I've been at the college mill for so long that everything seems commonplace now—there are quirks that have become trivialities and things I no longer even consider. Hearing my sister's experiences really brings me back to the days I was a freshman (I feel centuries old even as I write that).
Her first day, she came back gushing about how she hadn't run into any of her high school friends at all. I remember meeting up with my friends from high school pretty regularly that first year, and then it dwindled and dwindled until now I wonder if my bestie from high school even remembers what I look like.
The first day, my sister also described 'a shocking incident' to my parents.
"This guy just stood up and walked out, right in the middle of the Professor's lecture."
My parents reacted as I'd predicted; my mother sighed over the impertinence of youth while my father spent the next half hour wondering how a professor could actually allow that in his class.
My sister soon learned that this was nothing far from the norm and was speaking casually the next week about students skipping classes. I feel like that's a part of college most people go through, especially coming straight from high school where your parents get a phone call every time you're even late to a class.
I remember it was particularly rampant in our core classes. Now, when we're in our specialized classes and have about twenty-five people in a class, tops, it's much easier for professors to pick up on who's coming and going, and to be more stringent with their sign-in sheets and attendance policies.
But, I can see how that might be different when teaching a class of hundreds—if a professor tried taking attendance with that class size, he'd be there all night.
Some professors have come up with pretty inventive methods to chart attendance; there's the daily clicker or popper question that gets matched with your name later, but even that has its flaws in a class with so many students. Sometimes, I would even end up getting marked absent for a class I had attended because my clicker response hadn't been recorded (which is a lesson to professors that technology is sometimes woefully inaccurate, and sometimes students are actually trying to tell the truth.)
The thing is, if you decide to skip a class or walk out of a class, you're doing yourself the greatest disservice.
Class is like a commitment; it's like showing up on time for work or an appointment and the idea is that you stay till the lesson is over—that's why schedules exist, people!
If you decide not to show up for class, or even worse, walk out of class in the middle, you're basically letting the professor know that you don't respect them or their subject enough to actually sit through a whole lesson on it. Believe it or not, that sort of behavior doesn't exactly do well on your ranking of professional attributes.
Then, there's also the fact that you happen to be paying for these classes—I mean you're actually giving the guy at the front of the room about a grand just to lecture to you for a semester. He's not losing anything with your attitude, but I figure that if we're already set to be mired in student loans for the remainder of our lives, we might as well learn something with all that money we're spending.
My point is, if you choose to not go to class, that's up to you—there is no coercion in college (it's a lot more free than even the ideas of our political democracy would promote). In my opinion, though, it's a choice that is going to hurt no one more than yourself.