College students procrastinate their time away


To me, deadlines don’t seem all that real until they’re staring me in the face.

I know when due dates are coming up—be it for assignments, papers, projects or getting a payment in. I usually have them marked down in my calendar for things I need to get done.

For the most part, if they’re more than a week away, the louder part of my brain says, “Oh, you don’t need to worry about that yet.” It’s usually in the back of my mind and I think about how I should get started on it. But then something else (usually sleep or Netflix) calls my attention away and then a day or two before the deadline I end up scrambling to get it done.

I know I’m not the only who thinks this way. Many of my classmates and friends have expressed similar feelings and we’ve swapped stories of how late we stayed up the night before, how fast we got a paper done, finished it right before class, the list goes on. It’s become almost a point of pride or achievement to see how close to a deadline we can complete something.

Though I am terribly guilty of procrastination, I recognize that this thought process is damaging. I look with wonder at students who complete their assignments early and with enough time to actually edit their work thoroughly before they turn it in.

These “kinds” of students are by no means rare. But when I talk with my own classmates, for example, procrastination seems to be far more common.

I’m generalizing here, but I’m curious at what point we as students stopped caring so much about actually putting in the work or enjoying working.

For almost every paper I have to write, I dread getting started on it. As an English major, I write a lot of papers.

I may even actually enjoy the topic, especially when I’m allowed to choose what I want to research and write about, but the thought of starting the long process of researching, taking notes, brainstorming, writing the paper and then editing is so daunting sometimes that I just keep putting it off.

I have to admit to already procrastinating this semester, about a month into classes. Part of that may be “senioritis” and just wanting to be done with classes and graduated from university. But I know that this is the time I should be working harder and getting my work done earlier, so I can finish on time.

I have been thinking about procrastination a lot, which is partially why I chose to write about it. Maybe if I put my words down on paper, make the self-judgments real and hold myself accountable, I can stop or at least slow this plague of procrastination that has been spreading and worsening throughout the years.

Kendra Hinton is an English major at SDSU and can be reached at [email protected].