How to Eliminate Your Procrastination Habits

Welcome back, readers! Another week, another blog and I feel that this is a very important piece, especially for my fellow students worldwide. Today, we talk about a student’s true kryptonite – procrastination. One of the biggest illnesses to ever consume mankind, procrastination is alive and well in everybody, especially students. We are constantly putting things off until the last possible minute. We do not seem to enjoy the idea of working ahead so we, as humans, put it off until we absolutely need to do it. However, procrastination comes in different forms. Not only do we put off work, but we get distracted from our work as well. Social media, food and even friends can all be factors contributing to our procrastination. However, never fear! I will be your guiding light and save you from your filthy procrastination habits. There are a couple easy ways to do so but we first need to work on your mindset.

I, myself, have also been guilty of procrastinating. Early in high school, I thought I was blessed with all the time in the world. I would focus more on my social life, rather than “the paper” that was due next week. That proved costly, as I just put myself in situations where work was due the next day, and I had not even started the assignment. I would often blame the teachers for giving me lengthy assignments, but this was just an excuse for me doing it last minute. Mentally, I began to challenge myself. I told myself that if I had ever got an early assignment, I would take the time to get it done right. For example, if a teacher gave me an assignment on Monday, due Friday, I would not wait until Thursday night to complete it. Instead, I would do it the day it was assigned, or even break the assignment up throughout the four days. This method proved successful and it even made me feel better mentally. Instead of staying up late the night before and putting more stress and strain on my brain, I was able to work more effectively, while staying stress free. Because of this mindset, I am more relaxed when it comes to homework and assignments, especially the larger ones.

The second factor to help your procrastination habits is the environment you work in. If you want to work consistently and effectively, I have learned that trying to work on homework at my kitchen table just isn’t possible. The human brain works in mysterious ways. It adapts to a specific environment, thus adapting the way you think and act in that certain environment. If I had a dime for every time I ate something while working on homework in the kitchen, I would be living in Cabo. My brain associates the kitchen with food, which explains why I was always up every ten minutes fishing for a snack. If I tried to do homework in my room, I would see my bed, which means sleep, which leads to no work being done for a few hours. I found out that working in an academic environment such as a library or classroom helped me maintain my focus on my work. Even listening to music helped me focus a little better. We all want to go home after our classes end, but it does not hurt to stay on campus to finish work first. Even as my college career continues to roll on, I am always going to the library after classes to finish my homework and even study for a couple of hours. That way, when I get home, I can enjoy all of my “distractions” without having to worry about any assignments.

Of course, it is inevitable that you will have to do some work at home. However, it is up to YOU whether or not you will push yourself to stay focused. With the distractions we have nowadays, it is quite understandable to get sidetracked from your work. I was in the same boat until I made these changes to my academic life. Now, it is a habit! Yes, staying at school later than you would like may not be how you want to spend your week but it definitely allows you to have more free time at home. With less homework, you can have more opportunities to enjoy the little things, such as social media, friends, and even sleep. Making these changes mentally and physically can be a challenge at first but if you stay consistent, you will, without a doubt, feel the difference, and there is no better feeling than a worry-free mind.

My Education Motivation

Entering college is an important step in the life of a student. It is the last stepping stone before the adult world and the rest of your life. For me, college is where I make my mark. Not only on and off campus but in my family. There are numerous things that motivate me to continue my education. However, the most important factor pushing me to do so is the fact that I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college.

Being the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college would be a milestone, not only for me but for my family. It has been said by some that the ones who do not go to college or do not finish were never smart enough to do so. This is the biggest misconception about these men and women. For one, college is not for everybody. Others are called to do other things or follow their dreams in a different direction. For my parents, it was all about their families. Both of my parents had huge family obligations during their time in college which, unfortunately, did not allow them to finish college. However, that never stopped them from becoming very successful in their lives. Due to their hard work in their jobs and with my family, they have been able to put my two younger brothers and I through private education, not to mention a roof over our heads and food on the table. It is my destiny to graduate from college and make them proud.

