currently procastinating my disertation ... damn it! im off to work *sulking*

Anonymous said...

thanks for this post!!came out of my english class today crying cos of procastination!!!
thank u tminx!hopefully ive learnt my lesson!

Naapali said...

Tminx thanks for sharing. I still like to think I take the cake for procrastination and each time promise myself it will be different next time.

but to cry until nosebleed, that na real wa!

NigerianDramaQueen said...

Wow, you don't know how much I needed to read this. This post was especially for me, seriously.
Im @ at cruch period of my life, and all the stress overwhelms me. I keep putting things off because I want everything to be perfect. I have my senior paper, the LSATs, law school applications..just so much. Then there are the distractions: blogging, facebooking, IMing, texting and like Eniola, Gossip Girls is my latest emotional investment!lol
Luckily my grades have been g8 so far..I just need a push to finish strong, and this post was a push in the right direction.
Thank you soooo much! And Im going to read that scripture you put up there.
Thanks babes

Lee said...

AMEN my sister. May God give us the strength. I like this:

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done."

Thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

lol-too funny

Afrobabe said...

Amen to ur prayer and feeling tha cartoons...

I almost passed out of uni with a 3rd class based on the same issues oh...

final year i sat up and realised i had hell to pay if i made a 3rd clas...also did the crying thingy before submitting project...

Anonymous said...

i am motivated by this post
!tanx..pink-satin

Aphrodite said...

This post was like a bucket of cold water on me. I really needed it. Been at this system blogging all day when i had so much stuff left undone.
Thanks babes.

kuesooM said...

Too True!, been there, done that....had same issues at Uni!

And now! Trying to get better, my excuse is I work better under stress! Yeah right!

Bella Naija said...

AMEN!
great piece.

tobenna said...

Nice piece Minx.
Real nice story.
Inspiring, to say the least.
Thanks for sharing

Shubby Doo said...

brings back memories...not quite the same sha...but i remember the no sleeping (b4 an exam)...the crying...the timetables...the silent trips to the library while people played...final year was hard...

Maybe because of all the stress for my BEng, my masters was a piece of cake...I guess i'd learnt my lesson well.

Joining you and oluwadee in prayer.

Nice post

Esmeralda said...

wow!

this reminded me of my final semester in school as well, not funny! and u also got me thinking... thanx for writing this, i needed that scripture.

so when are u getting to naija? how was the "mountains trip" (pictures)? and what is the business about (so we can patronise)?

u blogrolled me?! awwww(wipes a tear from the cormer of my eye... i'm actually touched)

so, do u still feel the effect of the Mastercleanse?

Esmeralda said...

p.s... very nice template

BumyPerfect said...

WORD!!

Anonymous said...

thank you dear with the post ......... I am trying to get work done but between you , the news and this very addictive blog I read called verysmartbrothas.com it's a struggle. Will try

BabaAlaye said...

Tell me about it. I keep putting off logging on to Blogger.