Letter from the Mint editor: This senior is still learning

Old habits die hard as the 2017 school year gets into full swing

JENNIFER LADWIG, Evergreen mint editor

As my columnist end tag says, I am a senior. The top dog, top of the heap, upperclassman, large and in charge, all that stuff. But I have a secret for you all — sometimes, I still feel like a freshman, new to the college environment.

I have taken a lot of classes at WSU. Forty-one, to be exact. I have been around the block, I know how to manage my time and I know how to get shit done at 4:30 in the morning. I’m seasoned, people. But here I am, going into my last year of college and I still seem to have no idea how to manage my time.

I am up until 3 a.m. on a Friday night, not knowing what to do with myself, feeling bored out of my mind and thinking I need to pick up more things to be involved with to keep myself busy. Then Sunday rolls around and I am cramming to get everything done for class on Monday. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

I am so confused as to how this happens. I use a planner, so I can see what work I have coming up. I am typically very on top of my classwork, at least I like to think so. So how do I completely miss the fact that I could get ahead in my reading or I could be transcribing an interview, so I don’t do it all on the same day when I have work and meetings and 12 other things to do?

Allow me to introduce you to the disease that curses all journalists: procrastination. Someone once told me that if you give a journalist a day to report on a story, they will do it in a day; if you give them a week, they will do it in a week; if you give them a year, they will do it in a year.

I used to think that I could escape this malady, but I have come to accept my fate. Just recently, I had interviews done a week before a story was due for one of my journalism classes, but what do you know, there I was listening to the recording and frantically typing out quotes the night before the article was due. I also had to read two short stories and participate in a class discussion on Blackboard that night.

Not too much work, I got it all done, but transcribing those interviews is easily something I could have done that one Friday night where I was too antisocial to go hang out with people, but also too awake to sleep. I could have saved myself about three hours of listening and typing that Thursday night, where I had other assignments and work to do, but I chose not to work ahead. Why? Because I was being lazy and procrastinating.

There is this one thought that always eats away at my soul as I get home from work or class: You worked hard today, Jen, you can treat yourself. You can watch that episode of “American Horror Story.” You can eat that second Pop Tart. You can watch the original “Beauty and the Beast” for the 67th time. You can take a nap at 9:30 p.m. Talk about unhealthy college habits.

I am telling you all of this in the hopes that you can relate — if not, I know I am getting some serious judgement and I don’t like that. So hears to all those late night “Game of Thrones” episodes, all the “one more drink” nights at the bars, all the “I still have another day, I’ll do it tomorrow” excuses that lead to our inevitable turmoil. You are not alone. I am a procrastinator, too. And if I’m the only one who experiences this (and I know I’m not), now you just know a few more juicy details about the life of your favorite Mint editor.

Jennifer Ladwig is a senior multimedia journalism major from Washougal. She can be contacted at [email protected]