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Actually busy vs. procrastination

Current time: 2:21 a.m.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably sat at your desk at 2 a.m. in the morning, scrambling to complete your homework before you knock out from sheer exhaustion. It’s around this time when I begin grumbling about my decision to take X number of AP classes, how my extracurriculars take up too much time and how teachers aren’t considerate enough about their homework load. Yet since I’m being honest, I also tend to ignore the fact that the work I’m finishing at 2 a.m. — no matter how overwhelming — was assigned two weeks ago.

It’s also a time when I push a guilty thought to the back of my head — maybe, just maybe — these are the consequences of my own procrastination.

While many of us do juggle a considerably heavy workload on a daily basis, students tend to blame the effects of their own procrastination on teachers and the difficulty of their classes. Most of us are familiar with the concept of procrastination: you receive an assignment which requires time and effort, you calculate how long it will take to complete the assignment and finally, you put off the assignment — only to find yourself cramming at the last minute.

In cases like these, students often find themselves unmotivated to work unless there is a pressing deadline looming over them. Instead, they prioritize more punctual tasks (and even occasional breaks) when they think about how much more time they have to postpone their work. At this point, we do everything we can to avoid the task at hand; we don’t feel obliged to work efficiently unless we feel pressured to do so.

According to Common Sense Media, teens spend around nine hours per day on media for pure enjoyment. Meanwhile, 60% of them also choose to multitask by doing homework while browsing through social media and entertainment sites. With this being said, being overloaded with too much work hardly seems to be the case when people spend nearly half of their waking hours on media.

Despite students’ tendency to get distracted and delay their tasks, there is yet another type of student: one who plans their school work efficiently and regularly (essentially, someone who does not procrastinate) while balancing their academics with other personal responsibilities. Even without the time lag of procrastination, these students may still face the same consequences (lack of sleep, cramming) simply because of their individual circumstances. Perhaps the biggest discrepancy of overloading school work stems from the fact that teachers follow their own agendas and do not acknowledge the personal schedules which students have. As a result of this miscommunication, it becomes more frequent for multiple tests or assignments to fall on the same day.

Ultimately, there is no solid answer to whether or not students are overloaded; coming to a final conclusion would require heavy consideration of each student’s individual situation. Yet for students who continue to fall under the habits of procrastinating, it’s time we take responsibility for our own bad decisions rather than blame them on others.

By Jessica Huang, Production lead

Photo by Samuel Compolongo