Save Your Excuses: How Honesty Helps Build Relationships With Your Professors

Most people tell little white lies to get themselves out of sticky situations, or they give a detailed (but somewhat inflated) account of their real excuse for not doing an assignment or showing up to class. It’s human nature to want to keep yourself out of trouble, and it might seem worth it to fib just a little for the grade. However, that little white lie, that exaggerated excuse, or that sob story of reality might be hurting you more than you would ever realize. Here’s how.

Professors Hear It All

If you think your excuse is creative and original, it’s not. Your professors and instructors teach hundreds of college students every semester. They hear it all from “my dog got sick” to “my car broke down on the way here.” It’s not new to them.

Even if your professor lets you get away with it, don’t think you have them fooled. They may take pity on you, but they would rather have you just tell them the truth free of the excessive excuses whether they’re true or not.

It’s A Matter Of Respect

It takes courage to say, “Professor, I didn’t get my assignment done on time. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.” Your professor is a highly educated person, lying to them or floundering in legitimate excuses is a little insulting. They want you to pass, but they aren’t going to hold your hand. Get your assignments done and show up to class or don’t. But, don’t try to manipulate their emotions into passing you when every single one of their students has issues. They know you’re human. They know you have problems, but they expect you to own your work, your mistakes, and your failings regardless.

Unless you have an honest and major life crisis, your professor doesn’t want to hear about it. If you do have a massive crisis, do tell your instructor about it but, don’t just expect them to excuse the assignment, test, or absence. Tell your professor about it, apologize, and leave how to handle it up to them. Most instructors might offer you an extension or a second chance, but don’t go begging for it.

You have to look at your instructors as possible colleagues and connections in the future. They will respect you more for being honest and refraining from offering excuses. Be open, but remember that little white lies, excuses, and begging make you look immature and unprepared for college life. Be honest. Your professors will respect you more for getting an honest C than manipulating yourself into a dishonest A.

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