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A photo that shows a stack of many papers pushed to the side. This symbolizes procrastination and the act of pushing one’s work to another day.

Dear rising high schoolers: Complete your assignments

Being a junior at Athens Drive High School, I have had my fair share of late assignments. Especially during the pandemic, due to my lack of motivation, I almost didn’t turn in any of my work and nearly failed. Due to this, my parents had a talk with me about the situation and it inspired me to take my education more seriously. The following year; sophomore year, most of my work was turned in on time. I had a few late assignments but all of my work was turned in. During this year; 2022-2023 I had 17 missing assignments in a singular class. 

Throughout the semester at the start, I had an “I can do it later” attitude. I continued to procrastinate on all my assignments because I didn’t have the motivation to do so in class and thought: “I’d just do it when I got home for homework”. But then I’d go to work and by the time I got home, I was too exhausted to complete it. This had caused so much work to pile up that I was stressed at just the thought of sitting down and completing it all.

After going through this cycle of procrastination and stress you would think I would have learned my lesson by now. But no, this cycle of procrastination continued. This resulted in having to stay up all night finishing what would be about 30 missing assignments that would be due that same night. I got all I could get done but I came to realize that most of the assignments that were missing were physical paper assignments. I had searched for a long time for these copies of the assignments but it was no hope. I had lost them.

Before starting my missing work I found myself overwhelmed and stressed about what was to come. Yet when I sat down to finally get all my missing work done it was a fresh breath of air into my lungs. A wave of relief washed over me as all my stress eased. This response makes sense due to procrastination stemming from a person’s stress.  McLean Hospital’s article “Why you put things off until last minute,” states that “procrastination is not laziness; it’s a behavior caused by stress in our lives or unfounded negative beliefs we have about ourselves.” This is why whenever you attempt to do assignments you procrastinate over a long period of time you encounter a feeling of immense stress. 

Procrastination is not just pushing aside incomplete assignments; it is pushing aside your stress piling it together into one horrid creature holding you back. Collecting a large amount of stress to deal with all at once can negatively affect one’s mental health greatly. It is better for not only your grades but your mental health to do your assignments on time and not procrastinate them.

Still, it can be daunting having multiple assignments due on the same night and only limited time to complete them. So if you do decide to leave an assignment for the next day or have piled up missing work, the best thing to do is to take it one step at a time. Do each assignment one at a time and if you need to take a breather after one that is ok. It is ok to take breaks between your work if it helps relieve stress. Every assignment you complete is an achievement no matter how big or small.

If I had known that stress was causing my procrastination I wouldn’t have done it as much as I did. After all, it didn’t relieve my stress, it only pushed it aside for me to take in all at once. So next time you think about procrastinating just remember that the stress will only grow the more and more you do. So if I were you, I would go ahead and complete your assignments.


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