Column: My monkey and I

TRL's Suvwe Kokoricha reflects on her love/hate relationship with procrastination

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Kaitlin Anderson

"All through high school, I’ve survived with the same process of my instant gratification monkey running around for days or weeks or months and then forcing my panic monster to take over to get things done. "

To my lovely fellow students– I have a confession. I am a procrastinator. And not at your average GT AP student’s less-than-honest “ahaha I’m such a bad procrastinator” level. It’s a full-blown problem. But on some level I believe I’ve mastered it. I fully maintain that I have done almost nothing this year at reasonable pacing. 

It seems my new process has become enjoying my life unburdened by the thought of any assignment for 90% of the time before a project is due. Well, really more 95%. Actually, that’s a lie. It’s 96%. Sorry, that’s an even bigger lie. If I’m being TRULY honest, it’s more like I spend 98% of the time living out the whole “ignorance is bliss” thing pretending that I don’t know what horrific stress-induced tears feels like. Anyhow, I tell myself it’s OK because I kind of see it as a fair trade. Except when I’m in the midst of said stress, such as the night before my senior project. 


So I was sitting at home Sunday evening on the last day of Thanksgiving break, and I was, to put it nicely, angry with myself. I began to think about a hilarious TED Talk I had once seen: “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator.” The talk compared the procrastination part of people to a wild monkey and the sensible side to a panic monster. Once again I had let my instant gratification monkey run wild and I was left with my panic monster. 

So then I always promise I’ll change, while secretly knowing that I probably won’t. Because deep down, I believe in procrastinating.”

— Suvwe Kokoricha

I have to present my senior project on short story writing the next day, and I don’t even know if I have finished it. You may wonder “how does she not know if it’s finished?” And that’s a good question. You’d think that would be something I would know, right? But again, my instant gratification monkey helped me to forget. Actually ‘helped’ is the wrong term. I think ‘forced fun until all practicality was forced out’ is the more appropriate term.

And of course, while procrastinating, I am taking time to ponder my tendency to procrastinate by writing this because not only did my panic monster run EXTREMELY late, he also decided to be lazy when he bothered to shuffle in. And what I conclude about my procrastination tendencies is… “wow I’m an awful student.” And I’m not. I know I’m not. At least I think I know I’m not.

When I check my Google site, the place I am supposed to keep all aspects of my senior project, and what the judges will look at before I present, everything besides the mentor evaluation is done. Then I remember an email I got from my mentor, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, telling me that he could not figure out how to send it as an attachment to my school or email. Or maybe it was my personal email?

I go to check my email, and it turns out my mentor had to snail mail it to my Literature teacher, the mentor of one of his students. Because I am now fully stressed and freaked out, I decide to do what any sane person does when something’s not working out: pace in a figure-8 shape around pillars in my house. That freaks out my mom though. So instead I go back to my Google site and create a carousel of images because why not? Who doesn’t love a good picture carousel? 

Then, because I’m still high-key stressed, I watch pictures of me scroll on repeat while waiting to see if my mentor will respond to my email. He doesn’t. 

But then I get a stroke of genius! Screenshot the email and put it in the mentor evaluation/verification as proof that I did my end of the project, which by some miracle I had. Then I turn that sucker in and wait. And wait for what seems like hours. And then I wait for actual hours.

Yay! My counselor Mrs. Cabrera returns the site to me with a comment of “wonderful!!” and a 100, and I thank God that everything turned out okay… this time. I don’t know if it’ll all work out next time. Or the time after that. 


All through high school, I’ve survived with the same process of my instant gratification monkey running around for days or weeks or months and then forcing my panic monster to take over to get things done. 

So then I always promise I’ll change, while secretly knowing that I probably won’t. Because deep down, I believe in procrastinating. Psychologist Adam Grant made me a believer through his TED Talk. Although really, he probably just affirmed my bad habits. 

Essentially, Grant argues that a moderate amount of procrastination helps people accomplish things more creatively. Which makes sense when I really think about it. I was so freaked out at how little time I had that I looked at past senior project sites and saw that few used carousels so I thought ‘why not?’

Don’t get me wrong, there’s something to be said for those who plan their projects accordingly from the start, but I’m just not one of those people who has their act together 24/7. I just make sure that I look like it at the end of the day. And it hasn’t failed me yet. So maybe my bad work habits, just like yours, aren’t all that bad if they’re a part of “the creative process.”