Dealing with Deadlines: When Is It Due?

By Josh Baker on August 14, 2019

Life is full of deadlines. Most articles I write have deadlines. When I was still in high school (going way back around two years ago), the number of deadlines I had to meet was astronomical. Studying for finals, year-end projects, etc. That was nothing compared to what was waiting for me with preparing for entering college.

The college application process especially has an abundance of deadlines. You have the optional early decision deadline, early action deadline, and regular decision deadline of New Years Day.

via Pixabay

Then, there are deadlines to keep tabs on before college even starts. There are deadlines to register for summer, fall, and spring classes. You have Spring Reception at the beginning of April. Then over the summer, you have the Housing application, First-term Enrollment Selections, the Complete Health Service Requirements, and Roommate Assignment and Orientation Registration. Additionally, you have to submit final high school transcripts, upload a photo for your student ID card, rent a micro-fridge from school bookstore, pay your tuition (you do not want to be late for THIS one), choose a meal plan, find a roommate, and let’s not forget about Move-In Week (seriously, week? It takes a week to move in?).

Once you arrive at college you have the parent-and-family welcome, the information tent, the career service overview (which seems a bit premature), student employment 101, the Student Life Panel discussion, the New Student Convocation, the Welcome Picnic, and yes, even more (now I see why it takes a week to move in)!

One change that would make all of this less stressful is if they dropped the term “deadline” and changed it to “due date,” which sounds less demanding. It simply has a more positive vibe to it. It is more user-friendly, like saying “please remember” instead of “don’t forget.” Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep track of all these assignment deadlines. You can find agenda books in almost any store, for a fair price (in elementary school, middle school, and freshman year of high school, you are even provided with one by the school), or you can simply use the calendar or reminder app on your phone (notice, it’s not called a “deadline” app). I personally prefer to use an agenda book because you can access them easier and you have more space to write. Agenda books also give you the option of week-at-a-glance or month-at-a-glance. These planning tools help you stay on top of things and maintain schedules with friends, family commitments, school assignments and even social media.

Now that you have written down the due dates of all the school assignments you actually need to get them completed! While on a college tour of the University of Pennsylvania for my sister, I learned about The Office of Learning Resources at UPenn. It provides professional consultation services in university-relevant skills such as academic reading, writing, study strategies, and time management. This academic support is provided through a varied menu of services and programs. Students meet individually with learning instructors to develop reading, writing, time management and study strategies appropriate for particular assignments and courses. During your first meeting, your instructor will guide you through a self-evaluation of your reading, writing and studying strategies and your learning instructor will work with you to break down the assignment into manageable parts, develop a plan and set preliminary deadlines. This would be great for high school students as well. Why wait until college for such well thought out academic support? Now if there was only a “find my sunglasses” app!

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