One of my favorite undergraduate literature professors had a mantra that there were no due dates for papers in his class. You could do them all in the first couple of weeks, you could work on them gradually throughout the semester, or you could do them all at the last minute.
However, as long as you handed them in more than two weeks before the end of the semester, you were allowed up to two rounds of revisions to improve your grade, if you weren’t entirely pleased with the first grade you got.
He quite cheerfully told us that it was completely fine if they waited until the last day of class to hand everything in, he wouldn’t mark them off for being late or anything, but you wouldn’t have the chance to revise. He then just as cheerfully asked us what we thought most of his students he offers this deal to them do. He shared that in past years, roughly half would hand everything in on the last day. Ah, procrastination.
To me, a go-getter, this was absolutely fantastic, because I could knock most of my work for this class out of the park while my other classes were still warming up. For at least one of my five courses, I could get those taxing final projects done and have one less thing to worry about while studying for final exams and working on final papers.
This class was a special case, most classes have a firmer structure and schedule. However, this extreme case sheds some light on the benefits of getting things done early. In a traditional class with a more set deadline, there are still quite a few reasons why it’s better for you to finish things with time to spare.
1. It’s good for your own well-being.
Stress is unavoidable in life, especially for a student. You’ve got endless competing priorities in your life, especially if you’re juggling any sort of part-time or full-time work in addition to your studies. Even if you’re solely a student, if you’ve got a lot of credits this semester, you’re going to be feeling the crunch of obligations and deadlines no matter what else is going on in your life.