With only about five weeks of class left, the end of the semester is quickly closing in. Soon, stressed and overwhelmed students will undoubtedly be found around campus, coffee in hand, sleep deprived, cramming for exams, and writing last-minute papers.
This self-inflicted chaos happens every year. Students are given the syllabus the first day of class and have months to prepare for the work they are assigned, but often they still choose to wait until the night before to get it done.
Director of student retention Patty Little said, “Procrastination always has been and always will be an issue for students.”
Every student has been guilty of procrastination at some point and has neglected important tasks in favor of what they consider to be more interesting—the internet.
Senior intervention specialist education major Kyle Zacour said, “I get distracted easily. I can get on my phone and not even realize how much time I’ve spent on the internet.”
“I’m constantly on my phone. I would say the time probably adds up to about four or six hours a day,” said freshman accounting major Corey Koone.
The fact that students are given assignments on their syllabus the first week of classes makes it hard to believe how prevalent procrastination is, but everyone seems to be doing it.
There are countless reasons why students procrastinate.
“Figuring out your reason for procrastination helps you figure out how to tackle it,” Little said. “[Students] have to find a learning style that works for them.”
Students need to figure out what their learning style is and what coping methods work best for them. These problems and solutions are unique to each student. Knowing these things is key to dealing with them and finding solutions.
In “Procrastination,” an article by Career and Business Consultants Marcus Sanders, Ph.D. and Jotham Friedland Ph.D., lists reasons for procrastination. Six reasons are given: the task feels overwhelming, something else seems more important, fear of being evaluated, the illusion of plenty of time, uncertainty about how to do the task, and burn-out.
Each of the reasons for procrastination has a unique solution. These solutions reduce the stress of the task and generally break it down into more manageable parts.
Sander and Friedland said, “Procrastination can occur for a thousand reasons, and universal solutions don’t work. You have to identify the reason why you are procrastinating, and then apply a solution that fits into your situation.”
This issue is extremely prevalent, but for all of the freshmen who aren’t particularly interested in their general courses, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I procrastinated a lot more my freshman year than I do now.,” said junior youth and educational ministries major Stephanie Lawrence. “The more I learn things that will practically apply to my career in the future, the more motivated I am to learn.”
Little said, “Procrastination is highest the first semester of college then it slowly decreases. Students realize what they need to do and get it done.”
The earlier students come to recognize their learning styles and reasons for procrastination, the better. Knowing both of these things is important for decreasing tendencies towards procrastination and internet usage and becoming a more engaged and effective student.
Kendra Jett is a contributing writer for the Aviso AVW.