Sickness impacts class attendance: Matt Bowen

My townhouse sounds like an infirmary. Wafting through the air of the house is the musk of Old Spice, a dash of mac and cheese and a delightful pinch of cherry Nyquil.

And it doesn’t seem like the guys in our house are the only ones sick. In almost every class I’ve been in there’s been someone in the back coughing away or depositing mucus into a tissue via a violent nasal deposit. Allergies, colds and bugs of all shapes and sizes are pervading the air.

So, to those professors who give us three days of excused absences, I extend a hearty “thank you.” Thanks to you, we can take semi-guilt free mornings off so we can recover from a restless night of blocked airways. Your wisdom of what it’s like to be a student, not to mention a human being on planet Earth, is greatly appreciated.

But sometimes three days just don’t seem like enough. Like we need more time to recuperate or just wind down from what could be a long week—or even a long month. I wish mental health days would be part of the scholastic calendar.

Three days of excused absence, in my opinion, is a very healthy amount of time to be away from class. To state the obvious, missing too many days of class would defeat the purpose of going to college. Why would I spend thousands of dollars for an experience I choose not to attend? With that mentality, missing too many days of school would make college more of a speed bump at a very expensive toll than an airstrip propelling one to greatness.

After not a little time spent on figuring out numbers (I’m a writer not a mathematician) I learned that in one whole day of school we spend about $166.69. At JBU a semester worth of tuition is $10,868, plus an estimate of the books we spend totals to about $11,668. The fall semester has around 70 days of school. So the money we spend in a semester divided by 70 is about $166.69 per day.

So, if one were to miss three days of classes, $500 would plummet into the deep, dark, this-is-Sparta pit of money we call college. Thanks to loans and scholarships, one never really thinks about it. However, I think no amount of shenanigans, mischief making and even just straight up common colds is worth that much cash. Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped Old Testament to go skate. I’m starting to think that may have been unwise. (YOLO)

The campus is slowly but surely starting to breathe normally again. But as the air gets colder, the grass withers and leaves turn into a colorful crushed powder, allergies are going to start right back up again. So stay healthy, don’t share lollipops, don’t eat the gum under the desks and stay in school. Save those three days for something that really matters like family, deep friends, or days filled with coffee and music and no worries. Get well soon JBU.