Procrastination is a ‘self-handicapping’ student behaviour

Kylie Vaillancourt
Life Reporter

Midterms are over and students are likely to slide back into procrastination habits.

Dictionary.com defines procrastination as: “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”

“The root of procrastination can be quite complex – from attention issues, to motivation issues, to fear of failure,” said Meg Houghton, director of Student Access, Wellness and Development.

There are many things that can cause people to procrastinate. Kathy Ip, 20, a second-year media studies student at the University of Guelph-Humber agrees with Houghton but says the main cause would be social media.

Social Media contains a variety of different contents like news, celebrity gossip and music that allows people to become distracted from what they’re doing.

“Procrastination affects a student by them not meeting their goals or expectations towards their grades. Their work may not be as good as it could have been if they didn’t procrastinate,” said Ip.

“Honestly I think the main reason I procrastinate so much is because I’ve gotten away with it for so long,” admits second-year film and television production student, Elizabeth Elliott, 19.

“Throughout my life I’ve always waited till the last minute to hand things in and it’s become such a bad habit, but I don’t see myself changing anytime soon.”

The 2011 study “Effect of Procrastination on Work-Related Stress” with the European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences says, “Procrastination considers a self-handicapping behavior that leads to wasted time, poor performance, and increased stress.”

“No matter the root, speaking with a counsellor early is recommended,” said Houghton.

Ip recommends splitting the work up and doing one task at a time, creating an outline of the assignment, organizing a schedule of work due and getting a study buddy.

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