Before the Deadline

By Christian Dave C. Loren │davetheloren@yahoo.com

 

Just a week or two before a semester ends, students are naturally flooded with almost never-ending requirements which are coupled with deadlines.

 

In every requirement, deadline is one of the most important elements that matters to both the students and the instructor. In fact, negotiation about the last day of submission is made to have a fair trade of time.

 

Deadline, as a vital element, compels students to start working. It ends their procrastination. Admit it or not, there are students who wait until it is the day before the deadline to start working on their piled requirements. So as a result, they settle to cramming. In instances like this, students are usually in adrenaline high because of time pressure. They work the fastest they can in the longest possible time their physical and mental states permit. They function to their limit at least with the shortest available break. They are fueled with determination and strive more than what they can practically do. See what deadline can do? Or perhaps, see what procrastination and cramming can do?

 

The ability of the students to finish a requirement closest to the given deadline however should not sugarcoat procrastination and cramming. Aside from the fact that students may realize the importance of working in advance, working on the edge of time actually teaches students to 1) master the art of cramming and 2) appreciate procrastination which, in any sense, only throws the purpose of deadline out of the window.

 

And no, this is not only about the reality of working on the edge of time. Everyone has his own view and reasons about this matter. But this is also about the cycle we are continuing — a cycle of wasting time.

 

Deadline is set to give students enough time to come up with the best output they can have. This is why time management together with self-discipline is important in the face of every deadline for each requirement. But, if students will procrastinate as well as cram and present a haphazardly done project or paperwork then, more often than not, the objectives of the requirement are sacrificed for the sake of submission.

 

In my professional education subjects, it is always emphasized that in every assessment or requirement, the process is more important than the product. Simply, the experience of the students in accomplishing a project, for instance, is regarded to be more essential than the final output itself. There is learning and execution of learning in the process of making the project and these are what this principle values the most.

 

Students get two things in every requirement they submit: first is the grade and second is the learning. The grade for the requirement only matters during the computation unless concerns are raised after the final grade is out. The learning from making the requirement, meanwhile, matters more for it is useful whenever and wherever needed. Sometimes, students fail on the first but should never on the second.

 

Thus, as students, if we have the pleasure of time that allows us to work in our own pace, better grab it than lose it by doing unimportant things or nothing. This clearly gives us the chance to be productive since we are not under pressure. Our brain is more creative and critical and our body gets enough rest and sleep. Most importantly, our determination as our fuel will not burn us to unbearable exhaustion in the end.

 

So if we can avoid a race against time, why not?

 

Besides, the cycle of wasting time has to end. As if ending always comes real.

 

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