Student Life

Top 3 Reasons College Students Must Never Skip Classes

Erica Cirino, Varsity Tutors' Contributor

August 01, 2016

Top 3 Reasons College Students Must Never Skip Classes
Think skipping class isn't a big deal in college? Think again.
When a high school student skips class, he or she is likely sent to detention or penalized in some other way. In college, however, things are a little different. Due to the increased freedom in college, many might think that it doesn’t hurt to skip class every once in a while. Wrong. While a spaced-out schedule and professors’ lax attendance policies may make it tempting to cut class, that doesn’t mean you should. You’d be amazed to learn how quickly skipping class can turn into a bad habit — a bad habit that can seriously wreck your grades.
Here are three reasons college students must never skip classes and how you can prevent it from becoming a habit:

1. You’ll need to play catch-up

The average college course represents three credit hours, meaning you will spend three hours in class per week. This is in addition to the time you spend studying and completing assignments outside the actual class. So, each time you skip a class — especially if your class only meets once a week — you miss out on a ton of learning time.
If you cut class, you’ll have to spend the same, if not more, time catching up. If your professor posts lectures online, you’ll need to watch them, and if not, you’ll have to go ask a classmate if you can review their notes. Also, if your professor assigned a project during the class you skipped, you’ll lose time you could have spent thinking about and working on it.

2. You could miss an assignment, pop quiz, or exam

While most of your college class sessions may be lectures, some will involve in-class assignments, quizzes, and exams. These in-class activities cannot usually be made up without a doctor’s note. And since you’re just skipping class, you won’t be excused, and instead you will get a zero. Missing out on these in-class activities — no matter how small they seem — can cause your grades to nosedive.

3. Your professor will probably notice your absence

In small classes, it’s easy for a professor to notice when you’re missing. Even in large lecture classes, some professors require students to sign an attendance sheet, check in with their student ID before class or “click-in” as they follow along in class answering quiz questions with a clicker device. Professors can also tell whether or not you’ve been skipping by checking the number of in-class activities you’ve missed and your performance on exams. Even though many college professors do not take attendance, there are quite a few ways your professors will catch on and realize you are habitually skipping class. Since most professors grade students on their class participation, that can hurt your grades.

How to prevent the habit before it starts

If you’re trying to eliminate the temptation of skipping class, it can be helpful to focus on changing your frame of mind. Think of college as an investment: You and/or your family are spending a lot of money for you to get your degree. So every time you skip a class, you’re wasting a good chunk of change. Another way to change your frame of mind is to simply get excited about going to class. College classes are a great opportunity that not everyone gets! Plan on getting to class early with a classmate. Sit up front in your classes and get engaged, answering questions when your professors ask. This can make it easier to take good notes and help boost your participation grade, increasing your overall grade for the class—and genuinely learning some interesting things along the way!

Erica Cirino is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.

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