Northwest Missourian Opinion

Attendance policies are almost archaic in today’s college lifestyle. The idea that an adult needs to set up a schedule for another fully-functioning adult is, dare I say, moronic. 

If students want to sleep in late and play video games all day, it is their choice to do so. And college students around the country are fully in support.

In a study published by the Journal of Educational Research, 65% of students who participated agreed that the attendance policy should be thrown in the recycle bin, and for good reason. 

The idea behind an attendance policy is to prepare students for life outside of the classroom and in the workforce. In the “real-world,” punctuality and attendance are everything to you being successful, I guess. But I know deep in my heart that this is a complete lie. 

If being punctual and on time means success, where’s my lucrative career for always being on time for Taco Tuesday? You see, there’s always more to it. 

But in terms of the attendance policy that universities push, it doesn’t motivate students to get to class. 

In most cases, it encourages quitting. 

Now quitting isn’t a bad thing in all cases, but when you are enrolled in a one-absence course, and both your dog and cat die creating two absences, you are almost always set up to fail. With instructors implementing drastic grade deductions, things are not looking very good if you miss class ever again. 

The aim of this practice is to penalize those who choose not to take their education seriously enough to show up for lectures. But are they not penalizing themselves enough as it is? 

The missing information from that day in class, the copying of sloppy notes from a friend who decided to go, and the headache of reading through the textbook for hours for information told to others in minutes. 

No student would knowingly go through this process without a good reason. And for most students, it usually is a good reason. But the idea that guidelines need to be set to keep students coming to class is unneeded. 

Yes, schools pay professors money to teach students, and everyone wants to get their money’s worth. But here’s the thing: it’s our decision.

If I decide to drown myself in debt for four years of my life to learn nothing and never go to a class, that’s my decision to do so. If I want to become a professional couch potato while I attend school, it should be totally allowed to do so. 

What universities fail to understand sometimes, is that we are adults and we also have responsibilities outside of the classroom. Yes, our grades are destined to slip at some point enough classes are missed, but maybe it’s for the best. 

Universities should turn away from the idea of enforcing an attendance policy and just allow students to prioritize what they feel is truly most important in life.

And who knows, maybe that lab partner who missed the whole semester was just busy changing the world for the better.

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