When Is It Appropriate To Skip Class?

If your parents are reading this over your shoulder, non-conspicuously exit out and act like you never saw anything.

Really, though it’s the facts of life. College students are going to play hooky occasionally. However, the key to successfully taking a personal day is to know when is the appropriate time to do it.

So, if you need to take a breather but don’t want to blow your grade, do so following these guidelines:

  • If you’re REALLY sick: Sick in college can mean many things. “I’m too sick to go to class,” can mean, “I’m too tired from partying last night,” or “I have a sniffle and the walk to class is cold and rainy.” While both statements may be true at times, they aren’t enough to warrant a free absentee pass. Trust me when I say, you do not want to waste sick days when you’re not really sick. You’re going to wish you had that absence back when you’re really running a fever or have the stomach flu, and can’t afford another missed class.
  • If your mental health is at stake: If you’re not used to being tired and mentally exhausted, my advice to you before you enter college is…get used to it. In the past four years, my tired days have far overwhelmed my days of energy. However, when your sanity is threatened, a day off may be your only safe haven. When the time comes that you need a true mental health day, be sure to use it wisely. Sleep, relax, and lay low all day. I suggest wearing your pajamas all day, take a long shower, and watch your favorite 90’s movie.
  • On a “slow” class day: I can tell you from first hand experience, if possible, never be absent on an exam day, presentation day, or during a lecture with a guest speaker. You may think that making up an exam later to get “more time to study” is the best way to get a better grade, but that’s wrong. That “more time” you’re going to take to study is going to turn into “more time” to peruse Facebook, watch TV, or go out to lunch with friends. Also, don’t forget, for some teacher a missed exam is an automatic F. The same goes for missing a presentation, not to mention, if it was a group project, be prepared to go back to class to some very angry classmates.
  • Pay attention to policy: Remember that syllabus that you got on the first day of class? Well now may be the time to dig it out of the bottom of your backpack. Every teacher has a different attendance policy. Just because you are in college, that doesn’t mean your attendance or non-attendance goes unnoticed. Some professors allow for only one absence before grade deductions, while others are more lenient. Pay attention to who requires what so you aren’t surprised at the end of the semester when it’s too late.

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Lisa Manente

Lisa Manente

Lisa Manente is a senior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. She will be graduating with the BA in Media Studies and Communications in May. Editing the Entertainment section for her university’s newspaper and magazine has fueled her passion for entertainment journalism, which is the career path she plans to explore. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, listening to music, and catching up on celebrity gossip.