Your college education largely depends on what you make of it. Far from being merely an opportunity to go to parties and get smashed, college offers a unique chance to expand the mind, meet new people, discover diverse cultures, and establish your independence as a young adult.
In most areas of the U.S., people with college degrees make, on average, at least $10,000 or more per year starting out than those with just a high school diploma. But, college isn’t just about earning a degree to get a more lucrative job. A classic university education should offer you the chance to better yourself as a person and give you the knowledge to live a more fulfilling life in addition to preparing you for a career.
In order to take advantage of all these benefits, it’s crucial that you actually attend your classes. I know, some classes seem like a total waste of time, but even those courses have something important to offer (with rare exceptions). Excellent attendance combined with good college study skills and an attitude to learn will take you a long way. Here are the top five reasons you should never skip a class:
1. Make a Good Impression on Your Professor
Attending all (or most) of your class lectures is one of the best ways to get on your professor’s good side, which is something that should not be underestimated. Some teachers will interpret someone who skips class a lot as either disrespectful or indifferent, which is not a good impression for the person in charge of your grades to have. Remember, professors oftentimes reserve about 10% of your grade for participation/attendance, which means that if you don’t show up for class, your B- could easily become a C-. Your attendance will express either your maturity or immaturity.
2. If You Skip, You May Miss a Quiz, Assignments, or Notes
When you skip a class, you run the risk of missing important work and information. Professors regularly have pop quizzes, handouts and explain new assignments, and give lecture notes. These are all important things to be in attendance for. If you think that having your dorm buddy tell you after class what was assigned is a good idea, chances are that he probably won’t explain it as well as the professor did. In this way, you may be setting yourself up for failure by having bad or incomplete information. And don’t underestimate the importance of taking notes in class either, providing the professor lectures. These notes can be extremely helpful in studying for tests and exams as well as writing research papers.
3. You May Run Out of Excused Absences
Most college professors allow a certain number of absences per semester (or quarter). For my freshmen composition courses, I allow students to miss three courses throughout the entire semester. I, personally, do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences, but some teachers do. For my class, each absence past three results in 10% off of your final grade, so you can imagine that I generally don’t have problems with students skipping class. However, I have noticed that some students tend to use up all three allowed absences, say, in the first five weeks of class, leaving another eleven weeks in which they cannot miss any. It would be much smarter to save your absences for when you really need them, such as when you are sick or when there is a family/personal emergency. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by playing loose with your class attendance in the beginning of the term just to find yourself strapped towards the end. When you really need to miss class once and a while, most professors will understand as long as you are regularly in attendance.
4. You’re Paying To Be Taught, Not to Have the Right to Skip Class
You, or your parents, are putting out a lot of money and time for a college education, and with tuition prices on the rise, it is important that you make the most of your courses the first time around. There’s nothing worse than having to repeat a course. Oh wait, there is: Paying for that repeat course a second time!
Some students may think they have the right to skip a class if they don’t want to go. And they’re right about that, but they do not have the right to pass that course. The truth is that the many courses that have mandatory attendance policies do so because it is, believe it or not, critical for you to be there. If you really want to make the most out of your education, then do your best to get the most out of your courses, and that begins with attending class, even when you think it is a waste of time. Your education is largely what you make of it; your success will be greatly determined by your work ethic.
5. You May Miss Out on Meeting New People
It’s hard to meet new people when you’re sleeping the day away in your dorm room. It may seem like more fun to hang out in your residence hall or sorority house, but it is in the classroom where you will meet people you can learn from. This is an opportunity that you don’t want to pass up by skipping class. If the class really is a total waste of time, at least go to meet new people. You may find your soul mate, or at the very least someone who you can exchange notes with when you have a legitimate reason to miss a class.
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