Why College Students Should Resist the Urge to Skip Class


If skipping class is your guilty pleasure, consider these reasons for kicking the habit. Spoiler alert! You already know that showing up is the first step to a winning start in college and in life.

Give Yourself Some Tough Love

For college students, the reasons to skip class are as infinite as grains of sand on a beach. The next time you're faced with the choice between dreamland and a crack of dawn lecture, give yourself some tough love. The payback won't be the sugar-coated donut of an extra hour of sleep. Instead, it'll be more like a grain bowl: nutritious, healthy and a decision that, in the long run, is going to make you your best self.

sleeping girl

Here are just a few of the great reasons why you should want to show up for class.

Maximize Your Investment

Your education is the biggest investment you'll make toward your future success. In 2017-18, the average annual tuition at a 4-year private college was $34,740. At public universities, in-state students paid an average of $9,970, while out-of-state tuition was approximately $25,620. These prices are projected to increase between 2.4% and 3.2% each year.

When you miss class, you chip a piece off the value of your education. Whether the money comes out of your pocket via student loans, or your parents are paying the tab, it doesn't make sense to get less than the full benefit of this significant purchase.

Enjoy the Live Performance

Did you ever buy tickets for a concert and then listen to a recording instead? Probably not, unless a real emergency kept you away from the energy and excitement of the show. Your instructor is a skilled guide who can bring the reading materials to life and add practical examples and human experiences to the mix.

Live on campus

Your fellow students can also provide a perspective that you'll miss by studying in isolation. Plus, you won't have to depend on others for those all-important notes. The benefits of attendance are not just common sense. There are several scientific studies to back-up the claim that being in class equals greater success in college and in life.

Learn What the Experts Value

Even if your instructor has as much charisma as a cardboard cutout, you might be in the presence of greatness. When Albert Einstein taught his first class at the University of Bern, the only people who showed up were three of his friends. When the second semester rolled around, the class had to be cancelled for lack of interest. Unfortunately, Einstein wasn't an inspiring teacher, but those no-shows certainly missed a unique opportunity.

professor lecturing

Although there may not be any academic superstars on your campus, college students who aren't in class won't understand what the lecturer considers most important about the topic. You'll also miss valuable clues about where to focus your attention to ace the next exam. The opportunity to ask questions, receive knowledgeable answers and participate in a dialogue are even better reasons for spending ''facetime''with your instructor.

Develop an Academic Support System

What do Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder and CEO of Facebook), Bill Gates (founder and technology advisor for Microsoft) and Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Group) all have in common? Yes, they're all billionaires who are successful beyond most people's wildest dreams; however, each of them credits a mentor with contributing to their achievements.

Mentors can be invaluable when navigating educational decisions, career options and the challenges that you'll face both as a college student and the day after graduation. There's no guarantee that you and your instructor will have a mentoring relationship, but being an active and enthusiastic participant in the classroom gives you the credibility to seek your teacher's support. Everyone wants to be appreciated, and most instructors put considerable effort into preparing their lessons. They notice the students who are eager to learn and, typically, are more willing to help them reach their goals.

Mentor and student

Train Your Brain

According to a Duke University study, 45% of our behavior is automatic. Why are we such creatures of habit?

To do its job, your brain consumes 25% of the oxygen you breathe. Habits are the brain's way of saving energy. Each time you convince yourself to attend class when you were longing to do something else makes that inner argument easier to win in the next debate.

a graduate

Dependability is a core value in the workplace. Students who train themselves to be responsible in college will have the habit for life.

Search the Internet, and you'll find many more reasons why showing up for class is a no-brainer. The sad fact is that immediate gratification almost always trumps logic. So, the next time you're fighting the battle between the donut and the grain bowl, imagine the rewarding job and satisfying lifestyle you want after graduation, and give yourself the tough love to get there.

Check out Study.com's College Success course to start building that bright future today.

By Debby Rice
June 2019
college college success

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