Column by Cat Tacopina

cat tacopinaIn just a little more than two months, I’ll be out of here. My college career will have come to a close and I will have to wade through the murky channels of real-people jobs and bills and loans and all of the stuff that, if you’re not a senior, you’ve barely given any thought to.

If you are not a senior enjoy this time you have in college, even if you feel like you’re drowning. It’s a scary world out there (that’s what my friends say) and the bubble that is college is much kinder than you think.

In my time on The Oracle, I’ve written several columns; some funny, some heartfelt and at least one of them was really self-serving.

But I’ve never done an advice column. At least, not one that I was 100 percent serious about. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t pass down some of the knowledge and wisdom I acquiredfrom being a college student. So here it is, nerds. I’m going to give you my crowning achievement, one of the things I mustered up the courage to come up with while an undergrad.

I’m telling you how to get out of class. Excused, for medical reasons, without a doctor’s note.

And every professor at this school is going to hate me for it.

My friends, swallow your pride and tell them you have diarrhea. Or that you’re constipated. But you’re probably safer with diarrhea.

We can do this one of two ways. You could actually give yourself diarrhea; all you have to do is go to Hasbrouck or get 40 Chicken McNuggets and wash them down with a vanilla milkshake (for the record, the latter definitely works. Don’t make that mistake twice like I did).

But for your own comfort, it’s pretty easy to weasle your way out of class by crying diarrhea. Think about it; when you have diarrhea, you’re not going to the medical center. In fact, you’re not going anywhere except for your toilet and hoping that those two cups of coffee you had will do the job and make the whole process fast and dirty (literally).

You’re certainly not going to go to the doctor so they can give you a note saying “Hey, Suzy had diarrhea today so I let her use my toilet and now here’s a note saying that for the past 30 minutes she’s made my bathroom a chemical wasteland.”

But diarrhea is an actual medical issue. Unless you’re wearing a diaper or you’re cool with pulling down your pants and finding a hot, wet bed of poo, you are prisoner to the walls of your bathroom.

The tricky part is when you have to tell your professors that you weren’t in class because of said ailment. Okay, you may be fibbing about it, but they’re not going to know.

Maybe you’re like me and you clearly don’t have an ounce of shame in your body. Maybe you’ll go to the next class, and go up to the professor afterwards and say:

“Hey, I’m really sorry I missed class the other day. I just really wasn’t feeling well and like, you know, couldn’t really leave the bath…”

You won’t have to go any further. Like your sexist high school gym teacher when you mentioned that you may or may not be menstruating, your professors don’t want, or need, to hear anymore. If there’s anything I’m thankful for, it’s that having to poop is still stigmatized in our society.

But for most people, I recommend just sending an email. It’s a lot of awkward eye contact you can avoid.

I should note that this excuse only works on a professor about once a semester, twice if you’re really brave. There are only so many times a semester when you can tell your teacher you’re unable to come to class because of diarrhea and have them believe you.

Before I go, I would like to note that by writing this column, I have sacrificed the last four diarrhea/constipation excuses I will get to use in my life ever. I did this for all of you who will still be here semesters to come. Heed my advice and trust me.

And to my four professors this semester…If I’m out of class for a medical reason that I don’t have a note for, it’s actually diarrhea. And I’m really sorry about it.



Cat Tacopina