RSS

What I wish My College Professors Would Have Taught Me: Tardiness is Unacceptable

06 Sep

There are some things that can and will never be taught in the classroom. Maybe it’s because those topics are seen as too radical or have been flagged as a lawsuit risk, but truly these are the missing pieces of wisdom that leave many college grads as an incomplete puzzle with still much to figure out in the real world. In the spirit of Back-to-School, this will be a 5-part series exploring the top lessons I wish would have been included in my own college degree. It’s blunt and it’s honest, but it’s sure to be interesting.

Lesson five: Tardiness is Unacceptable

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali, 1931

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali, 1931

I see this saying everywhere, but it has really stayed with me—

“Opportunity doesn’t go away, it goes to someone else.”

Partially due to this very saying I’ve become a huge stickler for timeliness and I first and foremost apply these standards to myself. Through experiences, both good and bad, I know that not responding to an e-mail, or message of any form, within a reasonable time frame could lose me a potential business opportunity. Applied to

another situation—showing up late to an event not only displays lack of interest, but could cost me key networking opportunities. These facts of life are ones I had to learn on my own, outside the walls of a classroom. While I was in college, it seemed as though time was irrelevant and I don’t just mean by pulling all nighters or staying out ‘til the sun came up.

Far too often I had professors who accepted late papers without even challenging the student to provide a reason. These were the same professors that would let students saunter into class fifteen, twenty, sometimes even forty minutes late carrying lattes in their hand looking anything but rushed, disheveled or apologetic.  They would walk right in front of the professor, mid-lecture, and disrupt the focus of the classroom and make us on-timers wonder why we even bothered setting our alarms if clearly there were no repercussions. So maybe this boils down to a matter of principle and respect—no matter what my underlying issue is with tardiness, I see it as worthy of deeper discussion.

I wish my college professors would have stressed the importance of timeliness, which of course goes hand-in-hand with time management. As students, we would have benefited from learning that boundaries exist and when someone who is in a position of power over us sets such a boundary, we are expected to comply. This would have taught us to be more respectful, responsible and better stewards of our time. Those college years are crucial ones. We are experimenting with both the freedoms and obligations that come with living on our own. While we may be seeking our independence, we still need reminders that we don’t make ALL of our own rules and opportunities are like college co-eds—if you don’t pay them quick enough attention, they’re on to the next person who will.

In case you missed a few “classes”, here’s some reading homework:

Lesson One: Group projects can be completed alone.

Lesson Two: It’s okay to NOT like everyone you work with.

Lesson Three: In the real world, you’re not expected to have every answer.

Lesson Four: It’s almost never about WHAT you know.

Advertisements
 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 6, 2011 in Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 responses to “What I wish My College Professors Would Have Taught Me: Tardiness is Unacceptable

  1. Mia

    September 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I’m a punctual person. I’d rather be half an hour early than five minutes late. And I feel disrespected when somebody is late and doesn’t even bother letting me know about is. I think that doing everything in a timely manner is important. Not to get crazed over time but I think we shouldn’t waste time our own and others.

     
  2. maru

    September 7, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I think I have not comment before on this series of ‘classes’. I love them. Clear and direct to important issues. A pleasure and a good reminder.

     
  3. The Hook

    September 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I feel more intelligent already! Thanks.

     
  4. Roxi

    September 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    This is exactly what I was thinking about today! being late/not deciding in due time can make you lose some great opportunities…

     
  5. broadsideblog

    October 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Wow. Seriously?! When I taught adult night classes in journalism — and daytime undergrad — I shut the door to the room. It sometimes locked. When someone arrived late, I made sure they were visibly embarrassed by this rudeness.

    No prof should tolerate it. No boss will!

     
    • Stephanie Bennis

      October 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Exactly!! I wouldn’t have minded a prof that did–even if I was the subject of embarrassment, I would sure remember not to be late again.

       

Comments are encouraged!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: