Procrastination? Maybe Later

Procrastination? Maybe Later

Do you ever have two projects due within a week, and just don’t have the motivation to do it? Instead, you go on Twitter, watch a movie, and make a four course meal until it’s 10:30 and you have gotten nowhere. It seems pretty common among teenagers in this generation, being surrounded with technology like cell phones and Netflix. However, college is around the corner for students here at Tuscarora, and procrastination isn’t an option. So, what should students do about it?

One of first things that should be asked is, why does it happen? There are a few reasons why teenagers and students choose to procrastinate. According to Dr. Maggie Wray, one reason is forgetting about it. “…sometimes students leave their work until the last minute because they genuinely have no idea that there’s any work to be done,” said Wray. Since we don’t have agendas with the new bring your own technology program, it seems harder to keep track of homework without having anything to write it in. Some other reasons that Dr. Wray mentioned are: not knowing where to start, getting distracted, having poor study routines, resisting, being overwhelmed, and much more.

So what do the students think is the cause of putting off school work?  According to sophomore Areej Khushbakht, she said, “School already takes up 7 hours a day, not to mention extracurriculars. I think kids don’t have the energy to focus on doing homework.” Sophomore Deena Elrefai said, “teenagers procrastinate because we’re looking for a reason not to do it. We hope something will come up to keep it from happening.”

91 students at Tuscarora took an anonymous survey with questions about procrastination, and how it affects their stress towards school. Out of the 91 students, 86 of them said that they procrastinate, and 75 of them aren’t proud of it. Also in the survey, 60 of those 91 usually spend time on their phones. The other 31 are either on Netflix, eating, texting, all of the above, or other miscellaneous things, put “all of the above” between texting and miscellaneous things

One of the major things that comes with delaying school work is stress. Students get worked up about homework, and stay up way too late to finish those projects and study for the tests or quizzes. “Even though I am good about not putting off work until too late, sometimes it’s just hard to fit it all into one day,” said sophomore Pri Avasarala. Teenagers need on average nine hours of sleep, but between staying up to finish homework, and after school activities like sports, clubs, and jobs, it seems like sleep is a student’s last priority.  Because of this, students may  end up getting only about three to four hours of sleep. In an anonymous survey, 56 of the 91 students say they stay up until 10pm or 12am working on homework on average. 15 students said that they stay up until 12am or later. A side effect of this is a higher stress level. “…the amount of homework I am assigned mixed with the amount I procrastinate is a deadly mixture,” said Khushbakht. The big question is: does the problem have a solution?

“No, I think procrastination is too mixed in with the thought of homework, I couldn’t separate it even if I tried,” said Khushbakht. Avasarala agreed, saying, “No, because just the sheer workload is too much. I, myself, have to take breaks as I do the work to give my brain a break…I know I still have a lot to do, so I procrastinate.” However, there are some ways to stray away from those bad habits. “…by spreading their homework out evenly and distributing enough time to all of it,” explained freshmen Taylor Gryder. According to unstuck.com, a few ways is to eliminate distractions as much as possible. Turn off your cell phone and hide it, do work in a room with nothing interesting except maybe the assignments that have to be done, or even turn off wifi in your house (without causing a war in your house with other family members). Things like this can lessen your chances of getting distracted by things that keep you from being productive. Another tip is to break everything down into smaller parts, it will keep you from getting overwhelmed over one particular thing. Some other helpful ideas include: focus on what will happen after you accomplish your work, make a smart to-do list with only items you’re avoiding, and remind yourself that there is always more work to be done, it can make you get more stuff done so you can finish completely.

So, maybe those two projects that you have due next week won’t be as difficult as you may think it will be. Another big key in stopping the procrastination is how much you are going to put your mind to it. If someone wasn’t as committed to getting their work done as someone who had the determination, they might not be able to get over the bad habit that most teenagers have created. Elrefai said, “I procrastinate and I’ve always procrastinated…I want to prove to myself that I can get it done later whenever…and then like, okay, if the world ends who wants to be the guy who spent the last seconds of their life doing homework? Not me.”