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Is a college student’s free time just procrastination?

November 7, 2017

Is a college student’s free time just procrastination?

The older we get, the more procrastination rules our lives.  We say “oh, I’ll take care of it later,” or “I’ll do it in my free time,” knowing good and well that we have absolutely no “free time” to take care of anything.  As a college kid that has seven classes, two demanding jobs, and the president/vice president of many clubs, you could imagine that I have little to no time to do anything.  I’m always up until the morning doing homework that I wish I could do during the day. 

With that being said, free time is a luxury for me.  I literally block off Saturdays so I can relax, since that’s all the time I get.  I lay up in my room binging The Flash and painting my nails.   Saturday nights I kick back into gear and study for a while, unless I’m busy.  I’m that person that wishes constantly that there are more hours in a day so I can get everything done. 

Procrastination is a nightmare, I get it, I’m not sure there’s any way to prevent it, but there are ways to unburden your load and I’m here to help.

1. If it’s a paper or an essay.
        a. Start ahead of time.  This seems too simple and for me, unnecessarily hard.  I’m the kind of person that doesn’t outline and just writes.  However, I know that’s not how other people work.  I read last night about a girl that starts her papers about a week ahead of time.  She allows herself to properly plan out exactly what she will work on for only about an hour or two at a time. She also sends in drafts of what she is writing to her professor and gets feedback on how to write the best essay.  Doing this avoids the 3 a.m. crunch of finishing an essay right before class.

2. If it’s memorization.
        a. Memorization is, obviously, a very important part of a college kid’s life.  Especially for me, since I’m a theatre kid.  Memorization comes from repetition.  For most people, it comes through speaking/reading something over and over again.  For me, however, I write things down.  I write things that I need to know over and over and over until my hand hurts.  After all, that’s why teachers have you write notes out.  The act of writing something down as you’re thinking about it somehow makes you memorize it better. 

3. If it’s flat out just adulting.
        a. One of the most important parts of college is taking care of yourself.  I mean this in a physical and mental way.  Physically, make a to-do list.  Keeping everything in a list with priorities and deadlines can help you in the long run.  Remember that the end goal is the satisfaction of saying you completed your tasks.  Mentally, all this work can be a complete drain.  And if you’re completely drained by the end of your day/tasks just stop.  Stop what you’re doing and breathe (this is even difficult for ME to do). Take the time out of your day and exercise or go out with your friends for a bit or play with your dogs or cats or whatever pets you have (pets are proven stress relief).  Once you have your peace of mind back, get right back into the game and pull through that home stretch.  You can do anything.

Now, I’m not an expert, I’m barely an adult myself, but I can recognize that procrastination weighs me down.  I am completely aware that I have a LOT of calculus to catch up on and some accounting to do and an entire script to memorize BUT, it will get done in time….eventually.  But hey, after all, I DID just procrastinate finishing this post… but I did get it done!

Written by Callie Smith, student blogger