Jessy Cooke had a productive weekend finishing a full season — 22 episodes — of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” on Netflix. What Cooke wasn’t productive in finishing was her chemistry homework for Monday morning.
Cooke, a sophomore psychology major, is affected by procrastination, as many college students are. Her procrastination comes in the form of Facebook and Netflix.
“If I’m trying to study, I get on Facebook or anything that really isn’t studying,” Cooke said. “I do Netflix binges all the time.”
According to a study conducted by Netflix, 61 percent of users have admitted to binge watching without feeling bad about it. Binge watching, as defined by Netflix users, is streaming two or more episodes of a TV show in one sitting.
Cooke’s Netflix binge is no feat compared with Rachel Stine’s binge with her roommate.
Stine, a sophomore communications studies major, and her roommate watched an entire five-season series in a week.
Stine and Cooke both experience procrastination as a result of access to social media and TV online.
“Sometimes the material that I am learning is boring, and it doesn’t hold my attention like Tumblr or Pinterest,” Stine said.
Christopher Was, an educational psychologist and associate professor at Kent State, said he isn’t sure that procrastination negatively affects grades, but it does affect learning for some students.
“I know lots of students who wait until the last minute to get things done and cram before exams, to do projects last minute, and what you typically see is a pattern of the student doing very well on the exam that they waited last minute to study for,” Was said. “The problem is that that material, or that content or that learning is not robust and does not last. At the end of the semester, they probably won’t remember the stuff that they crammed for and put off to the last minute.”
Stine, who admits to procrastinating, said it doesn’t affect her learning.
“Sometimes I feel like I work faster and more efficient knowing it’s due in two days,” Stine said. “I don’t think it affects me when retaining information. I think if I catch myself using my phone in class, I miss what the professor was talking about but other than that I don’t think it really bothers me when I’m doing homework or studying.”
Cooke, on the other hand, said her procrastination and cramming, does affect how she learns.
“If I don’t study consistently and I try to do [homework] all at once the night before, I don’t remember the information as well,” Cooke said.
Cooke and Stine both take preventative measures to allow them to focus on classwork. Cooke puts her computer away unless the homework needs to be done on it, and both students put their phones on silent or turn them off while studying or completing assignments.
Was suggests a few tips to help increase learning and decrease procrastination for those students who struggle with it.
“My suggestion is to schedule a little bit of time every day for each of your classes,” Was said. “Studying a little bit every day in each of your areas, each of your contents or each of your classes is much more effective than cramming and what students typically find when they cram [is] they spend hours doing it and they don’t get to the stuff they want to do on a Friday night. Why not study a couple hours a day Monday through Thursday and enjoy your weekend and have more of a robust learning?”
Hearing this advice, Stine laughed.
“I’d have time for more weekend Netflix binges.”
Contact Lindsay Miller at [email protected]