When you see someone struggling or procrastinating with any task, resort to curiosity rather than judgment: what are the situational factors holding them back? What needs of theirs are not being met?
For decades, psychological research has been able to explain procrastination as a functioning problem, not a consequence of laziness. When a person fails to begin a project that they care about, it’s typically due to either a) anxiety about their attempts not being “good enough” or b) confusion about what the first steps of the task are. Not laziness. In fact, procrastination is more likely when the task is meaningful and the individual cares about doing it well.
Also, worth noting about:
Some universities pride themselves on refusing to accommodate disabled or mentally ill students — they mistake cruelty for intellectual rigor. And, since most professors are people who succeeded academically with ease, they have trouble taking the perspective of someone with executive functioning struggles, sensory overloads, depression, self-harm histories, addictions, or eating disorders. I can see the external factors that lead to these problems.
Just as I know that “lazy” behavior is not an active choice, I know that judgmental, elitist attitudes are typically borne of out situational ignorance.
Read the room.