A month to go for the ISC, my final set of school exams, something my elders constantly tell me is “career-defining”, and here I was, dying to get into another game of League of Legends. “Just one more game won’t do any harm,” I thought… there was about a week of “just one more” moments until I realized the gravity of my situation. It really hit me when right after breakfast one day, I decided to solve a previous year’s Physics paper. I soon realized that I could barely answer anything and that numericals from the chapters I was so confident in just the previous day looked like Greek to me. I had three weeks to finish the entire Physics syllabus which comprises over 30 chapters. Good fun!
I’m a master procrastinator and even though my methods have served me well in the past, the last stretch is always torture. That race to finish the syllabus by studying till 2 in the morning and spending 13 hours a day poring over books as thick as my thigh, is one of the things I dread most in my life. Yet, every single time I promise myself that this will be the last time, it happens again.
Despite how risky this “method” is, it’s never failed me. I think the reason I keep going back to it is not because I’m lazy, but because I find it thrilling to race against the clock and push my limits as far as possible. Looking back on it now, I realize it’s a terribly stupid thing to do, but God, is it exhilarating! That feeling of scoring a 90 after studying for a few weeks when someone else gets a 70 after studying the whole year is what I live for. However, after staring at my class XII Physics book wide-eyed, still trying to take in my terrible, self-inflicted predicament, I feared that this may be the first time that my method fails.
I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge and so, I quickly quit the game of League of Legends that I was in, sat down on the green sofa in the room that used to be my grandfather’s study, plopped my massive Physics book that probably took an entire forest to make onto my lap and opened the first chapter – Coulomb’s Law. Little by little, I I made progress and with every page that I turned, I felt more and more confident.
I set myself small deadlines for finishing certain chapters and worked out a plan in my head on how to perfect the syllabus before the exam date – 5th of March. I started spending my entire day in my grandfather’s study, pacing up and down with a book in my hand. I actually got so engrossed in my studies that I remember mentally solving numericals while eating dinner.
Every morning I’d wake up and want to kill myself, but once I was an hour into my studies, my suicidal tendencies would disappear and I’d really start enjoying myself. Never in a million years did I think that I would look back fondly on my last-minute studies, but here I am. Things went so well in fact, that I finished the syllabus way ahead of schedule and uncharacteristically spent the remainder of the time doing extra stuff from outside the syllabus just in case the paper threw a curve ball at me.
Come the 5th of March and I had gone from hoping I would get more than 70 to hoping I would score a 100. I remember thinking this very thing that morning and laughing as I did it.
As I had hoped, the paper went very well and as I waltzed out of the exam hall, I recall telling myself, “I promise this will be the last time I leave it till the last minute.” Knowing me however, I sincerely doubt it will.