Why is going to class so important?

Person laying in bed showing their feet

Attending class is one of the first and most frequent decisions you will have to make in college. We’ll make it easy for you: you DEFINITELY need to go to class. Seriously, you worked so hard to get here, and not everyone gets to go to college. Don’t let skipping a class or two spiral out of control so early in your time here.

Now, there are a few myths about what does and doesn’t fly in terms of attendance, so let’s review the top 10 reasons not to miss class.

1. Your college experience is what you make of it. Feel like sleeping in? It’s super easy to push the snooze button too many times, or to skip class for any number of reasons. But it’s hard to justify going to college if you aren’t showing up and taking part in all that’s offered. And really, the class part is a BIG part.

2. Not showing up during the first two weeks of class can result in your professor administratively dropping you. Uh oh! Some people might tell you that you’re not going to miss anything by skipping the first couple of weeks of class, but the truth is that the foundation for class is laid and expectations are set in these first weeks, so by the time you start showing up, you could have already been dropped from the class.

3. Not participating in class could result in having to pay back your financial aid. If you are a financial aid recipient, understand your obligations. You actually EARN your aid based on the number of days that you attend and participate in class. If you fail for non-participation, you could end up having to pay back your financial aid. Students are also required to show participation in their courses by the 21st day after the course start date. If a student’s participation is not confirmed by the 21st day of class, their aid may be reduced or canceled, and they may be required to pay for charges without aid.  

4. Speaking of money, you’re wasting a ton of it by skipping class. College isn’t cheap, and it’s critical that you get the most out of your classes the first time around. The only thing worse than having to repeat a class is having to pay for the same class twice.

5. You’ll learn what you need to know (and sometimes what you don’t). You never know when your professor might drop those six little words, “this will be on the test …” Not only that, but sometimes they’ll even clarify those things that you don’t need to focus on. Imagine the difference between studying everything that could be on a test, and studying only what you need to.

6. If textbooks are peanut butter, lectures are jelly. Every professor and class is different, but one thing remains constant: it can be extremely helpful to have the professor explain the reading, answer questions and clarify anything you didn’t understand. Not to mention, you don’t want to risk facing an exam that is solely based on the lecture if you weren’t there to hear it. This happens more than you might think.

7. POP QUIZZES? IN-CLASS EXTRA CREDIT? You just never know when these little gifts will be handed out. And missing them can be mission critical for your grade.

8. The original FaceTime. Interacting face-to-face with your professor and classmates can pay off with huge dividends. Not only does it say you’re taking the class seriously, but it plugs you in with other students that you can study with, hang out with and commiserate with. Need a letter of recommendation for a scholarship or future job? Attending class all semester can make a great impression on your professor, and he or she may just be willing to help you out one day.

9. The clicker gets you involved. Long gone are the days of just being spoken at by your professor. The clicker allows you to get involved in the discussion by voting on a topic, taking a survey or answering a question. You’ll get more out of your class by participating.

10. Graduate in four years. Bad grades will slow down your progress and could tack on extra semesters to complete your degree. More classes means more time means more money. You get the picture.

So there you have it. Even if you wake up 10 minutes before class and show up in pajamas, just get to class. Your inner adult (and future self!) will be glad you did.


Hey Sunny

A library of helpful advice, tips and answers to questions from students to Sunny.

ASU’s chatbot, Sunny, has been helping students get adjusted to college life for a few years now. The questions from students year after year, rarely change. Sometimes it helps to see what other students are asking to stay informed and realize you aren’t the only one trying to figure it all out.

Welcome to the Hey Sunny blog – a library of advice for students from Sunny and the team supporting the bot.

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