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Deadlines aren’t defunct

Think you've got it tough now? Wait til' you're dealing with this at a job. (Photo by Deborah Oomen)
Think you’ve got it tough now? Wait til’ you’re dealing with this at a job. (Photo by Deborah Oomen)

This article is due at 12 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2014.

That is a deadline. In fact, there are a lot of deadlines in the lives of university students. From classes, to rent, to parties that you ‘totally can’t miss,’ we spend our lives working on a deadline.

This is especially notable when speaking about assignments. In an academic year, Canadian students will typically hand in stacks of written work. I personally don’t think this is a bad thing, but sometimes people do want to speak out about it. Most recently, Foundation Year Programme (FYP) students from the University of King’s College circulated a petition to receive an extension on an essay because its deadline was thought to be unreasonable.

It’s hard to argue that writing an essay on a topic that was spoken about three days ago is challenging. I know the feeling. I took FYP myself. It is definitely a lesson in time management, but is it too much of one? Are we given so much work that we really can’t keep up in university?

Yes. Yes we are.

We also need to learn to deal with this fact.

FYP turned me into a two-minute philosophy video about a plethora of subjects. This is almost useless in my journalism degree. The more important thing it taught me is that no matter what, the papers are due at 9 a.m. on Monday. No exceptions—not even a petition signed by 112 students.

The reason this was more important is the simple fact that things in life are due when they are due. Sure, we are asked to read a lot when we are taking ENGL 2232, but we are going to need to get that presentation ready for our boss on Monday. We will need to file those reports 10 years from now, which is why it’s important to get those essays in on time now.

The world is faster than it used to be, and things need to get done earlier. As much as people may not like it, that’s the way things are. We don’t have the option to be late once we walk off campus—I don’t think giving us the option on campus is going to help us out.

The real issue here, though, comes down to the fact that we are perhaps being expected to remember and learn too much too quickly. In FYP, there is a different book to read and a new lecture given on it almost every day. Many other classes share schedules that have you speaking about each topic for only an hour before you are assumed to have been “taught” it. Though I would argue that we do need to learn to deal with whatever deadlines and timings are given to us, there is also the question of how much we can cover before school stops being academic.


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