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To Ditch or Not to Ditch: A Problem Among College Students

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It’s 5:50 a.m. You went to bed at 3 and have class at 8. You would have gone to bed earlier, but you were doing homework for today’s class, not to mention your roommate was up late blasting some Carrie Underwood. The class’s subject is a subject you hate with a teacher you despise. The teacher doesn’t take attendance. So, you’re pressed with a choice: suffer through the class with the help of some coffee or go back to bed and get the notes from some sucker who actually made it to class.

There’s a fair chance you stay in bed.

In high school, attendance was much easier. Most schools — at least, my high school — had an attendance policy. Students could only miss a certain numbers of classes. Also, a lot of high schoolers’ parents are there making sure their son or daughter goes to class and gets an education.

In college, there’s no attendance policy. Yes, there are teachers who do take attendance very seriously. I have one teacher who takes off three points for every absence. It’s an 100-point class total. But when there are 150 students in the class, teachers grow tired of taking role call. College students who live in the dorms don’t have parents watching over them and most people don’t expect their roommate to hassle them to go to class.

I’m a sophomore at a big university in southern California. I’m pretty good about attendance. Since the beginning of this semester (which started the end of August), I have missed two classes, both due to illness. In my time here, especially this semester, I have been shocked about how many students just don’t go to class. Although sometimes students have valid reasons (such as illness or personal emergency), most of the time I find the only reason a student misses classes is that he or she simply does not feel like going.

It’s not like they are being forced to go. They are paying for a spot to be there, and not going just seems like they are wasting money. Not to mention wasting a roster spot. My university is facing budget cuts due to California’s failing economy and a lot of students couldn’t get the classes they wanted, which even pushed their graduation dates back. These people who just don’t show up to class have taken away a spot from people who do want to actually learn.

There’s nothing that can be done to fix this problem. It’s not the teacher’s fault that the students don’t show up to class. College students are adults and they need to learn to get to class, even if they don’t feel like going.

Ditching class may sound tempting — and of course, it is. There are days when I don’t want to go to class. There are days when I don’t want to do anything. But I still do. College students are there for a reason: to learn. And it’s disappointing that some students forget that.

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