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Help me stop procrastinating (and other issues)

billwillbillwill Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello all, I need some help.

I'm 18 years old. I'm a junior in college, and I'm on track to graduate next fall with a degree in sociology and a minor in political science and english.

I have a few issues. The first is that I have a huge problem with procrastinating and ditching class. I would always put stuff off throughout my life, but when it came time to work, I worked. Not this semester. No, this semester I make bullshit excuses up and lie to my professors, just to get extra time. I ditch all the time, and I make excuses about that too. I mean, I had a paper due the thursday before last, and I made up an excuse that allowed me to work on it over spring break. It's due tomorrow and I still haven't started it. I had a whole entire week, and I feel like such an ass. Just before I wrote this, I almost convinced myself to make up another bullshit excuse and try to get it extended to this thursday.

I have a real problem. Have any of you experienced this before, and if so, how did you fix it?

My next problem is that I graduate soon. Like I said, fall of 2011. I'm starting to get really scared about the future. What do I do once I graduate? I don't want to work for a corporation. I'm working a part time job at Autozone right now and it just affirms my hate for corporate work. I'm not a drone, I'm a person, dammit. Some of you may have seen my thread on sailing. The last few years I've been looking at pictures of boats online, reading about it, etc, because the open world really attracts me. I've always wanted to travel, and I've been on a boat a few times and loved it. I think the flip side, though, is that I want to run away from all this. I have bills, I hate my job, I'm fucking up school and I just can't stop.

Fuck it, I'm already unloading tons of shit, might as well make it everything. I also have a problem with food, specifically fast food. I tell myself to stop eating it, make myself promise it, but when the time comes, I always make up an excuse that makes it acceptable. It's 11pm and I'll crave, say, Taco Bell, and I'll tell myself, "Yeah, it's bad for you, but this is the last one. Tomorrow I'll start running an hour a day." Like the last thirty times I've had it has been the "last time".

I don't ever cry. It's just something I don't do. But a few nights ago, while lying in bed, I cried for a solid minute or so, and I mean like intense crying. I felt so sad and lame. And then it passed and I was back to normal.

I just need advice. Thanks very much.

I hate you and you hate me.
billwill on

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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm not like a psychiatrist or anything but this sounds sort of like depression. I'd definitely talk with a counselor at your school; they're trained to help people with exactly this kind of stuff. And sometimes they have like, a bowl of mints or chocolates in their office.

    TychoCelchuuu on
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    billwillbillwill Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I don't feel depressed, but I guess that's what a depressed person would say, right?

    And a counselor at the university can help me with this? Isn't this a little too...deep for them? Also I'm scared of them finding out about the real reasons I ditch and telling the teachers.

    billwill on
    I hate you and you hate me.
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    travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    billwill wrote: »
    The first is that I have a huge problem with procrastinating and ditching class.

    I have the solution for you. I'll post it later.

    travathian on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It sounds like you should at least talk to an academic counselor. Your college probably has them readily available, and they deal with these sort of existential college student crises all the time.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
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    BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Eating fast food once in awhile isn't that bad, even though you think it is. Once you do something good like finish an assignment, make that your reward for a good job.

    Bartholamue on
    Steam- SteveBartz Xbox Live- SteveBartz PSN Name- SteveBartz
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    DaemonionDaemonion Mountain Man USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    What do you do with your time while you put off your school work (besides your job)?

    You said you've been looking into sailing for years, and it doesn't sound like much has come to fruition with that. Even if you are spending a lot of time fantasizing what it would be like to sail, put your assumptions aside and do something about it.

    Fantasizing can be fun, unproductive and makes a nice justification to be sad and unfulfilled. "Oh, if only my life were like this things would be swell." I am not sure if this is your mind set, but it sounds like it to me. Also, don't fall into the trap of wasting energy on things that haven't happened yet. You are not yet stuck in a corporate job with no hope for your future, so don't bring yourself down over it. Stay in the present.

    Drop your assumptions and be proactive. Go sailing. Maybe being a sailing instructor will be fulfilling for you. Maybe you will hate it, but with an open mind I garuntee you will have learned something invaluable during the process. Don't let your assumptions lead you into believing in a false reality. But before any of this happens you must be mentally and physically happy and healthy. Eat reasonably well and take care of yourself. You cannot tend to your garden before you tend to yourself.This is the first step.

    When all else fails, make the choice you would regret NOT making. The choice to eat healthier, the choice to cease lying to professors, the choice to sail for a weekend, the choice to follow through. These are all choices that you have the power to make. No choice is inherantly right or wrong, but each have their consequences. You can ask for support, but ultimately the choice comes down to you.

