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Lukewarm Coffee and Procrastination

October 18, 2012   

So, it’s getting late here at Hamilton College, and I will be awake for many more hours, and rather reluctantly, too. It’s true that occasionally – very occasionally – there is a week during the semester when everything is due.

I don’t recommend procrastinating during this week.

It doesn’t even take that much; just putting off one assignment can unbalance your work schedule, and when you reach the final sprint – everything topples over and those “all-nighters” that are glorified in college movies suddenly become an immediate reality.

So now I’m sitting in the Kirner-Johnson building, drinking coffee that lost its toasty goodness hours ago and rewriting an essay that should have been rewritten yesterday. Luckily, KJ has some lovely little nooks with armchairs and power outlets, and only sound is the murmurings of my panicking peers in their own corners and study rooms. I have spent many a late night studying in the comfortable (albeit no-nonsense) confines of Kirner-Johnson, and the results have always been satisfactory.

It’s the last mile of what has been aptly called a “hell week,” and I’m slowly chugging along. I took a break for about an hour to go listen to a reading by Bruce Smith, a Syracuse University professor and talented poet, and though it has set me back in my work, it was definitely worth it. Really, readings and lectures and coffeehouses always are. Like I once saw in a Red Bull add: “Nobody ever wishes they’d slept more in college.”

At exhausting times like this, I start finding deep messages in energy drink advertisements. I feel there’s something to be said about that.

(Maybe that I need Red Bull. I think lukewarm coffee will work for now.)

And while I’m tired and a tad bit stressed, I find there’s something weirdly calming about late-night writing. While the underworked and the highly proactive are settling down in their beds, I am awake. The campus will soon be asleep, but I will not. Though there are people studying and writing all around me, I have this feeling of solitude that only comes with drinking bitter coffee late at night, immersed in schoolwork.

Now, the campus is drifting to sleep, but I am awake; it is a peaceful night at Hamilton College.