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The Negative Effect of Procrastination on The Lives of Students

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All around the world, countless students can relate to the phenomenon of avoiding work or projects to engage in unproductive leisure time. Procrastination, as this phenomenon is known, is considered an educationally unhealthy habit, often resulting in straining tasks such as cramming for important tests on the night prior, or ferociously trying to write a five-page essay in the span of two hours on the night before it is due. Many students suffer from the negative effects of procrastination, and although some might argue it contains a fair share of benefits, procrastination plants the seeds for negative consequences that significantly outweigh the benefits.

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To start off, the act of procrastination is not a recent discovery. It dates back to centuries ago, and its prevalence throughout history is apparent with dozens of historical figures, including French poet and author, Victor Hugo. Hugo, a fine example of a historical figure who succumbed to procrastination and suffered through its consequences, conversed with his publisher in 1829, promising to write “The Hunchback of Notre Dame. ” The publisher never provided Hugo with a specific deadline, perhaps due to a strong sense of trust in him. However, twelve months quickly soared by, and by the adjournment of the yearlong period, Hugo had virtually nothing accomplished except for extra projects and anything unproductive under the sun. Victor Hugo’s publisher was furious. Annoyed by Hugo’s procrastination, the publisher angrily ordered him to complete the book in the next six months. In order to prevent any further procrastination, Hugo incorporated a bold and unconventional technique into his writing process: he stripped off all of his clothes and forced his servants to hide them from him and only return them once his daily work was finished. The technique proved to be incredibly effective, as Hugo lost any motivation to go anywhere outdoors or outside of his room, given the fact that he wore little to no clothing. As a result, Hugo rounded off “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” a whole two weeks before the intended deadline. Because of his bad habits, Hugo spent six solid months in miserable conditions after enjoying twelve months of leisure and fun, when he could have enjoyed a delightful balance of work and spare activities. If Hugo did not procrastinate, his life during the time period of writing “Hunchback” would have definitely been more enjoyable.

Here in the present day, I doubt any student yearns for a geography textbook over a seasonal, comfortable, steaming warm mug of hot chocolate. Christmas break of my freshman high school year ripened my unshakable procrastination habits. My straightforward assignment of reading two or three textbook chapters morphed into a bloody confrontation between my swiftly-eroding motivation, and my wandering brain – attracted to any potentially-unproductive product like moths to a flame. The act of vigorously and anxiously driving fingers through tufts of my scalp substituted the act of attentively eyeing the individual words on each page. YouTube videos, rather than healthy portions of geography knowledge, stuffed themselves into my brain. Day after unsuccessful day agonizingly limped by. Eventually, a week crawled by before I could finally excessively engorge myself in the joyous festivities of the holiday season without the looming threat of unfinished schoolwork hovering above my head like a permanent storm cloud. If I did not procrastinate, my Christmas break would have definitely been more enjoyable. Going back in time for a moment, never were procrastination repercussions more perceivable than during my father’s years attending the United States Air Force Academy. My father’s unfruitful procrastination habits cost him a colossal price. For his first three and a half years at the academy, my father, bogged down with assignments galore that he initially delayed upon their acquirements, scuffled with numerous time crunches and seldom owned the time to put his best foot forward with schoolwork. The papers my father submitted constantly reeked of subpar quality, and the sometimes-late submissions only dumped salt of point deductions – automatic 10% deductions to be exact – on the wounds of already-mediocre grades. His irresponsible habits resulted in the extermination of any second of leisure time or social time.

Procrastination rendered friends and fun unobtainable. Nonetheless, my father’s procrastination habits stuck to him like leeches for three and a half years, despite constantly proclaiming to end them. However, once the second semester of his final year at the academy commenced, my father finally acted upon his previous unfulfilled proclamations and vanquished his dreaded habits. The future of my father’s school life suddenly radiated brighter than a Roman candle. Without procrastination on the brain, my father frequently finished work on time, attained significantly more leisure time with friends and colleagues, received superior grades, and grasped onto a previously-nonexistent sense of fun.

Knowing how my father’s life at the academy vastly improved after he annihilated his procrastination habits, I can only imagine what his school life would have been like if the riddance of his abysmal tendencies occurred earlier in his time at school. If my dad did not procrastinate, his life during his years at the Air Force Academy would have definitely been more enjoyable. I define a procrastinating student as a student who puts off and avoids important schoolwork to enjoy temporary happiness and unproductive activities. This type of student, however, does not always have to think of their grades and schoolwork as white noise. A student, in my mind, can procrastinate heavily and still care about their education and grades. They just might not want to deal with the situation at hand due to either its intimidation or a heavy lack of interest in the subject of the project. Suppose, hypothetically, a student who is known for procrastination receives an assignment that extensively covers the Great Depression, but the student possesses a strong disinterest for the subject of U. S. History. Although he cares deeply about his grades, the very thought of utilizing brain power and mental strength for an uninteresting subject leaves a sour taste in his mouth. Therefore, the student lunges for his unproductive electronics that act as a warm blanket against the icy cold blizzard of his assignment. The student is replacing important work with free time.

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Procrastination contains countless repercussions that can negatively affect the lives of students. These repercussions can include but are not limited to, loss of social and spare time, mediocre or appalling grades, and the exhausting task of completing massive chunks of work in a minuscule time span. Given the examples provided, the consequences of procrastination clearly trump the possible benefits, and should be taken into account by any student the next time he or she proclaims, “I’ll just do it later”.

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