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If You're Scrolling Down Facebook

I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it in a minute. The procrastination epidemic is sweeping across the college nation and we've got to work to end it.
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Procrastination: I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it in a minute. The procrastination epidemic is sweeping across the college nation and this one word has become a familiarity to all. That one single word is probably why you’re reading this article right now. Despite its nature to come as more of an excuse for laziness rather than an explanation, science has started to concur with the idea that we might be prone to procrastinate.

According to the American Psychological Association, about eighty to 95 percent of undergraduate and graduate students admit to procrastinating or feeling the need to procrastinate when it comes to their coursework. This delay in taking on the responsibility of completing our plethora of homework, projects or papers can take on a large range of measures. Small actions like scrolling down social media to larger things like taking on other commitments like clubs or sports can all be subconscious ways to avoid certain tasks.

The best way to combat this need to delay work is to understand exactly what you’re feeling it and how to move past it. Here are a list of the five most common forms of procrastination and a few suggestions on how to just get the job done:

1. Poor Time Management

While this may seem obvious, some people don’t realize that their procrastination is really just a sign that they incorrectly divide out their time and have misconstrued priorities. Odds are, you’ve known that you have had a speech to give for two weeks but you still haven’t started. It just happens. Balancing a social life and a school life (and a work life for some) isn’t easy. While we would all love to take apart of this “live in the moment” movement our generation is in, the fact is that sometimes you have to skip wine night, sometimes you have to turn off the TV, and sometimes you have to buckle down and do things even if you don’t want to. The best way to handle this is to schedule. Plan out times to study and work in between all the fun things on your planner.

2. Laziness

Sometimes, it wasn’t that we had other things to do or that we would have rather done, we just don’t want to do anything at all. Everything sounds better than finishing that paper, that ALEKS assessment or studying for your calculus test. Sometimes our mind would like to do nothing. We absolutely lack motivation. To combat this laziness, allow yourself small rewards or study with a friend. Promise yourself a Starbucks two hours from now or go grab a snack after thirty minutes of studying. Having someone there to help keep you on task is a good tool as well. Just make sure it's someone dedicated to their work enough to guilt you into doing yours, or someone who cares enough about your sanity to push you to work.

3. Overwhelmed

You’ve pushed a lot of things to the side, unaware at how high the stack of things needing your attention was climbing, and then all at once these tasks are sitting at your doorstep all with deadlines approaching. Times like these leave you feeling spread too thin and utterly intimidated. Finding a place to start seems impossible, but starting is actually the most foolproof way to overcoming your overwhelmed-ness. Pick something random, pick something small. Just start on one project. Even if you don’t finish that project in one sitting, doing something is always better than doing nothing. Continue to do this whole picking-away-one-bit-at-a-time thing until you’ve reached the point where those giant stacks aren’t so giant anymore. Don’t allow yourself to make something harder than it already is.

4. Perfectionism

We’ve all said it, “I’m waiting for the time that I can sit down and do it right.” The sad fact is, that for some of us who are always going 90 miles an hour, this time probably won’t find us. Which leaves us not doing it at all. We sit and make lists of things to do and how to do them, but our fear of incorrectly completing a task leads us to leave those lists unchecked. This is an ideology in which you just have to will yourself to let go. You can’t truly do anything perfectly and trying to do so is just another added stress. Sit down and handle each task to the best of your ability and leave yourself feeling proud of that.

5. Fear of the outcome

Following along with the fear of not being perfect sometimes our inability to start a task stems from the fear of all possible outcomes. Not only failure, but sometimes we are afraid of success and the growth that follows as well. The best way to overcome this type of procrastination is to embrace the future like you would embrace a surprise party. Get excited about not knowing what comes next and be prepared to handle everything with grace and excitement. Find motivation in seeing something through to the end.

It happens to us all. Our 20-minute nap turned into a two hour one. A quick lunch with a friend turned into a shopping trip, a movie and dinner. "Let me check this Facebook status" turned into reading two Odyssey articles and taking four Buzzfeed quizzes. When it’s so easy to entertain our minds, it is equally easy to snowball into hours and hours of unproductiveness. It’s time to recognize your procrastination, admit your procrastination (and I don’t just mean on Twitter for all your followers), and decide to step up and do something about it. Really, Netflix is so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to think about that test you haven’t studied for while every new episode is loading.

Cover Image Credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/13/6f/89/136f8935eaafab7037e3e98a4fa73764.jpg

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Freshman Year Of College Taught Me Important Lessons That I'll Never Forget

What people don't tell you about your first year of college.

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Everyone looks forward to the day he or she walks across a stage and receives a high school diploma. The unlimited possibilities that college will hold for you and the new people you will meet are exciting. Going into college, I didn't know what to expect. I had heard stories on how to make friends, what to do to maintain a social and academic life, and how to not allow the new environment to overwhelm me. However, this did not make my transition into college any easier.

I believe the most important thing l learned that no one told me was the fact that not everyone is going to have the same heart as you, and that's okay. There will be people who will make you question if you made the right decision or if you are doing something wrong. I transitioned from being surrounded by people who had similar qualities as me to people surrounded by people who could not be more different. That is part of the college experience.

Everyone comes from somewhere different and think and act in various ways. College has made me more open to different ideas and allowed me to realize that not everyone will always be kind to you. How other people treat you is not always a reflection of how you treat them. College has taught me to let the little things that bother me go because there is no point to waste time on something that is not going to impact you in a positive manner.

The next lesson I've learned since I started college is that it's okay to be alone; it's even okay to want to be alone. One of the things stressed to me before I started college was to put myself out there and do everything I can do to meet new people. Which I did, and am so glad because I have met some people who I couldn't live without now.

However, that does not mean I never want alone time. For me, I have noticed that in order to focus on myself mentally I need a day or two away from all the commotion that is college. Being alone helps me clear my head and focus on what I need to do in order to be my bests self. I came to the conclusion that being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things, something I did not realize in high school.

Overall, the first semester of college helped me understand myself more. I know that in order to succeed you need to make yourself happy first, not anyone else. No matter how important they are to you. College is a tough transition for anyone, no matter how prepared you think you are. And by putting your needs first, it makes the transition a little easier.

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