Home(work) for the holidays


4 reasons to procrastinate—and tips for overcoming them

Just when you were expecting a couple of weeks to hibernate and reacquaint yourself with friends and Netflix, your teacher drops a bomb on you: one more assignment before you go—and it’s due first thing in the new year.


Could there be a worse time for more homework? You’re distracted by holiday activities, or you’re travelling home, or you’re in desperate need of rest and relaxation. Whatever the case may be, your homework is calling and buying into excuses could haunt you in January. Here’s how to pull up your bootstraps and get through it.

1. “It’s not due until. . . .”

Don’t procrastinate! You know how people always say, Time flies when you’re having fun? If you expect to have fun over the break, you can also expect to be back in class and wondering where all that time went—now that you need it to complete that essay. Paige McClelland, a Writing and Learning Services consultant, recommends creating a schedule and sticking to it—even when you’re on break.

“This schedule can be more flexible than the one you had during school,” she says. “You should aim for a consistent sleep pattern, so it's not a huge shock on your body when you go back to a structured schedule. This can also be a good opportunity to help you get into the habit of creating and sticking to a schedule, so it feels more natural during the semester.”

2. “But now I won’t have any time to see my friends.”

The holidays are about getting together with friends and loved ones—so don’t forget about your school friends, study buddies or classmates. Have a mini-study group session over the break to make time for some work. Shared experiences are what this season is all about.

Paige’s advice: “Make sure your friends will help you keep on track by discussing your intentions for the study group before meeting.”

3. “MacEwan’s closed, so I can’t access the library.”

MacEwan University may be closed over the holiday break, but online library resources are available at all times. If it’s not resources you need but a quiet study environment, check out the hours of the Edmonton Public Library, which has several branches throughout the city.

4. “I don’t even want to think about last term’s grades.”

You absolutely should! Reflecting on the past term can help you substantially in the new term. “Take time to read over all of your instructors’ feedback to see where you improved and what areas you might want to develop in the next semester,” recommends Paige.

Oftentimes students shy away from reading their faculty members’ feedback—and it can put you at a disadvantage if you have that same teacher again. Find out what they wanted to see in your past work and grow from it.

Get ahead of the new year

Classes begin early January—meaning you have almost three whole weeks to sleep, have fun and do your homework—with time to spare if you’re strategic. Break through the excuses and denial to make the next year your best one yet.

Book an appointment with Writing and Learning Services in the first couple weeks of the Winter term to discuss time and task management strategies, and study skills,” advises Paige.

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