Two Scheids to Every Story–Punctuality


Eddie Scheidler

“Two Scheids to Every Story” is a column co-written by siblings Eddie and Grace Scheidler. As siblings often do, these siblings have different perspectives and opinions regarding issues and ideas prevalent in high school.


Two Scheids to Every Story--Punctuality 2Eddie Scheidler, junior.

Punctuality: (adj.) happening or doing something at the agreed or proper time; on time.

Sure, will give this specific definition. But, if you look up the literal meaning of any word, it could mean so much more, or on the other hand, something entirely different. It all depends on the person and their own personal connection to the word itself.

In the word punctuality, when you truly examine and dive deeper into its explanation, certain aspects to its definition can be put up for debate. To be punctual, according to its description, means to be somewhere or at something “on time.” That’s where it gets a bit unclear. To be on time could have a million meanings, it all just depends on the person you ask.

The way I see it, to be “on time” simply implies that you’ll be there when you have to be and not a minute after. If school starts at 8:15 in the morning, and there’s no teachers you have to meet with or tests to study for, I couldn’t think of a valid reason to show up to your first class earlier than ten minutes before the bell rings. It just doesn’t make sense.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying punctuality is such a bad thing. It’s not in the slightest. Being on time, where you have to be, when you’re supposed to be strengthens your integrity, shows your dependability, reveals your discipline, and that overall you can get stuff done. There’s no problem with that.

So now what? Strolling into your math class while the teacher is taking attendance is frowned upon but waiting for your early bird chemistry class half an hour early is considered abnormal. What’s the healthy intermediate? What’s that perfect balance between not being too early yet not too late? The answer to that goes back to the idea of being on time; it really all depends on the person and when you ask them. Personally, I don’t believe there’s one genuine answer to that question. Rather, the appropriate response is: you know you.

Only you, yourself, know what amount of time is necessary to be prepared, get to where you have to be, and be successful. Being efficient and getting things done has little to no correlation to how early you arrive to somewhere, but the effort and production of the individual is what truly matters. Sounds like punctuality if you ask me.

When it comes down to it, leaving the house at 7:40 instead of 7:35 in the morning isn’t the end of the world as some (Grace) make it to be. We’ve yet to be tardy this school year. Clearly I’m quite punctual after all. Side, or shall I say, Scheid: won.

Two Scheids to Every Story--Punctuality 1Grace Scheidler, senior. 

For those who know me, I’m a fairly even-keeled person, but one thing that never fails to get me rattled is being late. I like to abide by the “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, don’t bother showing up,” logic. In the end, it just makes life simpler. Allowing yourself just a ten-minute window before you actually have to be somewhere enables you to show arrive polished, prepared, and (most importantly) punctual.

It’s not like it requires any great sacrifice to make it work, either. To make that ten minute window possible, all you have to do is spend a minute or two the night before planning out your morning. If you normally wake up at 7:15, maybe you have to wake up at 7:05. Is that really such a big difference? Those ten minutes can make the difference between having to book it from remote and arrive sweaty and out of breath to first period calculus, or being able to calmly walk to school and snag a cup of French Roast from The Grind on your way to class. Those extra ten minutes also give you some wiggle room should you forget something at home, like your track bag or APUSH binder, and need to swing back and grab it. If you’re already running late, you just have to cross your fingers and hope it’s not needed that day.

Even more than all the ways being a little bit early benefits you personally, it also is a sign of respect to whomever’s in charge of the event you’re attending. I know it’s part of the teenage archetype to want to “stick it to the man” and not care about other’s perceptions of you, but something as simple as consistently showing up on time can have a major impact on your reputation. While it may seem like an inconsequential detail in the moment, a few months down the road when you’re asking your teacher to (pretty please) round up your 89.5% to an A, or to come in early to allow you to make up a lab you missed, they might just be a bit more inclined to help you in your time of need if you’ve shown them the common decency of coming to class on time.

When all the costs–possibly sacrificing ten minutes of sleep–are weighed with the benefits (unrushed mornings and a good reputation), the decision is simple.