The Art of Procrastination

Megan R.

Senior Editor

Each year students rush out to buy colorful new binders, notebooks, and pencils, hoping that these items will inspire organization and success. As the year begins, students try their best to stay on top of the work and to study for tests. Yet, despite their best efforts, it is easy to fall behind. However, falling behind does not have to ruin the year. It is possible to survive a small lapse in organization and even get ahead.

If you have a bad day and leave all of your homework at home, the first approach is to explain the situation to your teacher, and you will be surprised at how understanding a teacher can be. Tell him or her you are having a bad day, that you do not have the work to turn in, and then apologize. Show that you care about the class and ask if you can turn it in tomorrow. If your teacher offers you partial credit, accept it. Remember that any grade is better than a zero. If it is a test that you forgot to study for, still talk to your teacher about it. Maybe he or she will grant you an extra day, or even an extra ten minutprocrastination MRes to look over your notes. If this fails, do not panic, clear your head and do the best that you can. Worrying will only distract you from the task at hand.

To prevent a forgotten assignment or failed test from destroying your grade, it is important to turn everything in. Homework and classwork grades provide a cushion for tests and projects. Many homework/classwork assignments are completion grades, so as long as you turn them in, completed, you can just about ensure a B average. If you forget about an assignment, remember that it is better to turn it in half completed than not at all. If you have time to fill in a worksheet five minutes before class, do not write totally bogus answers; make sure that they are somewhat related to the question. Then, after you turn in the assignment, ask questions; make sure that you actually understand the content because it will be on the test.

Everyone has bad days: you forget all of your homework, you wake up late, etc. On days like this, it is alright to not turn in some of your work. This goes over best if you explain the situation to your teacher and make it up the following day. Go into tutoring if needed, as well. Only allow yourself one bad day per quarter, or if possible, per semester. Remember that classwork and homework grades are your friend. If you get used to not turning in homework, your grade will suffer.

The most common assignment to fall behind on is reading, and it typically starts with Great Expectations freshman year. Before going any further, it is important to remember that Spark Notes, Schmoop, Pink Monkey, etc. do not by any means replace reading a book. These websites rarely include specific details, which are often referred to on tests. However, reading these resources is better than reading nothing at all. Do try to read the book assigned. If you find a part confusing, look at Spark Notes for clarification. You can also use Spark Notes, Schmoop, etc. to study for the test. Read over chapter summaries to ensure your comprehension, and look at themes and symbols before writing an essay; they can even be used for Major Works Data Sheets. Do not read Spark Notes or Schmoop in place of the book the night before the test; that almost guarantees you will remember little to nothiprocrastination3  MRng about the book.

Another tendency when a student falls behind is to copy work. You should never copy work; despite common belief, it is actually cheating. If you do copy work verbatim, you will get caught. Teachers watch for this, and even if they do not call you out, they always know. If, however, you find yourself copying notes to study for a test, here are a few ways to make the best of it. When copying word-for-word, a student does not actually learn the material. To avoid this, make sure to put the notes into your own words; this will help you process the information. It is important that you understand what you are copying down.

Try to keep up with your work, study for your tests, and turn everything in. Falling behind on work is not something to strive for; it is a temporary setback. If you fall behind, get back up as soon as possible. Do not let the assignments that you did not turn in drag you down. Keep moving forward, but make sure you makeup everything that your teachers will allow, for any grade is better than a zero. If you find yourself further behind than you can manage, talk to a teacher or parents and get yourself back together.

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