Advice from a serial skipper
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no stranger to skipping class. My roommates can certainly attest to the fact that I’ve occasionally slept through some Friday morning 8:15s, 9:15s and even the occasional 12:15. Whether it be due to insufferable hangovers, a heavy workload, or pure laziness, I’ve always been able to convince myself that it’s okay to skip class.
Yet, as my final year at StFX quickly approaches, I’ve started to realize that maybe my reasons for skipping class have not always been so justifiable.
As an avid skipper, I never thought I would be the one to say that I wish I had skipped class less frequently. That being said, if the past three years have taught me anything, it’s that you should never make skipping class a regular occurrence.
To say that skipping is a tough habit to break would be an understatement. As your first semester of frosh year begins to fizzle out, you might start getting home sick and your motivation for attending class will likely be at an all-time low. It’s extremely important that you push through this feeling and attend your classes regularly! Avoiding the urge to skip class will not only keep your grades in top shape, but you will also give yourself more of a chance to make friends and meet new people. This can be very helpful later on in the semester when you want someone to study with or need to find partners for group projects. Also, this habit will prepare you for the real world. When your four years here come to their inevitable end and you get a real job in the adult world, you will most likely need to attend work on a daily basis to be successful. A lot of the time, not showing up to work will result in serious disciplinary action if not being fired all together. It will be much easier to drag yourself out of the house and attend work daily when you have already developed this habit early on.
Another big trap that can make skipping class seem like no big deal is if you are doing well in your classes, regardless of your frequent skipping. It’s important to remember that even if you are doing well, it can be very easy to fall behind, especially when midterm season sneaks up on you. Before you know it, you’ll be stuck pulling red bull fueled all-nighters, wishing that you didn’t have to teach yourself a half of a semester’s worth of material.
Additionally, if you are an avid class attendee, you’ll be likely to remember the tips and tricks that professors sometimes give students to remember the trickier material. Becoming familiar with your professors in general can be helpful later on in the semester. For example, when it’s time to study for your final exams and you realize that you need help with a certain concept, you might want to go and speak to your prof. This will go a lot more smoothly if your prof actually knows who you are. If you show up days before the final exam and ask for help after skipping the majority of your classes, the prof will likely be less willing to help you out.
That being said, the point of this article is not to say that you must attend every single class ever during your four years here. Periodically skipping class to catch up on homework, or even to recover from a brutal hangover, will not be the end of the world. However, just make sure that you don’t make a habit of it. If you do, before you know it you’ll be in fourth year and realizing how much time you’ve wasted binge watching Netflix and how little time you’ve spent in the classes that you’ve paid thousands of dollars for.