Better to Show Up Late For Class Than to Not Show Up At All

There will be times during your college career when you are late for your classes. Maybe you overslept or got stuck in traffic. Or maybe you got your schedules mixed up and went to a Thursday class instead of a Wednesday class. When that happens, it will be tempting to think, "Well, I’m already twenty minutes late, might as well skip the rest." These thoughts will be especially attractive if you have a grumpy professor who doesn’t take kindly to tardy students.

But, whatever you do, don’t give in to your doubts. Your best bet is to swallow your embarrassment and quietly walk into class, even if more than half the class has gone by. Why, you ask? Because no matter how late you are, you can always catch up during class. And you can talk to the professor after class to check in and see if you missed anything important. This is the most important part of still going to class, regardless of how late you are. When you skip class because of tardiness, it’s often harder to get in touch with the professor or another student to figure out what you missed.

Of course, there are situations when skipping is a better use of your time. Say, for example, that there are only ten minutes left in the class. At this point, it might be better to just wait outside so you don’t annoy the professor, and speak to him or her after the class dismisses.

One way to avoid having to worry about being late to class or skipping class is to schedule all of your classes on the same days. If you take classes all day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then you will probably be on campus throughout the day. Being late will be less likely to happen, so your attendance won’t suffer.

If, however, your professor won’t allow students to arrive late, then you should consider talking to him or her after class. Do this especially if you have a scheduling problem that might make you late to the class. Professors will, ideally, appreciate your talking to them about the situation and try to accommodate you. If they persist and threaten to lock the door on late students, then you might consider dropping the class.

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