The start of every semester offers new opportunities for Vassar students to grow and change. Whether it’s getting involved with a new org, or simply re-committing oneself to long hours in the library, spring semester provides a second chance to perfect the art of learning. Junior Nick Liebniz has embraced this ideal and has created a plan to kickstart himself into healthy habits.
“Procrastination is definitely a big thing I struggle with, so my goal for this semester is to not do that,” Liebniz said.
When pressed for details of how precisely he plans to end his old habits, Liebniz offered only cryptic clues about the master plan he had devised.
“Well, starting early, for sure. That’s a good way not to procrastinate. I have a paper due…I’m not sure when, I’ll check the syllabus, but I’ll probably start it…I don’t know, I usually start it the night it’s due. But since I’m not procrastinating, I won’t start it then. I’ll start it early. That’s really the key, I guess, to fighting procrastination, is to start everything early,” Liebniz elaborated.
Never one to underachieve, Liebniz has greater plans in the works than simply to end his procrastination.
“I want to be on the frisbee team. I need to be on their email list, I guess, so that I know when practices are and stuff. I’m not yet. I think I have a friend on the frisbee team. I could ask him. I could ask him tomorrow,” Liebniz announced.
When confronted with the frightening reality that waiting to ask his friend about frisbee emails tomorrow is a form of procrastination, which Liebniz had previously and vigorously forsworn, Liebniz answered with his usual, unflappable voice of genius.
“We’re not really friends; we just sit next to each other in this one seminar. I don’t even have him on Facebook, so I can’t ask him today because I’m not really sure who he is,” Liebniz clarified.
Not everyone is as gung-ho about doing away with poor academic strategies. Freshman Annika Jamison recently decided to do the unthinkable: to drop a class.
“I just have too much going on. If it means taking 4.5 credits instead of 5, I guess that’s the sacrifice I have to make for sanity. “
Jamison continued, “Not that it’s done a whole lot for my mental health so far. I haven’t slept in days. I’m terrified of my roommate, Jen, so I just stay in the 24-hour section of the library all night. I’ve gotten a lot of homework done. I’ve actually finished all the assignments for all my classes, including the reading. But I know Jen won’t be in our room because she has class from one to three on Thursdays, so really that’s my only chance to get any sleep.”
Unlike Liebniz, Jamison adamantly refuses to take any steps toward fixing any of the issues in her life.
“I tried to change rooms, but I didn’t have any evidence of what she’s been doing, so I can’t leave until I prove it’s her. She’s really good at not getting caught, though. She insisted the spiders ‘just came out of the radiator.’ ” Jamison stated.
Jamison continued, “I’ve just quit going to the room at all unless I know she’ll be gone, which makes it impossible for me to catch her doing anything. It’s better than being there. Room draw is soon, I can try for a single next year. I did hear her bragging about her ‘cool new shoes’ that have my name stitched into the sides. She used a seam ripper to get the stitching out, though, but it just shows she’s getting sloppy.”
While Jamison allows her problems to fester, Liebniz continually attempts to improve himself. “I used to not go to class. It was a pretty bad habit. I would just hang out in the Deece instead. They have french fries pretty much all day, it’s
great.” Liebniz continued, “I made it to class a whole half hour after it started today, though. Turns out assignments are way easier when you’ve heard the lecture. I think doing the reading might help, too. I’ll try doing that in a few weeks, maybe, when I ask my friend about frisbee.”