13/05/2013 12:11 BST | Updated 12/07/2013 06:12 BST

Exam Season: Student Procrastination Will Save Us All


The time is upon us yet again. We thought we had escaped it when we finished full-time education, burning our heavy 1980s textbooks with wild abandon and drinking heavily in the park to celebrate. We were told how easy students have it. Isn't being a student easy? You don't even have to pay council tax! But how wrong they were. How wrong we all were. Because whether you are a grumpy student yourself, or your university days are just a handful of hazy memories, there is no denying that exam season is upon us yet again.

I know for certain that my exams are here. Next week, in fact. I have a mountain of disorganised lecture notes staring me in the face to remind me. Whenever I walk into my kitchen, they're scattered across the table, taunting me and irritating my flatmates. My life has changed dramatically in the past few weeks: I have actually set foot in the university library for the first time in months. My fellow students walk around with pasty faces like sad zombies; their brains can't handle information and social interaction. It's like I'm being haunted by the ghosts of past lectures. Haunted.

However, as an eternally optimistic and hopeful person (ha), I will take any opportunity to find the silver lining in any situation (ha), and so it struck me the other day that I do actually have a 'favourite thing about the Summer exam season'. Are you ready? It's procrastination.

Procrastination, a most glorious thing! Oh, sure, sometimes procrastination means that you don't get to the train station on time, or your laundry sits unwashed in its basket for a few days, or you don't quite get that presentation polished. But while we procrastinate, we accidentally do so many more interesting things. I'm only writing this to avoid having to re-read another historical speech. Necessity is no longer the only mother of invention, ladies and gentlemen. This is a civil partnership now.

Think about it: What was Isaac Newton doing under that tree when the apple hit him on the head? 'Cause I'm gonna bet at least a fiver that he wasn't studying. He was probably reading Japanese manga, or checking his Twitter feed, or looking up the ukulele chords to I'm Yours by Jason Mraz. Benjamin Franklin must have been really bored to have gone out in that lightning storm. My favourite story this week is of Jennie Lamere, a 17-year-old student who invented Twivo, a way of blocking spoilers for TV shows from Twitter. If that's not the most productive procrastination you've ever encountered, then I don't know what is. In fact, it's inspired me to start learning Korean purely through YouTube tutorials and TV dramas - don't worry, I'll get round to revising for my exams eventually.

Human beings wandering around on this planet right now are arguably evolution at its highest point so far; the human race has evolved so that you, sitting there reading this right now, could do so, with your brain reading funny little characters that somebody else's brain imagined, on a screen that somebody else's brain imagined, and then made, probably using factory machinery that somebody else's brain imagined. I find it very hard to believe that those inventions were anything other than an accident. Why else would anybody start knitting or invent video games? Boredom, guys. Boredom.

So whether you're currently procrastinating in the library by reading this or you are sat in your pyjamas trying to kid yourself that watching Dad's Army will definitely be adequate revision for your history exam, just know this: It's only a matter of time before you invent something that will save us all. Why not just watch another episode?