Want to Get Out of Class for Thanksgiving? Here’s How

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Why many professors insist on having class the day before Thanksgiving, I’ll never know. One possible reason is that they have to travel a whopping 15 minutes from campus to get home for the holidays, so they aren’t thinking about our journeys home. They also might not realize how incredibly exhausted we are at this point in the semester (SHOUTOUT to public universities for no winter break. Really awesome). So if you need a more legitimate–but still false–excuse than just spending some time with the fam, here’s a few you can try.

Pipes Froze

This probably only works in states that are actually cold this time of year, but we just had our first snowfall at UW-Madison, so it’s a timely one. Saying you’ve yet to turn your heat on for the year and your pipes froze is at least somewhat believable, right? You can always opt for other home troubles like a flood or no electricity, too.

You witnessed an accident

On college campuses, collisions between cars and bikes or bikes and pedestrians happen fairly often. Email your professor just after class ends and apologize for not being there, while explaining that you witnessed an accident and helped the victim get the help they needed. It’s kind of messed up to lie about something like that, so maybe save this one for the heartless kids out there or more experienced liars.

Football game

This excuse sounds dumb at first, but if you’re from Wisconsin, you get it. This Thanksgiving, the Packers play the Bears (huge rivalry) and Brett Favre’s number is being retired. The game isn’t until Thursday, but if you’re trying to get out of class on Wednesday, tell your prof the rents are picking you up Wednesday and you’re going to Green Bay early to spend some time with your extended family (who obviously live in Green Bay).

Pink Eye

When choosing an illness to pretend to have, you want to pick something pretty contagious and maybe even a little disgusting. Just the mention of pink eye will usually have people begging you to stay at home. It’ll be at least a few days before anyone will expect you to be in class again, so it looks like you’re free until after Thanksgiving break.


This excuse works both ways because it makes male professors uncomfortable and female professors sympathetic. Most professors don’t want to hear about their students’ bodily functions, so they’ll be quick to tell you to stay home. The more explicit you are, the quicker they’ll be to shut you up and send you on your way.

Play Nurse

Say your roommate is sick (the flu is a good option) and that you need to stay home and take care of him/her. Normally people just pretend to be sick themselves, so they’re likely to believe you need to play nurse today. They might even develop the false impression that you’re a good person!

Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying journalism and environmental studies. Like the Lorax, I speak for the trees. Goals include owning a French Bulldog and living in Seattle.

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