Late For Your College Class…..Again?

I’d like to welcome an anonymous contributor on a topic that drives me nuts too – The Late Student 



Lateness is a quality that many people possess. I look at it as a burden.  It baffles my mind that people can run through life on their own clock, with total disregard of obligations and responsibilities to others.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in my college classes. This semester especially, I have noticed just how many students are not bothered by their own repeated lateness.  I’m amazed to see students routinely walk in 25 minutes after the class has started, almost never apologetic, and then act as if someone is forcing them to be in a class they paid for. It’s like buying a sandwich, eating a third and then throwing the rest out. I thought the goal of college was to graduate. I don’t see how repeated lateness can improve your grades?

One teacher in particular has created a lateness policy, which at first I was taken aback by, but now I completely understand and respect it.  The class starts promptly on time, after which the door is closed. After 15 minutes, the teacher opens the door and allows the late students to come in, and then repeats this process again 15 minutes later.  In the beginning of the semester I expected maybe a couple of students to be those dreaded ones who are staring through the window of the closed door with desperation and frustration.  But I was sadly mistaken, as there are often over five people each time that door is opened.

The purpose for this policy is so that these late students will not enter the classroom late, one by one, and disrupt the students who had the common sense to arrive on time.  By entering as a group, we only have to suffer through two disruptions as opposed to 10.  It’s comical to me because this policy was explained in detail on the first day of class, and still the same people seem to arrive on their own clock.

I have simply come to believe that if you are going to repeatedly be late to class, then don’t expect the teacher to have any sympathy for you, and please don’t expect that A.

  • Michael A

    As a person who personally suffers from constant lateness, there really is no valid excuse …most of the time. I wake up the same time everyday just to get to a certain place on time. However, for some strange reason, when it becomes apparent that my routine isn’t working, instead of altering my wake up time often times I would just try to justify to myself that i am waking up early enough and it is a greater power that is always barring me from arriving on time. Whether its traffic or any other occurrence i would just look at that as the reason behind my lateness. However, the only cure to constant lateness is just to understand that you have a lateness disease and to plan accordingly. Whether its setting 2 extra alarms or leaving twice as early you just have to know yourself.

  • Niurka Viloria

    As college students we must understand our responsibility as young adults. We have to let go the old patterns of adolescence and face adulthood. I get that some days everything can just go wrong and we can’t make it on time to class. But being late everyday to class is disrespectful in so many ways. It disrespect the teacher, the students who got to class on time and guess what it disrespect our intelligence. Why?, because if we are paying to become professionals it would make sense to get the knowledge. How can we let go the opportunity to learn about the career is going to help us to become an independent human being. Isn’t our career what we choose to do in life!?… Our career should be something that we are passionate about. Something that make us wonder, therefore we should be excited to fill in the blanks. I also get that sometimes we are not sure of what we want to do in life, we are confused. But guess what?, we will get the necessary clues to make up our mind while we are present in the classroom. On time.

  • Samantha Connery

    I think lateness is for the most part, totally unacceptable. Especially to a student like myself who is on time 99% of the time..seeing someone walk into the classroom 20 minutes late and getting the same amount of credit I’m getting, someone who was in the class 5 minutes before it started is not right. Things happen of course, but I do totally believe that there should be some sort of penalty for students who are late. I agree with the policy you shared with us because at the end of the day, its fair. Things happen, but if you’re gonna pay to attend a college class at least try with everything in your power to be on time. Set alarms, have someone wake you up, do what you have to do and be on time.

  • Francisco Barajas

    Being late to class makes a students purpose in college very clear. If your late everyday, thats because you feel like you have to be there and don’t genuinely want to be there. This situation could absolutely be related to a work place. Yes, there is always going to be that one time or two that you are late for unexpected reasons but it is the constant “who cares” attitude that makes a huge difference in your professors/bosses eyes. College has taught me a lot and one of those things is that if your going to need to put effort into getting out of bed every morning and reporting to class/work on time, thats because you need to have a goal in your mind. If there is no goal or purpose for you to make that effort, you are sooner or later not going to make the effort and its going to hurt you in the long run. Back in high school I never had a goal in mind and would need to be practically dragged out of bed. Today, i don’t need an alarm to wake me up and report to the class that is going to get me to where I want to be in life. So my advice to those late students is to have a goal, and be able to do whatever it takes. If not, then prepare for a very rocky road..

