I am such a slacker.
Seriously, no one should ever give me a deadline that is far away, because I will inevitably start whatever the project is an hour before it is due, regardless of how in-depth and long it needs to be. This is especially true if there is a precedent. If I turn in my first paper for a class that was half-assed at 3am (making it 3 hours late) and it is returned with an A and comments like "Well organized!" and "Concepts are explained in an accessible way, good job!"...well...I will only become reinforced in my procrastinating ways.
I would probably flourish in a course where I was told "You have a paper on XYZ due in two days at midnight," then an hour before it is due, got a message from the professor going "Surprise! You have until tomorrow at midnight to finish! Yay!" In this situation, I would have at least STARTED the paper before the day it was due, which is not often the case for me. Also? Even though I got the message that I had an extra day, I may have even gotten myself in THE ZONE before getting the message, and would probably bang out half the paper before deciding I REALLY needed to check my friends' facebook statuses more than I needed to finish the paper. The way I work would also lend itself well to this situation, because I would wake up the next day, and in a burst of adoration and appreciation for my professor giving the extension, I would write the most BADASS paper ever that would BLOW MY PROF'S MIND.
See, I really should make a school for idiots like me that need to be ployed like this. It would really help de-condition those of us that have gotten into this spiral. I have talked to friends about this before, and by the time you're in your 20's (especially if you have had a gap in your schooling!) it gets really bad. If you learned in, say, third grade, that you can get by with the BARE MINIMUM required work...and your teachers will still think that you are the most brilliant kid in class (or at least that is your perception)...you will continue to do all of your homework on the bus on the way to school (if at all). OR, once you understand math, and how your grade is figured out, and that your homework counts as like 5 points, but a project counts as 250, you can make an AWESOME diorama and just not do your homework, because it still adds up to an A. You skate by like this through high school, and get into a good college. You can get away with this *some* in college, but there is a lot less graded homework, and a lot more reading that is actually necessary, so this can get a bit dicey, but you'll find a way to AMAZE your professor with some insight into something, and from then on, you can do no wrong.
Throw in a gap in your schooling. Fill that time with retail jobs with a minimum of responsibility and maximum exposure to the worst possible excuses for human beings on planet earth. Return to school rejuvenated with a spirit of "This is so much better than retail, I'll do ALL my work early and do EXTRA work and I'll be so excited to finish school, that I will ALWAYS be motivated!" This will last approximately through the application process, which will reduce your will to live by 90%. Then you start class, and realize that you are either ten years older or 25 years younger than most of your classmates. Then you realize that they do not understand basic sentence structure or grammar. As lazy as you are, this bothers you. You start to feel about your classmates as you felt about the retail customers you dealt with, only this time your grade depends on your interaction with these people. You start to transfer the feelings you had for incompetent management in your retail jobs onto your professor, who will comment with "Good Job!" on your classmates' unintelligible assignment responses. You realize you can also do the bare minimum here, and start this downward spiral again.
But then you get a class that is actually challenging. The added problem of actually needing to do all the practice problems and extra readings and ask for explanations is very foreign. You may freak out. This is normal. The urge to drop the class is strong, but it is required for your major. You consider changing your major just to not have to work hard, then realize this is ridiculous. You try to re-conjure those feelings of wanting to be SUPER STUDENT and instead have bursts of ithinkicanithinkicanithinkican....but it is enough to get you through. You may even learn something. You also will realize that the classes are, of course, going to get more challenging as you get closer to your degree. You may panic a little, but you don't let on to the outside world. But you still don't start your projects before the day they are due.
My point is, I have two projects and three essays to write in the next ten hours. Why? Because that's how I roll. I never learn. I blame the schools. But more importantly, I decided to man up and attack this problem by doing the most responsible things ever:
1) Sleeping until noon
2) Writing this blog post
3) Eating cake for breakfast
Foolproof I say! What better way to prepare for battle than by halving your time to work, sugaring yourself up, and writing a whole lot that has no bearing on ANYTHING IN LIFE, which no one will likely read!? I should add a celebratory coffee break after I post this entry! I am good at this! Maybe I will even eat real food with nutritional value! I AM UNSTOPPABLE!!!!