Being a student is extremely time consuming, and it’s one of those things that you’ll never really understand until you become a student yourself. Before starting university, I judged the students that I knew whenever they complained about how busy they were or talked about how difficult it was balancing classes with part-time jobs. But now I’ve found myself in the last year of my degree and busier than ever — so much so that I’m writing this editorial while I should be in class, a few hours before it has to be done, and days after it should have been done.
As much as I try to avoid skipping class, this is one of those times where it seemed necessary. (Coincidentally, the second time in the past week.) I work more hours each week than the average student and attend school full-time, all the while trying to maintain somewhat of a social life. But when I take a step back and look at how busy I am, it’s really not what I build it up to be. While I definitely would not be able to finish writing this if I had gone to class, it’s really not a fault of how busy I am, but how much I procrastinate. Over the long weekend I binge watched almost an entire season of Parks and Recreation, drove all the way to Washington just to go on a hike, and spent the spare moments in between — the ones that should have been spent writing — watching Friends with my roommate, all the while complaining about how busy I am and just can’t find enough time to finish my work.
While I take full responsibility for this (although I know this will probably happen again next weekend, and all of the weekends after that), I know that this isn’t only a problem that I need to work on but a mindset that most students have. We love to talk about how busy we are, how many things we need to do and how there’s just not enough time to do them, but that’s it — we’re nothing but talk.
Unfortunately, this results in us dropping the most non-essential things on our schedule, which, more often than not, includes going to class, and judging by the amount of times that my roommate’s car is still in our driveway when I know she has a morning class, or the amount of empty seats that are in all of my classes, I know that I’m not the only one.
Part of this is a result of how easy skipping classes is. Between most professors posting their lecture notes online and how accessible adaptations of pretty much any required text are online, passing a class without showing up is easier than ever.
I don’t have an answer of how to change this mindset — partly because there might not be an answer, but also partly because I procrastinated too much to develop an answer.
So while I don’t expect students to magically change their time management habits and make attending every one of their classes a priority, we can at least acknowledge that the problem may not be how busy we are, but how accustomed we have become to procrastination.
Also, if my Bio 106 prof is reading this, I’m sorry and I promise I’ll be in class on Thursday.