by Dylan Ricci
Procrastination, a student’s ultimate success killer. Why do so many of us do it, especially when we know what we’re getting ourselves into? From the beginning of our academic careers, we’ve been taught to complete our work as quickly as possible and to the best of our abilities. As kids, we were too afraid to leave work unfinished, especially with parents and teachers watching over us. However, as we made the transition from elementary to high school, this all changed. With a change in age comes a little thing called independence, which can become deadly if abused.
As we grow older, we start to receive more and more trust from our parents and teachers that we’ll be able to efficiently complete our work without constantly being surveilled. Parents stop checking on us to make sure we’ve finished our homework, and teachers stop asking for signatures from our parents. For people like me, this is where everything went downhill, and fast. When you begin to work at your own pace, in pure solitude, you may come across distractions here and there, and no one is there to stop you from indulging in said distractions. These distractions are like leg cramps during a marathon; they’re just terrible, unwanted, and stop you from crossing the finish line with all the other runners. The first time I realized procrastination was becoming a real issue was when I started falling far behind in my grade eight math class.
I wouldn’t complete the various stencils that were assigned to the class because I knew my teacher wasn’t going to check our work or grade it. Therefore, I was always behind on what we were learning. It also didn’t help that all I would do to ‘catch up’ was copy my teacher’s corrections and not actually do the work that came with the stencils. The end result to this was barely passing. My parents were angry with me, and I wouldn’t feel so great about myself, but I’d continuously end up falling back into the same bad habits.
Fast forward to the end of grade ten. I received my final exam marks, and what I saw absolutely horrified me: I must re-complete grade 10 history. How did I manage to mess up this bad? How could this have happened? What did I do wrong? Oh, that’s right, I crammed for my exams the day before I had them, despite my enormous work load at the time and the tragic amount of dates in Quebec history I needed to memorize.
Fast forward again to CEGEP, and I still haven’t learned my lesson. When I asked JAC students what ultimately stopped them from succeeding in school, I wasn’t surprised to see that 99% of them agreed with me. So many students continue to float in the same boat, which is always destined to collide into a tsunami-sized wave. We continuously take our independence and our distractions for granted. We spend entire days on YouTube and Netflix, then we wake up the next day after not completing our school work, and what have we gained? Absolutely nothing. If you’ve read this far and are expecting the ultimate answer to end your procrastinating ways, then I’m sorry to have gotten your hopes up, but I don’t have that right now. I do, however, have some sort of advice to give (that I should be considering for myself as well).
It’s obvious that getting work done is not rocket science. We’re students, and being a student comes with its fair share of difficult work. I know it sucks to spend hours and hours on an essay, but the feeling of getting that essay done will be like stepping outside to sunny five degree weather after a treacherous winter. If you’re having trouble getting out of a procrastination slump, remember to remind yourself that you will have to do the work eventually. So why not get it done in advance, that way you won’t have to shit your pants when you hastily remember that assignment you never did the day before it’s due? We all managed to make it this far in our academic careers, so why not be appreciative of our positions and live up to all the work we had to do to get here? The distractions can wait. Trust me.