I must admit that your kind had long been a mystery to me. I would watch you stride into class late and saunter to your seat, all with a full hot (or iced) coffee in hand. Why, I wondered, would you spend time waiting in line at Starbucks when you knew that you had to make it to class?

It is common for students to show up late every once in a while. Making small mistakes like that is human nature. Sometimes an alarm doesn't go off, there's an accident on the road, or a previous class ends late. These are all understandable reasons to fall off schedule. To show up late holding your freshly brewed coffee, though, is another story.

Every time I saw someone disrupt the class in such a way, I would mentally shake my head in dismay. The way that they justified showing up late to get coffee is something I thought I would never be able to understand.

That is until that person almost became me.

It was a Tuesday morning. I had woken up bright and early to get work done before my 9:30 a.m. class. Although I do not like coffee, I thought that some caffeine might come in handy to help me push through the busy day ahead. About forty minutes before class, I used an app called Tapingo to order a drink that I would pick up at a library on the way there. At least, that was the plan.

I showed up at the library well after my order was supposed to be complete. Alas, my iced white mocha was not prepared. Minutes ticked by and class time approached. My conscious grew conflicted-- do I head straight to class or wait just one more minute to get what I paid for?

Just as I decided to leave, my name was called, and I picked up my drink. I made it to class, but it was a close call. I was so close to becoming one of the students that I had never before imagined I could become.

While I used to draw conclusions and make judgments of such students, I now understand why I was wrong. The choice between caffeine and class is a difficult one. To those of you who think the way I used to, I advise you not to so harshly judge the latecomers. You never know-- that kid who walks into class late with his coffee could someday be you.