Dear Flyby: How Do I Skip the Days Before Thanksgiving?

By Flyby Blog

As Yalies love to remind us, we don’t have the three days before Thanksgiving weekend off, rendering the idea of a fall break totally unreachable in the hearts and minds of Harvard students. Unless… we get creative. For this week’s Monday advice column, Flyby is here to help you figure out how you can miss the full week of Nov. 20-24 and get off scot-free. Hint, it involves Flyby’s favorite activity: gaslighting!

Q: How do I get a full week off for Thanksgiving?

A: Step one is to set the scene for an excused absence early. In your last classes before the weekend, wear a mask and cough a bit. Complain loudly to a friend (who’s in on it) about how you’re not feeling well. Make sure your professor, or, let’s be real, your TF hears you.

Step two is to go to Harvard-Yale. This one isn’t necessary for skipping the next week, it’s just fun. And maybe with all the crowds, you’ll actually get sick!

Step three is to remember to send an email about your absence at a crucial moment. Gmail schedule-send is your friend, so you can actually sleep late in your childhood bedroom/Airbnb/youth hostel/Amtrak seat. Aim for a time that would be reasonable to have woken up from an alarm, realized the extent of your illness, and had time to draft a hasty but respectful email, like 8:37 a.m. on the day of the class.

Copy-paste the following:

Dear [Prof/TF name],

I hope you’re doing well this morning. I just woke up and I’m really not feeling well, so I think it’s not the best idea for me to come into class today. I’m sorry, I know this is already probably a low-attendance day, but I don’t think I’d be a productive addition to class.

I’ll ask [friend who is a sucker dedicated student and not skipping] for the notes. Have a great holiday this week!


[Your name]

Of course, this whole rigamarole is only necessary if it’s a class that’s small enough that it’ll notice you’re gone, or if your lecture takes attendance. Otherwise, just skip. Who’s gonna know? How would they know?

Happy gaslighting and happy holidays <3


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