The Theory of the Diligent Student (Thou shalt attend school)

You can (not) go to school

For as long as I can remember young fictional protagonists with the mission to complete their academic duties have been rigorously attending school despite all odds. Hindered by implausible situations, aliens, nude characters that appear in one’s room because clothing doesn’t travel well between dimensions, and fantastic formidable foes illegally visiting the planet from unknown worlds because one dimension is not enough, the path to successfully graduate is nothing short of problematical and arduous one.

The fabled day comes. The dilemma then presents itself one day as the student’s academic resolution is tested. The question is, live or attend school. At first sight the answer requires no second thought to the average person but to the anime main character and the like the correct answer greatly differs from that one.

On one hand there is prioritizing the main character’s well being, on the other there is successfully continuing an almost flawless record of attended school days. The answer is then logical. To attend school is the answer.

In spite of what would be considered a rational the course of action, to attend school as if nothing at all has drastically changed in the protagonist’s world is the most frequent course of action in most stories, generally speaking. One of the many unspoken sacred laws is one which the protagonist ought to uphold despite his life depending on it – as it is commonly the case – is to diligently continue one’s academic career.

Long gone is the idea of yearning to skip school because of sudden lethargy or faking a cold like any student ever ineffectively attempts. Such methods are reserved when the situation becomes impossible to handle, used only past beyond the only presence of danger. The protagonist simply has to attend school. Despite staying at home and forming a tactical strategy to increase the odds of making it through the story without suffering impending doom, even if it is for a few days, being quite sound of a decision the actual action taken is to not disrupt the normal order of things. The plan is downplayed, oftentimes plain rejected. It can’t be done because the situation is manageable.

There is hardly a valid reason to not attend school for more than a few days. A day would be fine though rarely the first day the bizarre occurrences transpire, but two, a week, to skip a whole semester because the character’s life is in danger. Denied. Impossible. Heresy.

Staying at home is greatly downplayed as a viable option in most scenarios placing greater emphasis on the protagonist pushing the limits by diligently attending school regardless of the complicated incidents surrounding his or her new world. The emphasis is then placed in a story that normally moves forward to make the protagonist continue the same usual lifestyle regardless of the circumstances.

The idea defies common sense but is the most popular route a story takes generally speaking in which attending school then later entertaining the idea of not attending for a few days, is a fundamental duty that cannot be ignored be that or not the initial intention of the student.