Solving the inequalities

Junior reflects on change

Story by Alex O'Gorman, viewpoint editor

Most people who have sat through any basic algebra class are familiar with the concept of the slopes of lines. Slopes, or the measuring of a horizontal change of a line against the vertical change, can make for excellent metaphors. I, for one, like to think of the probability of me achieving my goals over the course of the year as one immense, negative slope.

The horizontal change of the line represents the amount of time that passes. The vertical change represents my productivity levels. In short, as time goes on, I become far less motivated to complete tasks and increasingly motivated to binge watch that one show on Netflix that has bad reviews and even worse romance plots.

This complex equation is one I not-so-fondly refer to as ‘Procrastination.’ Every year I search for ‘x’- the missing variable that will allow me to escape from the cruel clutches of that seemingly unsolvable problem. Yet, despite all my wishes and promises to change, the story stays the same. The required books remain unread, the deadlines remain unmet and my promises remain unfulfilled. So what is x?

Like most things in life, the answer is simple in theory and complicated in practice. In order to solve the problem of procrastination, or any seemingly unsolvable problem, one must simply work for it.

It is the easiest thing in the world to make a claim that you’ve been working for something by simply acknowledging the problem and making empty promises to change. Acknowledgement and action, however, are two different things. Acknowledgement is simply one step in the mile-long journey toward a resolution. A journey that will not be without its trips, stumbles and falls.

So, whenever you are next presented with the urge to fall back into old habits, remember that inequalities can be solved. Even though the temptation to put on your pajamas and watch TV may be stronger than the urge to study, with the right calculations and self-bargaining, you might just decide to do the more responsible thing.

Despite what I may have led you to believe, people cannot be mathematically proven. They can change, and the paths they go on are often extremely nonlinear. We all have the ability to change the slope of our equations from negative to positive; we must simply find the right solution.