Welcome to our new section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.
I was scrolling through Twitter and stumbled upon the following tweet by @hoegenic: “why is skipping class in college so easy? can y’all call my parents or [something]”.
I remember being in high school and crying when I had to miss a day of school. I knew I would fall behind, and perhaps I would miss important information that would appear on a test and prevent me from getting a good grade. The anxiety that I felt was enough to bring me to walk to school even on days I was deathly ill; the only time I skipped a class was by accident when I was in the bathroom and didn’t hear the bell ring for first period. But in college, if attendance isn’t mandatory, a 100-person lecture of students who probably felt the same, over-achieving sentiment in high school can turn into a class of 20 people.
Honestly, I’ve skipped more classes in college than I can count. My friends and I jokingly made a spreadsheet to keep track of how many classes each of us missed- some of us missed upwards of 20 last semester. I’ve found that since I don’t have a societal-pressure-based worry that forces me to go to class, for example not being able to get into college, the benefits of going to class sometimes never outweigh the costs of getting out of bed and walking to class. But being lazy isn’t the only reason I’ve skipped; sometimes I have to forgo going to class because I have too much work for a different class.
If you average out the full price of tuition, each class costs about $200, assuming you take the average 15 credits at my University, Wash. U.. That means each minute of an hour-long lecture is costing you about three dollars. Going to the bathroom? There goes about ten bucks! Of course, no one is thinking like this on a day-to-day basis, but in regards to getting your money’s worth out of school, it could be something to consider. Going to class and paying attention is something that you’ll never be able to find beyond college. At Wash. U., you’re surrounded by academics, taught by scholars in their fields, and encouraged to learn as much as you can in a certain amount of time.
Take advantage of the opportunities given to you here. I know you’re tired. I know you have work to do- we all do. Time management is key, and going to class should be a priority. I know how nice the cozy, padded mattresses can be on a cold morning. But it’s important to remember we’re all at college for a reason: to get the education we’ve earned for ourselves. Now, go to class.
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