An essential guide to curing your midterm procrastination at Edinburgh Uni

Treat yourself to some pet therapy in the National Museum of Scotland x

Although I don’t hold a medical degree, I have spent enough time around medics to confidently say procrastination belongs to the category of common uni illnesses.

GPs disregard these and claim will go away on their own, by gargling some Portobello-salt water and having plenty of rest. This is not a critique of the wonderful job done by those actually holding a medical degree, but just an attempt to validate that incredibly debilitating ‘mental cold’ hindering students’ productivity.

Sorry Doc, but Portobello and “rest” cannot possibly be on the agenda of any Main Library habitué during midterms. So here is the ultimate guide to fight this awful disease, and in case you think your immune system is invincible, I have bad news: it is spreading faster than those Jimmy Fairly tote bags.

1. Get rid of your guilt

You probably have heard the phrase ‘feed a cold, starve a fever’. Even though I described the procrastination virus as a ‘mental cold’, treatment involves starving your sense of guilt. That self-destructive guilty conscience is not only slowing you down, making you even more unproductive, but it is staining your entire to-do-list with unnecessary pressure.


Don’t get me wrong, assessments are important and must be taken seriously, but guilt should only stem from committing a crime. You won’t be jailed for a shit grade, but you might if you try enter the library without your student card.

2. Start early

A doctor would recommend a lie in to treat your flu. I prescribe you with an early start. Get to the library as early as possible, secure a seat with your dignity and not a joke of a pen or napkin – I am watching you and hating you for this from second floor.

Old College

Give yourself plenty of time to kill. Although I said ‘guilt’ should only be felt after a crime, the murder of time is allowed when it is self defence. Time is constantly trying to kill your fun pal, so you better strike back.

3. Visit the old Medical School

Hiding behind McEwan Hall, the Old Medical School holds the power to inspire you, Charles Darwin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I to dive into anatomy books and realise we all have 206 bones. This is another way of reminding you we’re just one of the many species on this earth sharing the same features, and the big names I mentioned above preferred writing Wattpad fan fictions over their medical degrees.

Procrastination is another human feature we should study rather than shame. Look at the history of this uni, the impressive alumni – do you really want to let them down or also have a go at being remembered?

4. Pay a visit to Dolly the sheep

Now, I might have lost some readers with this one, as it may seem like the epitome of Procrastination. But actually, having something on your list that is blatantly irrelevant to your work, while embracing the rebellious life away from responsibilities, this “pet therapy” is precisely the medicine you need.

Like a vaccine, injecting yourself with something resembling the virus, your body will form the right response: suddenly, in the National Museum of Scotland, you’ll wonder why on earth you’re there staring at a cloned sheep instead of your lecture notes.

5. Abandon your perfectionism

If you find yourself navigating (or drowning) in the sea of shame, guilt and uncompleted work, chances are you’re a perfectionist. That could even be an entire disease alone, but since you caught Procrastination in  owgate on your last night out, we must blame other people for those high standards.

Just get it done, it does not have to be perfect. The National Monument may be uncompleted, but that does not take its fame away… rather enhances it?

6. Divide and conquer

While it is important to acknowledge this infection can affect anyone and we are united in this fight, you should practise some social distancing and prevent the virus from spreading and mutating. Do not go to the library with your friends or fellow procrastinators.

The Procrastination virus affected the composition of this article, but following these steps, I managed to pull through. This is not only proof that these remedies work, but if you follow the treatment, we can prove productivity can be as contagious as the disease.

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