Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why planning to arrive to your first class on time is a bad idea

When I was a senior in high school I remember a couple older friends bragging about how "College is so easy. Professor's don't even take attendance - you don't even have to go to class!" 

Those friends went to colleges where they were in classes with 300 other students. Attendance might not have been taken. But those friends took 5+ years to actually graduate.

This is not a good strategy.

But what I really want to talk about is not only ATTENDING every class, but arriving EARLY.

I'm writing this now because I want you to keep this in mind as you register for your spring semester. 

Schedule your first class for a time that allows you to arrive on campus at least thirty minutes before that class starts (I also recommend not scheduling classes back to back; instead leave time in between where you'll be forced to spend time in the library studying, or have time to meet a professor, join a club, etc.)

Always, always, always plan to arrive to your first class at least 30 minutes early. Worst case scenario, you're there early and you can get some studying in. Best case scenario, when you hit those inevitable snags (e.g. traffic) you won't be late!

Strolling into class late not only means you'll miss important content (and possibly lose points depending on how your professors monitors attendance - it does count for many!), but it also sends a message. The truth may be that things out of your control happened, but regardless, it sends a message to the professor that the class just isn't that important to you.

Because in some ways, that might be true. If it's really important to you, plan ahead to always arrive early so you can ensure those things that are out of your control don't affect your college success or timeliness. 

Sure, everyone might have one crazy thing happen each semester that makes them late or miss a class. Life happens. But if that's happening to you more than once a semester, it might be time to change something. 

Choose your classes carefully, and don't just make time for class in your schedule. Good time management starts when you register for classes and decide on how much time you'll dedicate to your classroom. Schedule at least 2 hours in the library for every hour you have in class, and perhaps consider making one of those hours occur before your first class of each day so you're never late. :)


  1. Great advice about not scheduling classes back to back forcing us to do something productive in between! I never though of it that way. I have a question about the tittle why does it say "why planning to arrive to your first class is a bad idea" shouldn't it be why it isn't such a bad idea?

    1. Hi Sue, The idea is that you shouldn't plan to arrive "on time"....because you should arrive EARLY. ;)


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