By Nathaniel Counts
We have all been confronted with the procrastination problem in one form or another. You have a paper due in a month, and you have two options. You can either work on it a little every day, or you can save it for the last two days and finish it all then. If you do not procrastinate, you will be happier – the work will feel like less of a burden and you will be less stressed out. However, one of your primary interests is spending time with your friends. Your friends are all in class with you, and you do not have other friends. If you decide not to procrastinate and they procrastinate, your little bit of work every day will mean that you will have to miss out on trips that your friends go on, and when you are available nearer to the paper’s due date, your friends will all be busy.
Your friends all procrastinate. What do you do? You procrastinate as well. In your calculus, the additional stress of having to do the paper in less time is offset by the additional time with friends.
Now re-imagine the scenario with the same closed social group, but the decision is whether or not to do drugs. If you decide not to do drugs, you will likely live a longer, healthier life, but if your friends decide to do drugs and trade in health for pleasure in the short-term, you are once again presented with the procrastination problem. If you choose the “responsible” choice, you miss out on activities with your friends now and will be healthy and capable later when your friends are not. What do you do?