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Why do college students procrastinate?

Announcements 1 July 2020, 16:58

The student's age is one of the most important periods in a person's life, during which a professional choice is being made, feelings of adulthood and identity are being acquired, and the future is being planned. Significant at this time are the educational and professional achievements that strengthen one's belief in oneself and one's ability to be productive, and at the same time lay the groundwork for successful self-realization in the future.


However, obstacles to such achievements may be procrastination, in which a person postpones until the deadline the most important and relevant affairs and tasks, as well as decision-making. Although procrastination is inherent in all ages, one of its types, academics, is the most widespread among students. It consists of the postponement of the fulfillment of educational tasks of any type (preparation for classes; control, course, diploma work) and is associated with lack of education skills, disorganization, forgetfulness, and behavioral rigidity. Its negative consequences are expressed not only in reducing the success and productivity of the individual but also in acute emotional experiences of own failure, guilt, dissatisfaction with the results of activities. Fortunately, modern students can seek help from a reliable online service that offers the writing of a cheap essay, homework, term paper, etc. Experts can perform fulfill papers, even the most difficult, in a short period of time.

It should be mentioned that the study of personal causes of student procrastination, which allows preventing the emergence of procrastination, is especially relevant at this stage of social development. Therefore, in this article, we will consider them in detail.

Causes of Procrastination

Researchers based on psychoanalysis rightly believe that the causes of procrastination lie deeply in the unconscious person. In his repressed conflicts and frustrations. One of the basic needs of a small child is the unconditional love of parents. But most often, parents love the child “conditionally”, expecting him to obey implicitly, conform to their stereotypes, and constantly suppress his spontaneous manifestations. And they also criticize the child at every failure. As a result, he develops a need to constantly listen to the opinion of the parent, and later - the “significant adult” (the teacher, boss, spouse, and so on). When the need arises to plan his own goals and objectives, he is faced with the fact that he no longer knows what he wants, on the one hand. On the other hand, he is afraid to stumble upon an external assessment, criticism, and depreciation, which in his childhood brought a large number of experiences. As a result, when it becomes necessary to make one’s own adult and responsible decision, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, anxiety, and sometimes fear and even panic arise.

Another important point is the formation of the will structure at the age of 5-6 years. If the child was not allowed to express himself, to uphold his opinion, to achieve something independently, then the structure of his will is usually formed very weakly.

Most often, its causes are various fears: fear of failure or vice versa fear of luck, fear of criticism, as well as insecurity in one's own strengths. As a result, the closer the beginning of the execution of a case for a procrastinator, the higher the level of anxiety. And in order to reduce this anxiety, a person “runs away” from the beginning of the work and reduces the level of anxiety, but even more postpones the completion of the necessary work. 

One of the reasons for procrastination is rightly considered perfectionism. It is believed that perfectionists set themselves an unrealistically high bar initially. And, since it is practically impossible to fully comply with it, they continue to improve the result ad infinitum.

There are also a number of reasons that are called “external” – these are the features of the tasks, control of their implementation, external evaluation, and so on.

Recommendations for Overcoming Procrastination

The main recommendations for overcoming procrastination include the following:

  1. Identifying personal priorities and specifying the sequence of their implementation: mobilizing efforts and available material resources for the prompt implementation of socially or individually important and urgent matters; preparation for execution (selection of material resources) of separate actions for solving important but not urgent tasks; hard work (determination of own potential forces, capabilities, and necessary material means) on the fulfillment of minor and delayed tasks (achievement of average goals); prospective planning for the execution of irrelevant and urgent cases (achievement of distant goals);

  2. The division of a large and complex task into small operations;

  3. Setting yourself up for work;

  4. Clear planning of own activity for a certain period;

  5. Organization of proper rest (leisure) for the purpose of recuperation;

  6. Abstraction from negative stressors;

  7. Education of willpower, etc.

So, now you know the causes of procrastination and ways to overcome it. Take our recommendations into account and you will succeed!

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