Since the time we enter high school, we reach a point where deadlines are required more of us than before. To add on to that, as we keep getting older, they get more serious and frequent, almost becoming part of a routine and even an expectation. Even as a write this, there’s a loose deadline attached to it. If you’re reading this, the majority of you are considering K as a choice for college, so you’re obviously familiar with the college application process and how serious those deadlines are. Miss one essay, transcript, or letter of rec, and you can kiss most chances of entering any school good-bye. And the same thing will happen as we proceed along all walks in life.
The beauty of college, when it comes to deadlines, is that there’s still a bit of a crutch (like most things about the real world). If you have a 10 page paper due on 5th week Thursday (the odd way we talk about dates here at Kalamazoo), but 2 midterms the day before, you can ask for an extension. More likely than not, your professor will agree, but in the “real world,” that will rarely ever happen. Maybe every now and again during a career, and I know I’d cherish every single one, but I would never expect one.
There are consequences to missed deadlines. I had an assignment recently (a group one at that), that required I submit something by 11:55pm on a Saturday. The email that told me to submit my project said midnight, and I myself am a bit of a procrastinator. This was a horrible combination, because I finished at 11:53 and submitted it at 11:55 and change. Had the clock gone to 56, not only would I have not been able to turn in my project, but the team I was working with would have killed me. To go on to another example, study abroad is a big thing here at K (if you didn’t already know), and there are tons of deadlines that go with various steps of the application process. Miss one, and possibly one of the greatest experiences that can happen to a K student could just disappear.
I won’t go into details, but I was having a bad day the day I submitted my team’s project, and while bad days are a completely valid and happen to the best of us, they’re not an excuse in the real world. One harsh fact I have learned with college deadlines is, while bad day (or even bad weeks) happen, one is supposed keep going on with the work as if a person is a robot. The emotions we feel almost get invalidated and shrugged off because “we are adults and therefore it is our responsibility to stay focused on what we need to do,” yet it isn’t the easiest of tasks. Thankfully, while in college, we do have that crutch, training wheels for how to handle real life deadlines that aren’t jokes. Learning how deadlines affect us, and the consequences of not meeting them, is something that all people come across at one point or another (maybe even multiple times) in their lives, but how to handle that pressure is something college definitely prepares you for.