A few months ago, I watched a particular episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants” for the first time in years. Titled “Procrastination,” the episode is about SpongeBob procrastinating on writing an essay for his boating school class, with things getting increasingly chaotic as he puts off the assignment. While young Cody enjoyed the episode, as he enjoyed every episode of “SpongeBob,” its moral went over his tiny, innocent head. Cut to the present, and I don’t just understand what it is trying to say. In this particular episode, I am SpongeBob.
There was a time when I wasn’t a dirty, filthy procrastinator. I was an excellent student who did all his homework in a timely manner. Two things changed that. I got my first laptop, and I went to college. I gained a lot more freedom and a lot more distractions thanks to the Internet. Since then, I’ve developed some extremely unhealthy time management habits. At my worst moments, I would put off finishing assignments until the night before something was due. Sometimes, I’d even wait until the actual morning I had to turn it in. Although I’ve been doing somewhat better recently, the desire to procrastinate is still there. If I’m not careful, I can easily relapse.
It was while I was ignoring my necessary task at hand that I somehow ended up watching “SpongeBob” that day. I didn’t expect to take anything from it, but honestly I’m not sure if I’ve ever related so much to any television episode in my life. I could honestly feel the tension building as SpongeBob’s deadline grew closer, and his terror was frighteningly relatable. Procrastination is something that seems easily avoidable on paper. Just suck it up and do it, whatever it is. If you are a habitual procrastinator; however, you understand just how difficult it can be to overcome.
I’d recommend that anyone who’s been in college or anyone who wants to understand what procrastination is like should watch this episode of “SpongeBob.” It captures the feelings of anxiety associated with procrastination far better than a children’s cartoon has any right to. You’ll either be amazed (or terrified) at how well you relate to it, or you’ll learn something about how procrastination works and count your blessings that you don’t do it. Just make sure you watch the original version. It is a disgrace that Nickelodeon censored part of this episode; the violence and suggestive themes present in the omitted scenes are definitely worth your time.