I remember being a student, and going to great lengths to rationalize why I should start my assignment tomorrow. Can't do it right now, I need a solid five-hour block of time and my gaming group starts in three hours. Don't start it early, there's always problems in how the assignment is stated, let some other sucker run into the traps and force the professor to issue errata, and then I won't have to waste my time running into one brick wall after another. I remember how it was.
Of course, life in the game industry is totally different. You don't put off critical tasks, because at best it puts the entire project behind, and at worst it gets you fired. Also you're working on a game that you (hopefully) care about, and any lost time now means one more cool feature that won't be in the game. It's been long enough that I actually forgot that there are people out there that don't start working on a task as soon as it's assigned...
So, I encourage my students to start early on their projects because it will give them time to iterate properly. My professors told me the same thing when I was in college, and I learned to ignore them. Naturally it's come back to haunt me, and now I get emails at 11:45pm on Sunday asking basic questions about the homework that's due Monday in class.
Is there any way I can say this and still be taken seriously? I really am completely serious about this, and it's a necessary skill to survive in the game industry. But every time I talk about the importance of starting early, I can almost hear my 10-years-younger self in class saying back to me, "yeah, right".