Missing the deadline: Excuse your way out

Every teacher hears them and every student makes them up.

Madiha Akhtar August 08, 2011

“Sorry ma’am my sister’s wedding kept me busy so I could not complete my assignment, please just give me one more day to finish it.”

This is a pretty common scenario at any school, college or university; its credibility, however, is mostly questionable. Making excuses is often an easy way out if you haven’t done what you were supposed to do. Students try to cover for their inefficiency, laziness and waiting for the eleventh-hour attitude with different justifications. It may vary from: “I am sick” to “it’s my grandfather’s funeral (for the third time)”. These excuses often irritate teachers, especially if they are made frequently or are highly illogical, sometimes even bordering on being plain ridiculous.

The list of excuses used by students is a never-ending one. However, while making excuses is easy, dealing with the consequences is often not. Therefore, before making any excuse, one must have the confidence to pull it off without looking like a liar, or even worse, a complete fool. A few excuses that are commonly used by students and work for them are:

• “I’m not well”

This is the oldest one; it’s almost universal. For many students; out of 365 days, they are sick for 364 days and even then this excuse works more often than not.

• Birthdays, deaths, weddings, anniversaries and …

We all have families … humans are not meant to be hermits; everyone has sisters, brothers and then there are cousins, uncles, aunts… a never-ending list really. With so many relations, it’s no wonder you stay occupied. There is either your sister’s wedding or a cousin’s birthday and you can’t miss it because it’s a family affair. Even if your family is mostly not on your priority list but when it comes to college classes — it’s all about the family.

• “There was no electricity”

We may curse our electric supply companies and government for load shedding because it has made our lives miserable, but for students it has been a blessing in disguise. It is the one justification that leaves teachers speechless and students are often given another chance.  However, using it as a reason to cover for slack behaviour is unacceptable and some teachers just don’t buy it anymore! Let’s just say, once bitten twice shy…

• “The internet was down” or “my printer broke down”

Why is it that every time you are really close to finishing your project, this particular viral bug enters your computer and disrupts your entire system? If not that, then the poor internet service provider is often blamed for not doing his/her job.

• “I was very busy”

We seem to have time for everything from tweeting to changing Facebook statuses and commenting on blogs but when it comes to doing an assignment, we all suddenly become super-busy CEOs of highly successful organisations. And it is the same old story: “I had a very hectic schedule last month”.

• “Oops! I forgot to bring my project”

Last but not the least, we resort to our physical limitations as mere mortals…we are after all weak and forgetful and we really can’t help it. Typical excuses like “I forgot to bring my project”, “I left it on the breakfast table,” “It was in my bag but I think someone stole it” and the list goes on. And surely this one takes the cake as it is one of the easiest ways to hide procrastination.

These are some of the most used excuses by students…like they say, desperate times call for desperate measures and that’s one proverb most students follow religiously.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2011.


Madiha Akhtar | 12 years ago | Reply

@nudrat: thanks nudrat:)

nudrat | 12 years ago | Reply

seriously funny...nice well written article madiha :)

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