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Procrastination is well known throughout most of the population, especially in highschool and university students. Parents see procrastination as irresponsible behavior, or just something that teens do. But, there are countless reasons for teens to procrastinate, some that they don’t know how to control. It tends to show up primarily with schoolwork and responsibilites they have.

The article “4 Reasons Why Teens Can’t Stop Procrastinating ” explains four reasons that teenagers may be procrastinating. It could be a sign of a mental illness and dealing with it in an unhealthy way. For example, a teen could be procrastinating as a way to rebel against a parental figure, or any other adult in their life. Others may do it because they have an undiagnosed condition, like depression, OCD, anxiety, etc. This clearly can have a negative effect on teens and their families. Some teens, they may not even realize that they are not having problems, and their families don’t notice. They could continue to have self doubt, which can be extremely harmful for their wellbeing. “The cure for this malady is elusive, because procrastination is an attempt to resolve underlying issues we are not necessarily aware of — like anger, perfectionism, and self-doubt. While it does eliminate the anxiety associated with these problems, the root causes remain.” Fortunately, there are ways to overcome negative self by realizing the damage, and come up with a solution for it.  

In the second article “Procrastination or ‘Intentional Delay’? It gave information how undergraduate and graduate students also deal with procrastination. This shows that it is not just teen students, but other people who have a bit more experience “Graduate students worry about performing inadequately or fear their success may raise others’ expectations of them, he says. Other students may actually think they get a thrill out of delaying their work and believe they work best under pressure, though that’s not borne out in the experimental data, says DePaul University psychology professor Joseph Ferrari, PhD. Several studies in Steel’s 2007 meta-analysis suggest procrastination is negatively related to overall GPA, final exam scores and assignment grades.” Although, there is such a thing as healthy procrastination. That can end up leading to healthy styles of learning, and are successful to some. “They found that although active procrastinators reported the same level of procrastination as their traditional or passive counterparts, they demonstrated a productive use of time, adaptive coping styles and academic performance outcomes that were nearly identical to—and in some cases even better than—those of non-procrastinators.” It all depends on what type of procrastination it is, and if the students are using it in a healthy way, to their advantage, it can be beneficial. The struggle is just getting to the part where they are able to use procrastination as a strength and not a weakness.

Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-unmotivated-teen/201804/4-reasons-why-teens-cant-stop-procrastinating

https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2010/01/procrastination

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7 Comments
  1. Kate 4 weeks ago

    Isabella, I thought that this was a very good topic to touch on! With Covid going on, it’s been increasingly difficult to keep on top of schoolwork, or other work if you have a job or volunteer. Most people who have mental illnesses have noticed that it has been harder to cope because of Covid and I’m glad you recognize that the younger population may have issues that can be shown through procrastination. “It could be a sign of a mental illness and dealing with it in an unhealthy way.” This really speaks to me as I was diagnosed with anxiety at a younger age, 12 if I remember. I’ve learned many ways to cope and I did well all through high school until Covid hit. My grades slipped, it’s hard to keep up with work, and I feel overwhelmed most of the time. Thank you for bringing this topic to light, it really shows how students are struggling, as well as ways to help solve the issue! It’s a lot better than the school’s administration giving a lecture that tells us to just stop procrastinating. I would love to see more research on this as well as the kind of psychology that goes into procrastination and how to help decrease it. It’s a broad topic and a lot goes into it as well!

  2. Eric 4 weeks ago

    Dear Isabella,

    Reading your piece on procrastination made me realize a couple of things. The first thing was that it is not always a result of poor time management or laziness. It can also be caused by mental illness or be used as a coping mechanism. The other thing I realized was that procrastination can sometimes be healthy. I found this point to be especially interesting because even though procrastination has a negative connotation, I feel like I perform better under pressure to finish an assignment. I think that this type of ‘healthy’ procrastination is partly due to the intuition a person has, but I would like to hear about your take on it. Do you think that this skill can be developed over time?

  3. Matthew 1 month ago

    Dear Isabella,
    I thought this was a super interesting post because it’s something we can often see so clearly in ourselves without a concrete understanding of why we do it. I found it enlightening to see some of the potential reasons for why a student may procrastinate and even learned that positive procrastination can exist. Thank you for an insightful and educational post!

  4. June 1 month ago

    Dear Isabella,

    It was very fascinating to read about this topic. Especially because I am a procrastinator myself. Procrastinating affects my health and my mood. For example, I would start my homework at 1 AM. This leads me to wake up a 5 in the morning to get my work done. the lack of sleepiness affects my health and sets the day in a bitter mood. The main reason why I think I procrastinate is that there are distractions everywhere. Every time I do activities I do not enjoy, there are always things that are more enjoyable that can distract me. Overall I think is post is very relatable and an interesting topic to go over.

    Sincerely,
    June

  5. Dana 1 month ago

    Dear Isabella,

    It was very interesting to read your article. Reading your article, I could see myself procrastinating easily when I do school work. I also believe that procrastinating can affect teenagers’ lives very badly. I couldn’t sleep as much because of procrastinating. I thought that I should not procrastinate for myself. I learned that procrastinating can cause anxiety, depression, or self-doubt. I should avoid this habit before I become an adult. I don’t want to suffer from procrastination when I become older. Through your essay, I learned a lot about procrastination, the bad effects, and myself.

    Sincerely,
    Dana Lee

  6. Liann 1 month ago

    Dear Isabella,

    I am intrigued by your post, “Procrastination in Teenagers” because it clearly relates to my own life as well as the lives of my peers. It clearly explains the hidden reasons behind procrastination, showing how there is often a larger issue behind the practice besides pure laziness. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “ Others may do it because they have an undiagnosed condition, like depression, OCD, anxiety, etc.” I think this is important because often times, mental illness is demonized and shamed. Kids who do have these mental illnesses and are punished for procrastination will just believe that they ARE just simply lazy, stupid, or unable. Gentle encouragement and an attempt to legitimately help fix the habit of procrastination will prove more effective than anger or shame. I also loved how you mentioned that procrastination can also prove effective if used in moderation!

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because of your ability to weave credible evidence into your thoughts! Also your ability to differentiate between procrastination that harms students and healthy procrastination that motivates students shows your skill as a writer to create a complex perspective!

    Great job on this and a lovely read!

  7. Katie 1 month ago

    Dear Isabella,
    I am intrigued by your post because I have never thought about what concrete reasons could be the cause of procrastination. I find it interesting and informative that these reasons could be a sign of mental illness or undiagnosed conditions that people don’t even know they have.
    One thing you said that stands out to me is “the struggle is just getting to the part where they are able to use procrastination as a strength and not a weakness.” I think this is intelligent and holds a lot of truth because it is difficult to understand how you can take a bad habit of procrastination and turn it into something beneficial. Yet, it is also encouraging to know that you can make an effort to turn procrastination into a positive thing.
    Your post is very relatable. From personal experience, I know it is very easy to procrastinate on assignments or even simple tasks that have to be done. I honestly have never really thought about why procrastination is so popular though, especially among teens. This is what led me to click on your post because I wanted to learn more!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and information! I enjoyed reading it 🙂

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