Procrastination is a problem amongst college students. Not studying or completing assignments when there is ample time, rushing to finish the assignment when the deadline is near or starting to study only when the exam schedule is published — these are common problems seen in most college students.
Eighteen-year-old Suresh Dangol sometimes misses the deadline for submitting his assignments. Studying in Class XII at National College of Computer Studies, Paknajol, Dangol claimed, “Mostly, I submit assignments on time. But sometimes I tend to miss the deadline, but I submit it later.”
Mostly, he can’t manage to finish the assignment of Computer Science on time. “Assignments are boring, especially of Computer Science,” he said, adding, “I don’t understand this subject and it’s really difficult to solve the problems.”
When he has ample time to learn and finish the assignment, Dangol admitted not giving time for his studies. Instead, he is usually busy playing video games and watching videos on YouTube.
But there is compulsion for him to finish the assignment at any cost as “it covers 20 marks during exams”. So, he usually “copy answers from my friend’s assignment. One of my friends learns from his brother, and I copy his answers, and submit it”.
Television soaps and Facebook keep 22-year-old Shila Basnet occupied most of the time. The LLB IInd Year student at Nepal Law Campus, Exhibition Road is badly affected by this habit of hers.
Every year, as the new session begins, she promises to study and finish all assignments on time. Yet her plan never works.
“Recently, we had to submit an assignment on Moot Court — we had a deadline of around two months. I thought I had ample time so, I pushed it every single day and promised to start the assignment the next day. Finally, I stayed up the entire night before the deadline to finish the assignment,” Basnet shared.
Procrastination has also hindered students from performing well in exams. Rather than studying throughout the academic year, Basnet revealed, “I study seriously only when the exam schedule is out and so do my friends.”
Time management vs procrastination
Dangol, who is currently preparing to sit for Class XII exams, however claimed, “We are busy with college before the exam routine is published. And if we study earlier (before the routine is out), there is high chance of forgetting what we have studied about the subject matter. At least, I forget soon. So, I study seriously only after the exam routine is out.”
But such a habit makes students stressed rather than helping them excel in exams.
“Last time, in the exams of Property Law, I couldn’t remember the answers of some of the questions, though I recalled the page number of the text which had the answers. Yet I scored good marks. I could have scored better had I prepared for exams from earlier,” Basnet said.
On the other hand, there are some students who are energetic and do their assignments on time.
Twenty-five-year-old Parbati Khadka never misses the deadline of her assignments. Pursuing MA IInd Semester at Central Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tribhuvan University (TU), she claimed, “If we miss deadlines, we may fail in exams.”
In case of preparing for exams, Khadka informed, “I study only by understanding the context and never stay awake at night during the exams. I study seriously when the routine is out but I never stay all night to study as I fear falling ill.”
Most students are like Dangol and Basnet, and delay to submit their assignments.
There are a few such students at Ashirwad College, Samakhushi too, as per Lecturer and Academic Director Birendra Manandhar.
Some students submit assignments after missing the deadline. “If students do not complete their homework on time, every day more workload is added. So, they need to finish every assignment on time,” said Manandhar.
As such his college has “the system to punish such students — we make them stay on the playground and finish their
assignment if they do not submit it on time”.
Some of his students copy homework from friends and submit them. Though copying is not encouraged, he finds it better than not submitting anything at all. “The students learn something about the topic even if they complete the assignment by copying it from friends,” he added.
But rather than punishing students who do not complete their assignments on time, Premier College, New Baneshwor provides “counselling sessions to make them understand the value of education”.
As such, “compared to other colleges my college has fewer students with procrastinating habit. Only some 25 per cent students tend to delay to submit assignments,” informed Raj Kumar Acharya, Academic Director of Premier College.
Acharya also opined that instead of rote learning, teachers should focus on participatory learning so that students love to do assignments. “We teach students by using power point presentation, give case studies required in the course and motivate themselves to explore about the topic being taught,” he shared about the techniques uses in his classroom.
“Along with that if a teacher checks homework on time and if parents are aware about their children’s problem, then the problem of procrastination could be solved,” he added.
A version of this article appears in print on April 19, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.