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Deadline strategies keep stories on track

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Lindsey Steel types her Web Week story hours before the deadline. Photo by Karina Aronson

There are no grades in the Medill cherubs program, but there are still plenty of deadlines for applicants to meet. From the eight-hour time limit for the Fourth of July assignment to the 11-day trend story, cherubs must consistently turn in their articles on time to receive proper feedback from their instructors.

“Usually the earlier you turn something in, the better feedback you get,” Jeffrey Serber of Aventura, Florida, said. “Your professor doesn’t have to worry about giving feedback in time if you submit something by the deadline, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get something back if you get it in late.”

Another cherub, however, shared a different philosophy when it comes to turning in assignments.

“Just don’t stress about it,” said Carlo Vellandi of Ladera Ranch, California. “I personally turned in every assignment with about an hour left. My best writing is when I can feel that deadline, so usually I wait until that last day, last hour to start, and then I finish.”

Though these two approaches to meeting deadlines seem different, they ultimately promote submitting assignments on time — an essential habit and skill for all cherubs to learn throughout the program.

“You can never be too early, but you can always be too late,” Serber said. “Get stuff done before the deadline, and you won’t have to find yourself up at four in the morning working on articles.”

While completing assignments by the deadline is important, it is equally important that cherubs expend sufficient effort on their stories, making sure they are high quality.

“I tell students to stress less about getting it done fast, and stress more about getting it done right first,” instructor John Kupetz said. “If you focus first on getting things done fast, you’ll get faster at doing it wrong. Focus on getting it right first, and then speed will come as you practice.”

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