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The Cat's Eye

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The Cat's Eye

Deadline dilemma: student procrastination

Teagan Backer
Graphic design done on Canva of a student working but thinking about videogames and not focusing on her work

High school is a time for learning and unforgettable experiences; however, it comes with an academic challenge. It’s also a place where many students struggle with procrastination, which leads to last-minute cramming, late work, and lots of stress. Many students experience procrastination or loss of motivation at least once in their high school career. Usually, students call this sophomore slump or even senioritis. 

As the year progresses, students lose motivation. Why is this? Usually, students become overwhelmed, especially students who are in high-level classes such as honors or AP. This lack of motivation may be because of boredom, stress, burnout, feeling overwhelmed, or even a lack of goals. 

“I think that the main factor of my decreased productivity levels are my classes. The work is difficult and long and doing homework is very low on my priority list which mainly consists of wanting some free time every once in a while,” sophomore Sydney Thompson said.  

Another culprit that leads to student procrastination is senioritis. Senioritis is a common occurrence in seniors. They are so ready to be done with high school and get the dreaded “senioritis” where usually grades drop due to lack of motivation.

“In the beginning of my senior year during the first semester school felt the same as it had in my previous school years,” senior Reese Leon Guerrero said. “During the second semester, I lost my motivation and found it hard to get my drive back. It is overwhelming trying to be present in high school life and planning life out after high school, figuring out college and trying to have fun. It’s a lot to take in at once. Our time is limited and we are told to make the most of it. My advice to future seniors is to not waste time, plan ahead, and don’t worry, it will work out in the end.”

According to a recent poll asking “What is your level of motivation this year?” many students chose around seven or eight on a one to ten scale.

“I would say my productivity level decreased a fair bit because of the mixture of both entering high school and not being used to the back-to-school regime. I think my motivation left as a result of coming into freshman year not knowing what to expect and then having to manage this year now that I know what to expect,” sophomore Shahd Musa said. 

Some things that can help overcome this motivation are to break assignments down, if something is due in a week, try doing a little bit of work each day so as to not cram at the last minute. Goals are also a very important part in managing your time, checklists or to-do lists can help also.

Graduation and college acceptance can be very negatively impacted by that procrastination. We have seen students lose their acceptance to dream schools because their grades went down due to procrastination senior year. It is heartbreaking when this happens!”

— Ms. Nadine Nelson, RCHS counselor

“Graduation and college acceptance can be very negatively impacted by that procrastination. We have seen students lose their acceptance to dream schools because their grades went down due to procrastination senior year. It is heartbreaking when this happens!” RCHS counselor Ms. Nadine Nelson said. 

According to a recent poll asking “Does your phone play a role in your procrastination?” 61 percent of students agree that their phone plays a role in their academic procrastination. However, some students have overcome this and find a plan to avoid being distracted. 

“Throughout the school year, my productivity had steadily increased and decreased,” freshman Sophia Whittaker said. “In the beginning of the school year, I had to adapt to the workload quicker since it was my first year at RCHS, which called for more productivity and awareness of approaching deadlines. Whereas near the end of the year, I had already created a system for myself and felt confident enough to push my work back to a later date.”

Procrastination is the temptation to scroll through social media instead of studying for an upcoming test or to hang out with friends instead of writing that essay due tomorrow. Some feel COVID-19 affected procrastination; however, procrastination has been around forever so how has COVID affected this?

Student in class scrolling on phone instead of doing work on computer (Teagan Backer)

For many students, the transition to online learning meant a decline in motivation. When students were not in classrooms, or were face-to-face with their teacher, it led to routines affecting a student’s accountability. They could easily log onto a Zoom class and scroll through their phone at the same time which created bad habits. Still, it’s been a while since then and students have noticed their productivity levels going up.  

“The effects it did have on me have since been replaced by new habits that have affected my motivation and productivity in their own ways. While online learning did once impact my productivity levels, it is no longer relevant to how I get things done now,” Thompson said. 

Time management skills are very important in getting work done. Usually, students that don’t have a set schedule of things to do, find themselves procrastinating a lot more. Similarly, to setting goals for yourself, getting motivated and staying motivated is the most difficult and important part of getting work done. 

According to Princeton University, one reason why students procrastinate is rooted in anxiety about doing poorly on the assignment. 

Everybody procrastinates but students need to realize that the results of procrastination are much worse than just starting on your work right away and maybe missing out on a hangout, or a few minutes on your phone. 

“Finish strong and don’t have missing work hanging over your head!! Get things done right away and you don’t have to think about it anymore,” Nelson said.

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About the Contributor
Teagan Backer
Teagan Backer, News Editor
Teagan Backer is a sophomore at RCHS, this is her second year in journalism. This is her first year of being a news editor. Her favorite part about journalism is writing about important news stories going on at campus and getting to share the news around Rancho Cucamonga high school, whether it be on the print or sharing her story on TheCatsEye. When Backer isn’t working on the school newspaper she is reading, crocheting, listening to music or playing roller derby.

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