What to Do When You’ve Fallen Behind on an Assignment in College

At one point during your college life, you will get to a semester when you are overloaded with your college assignments. Having to write essays, lab reports, and exams can cause you feeling overwhelmed. When you realise that you have fallen behind, what do you do? What are your actions? The first thing that you need to do is to determine how to catch up in school. Here are a few tips on how you can do that.

Define the problem

Firstly, it is necessary to determine what is the reason of your bad feeling. Is it because you do not have enough time to do your homework? Do your lecturers give you too much work? Once you determine the cause of the problem, it should be easier to determine what solution you may use. You will also want to know the exact workload that you need to complete. You can do a list of the tasks you have completed as well as those you haven’t done yet. Bear in mind that this is not a to-do list, it is a method of organizing the assignments and materials of what you have done and what you are already to complete.

Determine what you need to do in order to catch up in your easy college classes. You can then pick 2 or 3 things which have to be done for each of your classes. This means that you will not necessarily be able to do everything. Instead, you should be in a position to prioritize what you find important. Make use of student apps to stay organized.

Focus On a Quick Fix

Now take a list of the priority tasks you created. Decide what you should do every day. Make sure you have a deadline for completed task. Remember to budget for time to edit the paper and even revise it. It should be possible for you to reduce your level of stress when you make a wish list to meet the deadlines. One of the top fix you should consider is to pay someone to do your assignment.

Don’t wait for the last minute to ask for a deadline extension

One thing that majority of students don’t like is that their professors never give them an extension of the deadline even when they have too much school work. No matter what workload you have to tackle, it will be rare for professors to sympathize with you. This is especially the case when you wait until the submission date for you to ask for an extension. This is why it is advisable to contact your professor early enough explaining your obligations. The earlier you contact your instructor asking them for a deadline extension, the more they are likely to accept. When you realize that you have more time at hand, you will be less stressed.

Organize yourself

If you are trying to do catchup math, one of the things you need to do is to remain organized. Make use of your favorite planner to write down everything that is mentioned in the deadline. This can help you to think more clearly and create a plan to tackle the assignment. When you already know what is left for you to do, it will be easier for you to work better especially when you have so many small tasks that you have to do. Save your file on cloud storage.


It is possible that you are already stressed out as a result of the falling behind. However, putting yourself under the stress can give you more harm than goodness. Take about one hour to breathe in and even watch your favorite Netflix show. Alternatively, you can just relax in bed and do something else part from the homework. The goal is to clear your mind and have the peace of mind. You will realize that resting will help to relax your mind.


Remember that catching up doesn’t have to be easy but it is something you can do if you choose to stick with it. Since it took you more than one day to fall behind, it will also take you several days to catch up. Bear in mind that the most important thing is to stick to your plan and adjust as necessary. As long as you stay focused on your goals, it will be possible to catch up with other students.


Jeff Blaylock is a lecturer at a leading university. He is also a writer and a blogger on education matters. During his free time, he writes on matters pertaining to education.