Almost everyone has experienced procrastination and laziness at some point in their lives. Whether it be trying to give yourself a break in between 6 hours of school and 4 hours of homework, not wanting to have to bother with writing that paper, or doing that project. We all have our responsibilities but many of us just want of put it off and worry about it later. But all that is is a temporary solution to a (if we don't work on it) permanent problem. Like most people, I had to learn about the dangers of procrastination and laziness the hard way.
Throughout my life I have been an exceptional student and getting work done was never a problem for me. I was raised to do my homework as soon as I got home and for most of my life this process stayed with me and I never missed an assignment and I got things done on time. Of course I procrastinated when it came to projects with longer deadlines but it never really became a problem. That is until high school started where I was approaching that age where my mom couldn't force me to do my schoolwork anymore.
I went to a highly academically challenging high school which I didn't even want to go to because I felt like the work would suffocate me. But I knew that it would prepare me for college and that I would be receiving an unbeatable education considering that I had to take a test to get in where only about 1/5 of test takers are offered seats. With that in mind as well as my mother's wishes I reluctantly chose to go there.
My great work ethic held throughout freshman year likely because I was so terrified of failure. But it was Sophomore year where my work ethic died. In Sophomore year I hated and underperformed in almost all of my classes. I was taking Geometry, Computer Aided Design, Chemistry, Advanced Russian, English, and AP World History.
In Sophomore year I kinda fell into a depression. I don't know if it was the cause of me slipping in my academics and work habits or it was the other way around. I had a lot of very dark thoughts throughout each school day and I would struggle focusing in class. And each day ended with me coming home from school, immediately sleeping for 6 hours, pretending to do my homework until 3 AM when I was actually mindlessly surfing the web, struggle to fall asleep at night, and struggle to stay awake in class in the day.
I ended up doing little to none of my homework in Chemistry, Advanced Russian, and AP World History. In Advanced Russian I totally got away with it though. The teacher didn't check the homework, she had one student from each row check the homework and the girl who checked my homework never ratted me out to the teacher so kudos to you Sara.
In Chemistry I got away with it most of the time. The teacher would only check our homework like 1/20 times and the ones she didn't check she gave me credit for automatically and homework was only 5% of my grade so it barely scraped my average in the class.
However AP World History was much different. It was different in my excuse for not doing my homework and I didn't necessarily get away with it. My excuse was different because I didn't think I had to do my AP World History homework as crazy as it sounds. My teacher said "The homework is to help you". And I took that as an excuse not to do it by pretending that she meant that we had a choice to do our homework.
I almost truly believed that we had an option to do our homework in AP World History but there was always this tiny voice of reason in my head saying "Dude you should really do your homework. You're so far behind just do it". This voice terrified me because I knew it was speaking the truth but I didn't want to accept the truth in fear of the repercussions.
I went up to my teacher and used my excuse that it was a misunderstanding and she totally bought it. She allowed me to make up all my homework assignments without penalty. However, I didn't make most of them up and I still didn't do the new homework assignments yet she still gave me credit for completing all of my homework assignments so I didn't mind and I got away with it again.
But this whole situation with AP World History homework became a recurring nightmare for me. I'd see myself either in high school or college and I would be attending all of my classes and doing great but I would always have the thought that I am forgetting to attend one of my classes and that I am intentionally blocking it from thought. When thinking this I would see a brief image in my mind of the first day of class and the room and teacher and everything and then I would feel panicked that I am missing a class and then I would get in this whole debate with myself where either I would accept responsibility for my actions and speak to the teacher about my absence, or keep living knowing that I am intentionally failing a class.
However, not only was I lazy outside of the classroom, but I was lazy inside of the classroom too. In AP World History when we were doing group projects I wouldn't participate in them at all and let my group take care of it and yet I would still get an 100 on a project that I didn't even work on. Sometimes I would even play games on my Ipad but unfortunately I got caught once. Not much happened with that though except that I got embarrassed in front of the whole class. These free 100s from the projects helped me still get a decent grade in the class despite getting 50s on my tests and doing none of the work I was expected to do.
In Chemistry I barely learned anything throughout the entire class because I was too busy taking videos of how misbehaved and disruptive my classmates were. Chemistry ended up being my 3rd worst class in high school when considering my grades from both terms.
In Computer Aided Design was where we laziness inside of the classroom was the worst. In that class we didn't have homework and the projects that were to be done in class were nearly 90% of my grade. I struggled immensely with that class because I didn't pay attention when she was teaching us the commands and when I was supposed to be working on my projects I was instead looking at NBA and NHL scores. I ended up having my teacher guide me through every project on the day they were due because I didn't get any of them done when I should've. That class ended up being my 2nd worst class in high school when considering my grades from both terms.
However, despite this laziness in nearly all of my classes I still found a way to slide around all of the repercussions. My grades dipped a little bit, from a 95 average across freshman year to a 92 average across sophomore year, but in none of my classes did I even come close to failure, an 85 in Chemistry was my lowest grade yet, but in Junior year I would get much closer to failure than I ever could imagine.
