Photo by Kyle West

By: Saadia Shahid

How does a student get good grades? I know the most obvious answer being shouted out is “by studying, of course,” with some sarcastic replies of “watching Netflix” thrown in the mix. But what if I told you both those answers were correct?

A balance of socializing and studying, which can include watching Netflix, is necessary to achieve those highly sought-after grades.

Though our cognitive needs are met by virtue of being university students, it is our need for “love and belongingness” that is present on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Socializing is a basic human need. To become functioning members of the society, we must engage in leisure activities.

Yet, we almost never put time aside to socialize with our friends. Even when we do, studying takes precedence and ends up taking over the time we allocated for socializing.

This is often a result of procrastination. Whether it is procrastinating by scrolling through clickbait articles or watching videos, when we procrastinate, we take away time from both socializing and studying.

Procrastination is also looked down upon so badly. Rarely do we try to understand why the person might be engaging in procrastination. Procrastination is a sign of anxiety.

In my opinion, procrastination is often a hugely unrecognized sign, too. Besides anxiety, procrastinating habits have been linked to depression and low self-esteem.

If you find your friend procrastinating, don’t “leave them alone so they can study”. Study with them. If left alone, they may continue procrastinating for even longer, and worsen their mental health.

Some people do emphasize their preference for studying alone. In that case, make sure they’re okay and continually check on their progress and their mental health. In severe cases of anxiety, they may even lie about it.

As a perfectionist, I speak from experience. My habit of procrastination stemmed from being anxious about the imperfect outcome that might ensue. As a result, I took longer getting started on assignments with the thought that if I didn’t do well, I could justify it by telling myself that I didn’t have enough time.

So far this year, I have been doing better as I have come to terms with the non-existent nature of perfection. This is something creatives struggle with as well. Things like “is this good enough?”, “should I post this now?” and “I want to make this better” are examples of what goes through their minds on a regular basis.

So how do you achieve the grade you’ve been aiming for? Consistency is the answer. Being consistently diligent with your workflow will not just aid in improving your skills, but also get you your coveted grade. Doing well in a course is a long-term goal, and definitely doesn’t occur when you start an assignment a day before its due.

Procrastination also leads to long hours of isolation in the library behind laptop screens or a stack of books, taking away the satisfaction of “love and belongingness”, and according to Maslow, halting an individual’s growth.

So, the next time you find your friend procrastinating, ask them why, take them out to get them relaxed and help them get started on their studying. Mental health is no light issue.

 

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