Excuses You’re Not Going to Get Any Sympathy For


In college, your instructors don’t bug you to do your homework, and your parents aren’t there to make sure you get your homework done before you watch tv? Here, you are all alone and on your own? Failure or success, it’s all on you. That being said, I’d like to discuss excuses that lots of students use to attempt to get out of everything from tests to assignments to who knows what, and the excuses that are used to validate the way things are.

I studied and I know the material, but I don’t do well on tests.

Honestly, most professors aren’t going to give a damn if you try to pull out this line? More often than not, those who use this excuse really don’t know the material? If you are amongst the very rare few that actually do know stuff, but freak out at exam time, I feel for you? However, profs have heard this excuse more times than they can count, and it’d a bit like the boy who cried wolf to them.

My advisor told me that I was on track to meet my degree requirements, and then all of a sudden I find out that I’m missing a required class.

Do not ever trust your advisor to know everything, especially when it comes to degree requirements? Get out your college manual and read it through? Get a checklist from your department major so you can check off what classes you need to take? Make sure you know what you need to take? That way when it comes to the semester you’re due to graduate, you don’t find out that you’re missing 1/2 credit of physical education and will have to take a summer class? That totally sucks, and I’ve seen it happen to others plenty of times? No one at the college will feel sorry for you if you come to them complaining and blaming it on your advisor.

I didn’t know the deadline passed to sign up for financial aid.

I didn’t know the deadline passed to drop the class, and now I am going to fail it.

No one is responsible for you.? You are responsible for yourself.? The cold, hard truth is that your college doesn’t care. You screwed up and hopefully you’ll learn from it.

It happened to me a couple times… I missed deadlines to drop classes, so I had to suck it up and attempt to get a passing grade, or accept the impending F? It was no one’s fault but my own. There are some crafty ways, however, of getting someone in registration to drop that class for you anyways.? Usually it involves a medical excuse or something extreme. Not that I would know anything about that… ;)

My computer crashed and I lost of my data / paper.

Oops? This is why it is recommended that for important things, you make up an extra backup copy of the file? Whether uploading it to personal online storage space, emailing it to yourself as an attachment, burning it to a cd, or whatever – you need to make sure that something important isn’t just stored on your harddrive? Most of us have grown up with computers, and by now we should realize that computers aren’t always reliable??? Sure, we all think it won’t happen to us, but then it does and it really sucks? If you’re lucky your instructor might feel sorry for you and give you an extension? If not, better luck next time.

I’m a working student and I didn’t have the time to get things finished and/or study for the test.

A lot of students are both working and going to college today just to make ends meet. What do you think makes you special?? Signing up for classes is a commitment that you make? If you cannot handle it drop the class, or come up with a brilliant excuse to get out of it. But be aware that your brilliant excuse will only work once? Do not be a repeat offender (at least not in the same class), otherwise your prof. will catch on and won’t be accomodating in the slightest.

If you’re interested in reading about these things from the perspective of a college instructor, Steven Dutch at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, gives an insightful look in his piece entitled “Top Ten No Sympathy Lines.”? It’s an interesting read, although I do think the guy’s a bit over the top sometimes.? Sometimes a little sympathy and a little benefit of the doubt couldn’t really hurt all that much.

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