Should You Ever Skip Class? – College Info Geek

Should You Ever Skip Class? – College Info Geek

September 12, 2019 37 By Kody Olson


Hey, what’s up guys? So today we are tackling
the age old question, is it ever worth
it to skip a class? Now, you’re probably expecting
me to say something like, “Always go to class, eat your
vegetables, I’m your dad,” because I have a beard and I’m
probably a bit older than you but if I said that this video
would be five seconds long and it probably wouldn’t
be worth your click. So instead let’s look at this
a little bit more objectively because this is a question
about skipping classes, yes but it’s also a more
general question about opportunity costs. So let’s get this out of
the way right up front. If you’re in high school, I’m not going up against
the truancy laws here. You should go to class,
just deal with it. Yeah it sucks sometimes. Go to class if you’re
in high school. If you’re in college though, the question becomes
a little bit different because in college
now you’re an adult, you can make your own choices, and you are choosing to pay
money for more education that is not legally
required of you. And that’s the big thing here. You’re choosing to pay
money for these classes and every class you decide
to skip costs you money, and in fact, using some
simple math we can break down exactly how much money
you’re throwing away if you decide to skip a class. So let’s say you’re
going to a university like the one I went to which charges a flat
rate per semester instead of charging per credit. And let’s also say you’re taking the standard
15 credit per semester load, which means you’re gonna have
five three-credit classes, each of which meet
three times a week and an average rate for
semester tuition at this point is about $4,000 for
in-state public tuition so we’re gonna use that here. So breaking all that
down your cost per credit is $266.67, which means
each three-credit class ends up being about $800 and since you’re gonna go to
each of those classes 48 times over the course of the semester, that means you end up with
a per class cost of $16.67. Meaning every single time
you decide to skip a class by the straight math you
are throwing away $17 that you already paid and you’re no long
getting the value for. That example is the simple
math-based way to put it but it breaks down when we consider a
couple of other things. Number one being not every
class is considered equal. For one, you’re gonna have
general education classes which you don’t care about
as much as your major classes and then for each
individual class you’re gonna have
certain sessions that
are really important because they’re either tests or the professor’s giving
away some vital information you need for the tests or on certain days you’re
just gonna have classes that go over like edge
cases or case studies or something you really
don’t need to know about in the future. So, each class is not gonna be worth
as much as the other one and furthermore, you
need to think about what the actual value
of these classes is because the value isn’t
the time you spend sitting in the seat. The value actually is
the signalling value your degree is going to
give to potential employers in the future. Basically saying this
person is qualified to do the job they wanna do and also the
knowledge and skills that your classes and your
other college experiences are gonna give you, which will help you
get those jobs as well. Basically, your focus should
be on the value of each class as it applies to your earning
potential in the future because, make no
mistake about it, college is a business decision. It’s an investment on your part. You’re choosing to spend
thousands of dollars to sit in classes and take tests and you’re also
choosing to sacrifice many years of your life that you could be otherwise
working and making money, and this is where the
opportunity cost comes in. You’re sacrificing
one thing of value to gain something else. So the earnings you make
in the future from college eventually need to outpace what
you could’ve done otherwise. This is the financial ROI,
or return on investment. And yeah, college gives
you other benefits. You learn things,
you gain experiences,
you meet new people, but as Matt Damon
so eloquently put it in Good Will Hunting, “You
coulda gotten all that “for a dollar fifty in
late fees at the library.” So, we’re not gonna
get off into the weeds about all that stuff. We’re just gonna keep the focus
on the financial ROI here. Keeping that in mind,
for any particular class what’s gonna happen
if you skip it? Well, you might miss
some vital information that’s gonna be really
important on a test or maybe you miss
a test altogether and that’s gonna lead to
a lower GPA down the line. You also might form
a negative perception in the mind of your
professor if you skip and they’re gonna think
you’re like some sort of lazy, entitled millennial and they’re gonna
shake their fist at you and tell you to
get off their lawn, or maybe nothing’s
gonna happen, who knows? On the other side of
the equation though you have to ask, “What am I
gaining by skipping class?” Because money isn’t
the only cost. There’s another cost to your
classes and that’s your time. Yeah, you’re paying
tuition dollars but you’re also using 45
minutes of your precious time every day that you walk
into that classroom. So what could you gain if you
use that time somewhere else? If you’re just feeling lazy and you really don’t
wanna go to class I’m not gonna sit here and
tell you that’s a good decision because frankly it’s not. You’ve already
committed resources and it’s a waste of
your money and time to throw away those resources because you don’t feel like it. You probably know how I feel
about not feeling like it. But, if there’s something
else that you can do instead of going to class
and it’s valuable to you then that changes the
situation significantly. For example, when I was a senior I actually skipped about
three days of class to go down to Texas for an
event called Finish Up Weekend. This was basically an event
where lots of creative people came into one space and they were all working as
hard as they possibly could to finish up a lot
of cool projects and they were helpin’
each other out and I met a lot a cool
people during that event, people who I still
talk to today, and I also learned how to build
iPhone apps in one weekend through a course that
somebody pointed me to and for me, that was
way, way more valuable than a few computer
networking classes. Also, during my freshman year I skipped a few of my
general education classes that were just not useful to me and some days I would just
schedule extra part-time work, make a little bit
of extra money, and I would just keep
my eye on the syllabus to make sure I wasn’t
skipping any important days. Though, for those of
you who are thinking this is an endorsement
of skipping class and who wanna
follow my footsteps, here are a couple of caveats. Number one, I will say
that after my freshman year I made it a point to
always attend class and I never skipped class
again other than those times where there was a really
important thing to go to like the Texas trip. And number two, I really recommend getting
to know your professors, introducing yourselves to them at the beginning of the
semester, and if you do this there’s a higher likelihood that your professor’s gonna
notice if you’re gone. So if you’re skipping
because you’re lazy or you just wanna sleep in, you’re not gonna make
a good impression. Anyway, those are the facts. That’s all I’ve really
got to say about this and it really comes down to
your own values and priorities and your own decision if
you wanna skip class or not. It’s an opportunity
cost decision and you need to weigh the
costs and the benefits. However, if you’re gonna skip
class at least do it smart. Have a friend who can
fill you in on any details or maybe let you copy the notes and make sure you’re
staying as up to date on the out-of-class
work as you can so you’re not falling behind. You also wanna gauge the class
to see if what’s on the test is kinda mirrored
from the textbook or if there’s a lot of
really vital information you can only get in lectures. And lastly, make sure
you’re paying attention to the syllabus
as much as you can and write down any test dates,
quiz dates, or homework dates in your calendar, I mean, you
should be doing this anyway, but if you’re gonna skip
it’s vitally important, like doubly so. Though I will say that
it’s not foolproof because I’ve had times where the professor’s had
to change the location or the time or
the date of a test and they’ve only told the people who were in the lecture hall. So, if you’re gonna skip a class there’s inherent risk built
into it no matter what you do, no matter what you do
to mitigate that risk there’s gonna be some there. So, just keep that in mind. And one last thing, if you’re
gonna be going to a class where you have to work
on a group project don’t skip, don’t be a jerk. Right there, yeah. Anyway guys, thank you
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