Can’t focus? Neither can many WO students

Austin Book

Sr. Emily Lachtrupp sat at a lunch table listening to her friend tell a story about a dream. During the semi-entertaining dream retell, she received a text from a group chat about an assignment she forgot was due next hour. She was also distracted by the fact that she had her first soccer workout after school. Did she fully pay attention to anything here? No, and the lack of complete attention is not just a reality at the lunch table. With the countless distractions of today’s society, students struggle to pay complete attention to anything.

  Students have a lot on their minds. It’s natural for the mind to drift off during a lecture. It’s tough to pay attention when we have other stressful work weighing on our minds including filling out job applications, writing college essays, and competing in sports. Instead of seriously thinking about these important events, students are prone to text on their phones, listen to music, or do whatever else to distract them from the real issues. Teachers will stop these habits right away. However, that doesn’t stop the problem from reoccurring. “Paying attention is sometimes a problem for me. I think that I’m always distracted by things happening outside of class. If I generally get the gist of what my teacher says, then I don’t pay attention as much,” Jr. Kashayla Sidhu said. Unsurprisingly, not paying attention does not benefit students in the long run. A lack of attention correlates with a lack of good grades. Students struggle to pay attention during class due to the many problems on their minds.

  The issue doesn’t just take place at school – it takes place at home as well. “I struggle with paying attention when I’m watching some of my favorite TV shows at times. I don’t know why. I think I just have a lot of things on my mind,” Sr. Rasini Chitphaiboon said. The home situation is actually fairly similar to the school situation. When students don’t deal with the stressful, important events in their lives, they pay less attention. “My parents do get mad at me when I’m not paying close attention. They just don’t understand my issues,” Chitphaiboon said. Not paying enough attention at home hurts parental relationships as well.

  A lack of attention negatively affects grades and relationships. So, how can this problem be solved? Stop procrastinating. The solution isn’t hard to realize, but it is hard to fulfill. It’s exhausting to focus on the present when you’re constantly thinking about other decisions that will affect the future. Instead of thinking about these problems with anxiety, it’s better to face them. For me, these problems deal with applying for scholarships. Each day, I procrastinate on doing my homework, so I don’t have enough time to look into scholarships. Then, I constantly think and complain about the fact that I have to apply for scholarships at school. I’ve probably taken more time anxiously thinking about scholarships than the time I will spend time on scholarships. Procrastination is not worthy of the consequences.

  In each situation above, procrastination was a key factor in the lack of attention. The soccer workout distracted Lachtrupp, but she only had a soccer workout because she decided to procrastinate and not go to the first two workouts. Sidhu didn’t pay attention during one class because she procrastinated on dealing with her grades in other classes. Chitphaiboon couldn’t focus while she was watching TV because she felt guilty about the homework she procrastinated on. Procrastination clearly leads to an unhealthy lack of attention.

  Many WO students stop paying attention at one point or another, and the reason remains fairly consistent. We wonder about the future, and we procrastinate from making that future happen. High school is all about preparing ourselves for the future, and sometimes we are distracted by it. The idea of paying complete attention consistently is improbable; however, if students gave more effort to stop procrastinating, students would be able to pay closer attention.