The Home File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
College professors from around the country have offered the most outrageous excuses their students have given for missing a class, a test, or an assignment. Here are the best ones concerning issues students have had dealing with home issues, from repairs to roommates.
As an overview, this article is part of a series (Overview: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time — Introduction to the Article Series), exploring what excuses college students have offered to explain an absence, a missed exam, a paper or project being late, etc. All of these excuses have been collected from this author’s contemporaries — professors and instructors at colleges and universities all across America. As such, it is a “crowdsourced” piece, and I owe them my gratitude for sharing their “best” excuses — which in reality means the “worst” — from their students over the years that provided the basis for this article series. And in all of these articles, each of which deals with a different “origin area” for student excuses, from health to tech to social to pets and more, we not only see excuses that make us laugh, but we also see some that could make you cry, as there are also stories of students who “went the extra mile” and persevered over the unique obstacles they might have faced in their lives to succeed in school.
In this article in the series exploring college student excuses, we look at how issues at home — from home maintenance and repairs to yes, bugs, and roommate problems — can cause them to have them miss a class, a test, or a paper/project submission deadline. So, without further ado, let’s open the home file and see how issues on the home front can make for some quite “interesting” student excuses.
Ah, we all know how our college apartments and rent houses were things that we might fondly — or not so fondly — remember. The same is true for today’s students, as home issues seem to be a common cause of attendance issues. This is exemplified by the following excuses, submitted by anonymous colleagues from universities all across America.
First, there are just the “things” that happen around the house, like these — especially around test times!:
“Student said her power went out and she had no idea how to open the garage since the button wasn’t working.”
“I had a student who opened the cabinets in her kitchen, and a baking sheet fell out and hit her on the head! The student was fine, just wanted to take the test later!”
And then there are the excuses related to plumbing problems — and yes, most of these have to deal with “toilet issues” — so be warned!:
“I received a photo of an overflowing toilet. I believe you. You don’t have to send me that.”
“I had a student flush homemade ramen with jumbo shrimp and it flooded their room and soaked their clothes and bag so they couldn’t go to class. Yes, I received photos…”
“I had a student refuse to come to class due to not being able to get a shower for that day. I guess repairs were being made.” To which another professor replied: ‘I wish some of mine did that! I’ve had way too many come to class smelling like the previous night’s party.’”
“I had a student who missed class because he locked himself INSIDE his own room. It needed a key to get out and he had to wait for his mom to get home to let him out. He even had his mom call me to tell me and take a picture of the door. He was a great student I knew well, so I didn’t even doubt him.”
And of course, then there are bugs …
“When I was an undergrad, I woke up to go to class and discovered an Indian meal moth (aka ‘pantry moth’) larvae infestation in the closet of my dorm room. (which also served as part pantry). Emailed my prof right away that I would be missing class to deal with it. I was worried it wouldn’t be counted as an excused absence because it seemed so absurd. Later, my professor said she knew I was telling the truth because it was the wildest reason for missing class she’d ever heard. It was one of the worst days of my life, tho. So disgusting!”
“A colleague had a student ask for an extension to an assignment because there was a moth infestation at her house and she couldn’t work because there were moths attacking her and her computer screen.”
“‘My roommates and I have lice!’…it was true, but definitely a first. She later sent me photos of all them in different stages of lice treatment!”
There are some home issues that are no doubt very serious, such as these, which all involved photographic evidence that indeed, sometimes “STUFF” does happen:
“I received a pic of a fireman holding a hose outside an apartment building from a student, followed by an email explaining that it was a real time pic of her home! All ended well — no injuries or significant damage!”
“A student said that they had to stop taking their midterm because a tree fell on their house during a storm. They included A picture of themselves standing by a tree that had blown into their home, caving in the roof. I allowed them to reschedule.”
“Ummmm. A student said that they had to stop taking their midterm because a tree fell on their house during a storm. They included a picture of themselves standing by a tree that had blown into their home, caving in the roof. I allowed them to reschedule.”
And then there are the roommate issues…
“Had a student say he was late because his roommate used his bar of soap and filled it with hair, rendering it useless for him to shower with…”
“Student related that he couldn’t come to class ‘because the water in the dorm was turned off and he couldn’t shower or brush his teeth.’ To which I shared my stories of being embedded with the Marines during the Battle of Fallujah.”
“A student told me today that he missed Wednesday’s class because his roommates asked him to ‘hit it’ and he forgot to come to class. I think he just told me he missed class to get high.”
“I always appreciate an excuse from a student that I haven’t heard before because they are so crazy they have to be true. I once had a student borrow a Post-It Note poster pad for a class presentation. He came to me later and confessed that he could not return it because his roommate had been drinking and when my student suggested slowing down, the roommate sped up in protest, got sick, and puked all over it. He didn’t think I would want it back (which I agreed!) and he offered to buy me a new one. I told him that the story alone was worth the replacement cost!”
Unlike most of the other articles in this series, this one doesn’t conclude with a story of students persevering or overcoming adversity when it comes to home issues. Hopefully though, all of these students — and students in the future — will have learned from these experiences (and maybe even have a great story to tell about them someday!). And yes, we can all hope that they find better places to live — and in some cases, better folks to share their homes with — in their future lives.
The Article Series
If you enjoyed reading this article on the best excuses offered by college students regarding legal issues, please check out the other articles in the series exploring a whole host of other “causations” of absences, missed tests, late projects, etc. It’s all offered in a good spirit, and I hope you will check them out for yourself and perhaps share with your colleagues — and maybe even your students!
So, I would encourage you to kick back with a good cup of coffee (or more) and scroll through this series of articles. You will laugh at many of these excuses, and yes, in some instances, you may be inspired and even shed a tear or two!
- Overview: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time — Introduction to the Article Series
- The “Death Card”: The Best (Really Worst) College Excuses of All Time
- The Medical File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Legal File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Pets and Animals File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Weather File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Home File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Family File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Social File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Tech File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Car File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Online Classes/Zoom File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Travel File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The “Better Options” File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Potpourri File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The “Caught in a Lie” File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
- The Inspirational Stories File: The Best (Really Worst) College Student Excuses of All Time
Enjoy this article — or these articles? Please buy Professor Wyld’s ebook — The Handbook of College Student Excuses — that compiles all of these excuses in one place — for yourself, for a college student you know (or parent), or for a college faculty member. It is a great, fun read, and makes a great gift! Get it today from Smashwords ( https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1073655) or on Amazon ( https://amzn.to/3rM5IXZ). You can also view the college student “Excuse of the Day” on Dr. Wyld’s blog at http://www.collegestudentexcuses.com/the-best-excuse-of-the-day/.
About David Wyld
David Wyld is a Professor of Strategic Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, publisher, executive educator, and experienced expert witness.
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