I get all my studying and homework done. I'm not one of those people who waits until the last minute to do everything, even though I do procrastinate. I like to be satisfied with my work and confident in my knowledge, so studying the night before is not an option for me.

Because I usually do my work ahead of time, it fits in with some of my friends' study habits. I can help those who do it last minute, and I can help those who like to study with other people. Unfortunately, studying with other people doesn't always help me. -- Laurel Popplewell, Madison H.S.

I am one of those high school students who postpones studying every night. I find no support from my parents in changing this, as my parents differ from most. Unlike typical parents, mine tell me to study less. They ask me, "Don't you need a bag of M&Ms to help you study?" Although they probably intend for this tactic to teach me to discipline myself, right now it just gives me an excuse to indulge in my procrastination. Before I study, I have a preparation ritual. I have to clean my room, finish all my other homework, check my Facebook comments, call friends to see if they have started their homework yet, and then get food; in other words, avoid beginning to study until I cannot find another way to postpone my study session. When I finally sit down, I begin praying my phone will ring so I have an excuse to take a break.

Once I get started studying, I'm okay...for five minutes, when I find something extremely important that I simply must do first, such as text-message my best friend or check my e-mail.

When I study, I have a reward system. After I finish a topic, I get to eat an M&M. Five problems later, I realize how challenging the material is (not to mention how much I am salivating), so I decide to eat an M&M after every problem instead of just when I complete an assignment. Twenty problems later, I take yet another break -- this time with legitimate reason -- to find Tums because I have given myself a stomachache!

When I can no longer absorb any more information and finally call it a day, the clock says I have spent an evening studying even though less than one hour was dedicated to the course material. -- Emma Seemann, Carlsbad H.S.

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Robert Padilla Jan. 3, 2008 @ 3:07 p.m.

Distractions come easy when you have little responsibility or self discipline. Setting up some type of reward system for meeting a goal is a good idea for getting through the things we hate to do but finding something (or one thing) you love to do will reap the most rewards following high school. And to the know-it-alls be careful not to burn your own bridges because the working world is tougher than you think and your social skills are just as important!


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