Toby - hinsdale, Illinois
Entered on February 18, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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“Mom, it is 7:50! We have to leave now!” I yell up the stairs.

“Hold on Toby, Tyler’s still in the shower.” Every morning it’s the same words spoken as I try to herd my mom and brother into our van. Finally, everyone’s aboard. Racing through the streets of Hinsdale and narrowly missing the train at 7:53 doesn’t seem as exciting anymore. As the car screeches to a stop in the front drive of school, I throw the door open and sprint up the stairs and through the door. Another day I’ll have to walk to class with a blue pass in my hand, open the door as silently as I can, and sulk to my seat as a lecture continues, with heads turning to stare at me.

I hate being late, but growing up in my family, tardiness is an inherent trait. The Hook Household is late to everything, from family parties to school, and everything in between. We have a running joke with our cousins that, no matter how far away they are, they will always say they are twenty minutes away. Of course, they’re not twenty minutes away, but more in the ball park of one hour. When we want a family party to start at six, we’ll say come at five. It’s just the way my family has always been, and I hope to change that.

I believe that punctuality is my most valued trait. Having grown up in an environment where I am typically late, I started treasuring the feeling that being on time brings. After having committed to being somewhere at a certain time, I feel it is the right thing to do to stay true to that, and be there. It doesn’t take a ton of effort, and shows that I value my commitments. To me, it is not only respectful to the person who I am meeting, but also reflects a lot about my character. Staying true to your word is a good quality, and the simplest way to do so, with some practice, is being punctual.

Personal character, though, isn’t the only reason to be on time. It is also a skill that is needed throughout your career, and, ultimately, life. If you’re not on time to work, you get fired. If you don’t show up to class on time, you get a detention. In today’s fast paced world, I need to stay on top of my promises, and get to places on time. Otherwise, I’ll always be 20 minutes away.