The Stages of Going to Class (and how to conquer them)

We’ve all been there. The incessant ringing of the alarm goes off at an offensive hour of the morning, and the dread sets in. Class starts in an hour.

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Stage 1: Denial

Denial usually happens when you’re lying in bed, cocooned in warmth, and warring with yourself. Let’s be honest, some classes are super easy to skip. The bigger ones, especially 100 level, don’t take attendance and many don’t have frequent in-class assignments.

But even if the syllabus doesn’t indicate iClicker questions for the day, and even if you don’t have any upcoming exams, something relevant is probably going to happen in class and you don’t know what you’ll miss if you don’t show up.

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Stage 2: Bargaining

I don’t know about you, but this stage comes swiftly following denial while I’m calculating exactly how much time it’ll take me to get dressed, brush my teeth, walk to class, etc. I usually have a go-to beanie and sweatshirt outfit that helps me look efficiently semi-presentable. The problem is, laying there and calculating how much time you have cuts into the time you’re calculating.

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Stage 3: Anger

This usually comes as you’re ripping the covers off in a rage. (Is that just me?) You’ll blame yourself for registering in that class, at that time. You’ll blame the prof by calling them useless (even when you actually really like them).

You’ll blame whoever decides what courses are required for which programs. The anger stage is just a side effect of having to wake up early for a class you don’t want to go to.

from unsplash.com

from unsplash.com

Stage 4: Panic

This stage comes when your math has inevitably failed you. You haven’t brushed your teeth, you can’t find your glasses, and class starts (or your bus leaves) in six minutes and twenty-three seconds. While you frantically run, all you can think about is how loud that ridiculous door to the classroom is, how squeaky those chairs are, and how you’re going to be the centre of attention when you try to sneak in late.

from unsplash.com

from unsplash.com

Stage 5: Acceptance

You’ve made it to class, and you’re happy you went. You’d rather be sleeping, but turns out despite the syllabus, the prof revealed some very pertinent information about your midterms that they aren’t going to be posting on CourseSpaces. (Even if the class could’ve been a write-off, you still showed up and I’m proud of you.)

How to conquer?

I don’t have any advice for you that’s particularly ground-breaking or original. Honestly, just get your butt out of bed and go to class. A strategy I’ve found useful is to think about the state of my GPA, how much my tuition is costing me, and other stress-inducing things, then I embrace the anxiety and use it to motivate me to go. Another strategy is to not register in a class that starts at 8:30 am. Just a thought.

All in all, it can be a struggle to get yourself to every class every day, because you are accountable pretty much only to yourself. Miss if you’re sick, that’s totally reasonable, but don’t fall down the class-skipping rabbit hole unnecessarily, because the lack of immediate consequences makes it hard to get out of it.

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