Ziel: Skipping class may have serious consequences

Renee Ziel

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Students don’t value their educations, despite the fact that they’re going in debt to get them.

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I hear students complaining about their debt, but these are often the same students who do not go to class, especially as the weather gets colder. While financial struggle is worthy of complaint, it does not excuse students willingly wasting their money. What’s more, it can lead to severe unhappiness.

To get a degree is to be privileged on a worldwide scale, as only 6.7 percent of the world has one. Yet students don’t seem to be passionate about something they are fortunate to be receiving and continue to cut class. Perhaps in pursuit of something supposedly more interesting, or perhaps for no reason at all. 

The cost of college is getting higher and more students are taking out loans to attend school. Zack Friedman, senior contributor of Forbes, wrote in an article last year that “student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category.” This puts student loan debt lower than mortgage debt and higher than credit card and auto loan debt.

Friedman also brings attention to an alarming statistic about how 44 million people in the United States collectively owe 1.5 trillion in loan debt. That’s about $34,000 per person.

As for those who don’t take out loans, the argument still applies. You will pay a large amount of money to the university regardless of whether you attend class or not. In fact, according to Elyssa Kirkham in a Student Loan Hero article, the average cost of one credit hour for a four year public university in the U.S. is $325.

If you don’t go to class because you “don’t feel like it,” remember you’ve wasted more than $300. 

It is also worth noting I’m not talking about the occasional mental health day, excused absences or extra time to catch up on homework. I’m talking about the consistent apathy that puts a stopper in a student’s education and sometimes prevents them from even getting their degree.

If you don’t go to class because you “don’t feel like it,” remember you’ve wasted more than $300. 

According to the Pew Research Center, “on virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education.”

The occasional break from the stressful college life is one thing that even I’m guilty of. Yet it’s quite another to make not going to class a habit—all at the expense of your future finances, career and overall health and happiness.

That being said, we must continue to ponder why people are not attending their lectures. Perhaps it is simply a matter of laziness and unconcern, but it may also be because of a poor learning environment. In this case, the university may need to take the bi-annual course evaluations more seriously. After all, students are giving the school 34 percent of their revenue.

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It’s your choice to spend thousands of dollars for nothing, but it is a significantly wiser choice to spend it on something you will value later. We are a lucky few, so we need to make the most of it.

Renee Ziel can be reached at letters@collegian.com and online at @reneezwrites.