Another part of that motivation to complete my college education is my two youngest brothers. The middle child, Alex, is currently a freshman in high school; while my youngest brother, Michael, is in second grade. It is very important to me, as the oldest brother, to pave the road and set the example for my younger brothers. I want them to witness what success is so that they themselves will settle for no less. For Alex, his high school journey is just beginning. As our college and high school careers grow, there will be a time where we will both be graduating at the same time. I need him to see his older brother graduate from college so that he may have the confidence in himself to do the same. As for Michael, college is a long time away for him. However, when he sees his two older brothers graduate from high school and college, he will be more motivated to do exactly the same and grow up to be just like us.

My motivation is a chain reaction; I want to make everybody proud and impact their lives in one way or the other. I am the oldest sibling in my family, and I am moving toward being the first person in my family to hit this milestone. It would mean the world to not only my family but to myself, knowing that I had finally succeeded in something so vital in life. I will continue to grind and work hard and will not stop until I get that diploma. This is my motivation! It will help make my destiny a reality.

Cougars and Cubs

Greetings, readers! The second week of college is in the books for yours truly and things keep looking better and better every week. The first week of school was an introduction on what is to come, while the second week gave me a taste of what I’ll be doing the rest of the year and how much work I will have to put in to succeed. This week was definitely a positive one, and in every way, it went how I had planned. It consisted of a lot of studying and writing, while also coming with a bit of fun and new experiences to help me fit into Saint Xavier.

For one, I have memorized all of my classrooms by heart. It honestly didn’t take that long, and I am able to find my classes without any problems now. My class schedule is another reason why I am enjoying college. In high school, I was always in the same loop, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. My college schedule is a lot more flexible, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy going to my first set of classes at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. every day. I have also found some great spots to study and hangout, such as the diner and near the main entrance of the school.

One of the keys to success in college is to be comfortable with your surroundings. The atmosphere of the university allows me to do so and I am actually more inclined to stay on campus to do things like homework and hang out than to just go to class and go home right after.

Saint Xavier has already given me many opportunities to socialize and get to know people through many different events and activities. I wasted little time by doing so by purchasing a ticket through the school to attend the Chicago Cubs game on Wednesday. Being a huge Cubs fan and seeing a very reasonable price to enjoy another experience at Wrigley, me and a fellow Cougar decided it would be a great idea to go. Although him and I were the only freshman in this large group of upperclassmen, we had no problems meeting new people and making conversations with them. Despite traffic conditions on the way to the game, it was a breath of fresh air to finally arrive to the gates of Wrigley. I have been to numerous Cubs game since I was a child, but this game was especially unique for a couple of reasons. One, I got to experience my favorite team while making new friends at the same time. The second reason being that the Cubs are an exceptionally talented team this year. I enjoyed the environment of the friendly confines, new friends, a big burger and a thrilling 6-5 Cubs win over Pittsburgh.

With all of these experiences occurring only in the second week of college, I can’t imagine what other experiences are to come my way. I am beginning to find my place here at Saint Xavier rather quickly, and I am not only working hard but enjoying myself. I am eager to go to school every week and this was a great way to kick off my freshman year.

The Cougar Commission: Week 1

For 16 years, me and my family had driven past Saint Xavier University countless times. Whether it was on my way to grammar school at St. Germane, to Portillo’s, or to church, I was always looking in awe at this university. It wasn’t until Monday, August 22, that I myself turned onto 103rd and Hamlin, not just looking at the university but as part of the university. It was about 7:05 a.m. and The Eagles’ “Hotel California” softly played through the concert surround system of my 2000 Buick LeSabre. I picked a parking spot in Lot 12 and stepped out of the car, taking a deep breath. After grabbing my backpack and locking my doors, my mind raced with questions as I made my way to the main entrance. Will I fit in? Will I find my classes in time? Will I even make any friends? After what seemed to be the longest walk of my life, I finally reached the doors. This is it, I thought to myself. However, this wasn’t just college. It was my college. Blessing myself, I opened the big glass doors and stepped into what will be the center of my life for the next four years to come.

