AA053817One of my friends in college submitted her application for campus housing weeks after the deadline every semester and always ended up with a swankier room than anyone else.

Don’t worry, parents — I’m not endorsing or recommending this strategy. (Don’t try this at housing, kids!) But it does illustrate an important point about college: It’s rarely too late to try, or to keep trying. In other words, if you miss the train, don’t give up. It might look like you’ve hit a dead end, but chances are it’s just a tunnel. (And there’s a light at the end of it. You see what I did there?)

We all try our hardest, but at some point everyone has something they want to apply for, sign up for, enroll in, — until life throws them off balance and they end up missing that midnight cutoff date. By the time a day has passed, or a week, plenty of people have said, “Oh, well.” And in some cases, it really is an “Oh, well” situation. But if you really want something, there’s no reason to not try for it just because the deadline passed. (Hint: Half of all deadlines are arbitrary. They’ve got to draw the line somewhere — it doesn’t always matter where.) There’s no reason to assume the tickets are gone, the position is taken or the class is full without trying to find out.

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