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Procrastination Among College Students

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ABSTRACT

Procrastination is now considered a pervasive and omnipresent issue among college students. Evidently and noticeably, this problem has been expanding steadily and varying together with complexity, inspiring and stimulating a wide variety of researchers and scientists to gain a more profound insight into it. According to a large number of practical and applicable methods proposed, students can rest assured that they are obviously capable of putting an end to the deed. This paper, based on secondary research, discusses three fundamental questions of why so many students commit procrastinating, how procrastination influences them and what measures should be taken to tackle this matter. According to the findings of the research, the paper draws the conclusion that despite its popularity for the time being, it appears extremely optimistic and hopeful to have faith in eradicating procrastination in the near future.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………….ii

  1. Introduction ………………………...……………………………………………….1
  2. Discussion of findings ……………………………………………………………….1

2.1. Why students procrastinate…………………………...…………………....1

2.2. How procrastination affects college students……..…………………….…2

           2.3. What should be done  to tackle procrastination………………………..….6

3.   Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………..…….7

References …………………………………………………………………………..……8


1. Introduction

Procrastination, which is defined by Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2010, p.1260) as “ to delay doing something that you should do, usually because you do not want to do it”, is a deep-rooted habit as well as pervasive issue found among college students. Onwuegbuzie and Jiao (2000, p.45) pointed out that the proportion of college students procrastinating on their academic tasks such as completing term papers, revising for examinations or doing reading assignments every week accounts for approximately 95 percent. With the worrying reality, it is highly necessary to show the great concern about this issue. The process to address it, nevertheless, seems not to be easy since it requires much time as well as a profound awareness on different features of procrastination. Thus, this paper, with the purpose of assisting in stopping procrastination among university students, will discuss three basic questions of why students have a tendency to procrastinate, how procrastination affects them and what should be done to tackle this serious problem.

2.   Discussion of findings

2.1. Why students procrastinate

There is no doubt that students are aware of how bad procrastination is, yet still willing to do it. This contributes greatly to researchers’ curiosity, encouraging them to discover the reasons why a large number of students have a habit of engaging in such improper behaviors on a regular basis. Although there are a wide variety of fundamental causes explaining for the existence of procrastination among university students, Rothblum et al. (1986, p. 388) have provided information on this problem that fear of failure and task aversion are two underlying factors.

Regarding fear of failure known as the irrational fear that people will not succeed, it is a really potential reason (Tullier 1999). To demonstrate, it represented almost a half of total proportion for procrastination (Rothblum et al. 1986). More importantly, it involves in the various concerns about not satisfying others’ expectation, not living up to the perfect standards of performance or lacking self-confidence. Students, thus, are more likely to subconsciously delay the accomplishment of their tasks since they are nervous about the results that will be obtained. Besides, it is conclusively proved that the higher fear of failure is, the more possibility people procrastinate (Timothy 2009). Meanwhile, task aversion, which made up almost a quarter of total (18%), is considered the second most significant reason for postponing. Irshad and Sarwat (2010, p.1901) contended that it incorporates the feeling when undergraduates do not want to do their work on account of not being in good mood or lacking motivation and interest. In other cases, projects, viewed as overwhelming with unpleasantness, complexity and tediousness, are attributable to incite students delay working on a regular basis. It is understandable since they tend to fulfil tasks in which they revel or ignore the entire project and come back to it at a later date. Both reasons are rather prevailing and apparently comprehensible. Thus, students seem not to be capable of avoiding procrastination themselves in college.

2.2. How procrastination affects college students

When referring to procrastination, most people will regard it as immoral behavior without constraint. Nevertheless, after a large number of scrupulous studies as well as research, it will be seriously mistaken and unilateral provided that people still accept this belief. This, in other words, means that: Procrastination is a doubled-sided issue, which can lead to not only several noticeable advantages but considerable drawbacks as well.

  1. Negative effects

Although there is a school of thought that procrastination creates a wide variety of adverse impacts on college students, there are three most outstanding ones that many researchers concentrate on: study, health and happiness influences.

First and foremost, it is undeniable that procrastination triggers many considerable problems during college students’ learning process. There will be an apparently undesirable result reflected through both the decrease in grades and the drop in achieving studying success. Evidently, students who do not demonstrate the ability to terminate their work or defer study are given lower evaluation. From this point, procrastinators may have negative and pessimistic outlooks on their real ability (Levin 2016). With the same opinion, in the study of Hussain and Sultan (2010, p. 1903), they also provided information about the fact that procrastination initiates students’ low attainment in tests, in other words, it leads to several different failures in test, or it creates worry or anxiety of tests, decreasing their ethics. In so doing, they become hestitated  and avoid commencing their school works, dropping their rivalry spirit in study – an essential factor leading to success. Students are likely to become victim of inferiority complex and at last, they end up their learning.

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