You know it’s wrong to sleep in and miss class or choose to watch TV instead of go to your French literature class.
If you find yourself tempted to play hooky, remember these five reasons that make the case for why going to class is so important.
1. The more you go to class, the less you have to study
If you miss class, you won’t get the explanation of what you read in the textbook. Whether it’s the explanation from the professor, working with your classmates in a group or taking notes, there’s always more to learn in class. Chances are, you won’t understand everything just by staying in your dorm room and reading the book.
You’ll spend less time studying for tests by showing up to class, soaking in all the information and asking questions about things you didn’t understand from the reading.
“You can read the book, but when you’re sitting in class discussing, you just can’t make that [time] up,” says Cathy Kline, radiologic technology program director at the Allegany College of Maryland (allegany.edu).
2. Many professors have attendance policies
Every instructor handles attendance differently. One professor might call everyone’s name in the beginning of class; another might say flat out they don’t take attendance. The stricter the attendance policy, the more likely it is that you’ll lose points for not showing up. And even if a professor has a more laid-back policy, she’ll still notice when students aren’t there.
3. You’re wasting your (or your parents’) money
Every time you skip a class, you waste hundreds of dollars. It’s just like paying for a meal you don’t eat or for a movie you never see. College is expensive enough; don’t waste your money or your education.
4. It takes time to catch up
Most classes are three credit hours per week. Every time you miss a class, you miss a significant amount of work—especially if the class only meets once or twice a week. If you skip, you have to find someone who’s willing to share their notes, then try to teach yourself. You’ll likely spend more time trying to catch up than if you just went to class in the first place. And if an assignment was given the day you were out, you’ll have less time to work on it.
5. You might miss out on meeting someone new
If you’re still not convinced that going to class is imperative to your college success, think about how you might miss out on making new friends. In college, you’ll meet people in class, walking around campus and eating in the dining hall. And meeting friends your freshman year is vital. How many people can you meet sleeping or watching TV in your dorm room?
Next time you’re feeling lazy or “forget” to set your alarm, think about all you’ll be missing and how much more effort it will take to get caught up.
When is it OK to miss class?
Everyone has a legitimate excuse to be absent once in a while (sleeping in doesn’t count). Here’s a (short) list of when missing class is excusable. Just make sure you let your professor know ASAP.
• You’re sick. Seriously.
• There’s been a death in your family.
• You have no way to get there (if you commute).
Professors have heard every excuse in the book. It pays to be truthful—but it pays even more to go to class.