Did YOU go to class today?

I'll be honest with all of you: When I arrived on Penn State campus for the first time, nearly a year and a half ago, I had every intention of being the best student I could be. After all, doing well in college means I would be better prepared to do my job once I enter the workplace. However, I quickly fell victim to one of college's biggest addictions-- and no, it's not binge drinking.

I skip class. Frequently.

I went to a small, rural high school in Upstate, NY. It was one of those "all eyes on everyone" kinds of communities. If you think skipping classes in a huge high school is difficult, try it in a high school where the average graduating class size is less than 70 students. Mine was 54. 

Once I got to Penn State, I realized that (for most classes) there was no consequence for skipping. My friends and I were all thinking things like, "No professor is going to take attendance in a lecture hall with 400 students", or, "If all the lecture notes are on ANGEL, why should I even bother going?" Well here's the deal.

You. Need. To. Go. To. Class.

We've all been sick or had the need to take a personal health day, and as far as I'm concerned there's nothing wrong with that.... once or twice a semester. But there have been times where I've missed 3 or 4 days straight of classes, just to catch up on sleep. And even though the lecture notes are on ANGEL and some of my professors don't take attendance, I'm still missing crucial information. I mean, everything is there, but I don't know how to apply any of it. If you don't believe me, then skip a science class and try to read one of Andrew's Power Points. They're concise and informative, but you won't have a clue how to apply anything in a test situation.

So why do we skip so frequently? Well, I wasn't able to find any studies on the matter, but quite a few students from other schools have blogged or written articles about it, and we're all coming to similar conclusions. On Villanova University's newspaper The Villanovan's website, an article on skipping class addresses five main reasons why students skip. 

Sometimes there are just other things going on. I'm sure a few of you have gotten involved with THON (good for you, by the way-- I've missed out for the second year in a row) and have had socials with your committees on weeknights. But you shouldn't feel bad for skipping class while nursing a hangover after a night of heavy drinking with your committee... I mean, it's For The Kids, right?

Another big reason is the weather. Any upperclassman will tell you that the weather in State College is as indecisive as it gets. Last year, our winter lasted a few weeks and it was 60 degrees and sunny in the last week of February. But when you wake up in the morning and realize that it's raining like there's a hurricane outside (yes, that was a Sandy reference), you're disinclined to roll out of bed and trudge from McKean to the Blue Loop stop to catch a bus to Forum. Trust me, we've ALL been there.

The Villanovan article goes on to discuss a few more specific things, but I'll let you all get to them on your own. My point here is that with a few minutes of creative thinking, I'm pretty sure all of us could come up with a good reason to pass up that 9am lecture for some more sleep. But we really shouldn't. 1.You need to hear what the professors have to say during the lectures. 2. Guest lecturers deserve the respect of a full classroom. 3. Professors take notice of empty seats. 4. Your education will lack in application, and 5. You'll let a bunch of morons ruin the fun of the comment wall for everyone.s

Don't be like me. Don't be the guy who skips 3 classes a week just to sleep. I promise I'll improve on it if you do.


I agree with this blog. I think that going to class and paying attention in class are the keys to success. Even though you may get away with it in some classes, odds are most teachers are smarter than you think. I know in my theatre 100 class, my teacher always tells us extra hints to write in our notes that only the students in the lecture would get. Sometimes these little hints are on the tests. I witnessed this first hand because a friend of mine decided to not go to class one day. When we were going over questions that we thought were hard on one of our tests she told me she doesn't remember learning a certain question the teacher asked. She then realized that was one of the days she did not go to class. This article shows how active people do well in school. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=686 I think this is important because I feel if you are active you will have more drive to go to class. Do you think this correlation is correct as well?

I agree with this blog. Although sometimes it seems like a good idea to skip class if you are doing work for another class or if you are studying it does not end with a positive result. It is like a domino effect, you may be caught up in one class but not you have to worry about catching up on the class you missed. I did this yesterday to study and I realize now how I am now behind in my other class. Missing just once class can create this never ending cycle of being behind because you always have to find time to to make up the other work. I found this blog talking about how many people may think that you didn't miss something important in class when you skip, but then you realize that a professor would not waste their time going to class and teaching, if it wasn't important.

Great blog! No, it is not much about science but it was very interesting to read and very helpful since I am a freshman. I had the same frame of mind when I came to Penn State, I though I would be the best student here. I graduated in a class of about 800, which is very different then you so I guess I am able to transition a little better. Anyway, I find myself skipping class for terrible reasons. If I took a test the class before, I feel like all we will do in class is go over that test because that is what I did in high school. However, the first day after the test is one of the more important days because you start something completely new. I know I need to improve on my attendance and while I'm in class I need to focus. I wish you good luck coming to class, as well. Although I know it is difficult, go to sleep earlier then the classes do not seem as dreadful to wake up for.

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