In Junior year I guess my work ethic got a little better. Instead of fooling around in 4 classes I only fooled around in 2, AP Russian and AP US History. Yeah I have had quite a bad history with AP classes, especially since all 3 that I mentioned thus far have been forced upon me in one way or another. But this year I wasn't going to get away with the nonsense I got away with in sophomore year.
With AP Russian I never felt like doing my homework because it was the same thing everyday. Look at a text that I don't understand at all, type out the entire thing into google translate, write out the translation and I'm done. That was easy but very tedious and boring so I decided not to do it. Then the teacher confronted my mom about it and I started doing my homework again and things in that class went fine. I got an 100 average and a 4 on the AP test despite hating and struggling with the class.
However, it was AP US History that caused most of the problems for me. My teacher for that class gave more homework than any teacher that I have ever had to this day, including my college professors. Every night we had to read from the textbook, take notes, and answer questions. It was really the taking notes part that made this a lot. Because of this I couldn't read the parts that answered the questions and write my answers and be done. I ended up taking hours because I copied the whole reading as my notes because I couldn't distinguish what was important to write down.
Eventually I grew tired of doing AP US homework so I decided to stop doing it. I didn't even try to get it done anymore. I lied to my mother about completing it and life went on. In December I only did 1 out of 13 homework assignments for US History.
However, my AP US teacher was different than my sophomore year teachers because she actually gave me a 0 for assignments that I didn't turn in. That on top of my getting 50s-70s on my tests and essays and an occasional good grade or two, I managed to get an 80 average in the first term. That wasn't near failing but it was my lowest grade ever in a class.
But I would come dangerously close to failure in the 2nd term. In the beginning of the 2nd term I performed even worse on my tests and essays. My test grades (35% of my grade) were a 76, 59, and a 63, my participation grades (10%) were a 79 and a 76, my homework (10%) grade was somehow a 76 (I'm sure I did way less than 76% of my homework assignments so I might've gotten away with most of the assignments that I missed), and my essay grades were a 69 and a 55. And the other 15% of my grade would be determined toward the end of the semester.
About that 55, I was lucky that the lowest score possible was a 55 and not a 0 because this had to be the worst "essay" that I have ever written. It was 2 messy paragraphs of false information. When I got the paper back the teacher wrote "see me" on it and she said when I saw her after class "You didn't even answer the question. Just rewrite it." And I didn't even rewrite it to make matters worse. To be honest I had no idea how to answer that essay question.
At the end of the first half of the semester my average was a 67.5% and I was lucky that it wasn't lower. If you factor in that I did less homework assignments than my teacher gave me credit for and that I should've gotten a 0 on that essay then my average could've been as low as 49%.
For the 2nd half of the semester I had an assignment that would be worth a crucial 15% of my grade which I needed in order to pass. If I were to fail the class then I would have to go to summer school because 4 years of history is a graduation requirement. Everything relied on this one assignment,
This assignment was called "Review Portfolio" and it was the largest assignment I have ever gotten in school. It consisted of 5 essays, 8 short answer questions (1-2 paragraphs), and 8 worksheets. We had almost 3 months to work on it and I didn't even start on it until there were about 2 weeks left.
Ii was due April 24th and our spring break lasted from April 8th to April 18th so it was the last good opportunity I had to complete this assignment and get the 15% of my grade that I needed to pass the class.
So then I spent the entire spring break working on this assignment because I decided to wait until the bitter end to start on it. Just day after day of doing homework that I hate. I spent the entire break inside of the house and I wasn't able to hang out with my friends or doing anything fun with my "time off".
However, I ended up getting most of the assignment done. I did all the essays, all of the short answer questions, and 3 of the worksheets. Because it wouldn't be me if I actually did an entire assignment in AP US History. I ended up getting an 86 on the assignment which was great.
I also improved in all other parts of the class too. I ended up doing my final 5 homework assignments because we were having a final review competition at the end of the year where a group could earn points if everyone in the group did their homework so that gave me the incentive to do it since I didn't want to hurt my group members.
My class participation went up slightly. My next test scores were a 73 and an 80 and we had debates that would could as 1/3 of a test and on that I got an 89 on. I also got an 89 on my final essay which was my best essay of the year. That with my 86 on the review portfolio assignment my grade rose up to a 76 to end the semester.
However, had I continued to procrastinate and be lazy and not do that review portfolio assignment I would've gotten a 63 in the class and failed. But luckily I worked hard and I avoided that painful outcome.
Every since that class my procrastination and laziness has slowly died down. I waited until the last minute for a lot of assignments in senior year but I still got them done and come on it was senior year, who doesn't procrastinate and get lazy at least a little bit in senior year?
Now in college I am doing my assignments as they come in and I have been more stress free than ever. My grades are doing great and for once I don't have a class that I dread going to or doing the work in. I learned from this experience to not mess around in school and that procrastination and laziness is no way around assignments.