Grask: Procrastinating is on you and you alone

Tyler Grask

Do you find yourself putting stuff off, then, depending on the mood, freaking out or saying, “Why do I continue to mentally torture myself?”  

It all comes back to you why you delayed the workload. Most likely because you were lazy, or having a better time with other shenanigans. Either way, the majority of college students will come face to face with their own devil: procrastination.

Now, some people are hard-pressed for time as it is. Some students have more credits, hold down a part-time job, have demanding relationships or quite the demanding Xbox schedule.

Whatever your route to madness, just know you’re not alone.  That, and everyone’s tendencies toward procrastinating get much worse as finals approach.

There’s the Facebook statuses calling out for some sort of impossible divine inspiration, sleep schedules thrown into an avalanche of uncertainty, not to mention hefty doses of caffeine and Adderall in feeble, last-ditch attempts to compensate for past dawdling.

Anyone lucky enough to have a dad or grandpa raised in the cornfields of Iowa has heard it before — procrastination and masturbation: either way, you’re the one screwing yourself. 

The way to avoid procrasturbation, of course, is staying organized. Easier said than done.

The best way to evade the cold hands of grueling reading and those stupid overdue online “Mastering”-whatever assignments? Captain Obvious says daily attentiveness to your homework is a good place to start. Read the chapters your lecturers are covering before you attend your classes. Get homework and projects done at some point in time not directly preceding their due dates.

Although, in my opinion, it’s good to take a day off.

Another method that I’ve found works wonders comes courtesy of my editor: Give yourself something to look forward to after you study. Beer, zombie killing or a “study buddy” to hold you accountable. All are solid suggestions – the key is actually carrying out your plans.

Like anything in life, some things must be experienced  firsthand to know just how bad they are.

You might say, “I was gonna go through my notes, but then … ,” or you’re sad your pet fish died, your roommate started watching Stepbrothers, you take one too many naps, you engage in an intelligent conversation with a wall or maybe you decide to eat the whole wheel of cheese. 

Whatever. You and you alone are accountable for making time to get stuff done. Waiting until the night before the test to cram three weeks’ worth of missed class into your pea brain is a great way to find yourself spending the following semester broadening your horizons in Boone.

The key to getting good grades is knowing the professor, and by that, I mean studying what he or she considers to be important, whether or not that’s directly or indirectly stated. It’s easy to pick up on subtle nuances if you approach your time in lecture analytically.

Ask yourself: What concepts were they lecturing on? Did the last hour actually have a point? Did they say, verbatim, whether something was going to be on the next test?

Form outlines in your head as you read, and make sure you highlight the professor’s key points instead of your own. You know the type – the front row hero, Trapper Keeper and matching highlighters in tow, mulling over a Campanile suicide pact because they spent the night studying what they thought were key points in the lecture.

Snazzy Trapper Keepers are no substitute for open discourse with your professors. If you’re not acquainted, that’s on you. 

It’s also a good idea to engage yourself with coursework you find interesting; that is, if you have a choice given your required courses. Some people spend four years and 40 grand on an education they’re completely indifferent toward. 

If the adventure you’ve chosen tends to skew toward the boring side, you’re doing it wrong, and you’re wasting your money. 

You made it to college, which is supposed to mean you’re capable of passing your classes. 

There’s no substitute for hard work and no sense of accomplishment in anything achieved through slacking off. 

Keep your nose in your books, try to get some sleep and remember –Spring Break is closer than you think.