What Kind of Late-Comer Are You?



It happens to all of us. Missed alarms, hectic schedules, chasing buses, slow people in the hallway, and that coveted cup of coffee are just a few things that have led us to this epidemic. When you walk into class late, there is a good chance the room is pretty much filled, so there are a few people who will stare at you as you make your way to an empty seat. Well, I’m here to let you know, this doesn’t have to be the case.

You don’t have to be a dishevelled, tired, zombie student. Own the room. Become memorable in the best way possible. In order to do that, let’s identify the type of late comer you are.

Are you the:

  • Undeclared Rocker – Walks in, not paying attention to anyone, music is blaring so loud he or she unintentionally draws attention to them.
  • Coffee Caller – It starts with one, but soon they all come. The coffee rangers strut in one after the other and we know why they’re late. That coveted coffee cup is in their hand.
  • Juggler – Papers, notebook, laptop, iPad, cell phone. Struggling to hold onto everything while they fix their hats, scarves, and scan the room for a seat.
  • Tech Guru – Cellphone: Check. Headphones: Check. Possible high-tech watch: Maybe. Definitely an iPad or tablet. They sit down, take out their laptop, charge their phone, and have ten different screens up. They might even be recording the lecture.
  • Late Class Comer – This person is most likely coming from another class in another building.
  • Adjusted Student – They woke up on time, or they’re having a great day. They have a large smile on their face as they walk in, quietly apologizing as they find a seat.

I’m sure we’d all like to aim for the adjusted student, but that isn’t always possible.

Recently, I was five minutes late as a white van in front of my express bus decided to have a leisurely ride at 8:55 am. Three cars behind the van switched to the left lane to keep their sanity and the express bus was stuck behind the van. When the bus turned in to UTM, it was 8:59 and my class happened to be in IB and of course, the room was full. Luckily, I saw an empty seat and dashed to it as soon as I walked into the room.

This brings up the first tip when walking late into a classroom: Scan the room for seats. Look around to see if there are any empty spaces.

Second: Fast walk—don’t run or jog—but fast walk. It’s like you’re slowly rushing to your seat. It’s quick and graceful.

Third: For the students who have one class after another in another building, pack up five minutes before the class ends. You aren’t going to be late and you probably haven’t missed anything important from the previous lecture.


  • You can also send a quick email to your professor asking them to repeat what they’ve said, or head to their office during office hours to clear up anything you might have missed.
  • Or, pack up most of the things you need and leave a pen and notebook or small piece of paper to jot down any last minute notes.

For the jugglers: Carry something small and no less than three things. Make sure it’s not a laptop, unless that’s the only thing you’re going to carry. Rushing to class when you’re late is already a tough task. Make it easier on yourself by carrying less items.

Now, for the late-comers in general, here’s what you do: Take five minutes to get yourself together. Fix your hair, take deep breath, have a drink of water, and relax before walking into class. When you walk in, all eyes may or may not be on you, but walk in with confidence. Instead of scurrying to the nearest seat, scan the room and look for a place to sit. And if you catch a glimpse of the professor, quickly apologize for coming late. You can mouth the words or apologize after class and briefly explain your situation. An email is good enough too.

We can’t always help if we’re late, but we can make the best of the situation and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

What are some tips you have? Share them below!