Student Life

The 4 Worst Excuses for Turning Work in Late

College deadlines come and go.  Whether we actually hand in the work on time is another story.

There are a lot of things to juggle in college; being a student on top of work and a social life can be really demanding and incredibly stressful.  This is why we may often find ourselves running really close to deadlines for school, or not meeting the deadlines at all.  Sometimes it’s just fate that steps in, and other times we just forget or procrastinate (check out our recent post) so much that we run out of time.  Whatever the reason, when it comes time to actually turning in that paper after it’s due, we tend to make an excuse for why it is so.  We think, “Hey, maybe the professor will take pity on me.”

While there are some pretty realistic excuses out there, there are also just some horribly bad ones; the excuses that make you think, “How did they ever think that was going to work?”  Here’s just a sampling:

  1. “I had too much homework in my important classes.”
  2. “I ran out of paper” and/or “My printer stopped working.”
  3. “I know I had it in here . . . where could it have gone?”
  4. “I didn’t know we had homework.  When was that assigned?” or “We actually had to do that?”

Let’s face it:  None of these will work.  This is because 1) professors have seen it all and these excuses are pretty easy to see through; 2) excuses like running out of paper or your printer not working are not plausible enough that you couldn’t have possibly handed in your assignment on time; and 3) feigning ignorance just makes you look worse.  In all cases, it’s best to tell your professor the truth and accept the consequences that follow.  Losing a couple of points is way better than losing your credibility with a professor AND losing your pride.

We’ve all done it.  Leave us a comment with a story about your worst excuse!


“The 10 Best and Worst Student Excuses” by Larry Wilson

“7 Worse Excuses for Turning in an Assignment Late” by Jenn at College Candy


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