1. You’ll need to play catch-upThe 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 examWhile 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 absenceIn 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 startsIf 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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