Getting into a study mood—being “in the zone”—is a difficult thing indeed. Many students tend to procrastinate until the last few days, or sometimes, last few hours before an assignment or exam is due.
Being in Japan—the land of bad study manners—hasn’t helped. The ryugakuseis I know have increased their procrastination exponentially: it isn’t uncommon to see students timing in their procrastination into their study schedules. For example, if an exam is in the morning, a student might say: “Okay, I will start studying at from 12 am; but realistically, I will procrastinate for about 2 hours before hitting the books, so it is better if I go to the café/computer room at 10 pm so that I may actually start studying at 12 am.”
Why this procrastination occurs will probably never be known. All students know it’s a bad thing, and yet, we do it each and every single time. It is like binge drinking; instant gratification but ultimately bad for your health; and yet we keep doing it despite terrible hangovers.
Back in Canada, the way I beat procrastination was to go into a 24 hour coffee shop, thus forcing myself out of the apartment and into some sort of slow study mode. Waseda has a 24 hour computer room, a nice free option I would say. Except that many students there do not treat it as a place to do work, but rather, a place to pass out after the last train, like a manga kissa (net café). Not exactly the ideal environment in which to write papers.
Oh Waseda students, you are so interesting.