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The Inclination Toward The Procrastination Habit In American Teenagers

1410 words - 6 pages

“Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today;” Abraham Lincoln, our nation’s 13th President, spoke about procrastinating over a century and a half ago. Did he foreshadow the new procrastination problem infecting our youth today? Maybe, but it’s become an epidemic, spreading across the nation like wildfire. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between those who procrastinate and those who are procrastinators. A non-procrastinator and a procrastinator both have to-do lists with 12 tasks to accomplish; the non-procrastinator finishes tasks one through nine and leaves the rest for another day, but the procrastinator tends to do one or two things before reorganizing the list and procrastinating on the rest (Jaffe). One can argue that procrastinators have symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder causing their lack in concentration, but many teens feel as if they don’t have enough time to finish everything they need to do. Procrastination is not a mental disorder; teenagers simply delay harder projects to do easier assignments, fear being rejected by their peers, and hope for a last minute sense of urgency that will propel them to do better on their endeavors.
Making a list and getting organized is one of the easiest things for teens to do; the hardest part is sitting down and getting the mentally demanding things done (Knaus). Teenagers tend to do their easiest homework first; depending on their personalities, math or writing might come with ease. Teenagers who have low self-control or self-discipline struggle to complete a task they find boring so they start early and get a head start but quickly fall behind when they sidetrack to work on less important assignments (Jaffe). Students complete various effortless jobs and leave the harder tasks for another day so that they feel as if they’ve accomplished a lot, but actually, they accomplish nothing of importance when it comes down to the bottom line. Eventually, the satisfaction received from the completion of simple errands dwindles away and the students become their “own worst enemies” when they blame themselves for not being able to complete the project on time (Pychyl). When adolescents are with peers, they tend to shift the blame onto their teachers for giving too much homework; in reality, they go home and promise themselves not to procrastinate again.
Teenagers lie to their friends and say that the teachers are to blame for the reason as to why they couldn’t finish the project in time, but the real blame should be going towards their friends. Non-procrastinators tend to care less about what others think of them; therefore, they find it much easier to stay focused on a task until it’s completed. Procrastinators fear rejection from their peers and procrastinate further when it comes to completing an assignment (Ferrari). The fear of rejection is common in teenagers; specifically, adolescents fear disappointing their friends or being the odd one out. In more cases than not, teens change their...

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