Here’s the scenario: You have a 2-hour break before your English class begins and you decide to sit outside and enjoy the new music on your iPod. Minutes later, you receive a text from a classmate and panic sets in: “WAYD? That writing assignment was 2M2H and it took me 4EAE to finish it! Did U get the HW done? CYA in class!“
(Translation: What are you doing? That writing assignment was too much to handle and it took me forever and ever to finish it! Did you get the homework done? See you in class!”)
Now here’s the dilemma: Suddenly it sinks in that you have a writing assignment due in a couple of hours and you still have to read two chapters to get started. Do you turn off your iPod, grab your backpack, and head straight to the library to work on the assignment? Or, do you decide to wait until the next song is over to figure out you are going to do?
Here’s a suggestion: Just Do It Already!
Unfortunately, procrastination often has a negative affect on your grades. If you turn in an assignment that is poorly written, has no thought or focus, and is only half completed, you will inevitably lose points…or get no points at all! When you hold off on doing important assignments until the last minute, chances are you are not producing your best work. Procrastination can be a big source of stress, especially when you are enrolled full-time and you are constantly trying to catch up with multiple assignments at the last minute.
In about a month, the Spring 2014 semester will soon be over. Here are some important tips to consider for the remainder of the semester:
• Remember the syllabus that every instructor gave you at the start of the semester? Hopefully you have been keeping up with your homework, projects, and exams. (You shouldn’t be surprised if you have an exam next week…check your syllabus…the information is probably there!) Procrastination happens when you think you have more time than what you really have! The next four weeks will go by quickly, so get started early on your assignments.
• Depending on which classes you are enrolled in, some instructors will assign a big project, presentation, or portfolio due at the end of the semester which may be worth more points than the average exam or homework. This big assignment can make a significant impact on your grade depending on how you do! If you have questions or need help, then ask for it! Not knowing how to get started on an assignment can result in procrastination. If you need to, make an appointment to meet with your professor so that you can get some tips on how to get started.
• Don’t give up! A student’s life – especially if there are additional factors such as work and family – can be overwhelming at times. But, you have made it this far…and that is a lot to be proud of! Unfortunately, procrastination can kick in when you are too busy doing everything else…and, before you know it, your homework gets pushed aside with the thought of “I’ll do it later.” As you plan your schedule next semester, it is important to create a balance with school, work, and family responsibilities.
• Avoid distractions at all costs. So, you made it to your desk with every intention to study until your cell phone alerts you that you have been tagged in a Facebook post. You tell yourself that the post isn’t that important, but, 1.875 seconds later, you are now in a Facebook commenting conversation. Aaargh! Social media can be a huge distraction to your studying, especially if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. If you really need to post something, post this: “Hey! I’ll be studying for the next few hours because I want that “A” on my next exam! TTYL!”
• Be confident and motivated. Procrastination can be a problem when you start to doubt your abilities to succeed. When you start to imagine the worst of things – like failing an exam or messing up on a project – your self-confidence can take a plunge. Instead, focus on the positive things – like how studying hard for an exam will help you to receive a passing score or how putting extra effort into a project will get you a great grade – so that you are motivated to do your best work.
• This week is Spring Break and, yes, we completely understand that you have been looking forward to sleeping in, hanging out with friends, and enjoying the nice weather. But, use this time to review for upcoming exams, to finish projects, to catch up (or get ahead!) with textbook readings, and to get prepared for the next registration period. Even during Spring Break, many programs and departments will be open on campus, including the Library, Counseling Office, Financial Aid, and Admissions.
Additional links: Procrastination and Procrastination and Motivation