Procrastination habits hit Iowa State students

As students get back into the routine of classes, assignments are also starting to pile up. Pushing back responsibilities instead of getting them done right away is often considered procrastination and laziness. For some, it is a way to spread out homework without feeling like everything is happening at once.

Some students do a mix of both: staying on top of some things and procrastinating others, depending on how the day or week is going.

“Whether I procrastinate or not depends on how stressed I am about other things, and if I have too much to do,” Jenna Runge, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, said. “Sometimes my brain says to take a break.”

The stress of finishing homework takes over some people’s minds, and it feels like assignments pile up on each other.

“When I’m keeping on top of things, but I have so much to do, I normally have to sacrifice other things,” Runge said. “Like time to be social with friends or just getting enough sleep.”

Makenna Brunson, a senior majoring in psychology, stresses the importance of a calendar and how often she uses her own to try and avoid falling behind, forgetting assignments or becoming too stressed.

“I don’t get too stressed, mostly because I do try to keep a calendar for things like that so I am still able to do other things while getting it done,” Brunson said.

For Brunson, using Google calendars helps her keep track of events, while a physical calendar is used for assignments and schoolwork.

“I always have enough time to get it done,” Runge said. “It’s just that I always get to a point where I wish I would have done it sooner, so I’m not as stressed out as I’m doing it.”

Assignments stacking up is not uncommon, and it can be beneficial to a student’s mental health to spread them out and not focus on everything at once. A study from DeVry University shows that the brain needs time to “mull over” projects and assignments.

“I would say if I don’t have a lot to do, I prefer to spread it out a little bit just so I don’t have to do a bunch of assignments back to back,” Brunson said. “If I do have multiple assignments due around the same time, I would rather just knock them all out now.”

Syllabus week is typically the easiest time to keep up with homework, but this often changes throughout the rest of the semester, even as early as week two.

“I tend to, especially at the beginning of the semester, try to just get everything done as soon as I’m assigned,” Runge said. “I know it’ll get to a point where I have so many things to do, but I have to do everything back to back. I try to stay on top of it and get it done, but I normally end up having to do it all at once again.”