The waiting game

Finals week is fast approaching, and the tension is mounting. Deadlines that seemed far away in January are now imminent. Last-ditch efforts at earning extra credit are underway. Many students are cramming in desperate hopes of achieving that elusive A+.

But not all students are working so diligently toward making the dean’s list. Faced with the grim possibility of a semester’s worth of work being in vain, many students elect to study later rather than sooner – if at all. Procrastination is one subject students can get creative with without the risk of failure.

So what are a few of students’ favorite ways to procrastinate? Assistant Montage Editor Bridgette Evans scoured the campus asking students that very question. Unsurprisingly, some of the most common culprits are also some of the most familiar.

While procrastination is often blamed on habitual carelessness or laziness, many students are usually stalling, hesitating or presenting extreme aversion and or reluctance. This may lead to inane activities that cause one to stall more, which can create greater anxiety and fear.

According to Cathleen Henning on, there are six main theories that explain why people procrastinate. Fear of failure is high on the list. Conversely, so is the fear of success. Perfectionism, boredom, lack of skills or information, and distractions are also reasons why people put off necessary tasks.

In his book, Psychological Self-Help, Clayton E. Tucker Ladd said procrastinators can be divided into two groups: “the tense-afraid types who are filled with self-doubt, low self-esteem and fears of failure, and the relaxed, pleasure-seeking procrastinators who are easily distracted by more pleasurable activities than the tasks that seem almost hatefully boring.”

No matter which group one belongs to, the only solution is to plan ahead and start early. Although procrastination is not atypical for college students, it’s a slippery slope to climb. Wasting a few hours here and there may help to ease tension, but spending too much time on diversionary activities can be harmful to one’s academic health.