Cramming on a Tuesday

Last night, a friend and I briefly talked about procrastination.

My friend was getting overwhelmed with work again, and she said it’s because she got so used to cramming as a kid that she never outgrew the habit. Procrastination worked for her. She procrastinated her way through college, and she still graduated with honors plus some impressive extra-curricular achievements.

I crammed a lot too, although I didn’t graduate with medals. Fortunately, I think I was able to temper the habit even by just a tiny bit over the years.

When I was still a student in Pinas, I could afford to procrastinate because I never suffered any serious repercussions for not studying ahead of time. My grades weren’t stellar but I never failed a class. Sometimes luck was a huge factor too. A cancelled quiz, an extended due date, a postponed exam — deadlines almost always worked in my favor.

I started managing my time better only after I decided to pursue a career in STEM. Cramming an essay was nothing like studying for a calculus midterm — at least not for me. My mind was too slow for math, so I needed more time to understand a lesson, work on problem sets, and prepare for exams.

I still procrastinated but I was no longer a full-time loafer. Even now that I’m already working, I still actively try to stay on top of my tasks and track my deadlines. I have also reached a point in which I get frustrated whenever others don’t do the same.

Today, for instance, our team had a check-up meeting about one of our projects — let’s call it the Ninja Report. I was tasked to write the Ninja Report and I submitted it to a teammate for review last Thursday. A few minutes before today’s meeting — and the meeting was at 4:30 pm — my teammate got back to me with a list of errors she found on my report.

I’ll fix it, I told her, then we both joined the team call. During the meeting, I found that the Ninja Report was due tonight at midnight. The boss asked how long it would take me to fix the errors, and I was too rattled to tell them that, wait, I literally just got the feedback! So now I have to work overtime? And now you all think I’m dumb and lazy for not finishing this earlier?

Nakakaurat! I understand everyone’s busy, and my teammate probably assumed my Ninja Report was already seamless so she didn’t prioritize it. To be fair, I could have caught the errors myself if the QA code they gave me wasn’t buggy as fuck. I also told them about the bugs last week but, again, they didn’t have the time to investigate until today. Hayyy.

Anyway, I was able to fix the errors and I submitted it again a couple hours after the meeting. I was a ball of anxiety during that two-hour span. What if more errors come up? What if we don’t submit this shit on time? Juskulord. I already listed on a different notebook the lessons I learned from this experience — never again, man. Cramming hurts us more in the long run.


The blog title is from a line in the song “Due Dates” by Ciudad. The featured photo is from Unsplash taken by Tati Visual.

2 Comments

  1. salbehe

    Nung collage, I love cramming! Yung gigimik muna kapag malapit na ang deadline tsaka magpupuyat. It works! Cramming makes perfect.

    BUT NOT in “real” life. Kailangan ko talaga i-remind ang sarili ko na hindi ako mayaman kaya kailangan ko gawin ang trabaho kung hindi pagsisisihin ko yun kinabukasan.

    And yeah, may ganyan din akong officemante, ewan ko kung intentional pero yung data ibinibigay kapag malapit na ang deadline. KAKAINIS!

    Liked by 1 person

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