Being college students, we all know that distractions come by the dozen. Whether it includes watching the next episode of “Jersey Shore,” partying, hanging out, texting your BFF Jane, we have all done at least one of these in place of doing what was absolutely necessary at the time. But why? Why do we purposefully distract ourselves? There are many answers (or pitiful excuses) to this question. But the one word we use to describe all of it is…wait for it…procrastination.
Be it waiting to the last minute to write our paper or cramming for our test the next morning, we've all been guilty of it at some point in our academic careers. In fact, this bad habit has now been disguised as a lifestyle or what some call a personal choice. Take it from the former Salisbury University student, Abraham Harris, who believes that procrastinating is the best, if not only, option.
“I feel like procrastination is the key,” Harris said. “Sometimes it’s necessary. When you study ahead of time, you can’t retain the information because it’s not under pressure. If I have to do it and I have no option, I do my best when I’m under pressure. I do it all the time.”
'I do it all the time.' That has to be the best line in the metaphorical book. When you’re so accustomed to repeating the same habit, it does seem like you do it all the time, because you probably do! But believe it or not, there is life without procrastination. However, many students don’t see it that way. Temple University freshman Delonte Stancil thinks that procrastination isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you can withstand the heat.
“I think it’s alright for people who are able to work under pressure,” Stancil said. “Really, it depends on the type of person you are. If you like pressure, wait until the last minute. But if you don’t, start early.”
Stancil says that anything can distract him from getting to work though. Taking the first step to actually attempt to do some homework is the hardest part for him. His restlessness gets often gets the best of him, making it so much easier to wait to the last minute.
The question is, what is it that distracts college students oh so much? Coppin State senior Marcus Hampton says that Facebook gets more of his attention than anything else. Along with Twitter, Instagram, Temple Run and even going out with friends, Hampton is as easily distracted by social media as a squierrel is by shiny objects. That being said, Hampton does feel like cramming has its upsides, like helping him retain more information in the morning.
“I guess it’s a habit,” Hampton said.“ I feel like I get more accomplished when I get it done last minute. Everything is fresh in my head in the morning when I have to take my test.”
So, if you have to cram and there’s really no way around it, how do you do it? Temple University junior Constance Owens says that cramming as much as you can the night before is her best method. But, she is grateful for finally rising above it, or at least trying to.
“Usually when I cram, I study my notes, reread my lecture slides, and try to memorize as much as I can before it’s time for me to take the test,” Owens said. “I’ve crammed a few times and aced my test the next day, but it hasn’t been often. The only time I aced the test was when I already knew the material well.”
Hopefully, you guys are at least trying to be proactive about studying. That means, put down the Playstation controller, put your phone on vibrate and hit the books early. But if habit does take over, you might as well follow the ol' saying: “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”