This I Believe

Gregory - Waterford, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in procrastination. This may seem like a silly thing to say, but it is very true. Procrastination is the one core element that runs through all my endeavors. It helps me to focus, and really work, by putting pressure on me to finish before the end of tutorial. Since I work better under pressure, procrastinating allows me to reach my full potential and unlock all of my inspiration. For instance, I didn’t sleep the night before giving my senior presentation. That’s right, I got absolutely no sleep, unless you count the nap I took in Spanish class. The reason that I did not sleep was not, as you might expect, that I am irresponsible or lazy. Rather, I had early on decided that I would schedule my presentation for nearly the last day available, and that I would begin adding material to it the night before. In this manner, I was able to create an excellent and professional slideshow, which earned a 100% grade. I never even bothered to prepare anything to say, aside from the brief outline I included in my slideshow. This was not detrimental however, since my delay in beginning to work on the presentation allowed me extra time to browse the Internet looking for minutiae to include. All of this came back to me when I presented, and I actually had so much to say that the presentation took nearly twice as long as I had expected. As I was finishing my slideshow in tutorial, glancing at the clock to see if I would be presenting it in five minutes or four, I estimated that it would take perhaps fifteen minutes, since this was the minimum and I was confident in my ability to fill the time. In retrospect this was probably a very poor judgment, almost certainly brought on by sleep deprivation, as I had 38 slides. Although not all of them required much time, many ran over a full minute, and in the end I probably talked for just over half an hour. I can’t be certain, since we had to break to go to lunch. This is not the only time that procrastination has behooved me, however, far from it, in fact. Why, I remember, in seventh grade, we had to do reports on a chosen career. Mine was lawyer. In this particular instance, I went even farther, and didn’t even begin more than perfunctory research until the night before the due date. Since this is so far in the past, I cannot remember details, but in my best recollection I finished the report at about 2:00 AM, and received the only perfect in the class. It should, however be noted that this was not much of an accomplishment, due to the intelligence of my classmates at the time. Most impressively, I waited until first period to begin my “I Believe” essay in twelfth grade advanced placement English. In order to emphasize my point, I allowed the teacher to see me retyping the opening of it during tutorial, to create the impression that I had not begun until then. Though I have not yet received a grade, I have full confidence that procrastination was once again an optimum strategy.