• Marques Taus

Overcoming Laziness

Last summer, instead of doing homework or anything productive, I decided to browse various locations and establishments on Apple Maps. At one point in my search, I found myself looking at the many different colleges Southern California has to offer. I then came across a school not too far from where I currently live called Los Angeles Pierce College, in Woodland Hills. I thought to myself, “Who the hell would ever go to a school called Pierce College… Pierce College sounds like a school that people go to during a midlife crisis. HA.” Little did I know, Pierce was soon to become my last hope of attending college.

Artwork by Lorelei Taybi

I’ve dealt with laziness and procrastination throughout my entire educational career. Throughout almost all of elementary, middle, and high school, I prioritized playing video games, seeing my friends, and watching TV—this led to my downfall in academics, where up until my senior year of high school, I had around a 1.9 GPA. In my senior year, I managed to do well enough to finish with a 2.4 GPA, which may not seem like much of an improvement, but was nearly the best result I could have gotten with the given situation.

Despite my triumphant senior year, my struggle with procrastination persisted into my college career; at the end of my spring term at Pasadena City College, I had failed a Spanish course that was crucial to my dream of being able to attend a University. If I couldn’t even pass this elementary-level community college Spanish class, how could I ever attend a four-year university? I repeatedly asked myself how I had slipped back into the bad habits I thought I overcame. I felt defeated that I could let myself miss assignments just because I thought they weren’t worth my time. To further worsen the situation, that class’s credit was the last required A-G course requirement I needed to attend any university. I knew that I wasn’t going to be a university student if I didn’t fulfill that requirement, so I started combing through community college course catalogs for summer Spanish classes that had any remaining spots available. This was my last chance at continuing my higher education, so I poured every last ounce of effort I had into finding an open class. It took me around two weeks and countless hours of checking when, with only a few days left to enroll, I finally came across a Spanish 1 course. A sudden flash of relief and humility struck me when I saw Los Angeles Pierce College as the class’s institution. I immediately recalled when I gave Pierce College a bad rap, calling it names and degrading it for no particular reason. I hastily laughed at the irony I had just encountered—the school that I once discredited due to my lack of knowledge was now my last shot at attending university. I enrolled without hesitation.

I spent every day making sure I didn’t fail that class, checking my due dates and grades on an hourly basis, leaving no room for failure. After the last day of class I began waiting for my final grades, anxiously watching as time passed by. When the day finally came, I felt the massive weight of anxiety, stress, and fatigue lift off my shoulders; I passed the class with flying colors, at which point I knew that my past tendencies of procrastination and laziness had come to an end. As of now, I’m starting my second semester of my college career at Cal State Dominguez Hills with a whopping 3.6 GPA, with high-hopes of reaching greater feats in my academic progress. I look back at this ironic, yet life-defining moment as a cornerstone that helped me improve myself as a harder-working, more humble person.

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