  • Nancy Dashefsky

    Continued lateness is a problem for
    many people. I believe it is similar to procrastination. People who are
    habitually late often underestimate the amount of time it takes to get ready
    and never allow for the unexpected. This behavior frequently carries over to
    other areas of one’s life. It is not surprising to see the same students who
    are late to class, are also late in handing in work or do not adequately
    prepare for tests. It is a characteristic that over time will really impact
    your ability to succeed in life. In a work setting it would never be tolerated,
    therefore it should not be tolerated in class. It can negatively affect one’s
    grade, especially if late work with little preparation goes along with it. I
    think there are definitely people who struggle with being on time and others
    who never seem to have that problem. Is it inherent in one’s personality or
    simply a bad habit?

  • Marvin DeLeon Cifuentes

    Honestly it depends of the habit, if it happens within constantly than yes a reason to be angry. Otherwise, from outside the classroom, lateness is inevitable. Stress is always going to be able to get to us one way or the other. I believe that if anybody is going to be late, it is the responsibility of he/she to communicate to the person of a session to assure that they’re going to be a little due to a unexpected event.

  • Jackie Leak

    I feel that lateness shouldn’t matter because some students that come late can still pass as long as they keep up with their work. There are many reasons people can be late and I think that teachers shouldn’t penalize. The grades should just show for themselves. Although, it is annoying when students come 30 minutes late in a 50 minute class and then ask a “dumb” question because you practically missed the whole class. As a college student you should be responsible to make it to your class on time but if you don’t you need to be responsible for passing the class on your own or responsible for the grade you will earn.

  • Joanne Scutero

    I suggest that the anonymous poster consider a few things:

    (1) Science has shown that the propensity to be an early riser or a night owl is at least partially genetic. One person in 10 is a “lark”, and loves nothing better than rising every day at the crack of dawn. Two in ten are “night owls”, and function best in the evening hours. Most people are somewhere in between, but still exhibit a preference for day or evening hours. Yes, most people can adjust to a different schedule to some degree, but for some people, it’s not all that easy.

    (2) With that in mind, think about those classes you’ve taken which were only offered at a time of day when you really didn’t feel at your best. How often did you run late for those classes, or did you just avoid them altogether, hoping they’d be offered at another time the following semester?

    This semester, I have one class in my major area that only meets at 9:30
    am. If I could take that class at another time, I gladly would, but I
    wasn’t given that option, and I don’t have the luxury of waiting until
    the fall. When I come in late, I do my best to minimize the
    distraction for other students.

    After one undergraduate and two graduate degrees, I’ve seen a lot of variation in how professors deal with late students, but until this semester, I’ve never encountered one who locks the door. If minimizing the disturbance to other students is the issue, then perhaps reserving the column of desks closest to the door for latecomers might work just as well.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say that arriving 5 or 10 minutes late for a class is probably about a 1 in terms of the damage inflicted on other people. For heaven’s sake, we’re not talking about a terrorist attack, or even a garden-variety mugging.

  • Jennifer Ruiz

    I agree that tardiness should not be acceptable in college. I understand however that sometimes it can be struggling, especially if you have an 8 am class. Things just happen. There could be many reason why a person might always be late. They could be going through a depression. I just believe that no one should be judged, because you really never know what could be going on. I have personally gone through something like this, and it is hard. I do realize that there are some students though who just do not care and go late on purpose. Now that is a different story. Either way, students should do everything possible, no matter how hard, to do the best they can in a class, especially being on time.

