I was sick (and here is the note from the Dean/doctor/faith healer/local voodoo priest).
I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown (and here is the note from the Dean/shrink/licensed mental health care professional).
I play competitive sports and will be away that day for a match/meet/mud-wrestling contest. (Note future tense)
My dorm room flooded/burned down/fell over in an earthquake (and here is the notice from the newspaper/the Dean/the Fire Marshal/the Army Corps of Engineers).
A close relative was very sick/injured/dying/dead so I had to fly out of town (and here is the notice from my family/the Dean/the hospital/the funeral home).
Non-excuses for missing class (All of which your professors have actually heard):
I needed to pick my mother up at the airport.
My boyfriend/girlfriend/long-lost cousin/ET arrived unexpectedly in town.
My boyfriend/girlfriend/alien lover broke up with me.
I am taking two classes whose time slots conflict.
I overslept/needed to sleep/felt like sleeping/was overcome by that soporific feeling I sometimes get in the afternoon and didn’t feel like drinking any more coffee.
I had work for my other classes.
I needed a break.
I am not interested in _____ (insert topic of the week).
I actually believed those Master Card ads that say I deserve whatever I want.
My dog/cat/goldfish/pet mongoose died.
There was a rerun of Star Trek on TV.
The lecture conflicted with my aqua-aerobics class.
I invented a time machine for my senior project and was trapped in 2071 when everyone else was in class, but I promise that three years from now, when I’ve gotten all the bugs out of the system, I’ll go back to last week and make up the class.