Have you ever skipped a class? If so, you’ve probably had a reason (in fact, I would argue that it is impossible to do anything without a reason, but I’ll save the philosophical rant for another time). Perhaps you had a legitimate excuse (you were on a family vacation, etc.), or maybe you didn’t want to miss the end of SVU (the part where it turns out that the detectives got their first ten accusations wrong, and that it was the Girl’s father who killed her because the two were secretly sexually involved).
Either way, you may encounter a level of cognitive dissonance (see Psyche 101 professor, I paid some attention), and be forced to justify your seemingly inconsistent behavior (assuming that you actually want to succeed, and realize that skipping class is usually not the way to do it (unless you forgot to do the homework and skipping is the most efficient way of ameliorating an uncomfortable situation (am I allowed to do parentheses within parentheses like this? A parenthinception, you might say?))), by convincing yourself that you have a good reason for skipping class. I called upon two Ohio State students who were willing to admit to skipping every now and then, and filtered in some of my own thoughts on the matter. So if you’re looking for justification (thereby minimizing your cognitive discomfort), here is a list of the top thirteen excuses for skipping class.
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1. Because you’re tired: "Anybody who says sleep isn’t important has never taken an eight a.m.," says Ohio State junior, Ciaran Coen (pronounced Kee-ran, if you are struggling with that). Let’s assume the most noble of circumstances, in which you were up until five a.m. studying for a noon midterm. If you need to catch up on sleep before the test, is skipping seven-thirty Earth Science really all that irresponsible?
2. Because you’re hungry: Last semester we watched “Supersize Me” in one of my classes (if you’ve never seen it, it’s that movie that made everyone stop eating McDonalds). All I could think about as I watched chickens get crushed into gruel by a giant grinder was; “I could really go for some Mcnuggets right now.” Point is, sometimes food takes priority over class.
3. Because you have other homework: I am a proponent of the utilitarian notion that sometimes it is actually academically justifiable to skip class. If the assignment due at one is worth forty percent of your grade and you haven’t finished it, skipping the preceding lecture concerning the density of granite (I’m particularly mad at Earth Science today) may be worthwhile in the long run.
4. Because you aren’t prepared: Believe it or not, many professors support this notion. If you didn’t read the book, don’t come to class. It’s easy to understand the rationale; "you aren’t doing anybody (especially yourself) any good by showing up to a discussion that you can neither contribute to, nor learn from," says Ohio State senior, Chris Pierce.
5. Because class is boring: Need I say more?
6. Because you have somewhere else to be: So you messed up and scheduled a meeting with your advisor right when your English lecture starts. You can reschedule and take the next advisory window six weeks from now, or you can skip the class that you will have again twenty times within those six weeks.
7. Because of the game: “I’m a huge Champion’s League fan,” says Coen, “but usually games are at 2:45, which is right when my Portuguese class starts, so sometimes I skip it to watch the games.” While this is not the most condonable reason, it is certainly one to consider.
8. Because you’re sick: “I hate how professors expect you to bring a doctor’s note in when you miss a class due to sickness,” says Coen, “sometimes I get sick but don’t feel the need to go to the doctor.” While many professors will accept an emailed, “I don’t feel good and have to miss class today,” there are those sticklers who demand proof. This seems an unfair policy, as it is reasonable to imagine a level of sickness too severe to bring to class, but minimal enough to stay in bed as opposed to walking to the med center. If “sick” refers to “hung-over,” however, that’s certainly a different debate.
9. Because it’s movie day, and you’ve already seen the movie: “Sure, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is a great film (fill in the blank Earth Science professor), but I’d rather not be guilt-tripped in the same fashion twice; indicate what we will be watching ahead of time, and I will explain to you that I saw it in the theater.”
10. Because the TV show you’re watching is really interesting: It’s 2:55 and House has already mis-diagnosed the patient sixteen times. You haven’t waited this long to miss his inevitable epiphany. Certainly it is understandable that you should watch the end and at least be late to class, right?
11. Because you could learn more by reading the textbook: “I had a professor last semester whose lectures were literally the words in the textbook,” says Pierce. “I did the reading, so I figured there was no reason to hear the same material again by showing up for the lecture.”
12. Because there are over 200 people in the lecture: If you’re going to fall asleep in the back of the lecture hall anyway, might as well save yourself the walk to and from, right?
13. Because you have a good reason: I suppose “I’m going to a funeral,” “because I broke my leg ten minutes ago,” and “I got shot” are reasonable excuses for skipping class. You know, if “because I’m lazy” isn’t enough of one.
These are my reasons, and those of many of my fellow admonishment-worthy college students (including Coen and Pierce), but I’m sure there are many more. If you have a personal favorite that I forgot to mention, explain it in the comments below.