Share this Page URL

Chapter 21. Cramming for Exams and Other... > Procrastination in Graduate School - Pg. 224

Cramming for Exams and Other Fine Academic Traditions 224 Procrastination in Graduate School If my own experience is at all typical, procrastination is often less of a problem once you reach graduate school, even if you were a big procrastinator in college (until you get to the thesis or dissertation stage, that is!). Most grad students know why they're in school. They usually have reasonably clear career goals or a love of a particular academic subject, which motivates them to work toward an advanced degree. Their classes tend to be small, and faculty advisors tend to be involved in their lives, so they have a built-in support system. Graduate students also tend to be more mature and responsible and less distracted by social lives and extensive extracurricular activities than their undergrad counterparts. (Those were certainly factors that made me much less of a procrastinator in graduate school than I was in college!) One Foot in the Ivory Tower, One in Real Life Before I give too rosy a picture of graduate school, let's remember what procrastination is: It's a habit. No matter how favorable the conditions are for productivity, someone who suffers from the procrastination habit is going to find ways to put off things, even in grad school. As a graduate student, you are more likely than an undergrad to feel divided between two worlds: the academic world and real life. You may have a burgeoning professional career requiring time, energy, and attention, and possibly a family that demands the same. What's the solution? The key lies in taking stock of your commitments in the 10 life roles (as de- scribed in Chapter 3, "Blame It on the Environment") and making sure that your expectations, and those of your bosses, professors, and family, are realistic. As you should know by now, you can't be all things to all people and put equal amounts of time and