Counting the Weeks/A Guide to College Paper Writers and Their Reactions to Crunch Time
I've been counting the weeks until the end of the semester for two weeks now, and somehow the end doesn't seem any closer. Most people I've talked to are going home for Thanksgiving next week. Lucky ducks.
For the first time, this year I really want to go home for Thanksgiving (I never have and probably never will). That said, I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my Pasadena-based grandfather and a friend visiting from Scripps before heading out with her and some local friends to Calico Ghost Town for some mine-spelunking and old-West fun.
Most Recently I have been writing many papers and preparing for and competing in a karate tournament. We won lots, as usual, big trophies this time!
This is crunch time for a lot of classes. I have two short papers due Tuesday (finished, muah-hah-hah-hah!) and I'm gearing up for (have written my outlines for, muah-hah-hah-hah) my two 10-15 page final papers. Actually, my profs may have made them 8-10 pages... I love 200 level classes. Not that I'm not doing work but, I'm a junior, I've been doing this for a while. If I don't know how it works by now, I'm doing something wrong. A quick guide to the three types of people that emerge during crunch time:
Type 1 - Finish everything way early.
This type (me) does all of our work several weeks, sometimes over a month, before it is due. We excessively outline, allow our ideas to percolate, then write, easy as pie. During this time, when all of our classmates are running around screaming, we are sitting there, surfing facebook or catching up on all the Bones we didn't watch while doing our work in advance, cackling maniacally with self-satisfied glee every time our classmates scream in frustration.
Type 2 - Sit in the library and study and write solidly for the week before it's due.
This group tends to re-read everything haphazardly, then slowly narrow their focus until they can hash out their thesis. They retain a constant level of stress throughout the entire week before their project is due, spend the entire day before writing their paper in one four to twelve hour session of keyboard-pounding, eye-squinting intensity, then collapse/go crazy that weekend to get rid of all their tension.
Type 3 - The procrastinators.
This is the friend who spends eight hours playing a new video game that just came out two days before their paper is due (you know who you are) then suddenly seems to realize that they have a paper the day before it is due, pull an all-nighter and manage to scrape something together, editing it at six in the morning, then sleeping for two hours before their first class.
And the most annoying thing about procrastinators? They often get better grades than people like me.