Dealing with procrastination

Procrastination is very common in high school, for a number of reasons. While it’s something that people do and mention often, the causes and root of it aren’t often discussed. Furthermore, many people who struggle with procrastination have trouble finding a solution for it.

The majority of students agree that they all have, in the past or present, procrastinated. Though, when it comes to the morality of procrastination, opinions are varied. Some believe it is up to circumstance.
“It depends on why you’re procrastinating,” sophomore Abi Bremner said. “A lot of people feel like they work better if they do everything at once, but at the same time, if you wait too long, you’ll run out of time. So, I think it’s best to avoid it, but it shouldn’t be immediately condemned as the worst thing you could ever do.”

Bremner believes that the reason behind procrastination is more important than the act itself, and that in some forms it can be justified. However, other students are of the opposite opinion, thinking that the act itself is inherently bad, no matter the reasoning.

“I think it is bad, because you end up not doing your work, and then you put it off for later, and then maybe you don’t realize how much you have,” junior Bryant Lisk said. “So, you end up staying up really late, and you don’t get enough sleep.”

Lack of sleep is indeed a problem that comes with procrastination, as many students push it off to the very last minute. With this obvious negative side effect, it seems like it would deter most people from doing it. The cause of procrastination doesn’t have a concrete definition, though. The idea of what causes it depends on person to person, as there are a lot of different reasons people do it, whether it’s stress from an outside source or the assignment itself. Some are of the belief that the responsibility falls onto the student themselves rather than the subject matter.

“People aren’t taking high school seriously,” sophomore Puneet Manikandan-Marquez said. “They feel like everything will be solved, and a lot of small things like homework and assignments don’t matter if you just do tests and quizzes.”

Because of how grades are weighted, many students think that only tests and quizzes matter, as they objectively weigh more. However, homework is not only a good way to get a better understanding of the subject matter, but it’s still a very large part of the overall grade. Some classes, depending on the teacher, even weigh it more than the tests and quizzes, so it’s pertinent that you complete it as well as prepare for testing. Though, others can bring a good counterpoint to this, focusing more on the stress factor rather than the underestimation of homework’s importance.

“We don’t want to do the stuff we have to do because it’s boring and miserable,” Fisk said. “It’s more fun to be doing literally anything else than schoolwork.”

Fisk thinks it’s more on the subject rather than the person. The fact that the material isn’t engaging enough to keep him interested is what especially pushes the idea of procrastination. The reason he struggles with completing homework isn’t the fact that he doesn’t value the worth of it, but that he can’t seem to engage with the topic and find intrigue or enjoyment in it. Whether it’s subject or individual pushing the desire of procrastination, it’s still a great problem. People have to find their own coping mechanisms that specifically work for them. Bremner uses an agenda to keep track of things, and to keep herself on a routine.

“I think it’s really important to have an agenda that you can write in,” Bremner said. “And, if you have something long term, you should definitely break it up into pieces that you’re supposed to have done by certain times, so give yourself extra deadlines.”

That’s not to say that it’ll work for everyone. Manikandan-Marquez is a perfect example of someone who tried keeping one, and it didn’t work.

“At first I had an agenda, but then I lost it. Now, whenever I really want to get things done, I either write notes or listen to music.”

As for Fisk, he keeps it simple. With a firm habitual schedule, he can stick to it without worrying about procrastination. As someone that has struggled with it in the past, he had to do this to cope.

“Do your work as soon as you get home. It might be nice to take a break, but then you’re just gonna end up watching one youtube video. [Then it becomes,] ‘Oh just one more video, just one more.’ Then you just end up in this cycle, and you end up procrastinating even more. It’s best to just get home, and get your work done.”