I sat down last night to write my first paper for my Master’s level management course, and it didn’t take me as long as I thought it would.  I wasn’t looking forward to doing the paper, but once I actually sat down and did the small amount of research necessary to write an informed essay, I found that the material was worth reading and the amount of self-evaluation needed to finish the paper off was enlightening.  But it was only after I finished spending an hour or so on this paper that I realized I had never put this kind of relaxed effort into high school.  And I couldn’t help but realize…what was I thinking?

I was lazy in high school, plain and simple.  Who wasn’t?  But looking back, I want to jump back in time, kick myself in the shin, and yell at myself to stop being a lazy ass.  I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if things had gone differently.  I bounced back and forth between high schools due to my own bad decisions.  I fought with both parents constantly, jumping from one’s house to the other, never realizing the common denominator was me, not them.  I used my “horrible home life” as an excuse to not give a crap about anything else.  I waited until the last minute to do homework (if I did it at all) and never really went the extra mile on projects.  I am no genius by any means, but I also have no problem saying it wasn’t because I didn’t have the ability – it was because I didn’t have the desire.

I’d come home after school every day and sit around watching TV and playing on the computer.  When I lived with my dad for 2 years my afternoons consisted of coming home and making a snack, watching “Jeopardy” and “Card Sharks” on the Game Show channel, sneaking onto the computer when nobody was home, then sitting in my room all night on the phone complaining to my friends about my miserable life.

Life was so easy back then.  Homework was always one or two worksheets with a day or two allotted for completion, and if there was ever a paper to be written it was always just a couple pages long and you usually had a week or two to write it.  What was wrong with me back then that I couldn’t put forth the tiniest effort in order to keep my grades up where they could’ve been?  I used to stress over bad grades, which put me in a bad mode, which made me less willing to work on homework, which resulted in more bad grades; it was a vicious cycle that I refused to acknowledge.

I look back now and see all the things I could’ve done differently and it just irks me that it would’ve been so easy.  A mere matter of dedicating an hour or two a night to something meaningful as opposed to watching rerun after rerun of “Friends” and “Star Trek: Voyager”.  It’s still difficult for me to make the decision to forego plans with friends so I can work on a paper or meet with a study group, but I do it because I know it’s what needs to be done.

Is this what it’s like to be a grown up?