Asking for favors is a timeless act that has been passed down for centuries.
Just about everyone asks for favors or the more contemporary term “solids,” and there is nothing wrong with that.
In fact, those of us who are gracious enough to grant these favors are blessings in disguise. Those of us who go out our way to make sure that a favor is completed to the utmost satisfaction of the person asking for it deserve a hero’s ceremony because when it comes down to it, we don’t have to do anything for anyone.
We don’t owe anyone anything, but we do these favors for love, out of pity, because we care, the list goes on.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? The reason why we go out of our way to help our peers, colleagues, loved ones. That very same reason, whatever it is, is taken for granted.
Several members on the edit board have complained about peers coming in the week before finals asking us for a “favor” to give them a story idea so they can publish something for class.
We have had professors explain at the start of every class that they will not offer extra credit especially to those who come begging for it a week before finals.
We overheard students asking for letters of recommendation the day they are due.
Now, we acknowledge that sometimes you forget when something is due or sometimes you don’t realize or someone else forgot to tell you that the deadline was today (hypothetically speaking) and you need letters or references to finish an application or something. We get that, and we understand that there should be some consideration for those of you who are honest, and we aren’t opposed to giving someone a “get out of jail free” card. Why? Because we have all been there.
However, it’s one thing to ask someone for a favor and expect that person to come through for you after you neglected to pay attention to deadlines or neglected to show up to class or just didn’t bother completing an assignment and procrastinated until a week before finals.
And at that point, those of us who have no problems doing favors in the first place, feel taken advantage of because it’s assumed that we will bend over backwards to help someone when we ourselves are working to finish assignments, grading, whatever.
It’s almost as if the responsibility that you had to finish something or to ask for a letter of recommendation or an extension suddenly becomes our problem, and if we don’t help then we are painted as the bad guys.
There’s a lesson to be learned here by both the person asking for favors and the person conducting favors.
As an independent human being, you should be able to prioritize, you should be able to show up to class, you should be able to write down your deadlines and complete them before the deadline.
Also, as a human being with the ability to say “No,” do not let people walk all over you, and stand your ground. Learn to assess the situation and determine if the person is genuine and needs a helping a hand or if the people needs to learn a lesson of their own. Learn to say no, and defend your reasons.
Ultimately, don’t ask for a favor if you didn’t help yourself first.
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