While getting my weekly amusing fix of Twitter, I came across a Tweet from one of my favorite authors, Jonny Sun: “if life didn’t have a deadline we’d never get anything done.”
As a student I’ve learned that with deadlines comes stress, exhaustion, and frustration. Most importantly, they also come with finality. Consequently, upon receiving Dr. McCoy’s feedback on our final “Bloodchild” essays, I was confounded when she included a suggestion to revisit the essay over the summer. Deadlines give us an excuse to abandon the thinkING the assignment required; once they pass, there is nothing else to be done. After 11:59 PM on May 23rd I had no intention of looking over the essay again. I’d barely considered revisiting my original rough draft, except my grade seemed dependent on it.
Jonny Sun’s Tweet brought some sense into Beth’s suggestion. It’s true, all deadlines force us to productively use our time so we can move on to the next task. But if we could take a step back and look at the big picture, life’s deadline, the possibilities for growth are endless. And, as Jonny argues, our mortality incentivizes this growing process. I realize it may seem odd to consider death as a due date, but it’s why cliché phrases like “carpe diem” are embedded in everyday life. If we could live forever, there would be no incentive to get anything done. Everyone would claim to “do it tomorrow,” because there would always be a tomorrow. Rather, time is limited, and we’re forced to plan out how we make use of it. If I was never pushed to rewrite my “Bloodchild” essay, I would never have known how much more I could clarify my thinking and strengthen my voice.
It makes me wonder: how much farther can I take this essay if I spend a whole summer with it?
Revision and thinking are unquestionably tiring, tedious processes. However, it’s exciting to find that humans are not as limited by our deadlines as we think. Although the deadline for our essay has passed, the deadline for intellectual growth is not yet in sight. It gives us the opportunity and time to become better writers, and find enjoyment in the process.