It’s a Friday morning. Your alarm goes off for the tenth time. You look at the clock and realize you’ve hit the snooze button well into the first five minutes of your ever dreaded Friday morning class, which you’re only taking because it was the only thing open when you were finally able to register. You grab your shoes and your books, spend ten minutes in line for coffee — because, yeah, it’s necessary — and finally sneak into a seat at the back of the class just in time to hear your professor ask that you send your assignments forward.
Assignments? What assignments? You think, you think, you flip threw your notes, and then finally, in the bottom corner of the page next to your sunflower doodle is your homework assignment. The one you totally didn’t do. Now what? Well, now you need a way to get out of handing it in today. Now you need an extension. Now you need a really good excuse.
So be sure not to use one of these…
1. The dog ate it. The oldest excuse in the book. Teachers can see this one coming from a mile away. But it’s particularly difficult to pull off in college because more likely than not, you’re not allowed to have pets in the dorm rooms. So even if your professor does, on the slimmest of chances, believe you then you’ll be dealing with some much bigger issues.
2. My printer stopped working. Back in my high school days, I’ve actually seen this one work a few times. It’s plausible, direct, and clearly implies that the homework is done, but you just couldn’t get that paper printed in time. But that was all before the entire world went online. Now, not only would you have been able to send it to a friend to print, but you could also send it directly to the teacher. And they will ask you to — believe me, they will ask you to.
3. I know I had it in here…where could it have gone? Feigning ignorance as to where your homework has disappeared to never really works with professors. It’s like the academic version of telling your parents you’re “holding those cigarettes for someone else!” They just raise their eyebrows at you and give you that look like, “really, your assignment just up and vanished into thin air? How odd.” Look as shocked and confused as you want to, but chances are your professors will know what’s what.
4. My insert-obscure-family-member-here died. Not only is this just plain horrible (and really terrible karma), but you can actually get caught on this. And then you’d be the person who didn’t just not turn in their homework, but the one who killed off a family member in the process. How would you get caught, you ask? Well, your professor might ask to see a death certificate or something else to prove that said family member, whose name you totally made up on the spot, actually died. True story: My professor actually asked to see a death certificate when a girl skipped a few classes after losing a family member. Now, she was telling the truth, but you aren’t. And won’t that be uncomfortable….
5. I’m in love with you. I’m not going to lie, I was watching reruns of Friends, the later years, and it was the episode when Ross’s student pretends to be in love with him to get out of a failing grade on his midterm. He claimed he was so preoccupied with his love for his professor that he just couldn’t concentrate on taking his test. As first I thought that was brilliant. “Next time I need an extension on an assignment I’ll just pretend that I’m in love with the guy, tell him I spend all my time thinking about him, and that’s why I never get anything done on time!” But as the episode went on, I realized 1) that it’s a TV show and 2) that this one can get very bad very quickly…
6. It’s against my religion to do homework on weekends. Granted, for some people, in some situations, sometimes, this is a completely legitimate excuse. But not for a student who doesn’t want to do their reading or turn in their latest paper. I mean, what religion is anti-homework? If such a thing actually exists please let me know. I’d be all over it.
7. I didn’t know we had homework. When was that assigned? Everyone’s favorite excuse. Simply pretend like you were never given the assignment to begin with, like you had no idea you were actually supposed to do this. (And you actually might not even remember.) Was this even mentioned in class, you’ll say? (It was.) When were we given this assignment? (Two weeks ago.) Shouldn’t you have made sure we were all aware of these due dates? Now here’s why this excuse will never work. You professor will look at you, smile, and say “It’s right there on your syllabus with all of your other assignments and due dates.” Oh…right.
Don’t you miss the days when assignments were given one at a time and teachers didn’t realize the powers of the internet? It made things so much easier.