“Just go to class,” said my cousin, a former Stony Brook University student, before I shipped off #FarBeyond. This idea somehow seemed silly at the time. Knowing he was Alpha class of a reputable fraternity, I understood his perspective but I figured community college trained me to do better than that.

However, after three years spent in this institution, even without becoming a Greek, I skipped with the knowledge that I was sabotaging myself. My justifications varied by circumstances. Sometimes it’d be to catch up on some sleep, finally eat or take a relaxation break before a nervous breakdown occurred. My biggest reason to skip was to catch up on work for another class that I found to be of higher importance.

College provides the structural freedom that most people have never experienced. Professors trust that you’re responsible enough to make decisions and not be a child when you’re incapable of accepting the fate that you designed.

If you choose to not go to class, do so responsibly. The syllabus states clearly how many absences you can get without it affecting your grade. Factor this in before making your decision, you don’t want to skip for a stupid reason then not be able to when you actually need to. Prevent yourself from making your future self feel stupid.  

Tread with caution when it comes to counting on a person in your class to help you out. Pray that they didn’t also decide to skip. Notes from classmates are great but asking them what the professor spoke about doesn’t include the side notes that may be put on the exam. God help you if they forget to tell you there’s a quiz in the next class.    

Going to class could be the difference between a professor letting you pass or fail. In my case, this proved useful in the last class requirement of my last semester. I had extreme test anxiety when it came to Italian, but my professor gave me an out: come to class every time and you’ll pass. I never skipped after that. It didn’t matter if I was 20 minutes late, I still showed up. I ended up with a C and a professor apologetic that he couldn’t provide me with a better grade.

Showing up is the unspoken message to your professor that you’re trying. If you’re failing, why should a professor show mercy if you don’t even have the decency to show up? Granted a professor could be nice, but at the end of the day you shouldn’t risk that if you have the ability to prevent it.

Save your absences. You’re at Stony Brook to receive your education. Everything is second to that no matter what. If people are peer pressuring you to skip, you shouldn’t be around those people. Gravitate to those who reason for you to go to class because they have your best interests in mind.

Just go to class, fuckers.

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