Students’ favorite hobby: Procrastination

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.

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My friend Lois trying to beat procrastination by getting hype about studying

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.

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