by Joshua McKoy

Dear Future Bulldog,

I want to start off by stating the obvious. You've been procrastinating. You procrastinated on filling out your application to Gardner-Webb, and you most definitely procrastinated on filling out your FAFSA. If you still haven't filled it out, you'll probably continue to wait until the last minute.

You may have done it all through high school and by now it's probably second nature to you. However, this is nothing to be ashamed of at all, it's practically human nature. We all have done it and still do it. Even presidents and CEOs will tend towards procrastination. What it all comes down to at the end of the day, or tomorrow, is how much you've procrastinated. A little bit of procrastination can be healthy here and there. It can help take the edge off and lower those stress levels a little bit. It'll allow you to squeeze other things in like catching up on your Netflix series of choice and making sure your Playstation controller is still functional. You'll be glad you did.

Trust me, procrastination can be okay, BUT you're about to be a college student; an adult if you're not one already. These roles require a whole new level of responsibility; much more will be expected of you. So, you're just going to have to adjust appropriately. You're going to have to grow up a little and get things done on time like you're supposed to, instead of deciding to take multiple late grades in exchange for some good ol' extra credit that you may be able to snag at the end of the semester. Most college professors aren't big on passing out extra credit. You're going to have papers left and right, along with various types of assignments due nearly every week. If you're someone like me, you'll have a Psychology test and an Anatomy & Physiology lab midterm on Monday with a test for the same class on that following Thursday and a math test on Friday, with a Chemistry test on the following Monday. How exactly do you manage this kind of schedule?

Well first off, you might need to Google a few time management tips that may help you learn how to partition your time correctly. But aside from that, I would advise starting your work early. Yeah, I know I just said that procrastination can be healthy and starting work early doesn't sound ANYTHING like procrastination. That may be true, but you can work your way around it if you finesse it just right. Start your work early; go ahead and get your brain going on certain things, then stop. You don't have to torture yourself with the work you need to get done. Do things bit-by-bit. Even if it means just typing your name and a title for a paper. Just as long as you spread things out, you can get things done a whole lot easier and still be a procrastinator, just a more proactive procrastinator. You're going to inevitably put some things on the back burner, but if you have a small amount of it done already, it won't be so laborious later. According to several scientific studies, it has been shown that segmented, spaced out study time leads to better results than crammed, last minute studying. Just make a little schedule or something that reminds you when to do certain things. You could study for a little while, sleep, then eat, watch tv, sleep, see your friends, eat again, watch more tv, type a few sentences for your paper and knock out a few questions on your math homework that's due next week, then sleep some more. You can always put your work off when you're ahead of the game, but it's all up to you! 

Lastly, if there's only one thing you get out of this blog post (that I actually procrastinated on writing), let it be this: DO NOT procrastinate early in the semester. Early in the semester is when you're getting a feel for how your classes will go, so don't put yourself at a disadvantage early on and have to work your way back from it. To be honest, it's better to start off strong, then slack off a little mid-way through once you've gotten a feel for everything, and pick back up around final exam time. It's definitely possible to procrastinate and still make all A's, but like I said earlier, proactive procrastination is key. I encourage you to take time to relax and alleviate some stress, just as long as you don't over do it. Best of luck!

Joshua A. McKoy: Student Recruitment Ambassador. Student Development Officer. Biology Major, Chemistry and Business Administration Minors. Sophomore.