Procrastination is defined as the act of avoiding a task that needs to be done by doing other things that provide pleasure or entertainment. It is the number one enemy of productivity.
When college students procrastinate, it is usually to avoid doing an assignment or writing a paper that they do not have an interest in. Instead, they find other things that they feel will be worth doing.
Procrastination can give a person a temporary respite from the tough tasks ahead but it does not complete the task in any way. In fact, procrastination almost always does more harm than good. In the case of college writing, it can greatly affect the outcome of the paper and the grade that the student may get. Here are other effects of procrastination on the college writing process.
- Late submission of papers – very few professors are tolerant of late submission of papers. Even if they do give allowances as to why they are accepting late papers, they usually require a very valid reason. Procrastinating shortens the time for the student to write his paper and when he runs out of time, he ends up submitting it late.
- Poor quality of work – from the professor’s point of view, the time provided to write a paper is usually a good estimation of how long it will take to research, outline, and write a good paper. If used wisely, a student can produce a good quality paper worthy of an A+. When that time is shortened because of procrastination, the student has less time to do research, proofread, and do other things that makes a good paper great. So instead of an A+, the student ends up with a B which can bring down his average easily.
- Missing the deadline completely – when you take your time before starting on your paper, you could end up in over your head and miss the deadline completely. You may not have planned properly and realized that the paper requires more work than what you initially thought of. You may have also overestimated your ability to complete the paper in time. In the real world, missing the deadline could mean loss of revenue or opportunity. You could sometimes get fired for it too.
- Can alienate friends – this is especially true if you are working with a group on a particular college paper. People don’t like group mates who don’t pull their weight. When working with a group on writing a paper, each member is required to write a portion of the assignment. If you don’t do your share, you might lose your friends and people will not want to work with you in the future.
- Delays graduation – college papers can form a huge part of a student’s grade. Therefore, non-submission of these papers can delay your completion of the subject and if you are on your last semester, can delay you from graduating. That means you may have to take the subject again. Being required to stay in college longer than necessary can add up to your expense and your student loans as well.
- Poor self-regulation – psychologists would argue that people who procrastinate tend to have no control of regulating themselves. They don’t know how to manage their time, are unable to plan how they will write their paper, are constantly late, and tend to over-indulge with things that they like doing. College students who make a habit of procrastinating as they write their papers can end up bringing these habits to their adult life. They can develop anxiety avoidance tendencies and might never reach their full potential because of this. This is one negative effect of procrastination that most college students never think of.