    Daemonion on
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    SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've dealt with this before, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is what depression does to you. All of your symptoms describe what was happening to me to the letter. Go and talk to someone about it. Ask them about getting you on some medication. Talk to your friends and family.

    I know you don't feel depressed, but trust me, you are.

    Spawnbroker on
    Steam: Spawnbroker
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    GothicLargoGothicLargo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    billwill wrote: »
    What do I do once I graduate? I don't want to work for a corporation. I'm working a part time job at Autozone right now and it just affirms my hate for corporate work. I'm not a drone, I'm a person, dammit. Some of you may have seen my thread on sailing. The last few years I've been looking at pictures of boats online, reading about it, etc, because the open world really attracts me. I've always wanted to travel, and I've been on a boat a few times and loved it. I think the flip side, though, is that I want to run away from all this. I have bills, I hate my job, I'm fucking up school and I just can't stop.

    Well, unfortunately you had the dumb luck to be born under capitalism. But wait, no, that's not unfortunate at all because at least now people have the opportunity to make something of themselves as opposed to the middle ages where you were either born entitled or you weren't, period.

    To keep it simple, work sucks. Period. Doesn't matter what you do, waking up every day to do the same thing sucks. That isn't going to change. Ever.

    Drone work exists for people who put in exactly that level of effort. I'm no expert but I'm going to guess you fall into that camp. People who aren't passionate about the work they're capable of doing and so are given work that doesn't require passion.

    If you want to drop all of that there's really only one option that alleviates virtually all of your prior commitments...

    yvan eht nioj

    GothicLargo on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Either you're genuinely depressed or you're lazy and don't wanna work and want to go play instead. Or a combination of both.

    It's ok to be lazy and not want to work and want to go play instead when you're 20/21. It's also ok to be concerned about the future and where you wanna go with your life, especially at 20/21. It's ok to want to run away from responsibility, especially when responsibility starts to rear it's head when you are 20/21.

    However, you're going to have to make a decision about what you're going to do with your early 20s in the next year when you're about to graduate. And I have a feeling you don't feel comfortable making big decisions... that's ok, no one does. I'd say talk with a councilor and lay out some options. Hell, if nothing else, you can hear from someone that it's all ok, and everyone goes through this. Or you can hear "hey, maybe you need to go see a doctor."

    When you walk away from it, are you happy then? Or are you still down after you walk away and distract yourself? Is it just when you think about the future/grades/work that you get down?

    GungHo on
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    travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    travathian wrote: »
    billwill wrote: »
    The first is that I have a huge problem with procrastinating and ditching class.

    I have the solution for you. I'll post it later.

    Procrastination: divide all your work up into smaller pieces and then make a list of things you need to do. Give yourself a small reward after each thing checked off.

    Say you have to write a 5 page paper. You can either put it off and try to do it all the night before, or break it into manageable pieces and do a bit each day/week until it is due. Say the paper has to be on the book The Scarlet Letter and you have to discuss some literary criticism about it. Your list might look something like this:

    1) Read wikipedia article on SL
    2) Watch SL movie
    3) Read 1 chapter or 10% of the book
    4) Find 2 critical reviews
    5) Read 1 chapter . . .
    6) Read wikipedia article on the author
    7) Read 1 chapter . . .
    8) Find 2 more reviews
    etc etc
    20) Make rough outline of paper
    21) Write one bullet point of outline
    etc etc

    Paper done. Taking a big task and breaking it into smaller pieces makes it easier to work up enough desire to do something rather than nothing. So instead of thinking "mannnnn, I gotta write my stupid 5 page SL paper" and thinking its some huge task, you'll go to your list and do the little chore that is next. Something fast, simple, can be done right this minute. Then give yourself a minor reward. Then grab a list dealing with something else and do the next thing on it. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    You can do the same thing with most sorts of tasks. Hate cleaning the bathroom every saturday? Monday clean the mirror, tuesday clean the floor, wednesday clean the toilet, thursday clean the sink, etc etc. What would normally be a 30 minute task on saturday is now something you do during a commercial break each night of the week.


    Lastly, your life is what you make of it. If you want to be a whiny crybaby who is constantly dodging responsibility, slacking off, and putting a half assed effort into everything then you can go through your entire life that way. There is nothing wrong with it per se, but you'd need to accept the realities of the situations you are putting yourself into. Crappy job, crappy personal life, crappy place to live, crappy relationships, etc. Sitting around moping, daydreaming, and thinking of all the great things you could be doing has no effect on reality. Instead of sitting there thinking "man, it'd be awesome to be the entertainment director on a cruise ship" get up off your ass and go look to see what the qualifications are for that job, make a list, and start working towards that.

    travathian on
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    ANTVGM64ANTVGM64 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
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