My name is Nicholas Vazquez, I am 18 years old and a freshman here at Saint Xavier University. I live with my mom, dad and two younger brothers on the Southside of Chicago in Merrionette Park. I went to grammar school at St. Germaine, and I am a proud graduate of Saint Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago. I love to read, write, watch sci-fi movies and sports and spend time with my family and friends. However, entering college, I was very skeptical of how things would go for me. I was nervous about how the college atmosphere would treat me. Would it feel good? Will I feel welcomed? Will I succeed? Those were just some of the many questions I would ask myself over the summer. I am only a week into my college experience at Saint Xavier and I can, without a doubt, answer “yes” to all three of those questions.

My first week of classes went much better than anticipated. For one, I feel very comfortable at this university. There is an unexplainable and positive aura here on campus. It feels as if this place is telling me not to worry. It feels as if I am at home. In addition to the calming environment, the professors I’ve met have been very reassuring that they are here for me and the rest of my fellow freshmen. With their doors always open to us and only an email away, they definitely have given me a more positive outlook on being successful inside and outside the classroom. Interestingly enough, my classmates themselves have also made my first week exciting. I have reconnected with familiar faces and made friends with new ones. Everyone I have met so far have been very unique and different in their own ways. I am definitely excited to be with my fellow peers for the next four years. Not only have I met some interesting freshmen but I have also met some very welcoming upperclassmen. From directing me to my correct classes or showing me the places to relax and hangout, it is a very reassuring feeling knowing that the upperclassmen are watching over me and my peers.

Though I am putting all my focus and energy in all of my current classes, I also have not lost sight of my goals and expectations while at Saint Xavier University. Not only do I expect to do well in the classroom, I plan on taking all of the university’s opportunities to become more involved on and off the campus. These opportunities include things such as theatre, various campus ministry roles, and Lord willing, becoming a future FOCUS leader. When it comes to my education, I plan to graduate Saint Xavier University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Shortly after that, I plan on training to become a police officer and work in Oak Lawn or the city of Chicago. However, those are only my short-term goals. I aspire to one day join the FBI and take a position in their National Security branch. If there is one thing I’ve taken away from my first week here at Saint Xavier, it is that this school has all the right tools to help me put my best foot forward, and I am very confident that the university will do nothing but give me the best opportunities to succeed in my future.

I am not only drawn to the university from the outside but the inside as well. Saint Xavier has mentioned many times about their dedication and pride in their Core Values. These Core Values are what sit at the heart of the school and are the center of how it operates each and every day. The Core Values of Respect, Excellence, Compassion, Service, Hospitality, Integrity, Diversity, and Learning for Life are what hold the leaders and the student body together. I may have only been here a full week, but I already see these Core Values being expressed by everyone. I have a personal connection with one of these values — Respect. Not only was Respect the name of my freshman orientation group, but I feel that it is a vital Core Value to be practiced on and off the campus. I am a firm believer in respect and everywhere I go, I make it my duty to make sure people of all genders, backgrounds and heritages get the respect they deserve, as I am always ready to stand in the way of those who think otherwise. I look forward to sharing my views of Respect to everyone I encounter at Saint Xavier and am undoubtedly thrilled to witness and express these values not only through the rest of the year, but my whole college career and beyond.

I have nothing but high regards for this school. Saint Xavier honestly could not have done a better job making me feel more positive this first week during my freshman year, and I am eager to see what is in store for the future. They have also made me feel more confident in my abilities as a student and as a young man overall. From my teachers to my peers to me, I can wholeheartedly say that I definitely made the right decision to attend Saint Xavier and have no regrets about my choice. I look forward to studying, working, and enjoying myself here in these next four years. After one full week, I can easily say that my future is bright at this university. After all, this isn’t just college, this is my college.