Class time irreplaceable in value, not to be skipped casually

The Mossy Log Archives

Do you think it is necessary to go to every single class? How important is it and what does it mean to you? For me, it is important to attend each and every class. I feel very accomplished being able to check the box in the course evaluation form at the end of the semester that says I went to every class.

That being said, I have certainly skipped class for reasons other than actually being sick. Sometimes I feel like I need a little break. Maybe I procrastinated on studying for an exam and now I need to skip my other classes of the day to study. I know I cannot be alone in this. Perhaps you just want to get yourself a sweet little treat from that bakery downtown. 

The point is not to demoralize or judge you for not attending class, but to share insights and perspectives on what it means to go to class and to explore the potential benefits it may have on your academic performance and your future. 

One potential reason attendance is deemed vital in school might be its direct correlation to one’s academic achievement and success. It allows us to actively participate in classroom discussions, better understand lessons and build relationships by engaging with peers. All of this is not accomplished as easily by individual learning. 

Lewis & Clark’s Academic Policies and Procedures state that “students are expected to attend classes regularly,” and that it is crucial for your academic success, as you are unable to get the same class participation outside of the classroom. 

To explore the validity of this statement, I asked a few of my professors their opinions on attendance. Associate Professor of Psychology Yueping Zhang agreed with LC’s policy. 

“You can’t learn everything by yourself because you miss out on interactions with peers with whom you learn things,” said Zhang. 

Visiting Health Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Deeksha Vasanth-Rao shares this perspective.

“In my view, students who do not regularly attend class miss out on valuable opportunities to actively engage with the course material alongside peers,” she said. 

Essentially, one benefit of regularly attending class appears to be how it helps to enhance understanding of the content, retention of information and physical application of what was discussed and learned in class.

Another reason you should think twice about skipping a class is the thought that you are practically wasting money by not showing up. We are paying to be here, and college is not cheap, especially at this school. 

“Students have invested significant financial resources into their education,” said Vasanth-Rao. “By not attending class, they are essentially wasting the money they have paid for the program.” 

Furthermore, attendance facilitates a meaningful and supportive relationship between professor and student. Coming to class regularly allows our professors to understand our individual needs better. Building a relationship with your professors and showing your presence in class helps when you need to ask them for accommodations like extensions. The more they get to know you and the more you engage with the class, the more likely it is that they will be able to provide what you need. 

If you do have to miss class, I would highly recommend emailing your professor at least a few hours before not showing up. It shows that you care. Not showing and not emailing prior makes you look like a ghost. How are you going to graduate as a ghost?

If you choose not to go to class, know there are many things you are potentially missing out on. Choosing to not go to class while sick is respectable. Most of us appreciate you staying home to get rest and not pass on sickness to others. Especially after COVID, professors are a lot more lenient of you staying back if you are sick. 

Sickness aside, your class time is extremely valuable, and your grade in the course, along with the educational benefits you get out of it, depend on you putting in the effort to show up to class. Take advantage of the chance to learn by going to class. Your future self will surely thank you. This is your opportunity to contribute to your own development and create yourself a strong foundation for a successful and fulfilling life.

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