Study hall pushes for more productivity


Ann Fitzmaurice

Every weeknight as I stare down at my world history textbook dreading the next seven pages of reading and notes, I tell myself the same thing: I’ll do it in AUT.
As the first block on B days rolls around, I prepare myself to sit down and type out summaries of Asian history, yet I just can not bring myself to actually achieve what I promised myself I would. Procrastination is the Devil’s cheesecake, and I really wish I were lactose intolerant. Whether it’s being distracted by friends, telling myself I deserve a break or just plain ignoring my academic responsibilities, I can never seem to use my time wisely.
Of course I tried to do my homework and even succeeded at least twice, but I can never shake the feeling in the back of my head saying, “You could be more productive.” At nine in the morning, productiveness is the last thing on my mind. Sleep, food and the worries of the day plague my thoughts, instead.
Yet my mind is listening to every demand laziness makes, leading me in the opposite direction of productivity. I am at battle with myself, but I still sit the band room, talking with friends and trying so desperately to shut off the nagging feeling of what I know I should be doing.
A devil sits on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The devil tells me to  myself time off during AUT, the one time in school I’m allowed to do nothing. With no supervision and no one to tell me what to do, I have the freedom to chat instead of finishing last night’s homework or studying for the upcoming test. The angel tells me I need this time to study, that I can rest at home and will feel astonishingly better. With all my work done I’ll have nothing to worry about. I refuse to listen.
Determination, passion and grit are qualities I wish I possessed. I wish I could sit down, get all my work done and retain all the information. I want nothing more than to be present in my academics, but I don’t even try. I don’t try because in short, I’m lazy. I would rather sleep than finish my academic obligations, hang out with friends instead of studying and continue being blatantly average in a good chunk of the things I do.
Procrastination is not good for me, and it’s not good for anyone.
As much as I hate to admit it, hard work is necessary to survive, and AUT gives us a time to do it. It is a designated study time served on a silver platter that is so easily flipped upside down and ignored.
The couple of times I have successfully done work in AUT were all under the same circumstances: I removed myself from the distracting situations my friends bring with their talking, put my phone away and told myself if I didn’t finish the work I would regret it later. Using that time to do something productive is the hardest part of the block, not the work itself. I would rather spend my AUT getting Taco Bell and talking with friends, but my grades show I should be studying. AUT is time that is needed to get everything together so it won’t come back later.
Buckling down n in a quiet area, whether that be in the library or a classroom and finishing work brings success that provides the motivation to continue on. AUT gives me the time built into my school day with no extracurricular activities I would have after school. I just have to use this time to my academic advantage instead of ignoring it to socialize. AUT is a privilege I take for granted that is much needed with the workload I receive from my classes. I plan to start small by forcing myself to use my time wisely at least once a week. Then, I’m going to gradually add more days according to how much I need to get done.
Tasks completed in AUT free up time later in the day because classwork will not be procrastinated. When part of the day is free, it can be used for mental and physical for health including sleep and hobbies. Also, this time is perfect for light studying to stay ahead in class. Even if there’s too much work for the allotted time and it bleeds over into after school and sleep, catching up on what you lose due to this workload is always possible in the next AUT block.