Improving Your Attendance Record

What’s so great about college? You can skip class every once in a while, and no one really cares. In smaller classes, you may have to explain a migraine or away game to a professor, but in most larger classes, professors won’t count a couple of unexplained absences against you, as long as you complete your work and don’t take advantage of their flexibility. And sometimes, skipping class can be a good thing (we went to college, too: we understand). If you need the time to study for a major test that evening or simply need an hour to decompress before your stress levels make you explode, playing hooky is a smart exercise in prioritizing. But skipping class can also become a bad habit: if you didn’t really fall behind after one missed lecture, what’s another personal day? Here’s how to improve your attendance record if you start feeling more and more tempted to skip class.

Don’t even consider it. The more you wonder if you could get away with skipping a class, the more you — and your friends — will be able to justify it, no matter how crazy your schemes get. When that little temptation flickers in your mind, keep it to yourself, and then immediately reject it. Sure, it would be fun to leave town altogether and fly to the beach for the week, but you’re not going to do that: skipping class isn’t a viable option either. If you’re having a hard time waking up for an early class or waiting all day for late classes when your friends are having dinner or having TV nights, you’ll have to be more strict with your schedule. Set an alarm across the room so that you have to get up, or move your bed near the window so that you can open the blinds as soon as your alarm starts to go off. Tell yourself that if you get up and get going now, you might have time for a cat nap later. And if waiting all day for a late seminar is your problem, get into study mode away from friends who are winding down an hour or two before class. Bury yourself in the library and get some work done or in a study room next to your class meeting place. You’ll have less catching up to do on weekends and during your regular off-time if you put in the hours to go to class when it’s scheduled.

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