I’m Michelle Callaghan, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.
Halloween is in two days. I’m not ashamed to admit that Halloween makes me, like that Corgi puppy, a little jumpy. I’m not cool with skeletons, maniacal laughter, or the dark. But I’ve got to admit, it’s fun to face those fears this time of year. It’s fun to conquer haunted houses and find yourself laughing instead of screaming. It’s, um, maybe a little less fun to watch horror movies. My courage only goes so far.
But did you know fear is linked to procrastination?
Now there’s a fear we would all do well to conquer this Halloween. Halloween is a Saturday this year and, if you’re like most college students and me, the distraction and excitement of parties and festivities is probably going to minimize the pockets of time you have to accomplish research assignments and study sessions. Given that we’re moving into the final third of the semester, we probably can’t afford that sort of detour. That means we have to use the time we do have this weekend super, super efficiently. We might feel the pull to procrastinate. But it’s Halloween season, the time of facing fears, so figure yours out.
Channel your inner Shia LaBeouf. Just do it! Why are you putting off that thing you have do? Are you afraid of running out of time, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by putting it off? Are you afraid it won’t be perfect, so you dread to begin? Are you afraid you’ll really like your final product and be crushed when someone else critiques it?
All sorts of fears influence procrastination. I fall into the perfectionism trap myself, as if not doing something is better than doing it poorly. That’s a falsehood. Besides, even the roughest of rough drafts can be edited. Just start! Put everything on paper! Throw all your Halloween candy at the wall and see what sticks.
It’ll either be the gummy worms or a really good thesis statement.
Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.
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