Did You Remember to Procrastinate Today



Story by Michael Lanoie

10 p.m.:  The night was ending. Alyssa Boey returned from her sorority meeting. She stared at the icy white screen in front of her. It stared back.

10:40 p.m.: She finished one page. She felt a sense of hope that the paper would get done in time.

10:54 p.m.: Boey burnt her tongue on hot coffee. She panicked, not about the coffee, but about how she spilled some of it on her keyboard.

11:15 p.m.: She finished the second page. Her roommate laughed as she climbed into bed. She didn’t believe Boey could get it done.

11:47 p.m.: She typed furiously with her tongue hanging out of her mouth. She worried that there wasn’t enough time.

11:59 p.m.: She rushed to save and submit her paper. She cursed the Internet speed as she uploaded her paper. In the small moment the blue bar was loading she regretted waiting to the last minute and vowed to never procrastinate again.

“You regret it and hate yourself every time you have an 11:59 moment,” said former Chapman biology student Boey, “yet you still procrastinate.”

Every student has heard it before.

Don’t wait until the last minute.   

College students are victims of procrastination and Chapman University is no exception. Students around campus commented on procrastination and how it affects their lives.

Hundreds of students responded with stories, tips and comments. Other students mentioned how they were currently in the act of procrastination. Even a few talked seriously about the negative affects it has.

But every single student admitted to procrastinating.

“If people tell you different then they are lying. Everybody does it,” said Chapman business major sophomore Adai Nissen, “it all really depends on if you wait to the last day or you wait until the last hour.” 

There are students who wait until the last minute. 

Several students admitted to having an 11:59 moment, as that is the deadline for most paper submissions. Students said that they are more likely to procrastinate on things such as papers or projects rather than homework or smaller assignments. They also said they are more likely to procrastinate on items due at the end of a weekend. 

“We have school all week, the weekend is the only time we have for ourselves,” said Chapman film sophomore Victoria Wang, “I have other shit to do and that’s why I wait until Sunday night to do schoolwork.

Wang is a film student who constantly spends weekends on set for student films. Set days are often twelve hours or more and consume most of the weekend. The only time to due schoolwork is during the week or Sunday night.

 That is why on Sunday night most study rooms in the dorms are filled.

 “I tend to procrastinate most when I am alone so I try to work in productive places,” said Chapman business major and R.A. Amanda Lee, “places like study rooms or the library really force me to work.”

Lee is one of few students who said that they are excellent time managers.

Dr. Kathleen Kirmil-Grey, a former Orange County therapist, said that time management is an important skill to develop early on. Grey treated several college students and said that poor time management contributed to stress more often than not.

“Students don’t release the wear and tear that procrastinating has,” said Grey, “if they don’t manage their time now nothing is going to help them change in the future.”

Grey says that there are two main causes for procrastination. First, the students have no desire to do the work. She noted that students who are not interested in the subject material are more likely to push off the work. The second reason is that college students are given more responsibility than before and often priorities aren’t in order.

Therapists notice how procrastination affects student’s mental health. Teachers are the ones who notice how procrastination affects their work.

Former Chapman English Professor Christi Bruns actively voiced her concerns about procrastination. She showed students at the beginning of the semester what was expected of them. She believed that she could easily tell when students waited until the last minute.

“The sentences are sloppy and unorganized and arguments are not developed well,” said Bruns, “it’s more obvious to us teachers than you would think.”

Teachers are also able to tell what time assignments are submitted. It’s difficult for students to procrastinate and get away with it.

Most students said that they made promises to change their procrastination habits. However, most students admitted to breaking those promises.

“You don’t get by in the real world by waiting until the last minute,” said Boey, “if you turn in a project late you don’t get a zero.”

“You get fired.”

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