Procrastination returns as school year starts

Summer is finally over. Many of us have been looking forward to coming back to our home away from home for weeks and an end to the boredom and lethargy that accompany a three-month vacation. Unless of course you were working three jobs, doing research and taking classes. In your case, school might be a welcome break.

Regardless, it’s great to hang out with friends you haven’t seen all summer and, once again, immerse yourself in campus life, at least until Syllabus Week is over and classes actually start and the procrastination sets in. (Wait, what? Classes? I have to do homework? And go to class? And get there in a semi-timely manner? And maybe even ? gasp! ? have to use my brain and think?)

Ah, procrastination. So often it is forgotten over our long summers, whether they are blissful or busy. It waits, ready to trap any college student whose vigilance wavers. Some attempt to resist the temptations, while others know that resistance is futile and welcome procrastination as they would an old friend.

The blame does not lay solely on the undisciplined. Part of it lies in the very nature of college itself. As college students, we are constantly surrounded by people, places and things that are just more interesting than studying. It’s hard to believe that anything could be more interesting than “Western Sahara in a Comparative Perspective”, but on a college campus, anything is possible. Added to that are the other distractions that are much less interesting than homework but require the use of significantly less brain cells: clipping your toenails, eating or watching a new episode of a TV show that you never actually wanted to watch before you had two papers due.

Like nicotine or chocolate, procrastination slowly becomes more and more addictive, affecting everything we should care about, from our professional lives to our living habits, and, of course, our GPAs. The bane of procrastination will touch all of us at some point in our college careers, but we must stay strong. There are plenty of ways to dilute the effects of procrastination, at least as far as school goes, such as consuming massive amounts of caffeine, extra credit and sleeping every chance you can. None of this, of course, is as effective as getting all of your work in the first place, but what’s a poor college student to do?

_Melissa is a junior in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected]_