Today is a rainy day. The sky emits an ominous gray, while the rain pours down from above. I sit in front of my iPad, motionless. Another day, another Zoom.
Online classes are not the greatest learning method of all time. It works fine, for the most part, until you learn that not paying attention is very easy.
So, I did it. It felt good, at first, since I can just do whatever I want outside of the little screen that stares at my face. Life was good, until realization kicked in that I was already far behind in my class.
I didn’t care at first. I (wrongfully) assumed that as long as I did homework, things would be fine. “Plus, everyone else is probably doing it,” I thought. Then, it was like a devil whispering in my ear, I procrastinated most of my homework, as well. At first I delayed it until after dinner. Then after bedtime. Finally one day I finished my homework and found myself showering in sunshine.
My parents demanded change, since they worried that my body could not hold it together for that long. I agreed, but my method was very much questionable. Incompletes and late marks started to appear very frequently in my grade book. I gave my soul to the devil, but before he took it, my judgement day had come.
If someone asks a student what is their biggest fear, they will probably say death. But in my mind, midterm exams are much scarier. For the first time in the past few months, I tried. I studied my past exams, reviewed my notes and homework, and did many missing homework assignments that I had “forgotten” about. But it was too late. Before I was ready to dive right back into procrastination, the report card came out, with a big “C” written as my English grade.
I was shocked, because I thought that the studying I did was enough. In order to make up my grade before my semester GPA came out, I was determined to change. As I looked back at my past exams, staring at mountains of homework that I left behind, the devil whispered in my ear, “Change? What do you mean change? Are you willing to bear the pressure for change?” I gave in.
Two weeks have passed since my midterm exam, and things are not looking good. Guilt and common sense keep telling me to take on my responsibility as a student, while my laziness and desire keeps me suffering. I was so helpless, to the point that even my parents started to notice. Then, the night before my report card came out, I spilled my secret.
Scientists say that admitting your own fault triggers the nerve that actually gives you pain, but I disagree. All the stress, all my suffering, all my guilt exploded that day. I screamed, cried, and banged my head into my bed. It was the best feeling in the world. My parents were obviously concerned, and after I told them what has driven me crazy in the past few months, we had a little talk. After all the lecturing and mentoring, they left me one final question to think about: “What kind of choice do you want for yourself?”
This was definitely not my proudest moment in life, but it dragged me out of my own stupidity. Procrastination never left me, but now, whenever I procrastinate, I ask myself that question, “What kind of choice do I want for myself?”. My grade has slowly become better as I continue to pay off the consequences and make up my homework. Life is good, until the next time I have to decide things for myself again.
Quarantine is hard, especially for those whose lives were greatly affected by it. For those who are troubled by their own decisions, I suggest you think selfishly. Not for your parents, your teacher, your friends, or your desire — just yourself. What satisfies you the best? There is no right or wrong, only the choice that fits you best. Talking to family is always a good way to reflect upon that. And the best thing about that is, they will always be there with you.