If you follow my Instagram, you know that I have been stressing about some deadlines a while ago. I had two deadlines for the same course on a Wednesday and I never thought I would miss the deadline. Today, I am going to tell you why I missed my deadline.

As I said before, I had to hand in 2 assignments on the same day, on the same hour. It was for a course that I follow this semester and we have to hand in new assignments every week. One of the assignments that I had to hand in that day was a paper that I had to write on my own and the other was a (fake) file that you had to claim that I had to do with someone else. I think you can already guess which deadline I missed.

Let me tell you something about my partner. This course doesn’t have a lot of people, I think there are about 10 people in that class. The classes are obligatory, you need to attend them. If you don’t, you need a serious reason why you weren’t present and hand in a doctor’s note. After the first or second class, I logged in on BlackBoard and saw that there was a new kid in our group. Maybe he switched classes? Later, I would find out that he wasn’t new at all, he just skipped the first classes because he was on a vacation.

When our teacher picked the partners for every group, he put us together and I immediately asked him to add me on Facebook. We had 2 weeks to prepare ourselves for this assignment and we agreed to first do some research on our own and work on our own assignments. He added me 1,5 week later. I didn’t really mind, because I was busy with my own assignment and I thought the assignment that we had to do together wouldn’t be a lot of work.

I was wrong. The subject that was assigned to us didn’t have any jurisprudence and we also had a really hard time to find legal grounds to file the claim. We were doing research for 2 days straight but couldn’t find anything. Not to mention, I was also sick during that week and it was really hard to focus for me. What really annoyed me is that he would disappear for hours sometimes. I really needed his help, especially because I wasn’t feeling well.

On the last day before the deadline, we had done so much research but didn’t have a single letter on paper. At one point (or multiple, actually), my partner wanted to give up. He wanted to go to sleep and hand in nothing the next day. I couldn’t believe it. Was he out of his mind? Not handing in anything means we’d miss the deadline and fail! I talked him out of it; we had already done a lot of research and there were things that we could use.. In the evening before the deadline, we decided to just start writing something down. In this case, the claim has 3 parts: names of the client, lawyers, date, etc., the part where you lay out all the facts that led to the claim, and what you are going to ask the judge based on legal grounds.

He was going to the first part and I did the facts. We checked each other’s work and I found a lot of mistakes in his part that I had to correct. Then there was one part left: the hardest part. We already found some legal grounds and we knew what we were going to ask the judge but the question was: who was going to write it. We agreed that he would start first, just to write something down and that I was going to finish it later. I wanted to check my assignment one more time and print it in the mean time.

When I returned to our chat, I realized that he hadn’t done a thing so I had to write the whole thing. He told me he was tired so he went to sleep while I was finishing our assignment. I wrote the third part, added all of the parts in one document and I even made autographs. I sent it to him to check once it was finished. He received it in the morning and told me he needed to add one more thing. I trusted him to send it to our teacher before 10.30 which was the deadline. He said wasn’t going to school that day because he was suffering from migraine.

I mean, I can live with that. I wasn’t really feeling well myself so I understood that he felt too sick to come. We had worked really hard the day before so I could understand he wasn’t feeling well. I just trusted him to finish the assignment and hand it in (digitally).

I messaged him a couple of times when I was traveling to school but he didn’t reply. A little voice in me told me he fell asleep and that I should just hand in my own version. I pushed away those thoughts and told myself that he probably was too busy working or that he already handed it in.

He didn’t. When the class started at 10.30 AM, he still hadn’t replied and he had’t hand in the assignment. I had to explain the teacher why I didn’t have the assignment with me. I explained to him that I made an agreement with my partner that he was going to send it in but that he probably fell asleep because he was sick. I felt so betrayed. How could he go to sleep when we had an assignment to hand in? How could he go to sleep knowing that it would not only affect him but also his partner? How could he care so little about something this important? I stayed up until very late to finish our assignment, even though I was sick because I couldn’t let him and myself down. How could he?

The usual sanction for missing a deadline is failing the class. I am not sure yet if I failed the class because of this incident. I am very lucky that my teacher is such a nice person, otherwise I would have failed already. He definitely was not happy about it but he wasn’t mad. After the class, the teacher asked me if I could ask him to hand in doctor’s notes for the classes he missed so far. I think my teacher realizes that my partner is a bit lax, if I can put it that way.

I went to the university library after that and handed in my own version. My partner still hadn’t replied and I just had to hand in something. I went home, feeling horrible. When I got home, I finally received a message from my partner. He told me he fell asleep. However, he still hadn’t finished the job he was supposed to do. It took him the whole afternoon before it was finished and when I looked at the document, he only added one sentence that didn’t even matter. It was 5.00 PM. We missed the deadline by 6,5 hours. This really made me mad.

I sent the final version to the teacher and printed it so I could hand it in the next day. I’m not sure what is going to happen now, but I have to work twice as hard to prove myself now. I have to do a fake trial with my partner as well so I am going to handle the situation differently than last time. Last time I was afraid of coming across as bossy but now I realize that I have to take control of my own, be in charge, if I want to save my grade.

I realize that both me and my partner were at fault for missing our deadline. We should have started earlier because it was a really tough assignment. I should have taken action when he wasn’t responding to my messages on the day of the deadline. Of course I am frustrated but I do not blame my partner. The only thing I can do now is carry on and work harder next time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever missed a deadline? Or have you ever been partnered up with someone that didn’t put as much effort in the project as you did? Leave your comments below!