November 4, 2016

Procrastination nation: the life of a college student

Features

By Cameron Fry–

Procrastination is not uncommon. Delaying work has been around since the dawn of man, but the art of putting off pressing matters is something college students are especially familiar with.

Some students can view procrastination in a positive light. These students pride themselves in their ability to do assignments at the very last minute while still receiving a good grade. Junior Isaac Mason is one of those individuals.

“A lot of my classes are online, so almost all of my assignments are due at the same time. Because of this, I almost always wait until the last three or so days to do them all. Honestly, it’s easier to do them at the last minute than it is trying to make myself do them earlier,” Mason said.

Isaac is one of many college students who procrastinate as if it were their job. Mason can sit in his room without a worry in the world so long as he gets his assignments done eventually. If he does ever get stressed, he can take comfort in the fact that he isn’t alone.

A study from the American Psychological Association found as many as 80-95 percent of college students procrastinate. Junior Paul Schieman is baffled by this revelation.

“I don’t understand how that many people can be so lazy. If procrastination was a problem for me, I’d probably fail out of school. There isn’t enough time in the day to try and do all of my work at the last minute,” Schieman said.

Schieman comes home every day with the mindset of getting work done. He’ll use his caffeine addiction to fuel him through hours of studying and research, even if it means losing sleep.

The APA found procrastination is “linked to avoidant coping styles,” which refers to “the tendency to neglect problems that cause anxiety rather than confront them.” Mason agreed with the findings.

“On the rare occasion that I do try to get ahead of my homework, just trying to start it stresses me out. Before I know it, I’m already doing something else. It’s not that I necessarily want to do something else, but it’s easier to keep myself distracted with things that I’m comfortable and familiar with,” Mason said.

When it comes to having anxiety about starting work, Schieman agreed.

“It’s hard to make yourself sit down and knock out your assignments ahead of time. However, the payoff is always worth it. In my experience, not being stressed and having free time is always better than the anxiety that accompanies putting things off until the last minute,” Schieman said.

Mason and Schieman agreed anxiety plays a big role in procrastination. They, like other students, strive to keep their anxiety levels at a minimum. The only difference is that one of them finishes assignments two weeks in advance while the other finishes  two days before they’re due.

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