Generally, skipping class in university is frowned upon. Frequently missing classes negatively impacts academic performance and should therefore be avoided. After all, being absent from just one lecture can put you behind on assignments and cause you to miss vital information or materials.
Of course, there are some instances in which missing a class is simply unavoidable. If you’re torn between staying in your cozy Ottawa student housing or powering through to get to university, here’s a helpful guide to help you make the best decision for your needs.
When Is It Inappropriate to Skip Class?
There are plenty of tempting reasons to skip a lecture, including:
- Not being in the mood
- Feeling too tired
- Partying too hard the night before
- Going to bed extremely late
- Planning to attend an event (i.e. a concert or sporting event) that’s happening during class hours
- Running personal errands
- Hanging out with friends
Yet, although they might seem important to you, these reasons don’t hold up as grounds for skipping class. In many cases, they can be easily addressed or planned around. For instance, if you’re feeling tired, grab a coffee or find some other way to wake up. With a demanding course load and other responsibilities to juggle, these days might come often. Fortunately, you can combat them with a mantra, hype music, or another motivational tactic. Or, simply remind yourself that attending class is essential to your success.
Now that the poorer excuses for skipping have been addressed, here are some legitimate reasons you might need to miss a class.
When You Need to Meet Academic Obligations
Sometimes, sacrifices must be made in the name of academic success. Major exams, important presentations, and large projects require significant time and work. Unfortunately, they may require more time and work than a student has to dedicate. Large assignments or academic obligations have the greatest impact on your final grade, making them the most important assignments to complete. Thus, forgoing less important academic obligations (i.e. attending class) could be appropriate in this situation.
Pushing aside less important classes or assignments for more important ones isn’t encouraged, but it may be necessary in certain cases. Just remember to inquire about the lecture you’ll be missing and any major concepts that will be covered by asking a fellow student for a copy of their notes from that day’s class.
When There’s an Emergency
Emergencies are rarely foreseen, and a student might need to juggle or push aside certain priorities to address an emergency. Some emergencies even require going home or travelling, such as a death in the family. In these cases, it would be impossible to attend class. Some other common examples of emergencies that should keep you away from class, include:
- Serious personal injury or illness
- A serious car accident
- Inclement weather that makes travel risky
- An extreme on-campus threat
While you may not be able to contact your professor right away, informing them of the reason for your absence at the earliest opportunity is always a good idea. In most cases, you’ll find that professors are understanding of true emergencies. Just be sure to get notes from a classmate and offer to make up any missed coursework when possible.
When You have a Job Interview
Because university seniors are on the cusp of graduating and beginning a new career, many spend time distributing resumes and putting in job applications. If you’re fortunate enough to score an interview, you won’t want to miss out on this important opportunity. Since the main goal is to get a job in your career path after graduation, interview invitations should always be taken seriously. If your interview is scheduled during a class and can’t be rescheduled, skip the class and take the interview. Most professors are understanding of such situations if they’re informed first.