You worked all day in the library on another exam paper and you are heading home to your partner, roommate who works or doesn’t, parents or even kids.
Basically, anybody who has a non-student lifestyle. If you were alone, you would get a kebab on the way or fulfill your humanistic needs by eating rye bread and mackerel with mayo unless you are not a Dane.
But you don’t live alone.
On the way home, cycling through Frederiksberg and half the city, you think you make a perfect plan: come home, eat your dinner and read that last article before tomorrow’s lecture so you know what the heck your professor is talking about tomorrow.
You arrive home and life happens.
Let’s take my example. I used to come home, and my husband would have food ready or we would cook together and then a game-changer question pops up. “Do you want to watch something?” And I know he downloaded a new episode of Game of Thrones or The Boys.
How can I say: “No, skat, I gotta read that article that I give literally zero damn about instead of eating the food we made together and watching a TV show after waiting a whole week for this episode?” Maybe there are strong people out there, but the boring article always loses to snacking on the sofa.
Weeks pass and one boring article turns into fifteen boring articles, and the exam is two weeks away and you think it is time to prepare for that exam and read those articles. I start stressing over being stressed and husband offers to drive all the way to Dyrehaven to have a destressing walk and on the way back home you are too lazy to cook so you stop at a nice burger place. You feel full and you come home. How can you study after that?
One week before the exam.
You are buried in the library. Reading those 15 articles while trying to keep up with other class literature. You come home late and your husband is waiting for you without having his dinner. You feel guilty for procrastinating earlier and now having to put him in the position of not eating at a decent hour. Of course, he is a grown man and can decide on his food intake hours, but we are a family and we like to eat together.
A couple of days before the exam.
You call him at 20:00 and say you won’t be coming home soon so he should eat dinner alone. And more guilt kicks in. Why did a man marry a woman to eat dinners alone?! Of course, it isn’t your fault you are at a different life stage to him, but it still hurts. You wish you were working just like him and came home at decent times to have dinners as a proper family.
Your exam is over and you reset your procrastination timer to zero.
It starts all over. You think you have been working so hard to prepare for this exam and how did you even manage to survive after reading tons of articles and memorizing them and writing a decent paper out of all-week all-nighters? So you definitely deserve to binge-watch those missing Game of Thrones episodes with delicious pizzas all weekend, no strings attached to studies.
But your husband needs to sleep to wake up on time for work on Monday so you go to bed at a decent time. And now it is time for another exam week.
You think that last time it was very unfair towards your husband and you stay home and study at home. You procrastinate watching how koalas mate on YouTube all day and then it is dinnertime and you spend time with your partner eating, talking, and sharing your day. It is now 22:00 and he goes to bed. You have to stay quiet in the other room and prepare for your exam. You go back and forth between the toilet, kitchen and your laptop trying to make the least amount of noise, but it is a Vesterbro apartment and floors creak under mouse steps. But you aren’t a mouse. Guilt alert!
Finally, it is 4 am and you are done writing, or maybe you are done in absolute terms. You say “Pyt med det” and upload your exam. If it is a pass, it is good enough and you go to bed feeling like a dumbass because you aren’t at your best as a wife, as a friend or as a student. Why does this happen? You aren’t the stupidest or the laziest, but procrastination somehow crawls into your life like a tumor and loves the student environment.
I think it is very important to manage some expectations in such cases. My husband and I agreed that this is the way it is because I have goals of growing career-wise, and for that I need this education and for that we have to accept this crazy schedule for 2 years and then it is over. When you agree on terms, the guilt is minimized and that is already good enough.
Don’t feel guilty for wanting an education or for wanting a better career. And yes, the process of studying might take you down weird paths like me and koalas on YouTube. Or it might take you straight ahead where you don’t have the word “procrastination” in your vocabulary.
Anyways, it is alright and perfectly acceptable.