Let’s play a quick game of “Would you rather?” Which sounds better – a day filled with seven or eight periods of sitting in class staring out the window at the gorgeous spring day, or a morning spent sleeping in followed by an afternoon out with friends? It’s pretty much a no-brainer we’d all pick the latter. Many high school seniors around the country do in fact pick the sleeping in and hanging with friends option in the form of “Senior Skip Days” every spring. This decision isn’t always as easy as it seems, however. Whether or not your school officially sanctions a Skip Day, be sure to follow these dos and don’ts for a successful skip!
DON’T jeopardize your relationships with teachers.
Even if Skip Day is a well-known activity for seniors to participate in, make sure you won’t be risking ruining a relationship with a favorite teacher, or one who helped you out a ton during the college search and application process. Obviously most teachers would rather have you in class than miss a day towards the end of the year, even if it’s an event a ton of seniors participate in. It’s also not totally unheard of for teachers to get back in touch with a school if they think what they wrote in a recommendation or supplemental material for an application no longer stands based on your participation in things like Skip Day. Some teachers have also altered grades for students not in class on Skip Day, which can be a huge deal if you’re on a college waitlist or are on the borderline in terms of final semester grades that will be reported to the college you’ve settled on.
DO double-check deadlines and test dates.
Even though spring weather can be amazingly tempting, it’s important to remember that many of us face a season full of final projects and exams before we can enjoy the summer. Keep these deadlines in mind when deciding whether or not you’ll participate in Skip Day. After all, it’s definitely not a smart idea to skip on a day you have major projects due or tests coming up. Not only will you not want to miss important projects and exams, but it’s also key to go to any study sessions or review days teachers may be having as well. Check (and double-check) your syllabus, talk to teachers, and make sure you know exactly what’s coming on a day you plan to skip before actually following through with that plan.
DON’T keep your plans a secret.
If you’re planning to participate in a Skip Day, it’s not a good idea to keep people like your parents or teachers in the dark. If Skip Day is a common thing that lots of seniors participate in every spring at your high school, it shouldn’t be difficult to approach teachers ahead of time to let them know you’re planning to participate with your classmates, and ask for any classwork or materials you’ll miss. We know a day of homework probably wasn’t what you had in mind, but it also won’t kill you to work on things or read for a class or two for twenty minutes since you’re missing hours of class on Skip Day!
It’s also important to keep your parents in the loop in terms of what you’re planning to do. Even if Skip Day is a sanctioned event, it’s Mom and Dad who will learn about your absence first if you don’t let the school know ahead of time. They can also be great allies to have on your side should you run into some unexpected or unintended consequences as a result of skipping.
DO skip with friends.
Ferris Bueller is a spectacular role model when it comes to spending a day away from school. While the chances of you exploring an entire major metropolitan city are pretty slim, watching hours and hours of daytime TV will NOT make for a fun Skip Day. If you decide to miss classes for the day, find a friend or two willing to play hooky with you. Come up with a fun plan ahead of time, whether it’s a day at the beach or lake, shopping for your new collegiette wardrobe, a movie marathon of your fave chick flicks, a day exploring the town you live in, or even a simple outing like a trip to a new restaurant that just opened will no doubt create some great memories to close out senior year.
DON’T jeopardize other senior milestones.
Skip Days can be fun – as long as your school’s okay with them. Some districts have policies in place to prevent students from skipping, especially if Skip Days are traditionally held after big events like prom or Memorial Day weekend. Many schools prevent students from attending events like prom or graduation, or hold diplomas, yearbooks, caps and gowns, or other classic tokens of senior year if a student misses a particular day or periods as part of senior skip events. Get familiar with your school’s policies regarding senior skipping or absences during the last semester of the school year either by researching district policy (try getting on the school or district website or reading through the student handbook), asking teachers and admins, or talking to previous students you know may or may not have skipped for whatever reason. One day of off-site amusement is definitely not worth sacrificing priceless memory-making (and photo!) opps later in the season.
DO look into alternative options.
Oftentimes, schools that don’t approve of senior Skip Days have alternate options for rewarding graduating seniors. Whether it’s early dismissal, a fun in-class activity that can score you some extra points, an early end to the year, after-school events and programming, or post-graduation bashes thrown on the school’s dime, many districts make an effort to reward seniors for their hard work.
The decision on whether or not to skip a day this spring is one you should make carefully with input from school admins, parents, and friends. Senior Skip Day can be a great way to enjoy one of the last carefree afternoons with your high school friends. Regardless of what you decide, enjoy these last few moments of high school. They’ll make great stories next year when you’re meeting new people at a new school!