Posted on August 10, 2009
Living away from home while attending college gives students a lot of new-found freedom—often resulting in a classic case of classes skipped and GPAs destroyed. Follow these few rules for skipping classes that won't hurt your grade.
Photo by Christina Snyder.
Ed. note: We highly value a good education, but we also believe that sometimes learning outside the classroom can be as important as the learning you do in the classroom. So while we may have hardly skipped a class in college, we also think it's important to acknowledge that skipping the occasional class isn't the end of the world—provided you're smart about it. Our friends from HackCollege offer their expertise on the subject.
Know Your Syllabus
The syllabus is the contract between you and your professor. It holds everything you need to know about the class, from test dates to office hours, and it often will include your teacher’s attendance policy. The classic college attendance policy is one in which professors couldn’t care less if you come or not (they’re your grades at risk, after all). Some professors want to reward students that do come to class everyday, so they incorporate the attendance into the grade. Know whether or not this is the case for your professor.
Know Your Professor
While it is important to know your syllabus, it’s probably more important to know how your professor treats missing class. Does he or she talk to people after they have missed a class or two? If your grades are online, is there an attendance portion? If there is, how specific is it? All of these clues can help you decide to begin with whether it’s all right to miss class or not.
What are you skipping for?
Deciding whether or not you should skip a class is a function of how important the event you’re going to is and how much skipping will hurt your grade. If you are doing poorly in a class that you need to take notes to do well in, then obviously you shouldn’t skip.
If you just want to catch a little more shut-eye, again, you probably shouldn’t skip. (Unless you’re so run down that you actually need that extra sleep for health reasons, in which case you may need to dedicate a little more time to your health and well-being.)
Before you skip class for just any old event, you should ask yourself: Is this a once in a lifetime? 12:00am movie premiers generally do not count as once-in-a-lifetime events, no matter how you slice it.
In a nutshell, though, if the class you’re skipping is going to affect your grade, then don’t skip.
The school-bound productivity nuts at weblog HackCollege will be joining us all week to offer their perspective on making the most of your Back to School regimen.