I know this isn’t the same at every college, and I don’t even know if it’s still true where I went, but it wasn’t policy at mine to require attendance. There’s an subtle message in it: classes are being held for you. You’re not being held for classes. I think the distinction should be noted. There was no additional punishment beyond missing the lesson and you not getting your money’s worth. No one (at the school, anyway) was going to force you to do what’s in your best interest. The resources were always available, all that was required was for you to utilize them.
Also on the list of other things I probably should’ve figured out 10 years ago, we have homework. It isn’t what I thought it was. I thought it was an insufferable time-killer that provided an extra data point for the teacher to confirm their pet hypothesis that my efforts should probably be focused on burger flipping. Optimistically, though, it’s instead an opportunity to apply your new knowledge, to explore nuances that may not have been understood during class, to demonstrate to yourself that you understand it with the chance to review the material if you don’t feel confident about it, to form honest questions for the teacher during the following lesson, and to receive immediate feedback on the validity of these understandings. (I understand the frequent disparity between this and reality, which is why I caveated with “Optimistically.” In any case, the chance to explore and understand further remains.)
Where’s the application for those of us who are no longer seeking higher education? For me, it’s encouragement to do those otherwise tedious, mundane things that will absolutely wait right now in exchange for coming back to bite me later, to learn new skills, and to explore what tools and resources I’ve got available right now to get what I want done. For everyone else, well, I suppose it’s left as an exercise to the reader.
Thanks for reading.