Being a responsible student – i.e. actually going to class and doing your homework – isn’t always fun. In fact, it’s often not fun. I generally don’t really want to get up for my 8 am Monday, Wednesday, Friday class. Or watch the less-than-inspiring videos teachers sometimes assign. But I do. Because it has its advantages, too.
Teachers like you, for one thing. I think everyone likes being liked. And when something does happen, and you’re running late, or you can’t get to class, or you’re struggling with an assignment, they’re more likely to be merciful, because they know it’s not your usual practice. You don’t have to frantically work on things after the due date in an attempt to minimize deductions of late points.
However, recently, I have discovered my favorite advantage. For my Senior Seminar class, I had to ask a few people to write me reference letters.
First of all, I didn’t have to worry that anyone I asked would not think one warranted. How awkward a conversation would that be?
But anyway, one person I went to was, naturally, my favorite teacher. I had the pleasure of hearing him say, warmly, without a moment’s hesitation, “Sure. I’d be glad to write a reference letter for you.”
And then he wrote me a lovely letter that I will certainly be keeping. It’s very sweet. He even mentioned the offhand comment I made last semester that I could never really remember what his late policy on homework was because I had never needed to know it, which made him laugh at the time and made me laugh when I read about it. (He apparently got a kick out of that comment; he likes to bring it up.)
I’ve been having a rough two years. My need to be responsible has definitely been part of that. But this reminded me that I have reasons for that, and that it does pay off.