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Dear Sue: “Sick Sally”


Dear Sue,

I’m a little concerned about my class, grades, and health. I’ve been sick and I had to miss some classes in order just to feel slightly better. The problem is that my classes all have attendance policies where they grade attendance and an absence or two really impacts my grade. What do I do?

*cough, cough*

Sick Sally



Dear Sally,

I’m sorry to hear that you do not feel well. Unfortunately, we are hitting sick weather so this problem will probably happen again, if not with you, then with other students. I personally am not a big fan of grading on attendance, but when my classes do enact that policy, those are the one I make 100% certain to go to when I’m sick and I can’t make it to my others.

I think the very first thing you should do, since we’re basically at the end of the semester, is to email your professors.  Most professors are willing to work with students and listen to them so send your professors an email and explain to them that you didn’t skip class, but missed it because you were too sick to go. I’m assuming through your question that you were sicker than just a common cold, so make sure you tell them how sick you were/are. If it’s just a cold, I don’t understand why you didn’t go to class and you’re just being lazy.

If emailing your professors does not work, there’s another option that only works if you were/are really sick with the flu or pneumonia and if you went to Health Services. If you went to Health Services while you were sick and barely made it even walking there, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind writing you a note, or at least sending an email to your professors saying you legitimately cannot go to class. Now, they only do this for really sick students, so this may not apply to you; I definitely suggest emailing professors first.

Lastly, just remember that if they are grading for attendance, it’s probably not an extremely high percentage of your grade. Normally, it only counts as about 10% or plays into a participation grade. If your classes are counting it as 10% of your grade, then one or two misses probably won’t affect your grade too much, and it’ll average in with all of the classes you have made it to. If it’s part of participation, I wouldn’t worry about it either. There are other grades that probably even it out.

Good luck with your classes and upcoming exams, feel better, and Happy Thanksgiving,

Sue Z. Maroon