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The Do’s and Don’ts of Skipping Class

Guidelines to Follow for the Forgetful Student

default article imageWe’ve all done it. We just don’t want to wake up for that 8:30 am class all the way across campus. We hit the snooze button one too many times, or maybe we just had a really late night of partying it up.

Whatever your reasoning is, everyone has once, twice, or 50 times, skipped their classes.

Now, everyone knows that professors have attendance policies and strict rules about how many classes one can miss, but what most people don’t realize is that it’s a lot easier to skate around these rules and guidelines than one might think.

All it takes is a little common sense and some creativity at times.

There are a few common mistakes and misconceptions when it comes to skipping class. The first and, without a doubt, biggest mistake someone could make when skipping class is using the same excuse on a professor more than once.

This may seem like an obvious “don’t,” but according to Professor Robert Scott, Communication professor, it happens more often than you’d think.

“I’m reminded of the student a few years back whose grandmother had died three times in the course of a single semester,” he said. “Now, I don’t teach biology, but this scenario seems highly unlikely.”

So, when you’re thinking about skipping class, don’t just use the same old “I’m sick” excuse, get a little creative and come up with something that’s a little more believable.

It’s amazing that we’ve come so far as a society, but the easiest form of electronic communication, e-mail, isn’t used to its full potential, especially by students.

So one major “do” of skipping class is to email your professor, ideally before the class you’re skipping. When you skip class and don’t email your professor, that tells them one thing: you don’t care. And if you’re thinking it doesn’t matter because you’re using an unexcused absence, think again.

When it gets towards the end of the semester and you’re looking for some extra credit or maybe an extension on a paper, you’re professor will remember.

“Professors usually keep thorough records,” said Scott.

As far as emailing before class, most professors admitted to having class policies that allow for accommodations regarding assignments and excused absences only when notification is provided in advance. Which essentially means that you have a better chance at a professor sending you any work you missed if you e-mail them beforehand.

“I always e-mail my professor before class,” said Alexa Anastasio, junior, “but I wouldn’t go into much more detail than just being sick.”

One scenario that no one wants to be put in is being seen by their professor on campus after you skipped class earlier in the day because you were “sick” or “out of the state.”

Not only is this awkward, but your professor will probably never believe another excuse you give them again and will cast you as a liar. Professor Scott admitted experiencing this kind of scenario on a number of occasions.

He said, “Each situation led to the same two results. First, I corrected my records to reflect an unexcused absence—and second, I was less inclined to believe the student in future interactions.”

Also, always make sure to read your syllabus. More specifically, know how many unexcused absences you have until your grade starts getting deducted.

It’s easy to skip class when you technically don’t need an excuse, but once your grade starts being threatened you better either have a good excuse or stop skipping.

Although some professors might be lenient when it comes to grading and attendance, others aren’t. “It is up to the student to take control over their life,” said Professor Andrew Demirjian, Communication professor. “I set up the guidelines and take off the points if someone is not there.”

So be sure the next time you think about skipping class, you think about your professor and how they’ll react.

Be sure to e-mail before hand, and for your sake, whatever you do, don’t be seen by your professor later in the day.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a master of disguise, and then by all means go for it.