As you begin this column, Nathan is still finishing it up

Nathan Sanderson

Nathan Sanderson

Procrastination: To postpone or delay needlessly. Or, to put off doing the smallest, most insignificant item until the last possible moment, thereby inducing five times as much work as would have been required if done immediately.

Those of us who procrastinate seem incapable of performing any task until absolutely necessary. Basically this means that we are lazy.

Waiting until the last minute is something that Americans are becoming quite adept at. That’s why we drive our cars until the fuel gauge is a quarter-inch past “E,” the tires are as smooth as good whiskey or it gets as dirty as Nixon politics. We wait until we have 3,998 miles between oil changes before it goes in for a tune-up.

It not only takes an iron will, but also requires a large amount of dedication and hard work to be a successful procrastinator. College students are pros at holding off on doing something until we’re good and ready.

I’ve seen roommates who have gone for five weeks eating nothing but hot dogs, E-Z Mac, and Sunny D, simply because they were too lazy to actually drive to Hy-Vee.

Let’s not forget that everyone who has ever taken Physics and has had a lab report due at 5 p.m. on Friday waits until 4:58 pm to hand it in (usually, there’s a line every Friday just before five at the slots in Crothers to hand each week’s packets in).

I know at least one hundred people who wait to do laundry until there’s nothing in their room left to wear except jeans they’re worn four times previously, a T-shirt from a pile that may or may not be dirty, and socks that they wore yesterday. The motto for these guys is, “If we use enough cologne, it’ll work for today!”

Frequently, the trash in these rooms is piled up so high that there are three heaping garbage bags spilling onto the floor. Each of these could have been removed several times, as both of the gentlemen in the room have passed by a dumpster numerous times on their way to class, but were too preoccupied to bother. Ahh, the indolence of those attending post-secondary education.

Why do today, what we can do tomorrow? For a typical student, this statement blares like a rock ‘n’ roll anthem. No one can make a deadline with seconds to spare like a desperate collegian with a major grade hanging in the balance.

The only other option would be to actually do the work before the due date. It’s more likely that I would knock out Mike Tyson in our upcoming July 15 bout.

Vegas has 50-1 odds on the latter. I have earmuffs.

Nathan Sanderson has something Mike Tyson doesn’t: a tattoo-less face (for a little while, at least). Write to him at [email protected].