To quote Shakespeare—To skip or not to skip, that is the question. Okay, so maybe this isn’t a direct quote, but you get the idea. The man had the right idea when he was asking “to be or not to be,” but he left out one crucial detail; the question really is "to be or not to be…in class.”
Josh Halpren, American University freshman, says that he really isn’t a fan of missing class. He says it might be “because I have a guilty conscience or because my parents and I are working really hard to pay for my education.” Besides the morality of it, Halpren explains that the times that he has skipped class, he tries to make good on his decision by going to office hours to learn the material he missed. But even if he can catch up, Halpren says the issue with going to a school that does not really offer large lectures is that “professors will many times remember or at least have record of whether you were actually there.”
Note to self: If the idea of skipping classes is making you think twice or your class takes attendance, don’t skip.
Brant Cauthorn, junior at Washington University in St. Louis, explains, “the best time to skip class is when you can put the time gained to better use.” Reasons would not include being tired or needing a break though, he says. Doing so would put “you further behind,” especially in a more difficult class.
Note to self: Skipping class should be the exception not the routine; make sure if you skip, you have good reason to do so.
Will Pepperman, junior at Vanderbilt University, says that he has only skipped class to “finish homework or when a teacher is a particularly terrible lecturer.” He admits that he does go to most of his classes because “I’m already out and about and might as well go.”
Note to self: If your grade might suffer for another class, you might consider skipping. If you are dying a very slow death due to a horrendous professor, you might consider changing sections or dropping until next semester (and going to every class then).
Although skipping class is a waste of your tuition dollars and may set you behind, on a rare occasion it may be necessary. Therefore, you need to know that you should make up “the skipped class as quickly as possible, [so] you do not fall behind on material build up from that skipped lecture,” says Cauthorn. He learned this the hard way by spiraling from sleeping in and missing one organic chemistry lecture (and choosing not to watch the videotaped class) to skipping again and again because he was afraid he would feel lost. In the end, he had to cram a couple weeks of material into his studying the weekend before his exam.
Note to self: This is not a situation you want to get into.
Luckily for Cauthorn, he pulled through and has learned from his mistakes. Make sure that you consider these tips on when and when not to skip class before it’s too late.
And when in doubt, you can always test your situation on the ‘skip class calculator,’ although I’m not quite sure its accuracy is scientifically proven.