Slaying the Procrastination Dragon
Procrastination is a severe problem for many college students, from freshmen to advanced graduate students. Left unaddressed it can easily result in sub par grades and the possibility of outright academic failure. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be taken to avoid falling into this academic trap.
Create a Schedule
In many cases, procrastination is the result of poor time management and organization. Many students, especially those who have just started college, are often unaware of just how much time their classes will require in terms of study, lab work and general preparation. For this reason, creating a weekly or daily schedule is a powerful tool for the student, allowing him or her to determine just how much time class work will take, making it easier to organize a timely study plan.
Creating a Realistic Appraisal of the Student’s Academic Skills
Another common attitude that contributes to a student’s procrastination is the belief that they can finish all of their work at the last moment. Many students assume that their college work will be no more difficult than high school work and so believe that they can “cram” at the last minute to achieve success. This dangerous myth contributes to a student desperately trying to memorize an entire semester’s worth of work in the final week of class.
The student must understand that this technique simply does not work. Rather, completing work and study projects as they are assigned will ensure that the student arrives at the end of the semester well prepared for his or her final tests.
Avoid Putting off Hard Assignments
Many students prefer to avoid the most difficult assignments until the last possible moment. Unfortunately, this simply means that the hardest assignments will have to be completed when the student is tired and is facing deadlines. Finally, if the student runs into unexpected difficulty, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain assistance from the faculty or fellow students.
It is wiser to schedule the hardest assignments first, leaving abundant time to complete them. This is especially important if the student feels that he or she may need outside help, such as from a study group or the instructor. Finally, by completing the hardest assignments first and saving the easiest work for last, the student can relax and enter the classroom with greater confidence in his or her abilities.
Students who suffer from procrastination have become their own worst enemies. Fortunately, once a student recognizes this issue, it can be quickly rectified. By developing effective organizational techniques to eliminate these tendencies, they can improve their course work while making the college experience a far more pleasant and rewarding one.
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