What to Do When You’re Late to Class

I’ve learned a couple things about college. I actually have to get up on time because if I don’t, I won’t make the class – whereas in high school, I would be fine with missing the bus and either coming to class a couple hours late. Yeah, I know. I was a pretty awful student my senior year because of the woes of Senioritis. Basically, I never intend on skipping or being late to class. Sometimes my alarm chooses not to go off. Sometimes I forget to set the alarm in the first place. Sometimes, there is no excuse.

Late to class - oops! (photo by Jessica Mullen)

Late to class – oops! (photo by Jessica Mullen)

Today, my alarm didn’t go off. I woke up at the time that I would have to leave my house to make it on time. I brushed my teeth, threw my hair up in some sort of mess that I hoped would look chic enough, considering I hadn’t showered that day because I had planned to in the morning, and off I went. I got to class ten minutes late.

Before I got there, I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen. It’s my first time in college and I’ve only been to this class two times prior to the event. Could I walk in? Would the professor publicly degrade me? Would assignments already be collected and would I not be able to turn them in?

There were so many questions running through my mind – and with good reason! I’ve never been late to a class before and didn’t want to find out.

My professor said it was fine. You don’t have to apologize, because at the end of the day you’re wasting your own money if you miss class – but I did out of respect for the professor. That she allows being late for up to ten minutes, considering traffic among other things. I felt so lucky.

I talked to my cousin after the fiasco, and she said that people do it all the time. That sometimes, it just happens. That as long as the professor allows for the door to remain open and unlocked, that you can come in and just take a seat.

The thing you have to worry about? It is annoying if your tardiness occurs repeatedly. At the most, your professor can choose to not let you in the room – or mark you down on participation.

But it’s really not anything to stress about too much.

When you’re late to class, take care of yourself. Make sure it doesn’t happen again. I had to invest in a real alarm clock and not my phone’s just to make sure that I would wake up on time for classes.

Just don’t let it become a habit, and you should be fine – and your grade probably won’t suffer any damage.

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