My bike spent three months locked in a storage unit collecting dust, its handlebars probably twisted at some odd angle to make room for various boxes and miscellaneous items. Before I had even set foot on campus, my grandpa told me to make sure that I put air in my tires before getting back on it. In fact, he gave me my very own handheld bike pump to make it easier for me. Yet, once my bike and I were reunited on move-in day, I looked at the tires, shrugged my shoulders because I thought that they seemed fine, and my mom and I continued on with hauling everything else up to my room.
Perhaps if I actually knew how to use the pump he gave me, I would have been more inclined to give my bike the tender loving care that it had deserved for over a year. Yes, that is correct. I did literally nothing to take care of my bike all of freshman year except for twisting the handle bars back into place after an unfortunate crash rotated them by 90 degrees. I didn’t put air in the tires even once. Lance Armstrong is definitely somewhere screaming. Even by Week 3, when one of my friends told me that my back tire definitely needed air, I still didn’t. And it sadly took a few more weeks after that for my wake-up call.
I mounted my bike one Friday morning, ready to make the trek to Ike’s in McMurtry. I realized immediately that the ride felt dangerously bumpy. I got off, I looked down and there it was. My tire was flat. I had to walk all the way to the bike shop, leave my bike there, walk to Ike’s, walk back to East Campus and then walk back to Tresidder later to pick up my bike, paying 18 dollars as well. All of which could have been avoided if I had just listened to my grandpa. Sorry Ababa.
So what was the moral of this story? Procrastination can have just as disappointing of an outcome even when it’s not schoolwork that you’re procrastinating. I mean, everyone knows about the woes of putting off your school work until the last minute and then cramming it all in right before the deadline, but the key thing to remember here is the word “deadline.” At least with schoolwork, there’s a set date by which you have to get the work done, or else suffer the penalties of lateness — but you’re still even aware of those. When it comes to the everyday tasks that we just don’t feel like doing, it gets easier and easier to say that you’ll do it the “next day” when you have an unlimited supply of “next days.”
And personally, when I’m putting off school work, I at least feel bad about it. If I’m sitting around wasting time, then I’ll be displeased with myself for my lack of productivity. But I wasn’t bothered by my laziness with my bike tires until the repercussion was right in front of me (and obviously my fault). If one of my tires hadn’t gone flat, I probably still wouldn’t have gotten around to putting air in them by now.
Bike mishaps aside, I tend to put off a lot of non-school-related duties. I wait too long to buy plane tickets, missing the window for the lowest prices. I have a habit of waiting until the last minute to replace my toiletries, rushing to the store when I’m running out of toothpaste to squeeze out. And the list could continue for longer than any of you would be interested in reading. This is a reminder to anyone who needs one that procrastinating your daily duties can have consequences too. Now, go put some air in your tires, just in case.
Contact Kassidy Kelley at kckelley ‘at’ stanford.edu.