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Amanda Blackman’s Dark Place

Photo credit: Taelar Pollman · The Sentry

My list of lists

Recently, I got an email from Chegg with the subject line, “If you don’t procrastinate, are you really a college student?” I think I just stood there and stared for a second. I wouldn’t call myself a procrastinator, but I’d definitely call myself a college student. What does that make me? An anomaly? A person with a planner and a notes app who just so happens to be in college? 

All my life, I’ve been the sort of person who thrives on order. That doesn’t mean that I’ve always been orderly, but it does mean that I am at my best when I know where everything is and have a schedule for when I can get everything done. I have journals, planners, my calendar on my phone to reference, to do lists at work, grocery lists, color coded school supplies for each subject (blue has been for math-related classes my entire life), and the list of my lists goes on. There is a place for everything, because I make sure there is.  

So, when I get something to do, I’ll find a spot for it on my lists and schedules. That could be today if I have the time allotted, or maybe the soonest is a few days before it’s due. That doesn’t make me a procrastinator, that makes me a person who likes to keep control over the happenings of their life and know everything that’s going to happen next—yet I know deep down that that is impossible. 

The lesson I keep failing to remember is that I cannot keep control of every facet of my life. I can schedule out what other people will be doing, but that doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to do it. I can make sure I put my keys in the same place so I know where they are, but that doesn’t mean I’ll always do that. I know this, and yet, here I am with an inherent need to create a false sense of security for myself because when something goes against my plan, my anxiety shuts me down. This mental barrier doesn’t let me procrastinate. I wish that I didn’t feel the need to schedule “relaxing time,” but I’ve definitely done that just to keep up my façade of control. 

In the current zeitgeist that accepts everyone as a procrastinator, I guess that does make me an anomaly. At least according to Chegg. 

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