Hi everyone, I’m Ashley, this year’s Publicity intern! I’m a third year English and Political Science major. I like taking nice relaxing walks on the beach and being That Person™ that always Instagrams their food before eating it. I also really enjoy binge watching Netflix shows or playing Overwatch and other miscellaneous games in my free time.
… And now that my dating profile’s done with, let me get on with my point. If you’re reading this, you might just be wondering what in the world this “Instant Gratification Monkey” is. And if you’re a chronic procrastinator like me, then you’re very well aware what this monkey can do to you. If you’re interested in hearing more about it, here’s a TED talk on procrastination by Tim Urban, a contributor and illustrator for sites like The Huffington Post.[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU]
If you’re not interested and just want me to cut to the chase, here’s a nice succinct summary of the video:
Pictured above: me at the wheel, a monkey preparing to derail me at every possible opportunity.
What’s important to take away from Urban’s lesson is his discussion on the two types of procrastinating: those with deadlines and those without. Us college students are extremely familiar with the deadline type: our group projects, essays and homework assignments. This is the easiest type of procrastination to get over because panic eventually sets in that kick starts our productivity.
The other type of procrastination, on the other hand, is actually something I still personally struggle with. According to Urban, starting personal projects for one’s own benefit (or in other words, projects that don’t have a deadline) is one of the hardest things for a procrastinator to do. And if I’m being honest? I agree with him one hundred percent.
As a freshman at UCI, I’d been extremely excited to try new things and meet new people. Joining Rotaract had been at the top of my priorities, but the niggling voice in the back of my head had convinced me I didn’t need to join right then and now, there were other things I could be spending my time on instead. If you’d guessed that the cursed Instant Gratification Monkey convinced me I could spend that extra hour loafing around in my dorm instead of going to meetings, then congratulations! You guessed right!
It wasn’t until I realized in my second year that something was missing from my life that I finally decided to actually participate in the club. It wasn’t that I’d finally gotten tired of listening to the monkey in my head or that I stopped feeling that gratification it used to give me. Instead, the turning point for me was realizing I wanted to be a part of something bigger than just my studies here at school. Rotaract has given me the perfect place to start rooting myself in a community that can help me tame that dastardly monkey by creating an environment that gathers passionate and driven individuals that I can surround myself with. If there’s only one thing I could go back in time and change, it definitely would have been to join earlier.
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