school: oh btw we're going to keep you here for about 6 1/2 hours. and after that, we're going to give you hours of homework.
school: eat 3 meals a day!
school: you don't have time for breakfast if you want to get here on time, though. and here's lunch, it's cardboard.
school: school is free!
school: oh, but you have to pay for any ap classes, textbooks, folders, supplies, and materials for projects :)
school: you earn the grades you get!
school: what do you mean this teacher gives you bad grades because they don't like you? that's ridiculous!
school: respect your teachers.
school: oh, but they don't have to respect you. even if you don't know the answer they can still call you out in front of the whole class. and don't forget, if you correct them, we'll lower your grade.
school: everyone is an individual!
school: here's a standardized test to figure out how smart you all are.
school: balance your social life and academics.
school: but you also have to do homework and study for the rest of the day.
school: we accept all love!
school: stop kissing and hugging eachother. that's gross.
school: bullying is bad!
school: but our teachers won't help you if you don't say anything.
school: it's okay to be out sick.
school: but the teacher won't explain it to you if you were. that's /your/ fault that you were sick.
school: act like adults.
school: but we're going to treat you like children.
— Franz Kafka; from a diary entry dated 23 March 1914 (via moonlight——)
“I dreamed vaguely of killing myself to wipe out at least one of these superfluous lives. But even my death would have been In the way. In the way, my corpse, my blood on these stones, between these plants, at the back of this smiling garden. And the decomposed flesh would have been in the way in the earth which would receive my bones, at last, cleaned, stripped, peeled, proper and clean as teeth, it would have been In the way: I was In the way for eternity.”
— Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers."
— David Cain, “Procrastination Is Not Laziness”