Thoughts of an Early Person


Ashley Schmidt, Staff Reporter

All my life I’ve always tried to be early, and the idea of being late is absolutely terrifying. Some wise person in my childhood (I forgot who) said, “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.” The piece of advice has stuck with me through the years, feeding my fear of being late.

Being early is peaceful, it gives you a chance to adjust to the new surroundings before everyone else shows up and it gets chaotic. It’s a time to refresh your memory on things and mentally go through what is going to happen. However, I probably take being early too far.

Let’s take for instance, a 20-minute drive to some appointment at a new place. I’d have the 20 minute drive time, then add at least 10 minutes because I want to be early. Then add another 10 minutes in case traffic is bad. Since it is a new location and I could get lost, I’ll throw in another 10 minutes.

My current plan is to leave 40 minutes before the appointment. I’ll add 5 minutes to allow me to get my shoes on, grab anything I need, and get into the car. The real fun begins at least 15 minutes before my planned leave time. I start to get worried about things going wrong. What if there is a horrible accident stopping traffic? What if I get really, really lost? What if my car breaks down? What if there is a whole bunch of unexpected construction? What if they changed the time we are supposed to arrive and it’s earlier?

At that point I’m panicked and I drop everything and get ready to leave in about a minute. Leaving at that point would be around 60 minutes before said appointment, ridiculously early. There is no good reason to get somewhere that early, chances are no one else will be there for at least 20 minutes.

While I am trying to be a little less of an extreme early person, I struggle to understand how people can be late, especially consistently late. My brain does not work that way; to me being late equals death. For those who are late, I hope this article provided some insight to how on earth some people get places so early.

While being an early or a late person is a relatively minor difference, it is still beneficial to understand each other, as that is how we increase understanding and tolerance for those who are different. You may fight with a person who is your opposite when it comes to honoring time commitments. Understanding their point of view, however, can help lessen the arguments and find a solution. Understanding is the key to harmony and friendships that stand the test of time.