When is it okay to skip class?

One of the best and worst things about moving to college is the new-found freedom you are given. Everyone reacts to this freedom differently, whether that be partying all night for a week straight, or eating nothing but takeout every day. Some students decide that skipping class is too tempting and then are surprised when their grades drop. Here are some examples of when it is okay to skip class.

For the goodness of your health

If you just have a little sniffle and you know you’ll be covering something important, then you should try and make it to class. However, your health is essential, and if you really do feel sick, it’s in your best interest – and that of the rest of the class – for you to stay in your dorm and focus on getting better. When it comes to mental health, sometimes you just need to take a mental health day every once in a while, and that’s also okay. However, if you find that you are missing class more often that you are going, then it’s time to talk to someone about how you are feeling.

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For a more beneficial event

If you are skipping a class for something of more value, then that is understandable. For example, if you’re attending a workshop, talk, or event that will benefit you and/or your future career as much, if not more so than attending class that day, then perhaps it’s okay to skip one lesson. Learning can also happen outside of the classroom, so it’s a case of weighing up which option will benefit you the most.

Know the syllabus

If you are going to skip for whatever reason try to be aware of what is going to be covered each week so you can catch up on anything you miss, and ensure you don’t miss anything important like quizzes or tests. Skipping class to study for a test is usually a bad idea. Professors often cover important material or answer questions in the class before a test, so you should really make sure you get your studying done plenty of time beforehand so you can utilize the class time better.

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How well are you doing in the class?

If this is a class you are already failing, you may think it won’t make any difference not to attend, but this is a slippery slope! If you do need to skip a class, it is easier to catch up if it’s one where you are performing well. Your professor will likely take it better than if you were flunking. Be sure to check whether there is an attendance expectation tied to your grade and pay attention to how your professor treats missing classes to see whether it is worth it or not.

Remember that in college, you are paying for your classes, so every one that you miss is costing you money, so it’s sometimes best not to waste this. It’s okay to skip now and then but try not to make a habit of it as it will be you that suffers in the long run.