  • Michael Giordano

    I believe that repetitive lateness is not only a disruption for the rest of the class, but also a sign for future failure. Dealing with young college kids can always be tough, but dealing with the kids who have that “don’t care” attitude can be much tougher. Unfortunately there is a plethora of kids just like these on college campuses. I understand that the time people function the best can be partially genetic, but is that excuse going to work when you tell it to your boss? I think that people in college are old enough to understand that when a set time is given for you to arrive somewhere you should follow it, even though it is not your “optimal” time. In business things are always changing and evolving and that means that a person has to be adaptive and be able to adjust to the situations they are put in. I don’t think that throwing a bunch of kids out there with the idea that being late comes with no consequences would be a great move for this generation. In future years running late could mean a loss of a huge account or huge client for where you work and that is a great way to get on your boss’ bad side. Aside from uncontrollable things such as weather or car trouble I think that lateness should be addressed by the teacher and I think that this teacher’s lateness policy wasn’t too bad of an idea

  • Jenna Tamarazzo

    I 100% agree with being late as a disruption to classmates and the professor, it’s not fair to the people who actually took the effort to take time out of their day to be on time to class. I don’t like being late myself. It really irritates me when I’m not on time to school or work because it overwhelms me with anxiety and I find it hard to concentrate or get things done. Although I’m always on time to leave my house, my dad, mom, and siblings never are. Until this semester I’ve been going to school full time and work part time. I have a twin sister and my dad would drive me and her to class every morning and no matter how early I got up or how early I woke my sister up, we were always late everyday like clock work. My dad also always has some last minute thing to do before we have to leave and so does my sister, and let me just say, it never takes a minute. Last semester I was always ready to walk out the door and I would be sitting and waiting for my sister and dad to finally be ready for about 10 -15 minutes everyday. Once we finally got to campus I was already exhausted from having to repeatedly asking them to hurry up and by the time I walked up the hill to get to class, I was about 10 mins late. This became a daily routine and it caused me to do poorly in my classes. Especially my first class. I would become so mentally exhausted from continually asking my dad and sister to hurry up, getting angry from that, then I would be psychically exhausted from walking up the hill to even get to class that it wasn’t even possible for me to sit in class and concentrate. Basically my argument is that not everyone is late to class on purpose. Some are, but not all. It can also be the people around them like their family and relying on someone else for transportation whether it be someone driving you like a family member or public transportation. You can’t control their schedule and how they perceive time, you can only control your own. Now if this was a different scenario, and I wasn’t relying on someone else to drive me to school or work, with exception that sometimes things happen, I would be on time and my professor for my first class wouldn’t look at me like I don’t care and would’ve been more inviting when I wanted to discuss my grades because I knew I wasn’t doing well. If I was on time I still wouldn’t have gotten an A because it was already a challenging class for me to begin with but the point is that I would’ve done better than I did if I was on time. I just feel that students shouldn’t be automatically judged for being late if they don’t know why, like the legit reason that they aren’t on time. It’s not fair.

  • Alyssa Morano

    While the majority of students are responsible and mature, there are some who struggle with the independence college provides and who fail to do what they need to do, like setting an alarm clock and allowing enough time to get ready in the morning to get to class on time. They may also not recognize that it is their responsibility to communicate with instructors when they are unable to meet their obligations, such as physical or emotional problems or conflicting obligations. When students walk into class late, they disrupt the flow of a lecture or discussion, causing a distraction to other students and the professor. It delays learning, and generally destroys class morale. If left unchecked, lateness can become chronic and spread throughout the class. That is why I feel tardiness should contribute to your grade. Students who show up for class on time should be rewarded with a better grade than a student who is late everyday.

  • Danielle Moky

    Lateness is inevitable out in the real world. Students need to get used to the fact that once they get a job, lateness is not tolerated. However in the classroom it is handled differently. There are those teachers who have strict rules concerning tardiness and others not so much. However, if you put yourself in the professor’s position you’d understand how disruptive it is coming in late in the middle. Every class has a start and end time so it is up to the student to plan accordingly to make it to class on time. We all know there are those days where you might of accidentally overslept or another event, but if this happens repeatedly then something must be up. This just goes to shows the students pure laziness and irresponsibility.