• Kaley Plaxton

10 Reasons Why College Students Procrastinate

Do you pick up a pencil and write all your papers and complete your assignments without a second thought? Do you volunteer your time to help other people before you finish the current season of your favorite Netflix show? Do you clean your bedroom before it becomes an uninhabitable toxic wasteland?


Well if you do, then Marvel may have found its newest superhero because resisting the persuasive powers of procrastination is surely a heroic feat.

Beginning a task is usually the hardest step in productivity. According to an article from “Psychology Today”, destructive procrastination habits affect roughly “one-fifth of adults and half of all students.”


In an online semester, this is proving to be even more of a challenge. Without teachers pushing us and constantly checking on our productivity, we have a certain lack of accountability.


So what causes so many people to struggle with time management? Here is a list of eight common reasons why college students fall guilty of procrastination.

1. “I forgot to do it”


Being distracted or busy when an assignment is announced can make students unaware of due dates. Sometimes students genuinely leave their work until the last minute because they are unaware of it, or because they forget it was assigned to begin with. We have all had that moment of dread after realizing that a due date is just a few hours rather than a week away.


2. “I didn’t know how to do it”


Whether it is because of the social action required to ask questions, or the effort of speaking up, adolescents commonly stay silent when they are confused about the particular subject matter. It isn’t unusual for students to wait until the day an assignment is due to explain that they were unsure about the information.


3. “I didn’t have enough time”

Many students have packed schedules with athletics, social activities, family life, events and other extracurricular activities. Because of this, homework and schoolwork are often pushed aside until absolutely necessary to allow for more freedom.


4. “I didn’t understand what was expected of me”


Young adults often blame their unfinished assignments on a lack of directions given to them. Perhaps their teacher did leave out a few crucial details about the desired outcome, but more often than not students are to blame for not voicing their questions to gain a better understanding of their prompt.


5. “I didn’t have a deadline”


Some teachers are overly-lenient with their students by allowing them to turn in late work without a penalty or grade reduction. When teachers do this, it can cause students to take their assigned work less seriously because there is no consequence as long as they do it eventually.


6. “I was afraid I’d fail even if I tried”


Perfectionism often underlies the fear of failure. Students have unrealistic expectations placed on them by society. Young adults sometimes place their self-worth in their self-achievement, and as a result, constantly question their work. Being afraid of making mistakes can lead them to putting it off, or never completing their assignments to avoid stress or anxiety.


7. “I was distracted”

Being preoccupied with entertainment is another common cause of procrastination for teenagers. Impulses can result in adolescents spending the time they previously declared for work, in other ways. Poor habits can make them waste time until they have low energy, or until it’s just too late.



8. “I didn’t feel like it.”


Having a lack of motivation or being bored by the class material makes students search for other ways to spend their time that will make themselves feel happier temporarily. Little willpower is common amongst young adults who are bored, don’t get enough sleep, keep themselves too busy, or have a lot of stress.




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Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School.

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