Shakespeare for Students

If Hamlet was a university student…

Student: To work or not to work–that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The pains and sorrows of sleep deprivation

Or to take arms against the readings and essays

And by working, end them. To work, to stress–

No more–and by working to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That stress is heir to. ‘Tis a compensation

Devoutly to be wished. To work, to stress–

To stress–perchance to finish: ay, there’s the rub,

For in that stress of work what agony may come

When more is constantly added to our to-do lists,

Must give us pause. There’s the threat of consequence

That makes working a thing to consider.

For who would forego the temptations of Netflix,

Th’ comfort of sleep, the pleasure of socializing,

The call of the internet, the warmth of one’s blankets,

The lure of laziness, and enticement of procrastination

That divert thought of th’ productive tasks,

With promises of comfort and bliss procrastinating will give

Without a sliver of stress? Who would willingly bear the pains,

To allow the brain to weep and sigh,

But that knowledge that this stress is inevitable,

The painful all-nighters and panic too soon forgotten,

Never fail to haunt you a day later,

And make us wish we had borne those ills rather

Than indulged and wasted the hours away?

Thus consequence does make fools of us all,

And for a time we resist the beckoning of procrastination

Believing we will do better next time,

And falling soon after to temptation’s feet;

With this life the weary student caves

And loses any drive to put thought into action. – Listen you,

Those who choose work! – Strong are you all

And weary am I.


(Sincerest apologies, Shakespeare)


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