The Stages of Procrastination

After having a first year of college where I was the most studious student around, sophomore year has hit me like a brick wall. Studying does not get easier with time; if anything it gets harder. But hopefully with these symptoms, you might be able to recognize your own case of procrastination before it gets the best of you….

  1. You make a to do list: Honestly while this seems productive, this is where the procrastination begins. You think you’re helping yourself by writing down everything you need to do but instead you’re just avoiding actually getting anything done. Believe me when I say nothing gets done on those to-do lists. My desk is covered in half-completed ones.
  2.  Calling your parents: While some college kids might call their parents for money, I call my parents to avoid homework. It feels so productive because they’re always telling me that I need to call them more often and I have to call them at some point, why not right before I start that research paper that’s due soon… I think my parents have started to figure out that I call them in order to avoid homework. It really becomes apparent when my mom says “okay well I better let you go” and instead of saying “oh okay!” I answer with “Nah, it’s okay! How’s the weather back home?” when I know that Chicago weather is basically the same as Michigan. I know the procrastination is bad when my parents are the ones who initiate the end of the phone call…
  3.  Study Abroad (unless of course you are procrastinating on study abroad applications): I cannot tell you how many countless hours I found myself researching anything and everything to do with study abroad instead of doing homework. Though I know I have all of winter break to think about it and submit my application, looking at past participants’ Facebook photos seems like an appropriate way to spend my time instead of completing the 30 page government reading due tomorrow.
  4.  Cleaning: There is always something that I need to put away in my room. So why not do that now and make my room clean and do the homework later? One of the reasons why I struggle to do homework in my dorm room is because I get distracted by little tidying up jobs I could do whereas I can’t do that in the library…
  5.  Laundry: I hate doing laundry. Probably my least favorite thing to do in the world. I put it off for as long as I can and end up then having to do 3-4 loads of laundry then when I do get around to it. So when I voluntarily decide that today feels like a day to do laundry, there is obviously something I’m avoiding. 
  6. When at the library, walking around and finding people to talk to: It seems like people would go to the library to get actual work done… Not me. I go to socialize. Most of the time I do actually work, but there’s times where I just get up and have pointless conversations (and very valuable conversations as well) in order to avoid the arduous task of homework.
  7. Checking your email: You never know when you might get an important email from a professor canceling that paper you’re about to write… (I can dream, right?) This turns dangerous when you don’t have emails from professors but instead emails from Facebook and Pinterest and all those great distractions, which then leads to…
  8. Checking Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest: These are probably the black holes of procrastination. You are one click away from being lost forever to the world of homework. It’s a very fine line to toe.
  9. Eating: I can always come up with an excuse to eat and while i might be able to double task and work and eat at the same time, that’s not always possible and while homework can wait, food cannot…
  10. Sleep: Time and time again I tell myself that I will not try to do homework in bed because it always ends up with me falling asleep, but I never seem to learn. Sleep is so important to college students that it’s hard not to give in to the temptation. You need healthy sleep in order to do homework, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
While this is list could really go on and on for days about what I find to distract myself from homework, these are some of the top things. The first step to realizing I have a problem is recognizing that, maybe I’ll be able to do something about this now! Probably not but maybe I can help other people realize they have a problem too! Happy procrastinating!
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Jessica Hansen ʼ17

About Jessica Hansen ʼ17

Jessie is a sophomore from West Chicago, IL ( a western Chicago suburb, not the actual west side of Chicago) who intends to major in History and minor in Art History with an American Studies concentration. She adores her dog, hates chocolate, loves listening to music, being artsy and outdoorsy, and traveling. She''''s Copy Editor of Naked Music and Culture Magazine, a member of K-Crew, Fellowship of Christian Students, Kalamazoo Outing Club, and KCCAN Di/Re Investment group.