UNITED STATES—Being on time, or as many say, punctuality matters. However, it seems so many people think punctuality doesn’t matter, but it says a TON about a person’s character. When I think of punctuality the first thing that pops into my mind is the world of employment. When you’re employed, it’s the first place where many people learn the importance of being on time. Why? Well, there are consequences if you’re not on time. For example, it all begins with that paycheck! When you are late, you see that it takes a punch to your total hours for the week.

In addition, a repeated pattern of being late can result in being reprimanded by management. No one ever wants to be scolded, especially, if the boss decides to scold you in front of an audience; that just makes the situation worse because you feel embarrassed. As a last result, a lack of punctuality could lead to a person losing their job. I hate, and I hate to say this, but I see it happen to people all the time, they are late to work every single day, but somehow, someway, they manage to mingle out of the fire to survive. Plan ahead, get up early, there is no excuse except for an absolute emergency, and that does not happen to everyone every single day people, c’mon!

Now beyond work, you have the impact of punctuality when it comes to school. Issues don’t really arise for most people until they reach high school and collegiate levels. When it comes to high school, the parents can drop off the kids, but they can’t guarantee the child will actually make it to class on time or actually show up to class on time. One might run late on occasion, and if it becomes a habit, the school tends to notify the parents to alert them of the situation so a remedy can be reached.

However, I think college raises the risk even more. Why? There is a level of independence that high school doesn’t provide. You don’t have professors knocking on your dorm door or apartment door asking WHY you weren’t in class. If you weren’t in class you just weren’t there. This absolutely applies for those large lecture classes with 200 plus students. Professors don’t take attendance and in some cases they choose random participation days where you get points for being in class.

Now on another note, as you begin to focus your attention on courses related to your major of study, punctuality and attendance does become a big issue because it can hurt your grade in ways that you least expect. You get three days to be absent in most courses, and then if you are late more than 3 times that is considered an absence. Once you factor things in, it becomes evident just missing 10 minutes can be vital information for an essay that you’re working on or material that is a must KNOW for an upcoming exam. I hate to say it, but whenever I was running late to class, I just didn’t show up.

I didn’t like the idea of interrupting class by causing a melee to get to a seat or to a desk. That is the one thing I would NOT tolerate as a professor; tardiness is a bad thing, and I understand things happen, but I don’t want to see a repeated pattern of it that where someone thinks its ‘okay.’

Lastly, in everyday life punctuality matters, if you have an important doctor’s appointment, a business meeting, a date, a family gathering. I have family members who seem to have no issue with being late to an important meeting, outing or dinner. It is indeed frustrating because at the end of the day, someone’s TIME is being wasted. Yes people, punctuality ties directly with a person’s time. We only have 24 hours in a day, for most of us, after work and family obligations we’re lucky if we have 5-6 hours of freedom to ourselves. I think we can all agree, that time is precious so if one is not punctual or respectful of your time it just irks your patience that much more!