As we edge into the last half of the semester and the sun starts sliding out of the sky before dinner time, finding the motivation to get up and actually go to your classes can be difficult. What’s that? The sun’s down and it’s below freezing? Like hell this afternoon class is happening. Netflix and blanket burritos are the only thing on my schedule, thank you very much. Except once you justify skipping class one day, you might find yourself skipping it… every day. Suddenly, you’re too ashamed to go back to your Spanish discussion because you know “¡Hola! ¿Qué pasa?” won’t really cut it when you haven’t shown your face in three weeks. So how do you beat back the temptation to give up on your academic life and hibernate? Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Get Your Money’s Worth
Unless you’re one of those lucky bastards who landed a full ride, you’re paying to be here. You can, in fact, calculate how much each individual lecture and discussion is worth by dividing your tuition by the number of class hours you have. Not only will this probably depress you somewhat (“I’m paying how much for my chem lab!?”), it should also motivate you to actually get your butt to your classes–otherwise you’re just throwing that money down the drain.
2. You Might Actually Learn Something
Shocking, I know. But believe it or not, if you actually go to all of your classes, you’ll probably pick up a few things. Things that might even be useful come, oh I don’t know, finals? Imagine that: You, not trying to learn two months of material in the 24 hours before an exam because you actually learned it in class. What a novel idea. Besides, isn’t that the reason you came to college in the first place? To learn?
3. Earn Your Break
You know what sucks? When you get your grades back over winter break (we could just do a full stop there) and you know you could’ve done better. It’s especially annoying when you check out the grade distribution and realize you could’ve pulled off an A if your attendance or participation grade had been better. That’s the easiest part of the grade to earn, and now you’ve cost yourself valuable GPA points because you decided you needed to marathon The X-Files in November instead of going to your history class. You can bet that’ll put a damper on your holiday celebrations.
4. Think of Your Future
For most of us, the whole point of college is figuring out how to make it out there in the “real world.” If you do well in school, you’re usually better prepared for your job. And don’t underestimate how much a low GPA can hold you back with grad school applications and potential employers. Skipping classes can pull down your grades, and that can end up affecting your future prospects. Put in the effort now so you can build a life and provide for your future dog.
5. Just Do It
Take a page out of Shia LaBeouf’s book and just do it. Motivation can be difficult to muster as we enter the last leg of the semester, but sometimes the only thing you can do is push through it. Put your alarm clock across the room so you actually have to physically get out of bed (make sure you actually get up for it though, or your roommate may sketch out the plans for your murder). Reward yourself after a full week with no missed classes. Then do it again next week.
Admittedly, sometimes this just isn’t possible. Obviously it’s okay to miss class if you’re actually sick, but don’t let skipping become a habit. As much as we’d like to pretend college is just one big non-stop party, the whole reason you’re here is for classes. So suck it up, get that venti coffee, and actually make it to your classes this semester. You might just learn something.