Zeenat Afzal: Need an Excuse to Procrastinate? Well, Here It Is!

So, we’re coming to the end of January and, for a lot of you, that means deadlines; the ‘D’ that nobody wants anything to do with. I know it’s starting to feel like a bit of a shambles and the fear of inadequacy is looming over you, but I promise it’ll be over soon.

Hands up those of you who were told you were an A* student. ‘Gifted and talented’? Feel like you’re doing worse now than you did in school?

Well, that isn’t your fault.

The current education system has been proven to have adverse effects on its students. While baby boomers and Generation X happily label us ‘lazy’ and ‘stubborn’, we’re crying ourselves to sleep in the vain hope that next time the word count will be half as high.

Not because we’re lazy – because standards are way too high. We’re expected to simultaneously:

  • Maintain a (poorly-paid) job
  • Keep up with reading
  • Complete coursework (several thousand words apiece)
  • Eat well
  • Sleep well
  • Socialise
  • AND make it to every taught course session


Students aren’t taken seriously, and there’s still very little regard for the damage done to youth mental health by perpetually looming deadlines.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment. Contact a senior tutor (it’s what they’re there for).

Grab a glass of water, maybe a snack. You can do this (even though you shouldn’t have to).

You are NOT inadequate, and you are gonna smash these deadlines out of the park. And even if you don’t, so what? A grade on a piece of paper does not define your intelligence or your character.

Stay strong guys, gals, and non-binary pals. I believe in you, so it’s high time you believe in you, too. If you require direct support, reach out to the Wellbeing service at your studying facility; know that there is ALWAYS someone there for you, and you’re never going to have to do this on your own.

Peace, love, and sugar puffs.