08 April, 2012

How to Survive Semesters

Well hello, my semester is almost over. I had thumped and tumbled through a series of exams in my major subjects, and my bruised face and mangled brain are very thankful that they were the last ones I needed to take. Now I am technically free yet two courses away from saying my term is officially over. Yes, I still have two courses to worry about until I can leap and scream with joy that I had triumphantly survived my seventh term in college. Environmental science isn't really much of a worry, but my chemistry lab course has consistently displayed its potential to be kind of a bitch, so yeah I'm technically not quite done yet.

However evil forces like my lab course couldn't stop me from creating a "How to Survive a Semester in College for Lazy Brains" kind of post, because heck this is the internet and I have a blog and I have survived six terms in college already. Can you believe that? This lazy boy right here who doesn't care much about school and always rants about how much he hates being a chemistry major has survived 3/4 of college. As a matter of fact, next year, theoretically, I'm graduating! And oh my God, the idea of finishing college is so insanely delightful I want to cry while eating cookie dough ice cream and stabbing a pigeon. Here I shall give tips to all college students on how to survive a semester in college while still keeping your laid-back teenager attitude. It is possible, it is stressful, but it's simpler than you think. Of course you may not follow these tips if you don't want to, but hey I guarantee these tips won't fail you. 

Have fun all you want and do all the things you want, but make sure you don't waste all of your time:

1. Learn something.
Okay, the first tip always has to be this: you obviously should be learning something. That's the point of going to school in the first place, right? You can skip classes all you want only if the professor doesn't check the attendance. They rarely do, because most of them don't really care about their students, but some of them like to check the attendance like it's the only way they can show off their terrorizing status. Keep in mind however, that if you skipped classes you would be out of the loop for a while. That means you would have to buy a book or go to the library to study on your own. And that's not really fun, is it? Sitting in class and listening to the lecture every five minutes (with twenty minutes of not caring in between) is more tolerable. Stay awake because sleeping in class makes you look like a tired asshole. Sleeping in your chair with your mouth open makes you look retarded. If you feel *this* close to sleeping in class, step outside, go upstairs and then go back down. That's what I do. Go to class unless you're terribly beat and sleep-deprived because we all know sleep is the best thing in the world and it should always be the number one priority. We all deserve long hours of rest. Just remember that you should always have an idea, however little, of what is going on and what you should know from the lessons everyday so that your brain wouldn't feel like drowning once you finally feel enough pressure to study hard all night with your midterm exam tomorrow.

2. You can always do better.
This has been my motto all along, and I know this wouldn't be taken lightly by my mom once she finds out that I don't really care about the first exam in most of my subjects. Yes, how poorly you do in the first exam doesn't matter, that is only if there's a second, a third, and a final exam yet to come. Some courses like it that way, some courses have only the midterm and the final exams. Some courses even have four exams before the final exam, so take advantage of that generosity in chances. Just lay back and have fun and don't stress yourself too much (in fact, not at all) about the first exam. When you get your exam paper back and you get a bad or a failing mark, just keep in mind that you can always do better next time, so make sure you do. Work your ass off for the next exams, 'cause well you've had your time to chill already. Let's face it: chilling is a luxury to college students. 

3. Make sure you know them. Make sure they know you.
Sometimes the key to getting a good grade is pretending that you genuinely care about the subject. This is applicable to the smaller classes and the electives. You know there are lots of random courses you can take every semester that could lift your weighted average at the end of the term. These courses don't need a lot of effort if you just make sure that your instructor knows you in a good way. So choose an instructor that is relatively nice and you can do this in one simple step: have a perfect attendance. Just attend the class, pretend that you're listening, nod every once in a while, chat with your seatmate while pointing at the blackboard to pretend that you're discussing what's written there. Participate in the class. Speak up and share your ideas. It doesn't matter if your ideas are not totally related to the subject, just make sure they're not stupid. Always do your homework and make sure it's clean and neat. When there's a group homework, make sure you're not the leader (because you know most teenagers think the leader is a jerk) but make sure you contribute something and meet the deadline. When the instructor calls you in class by your name-- that's when you know you're fine.

4. Do something.
Of course you have to do something. You won't survive the semester if you don't submit the requirements! Make sure you have an output the professor can grade. Is the paper due next Friday? Well then, you have one week but you can always just cram it next Thursday. That way you've had fun for a while and just a few hours of suffering in just one night. Never mind if your paper turns out quite crappy, 'cause getting a 75% is better than getting a 0%. The problem set is due next Wednesday? Do it next Tuesday because you are efficient when your body is in a panicky state. You have to stay up all night to study for the exam or finish the report, that is true. Just adjust your sleeping schedules a bit so you can still hang out with friends during the afternoon or waste time on the internet. You have to remember that you have a lot of time. There are 24 hours in a day, and that's more than enough to get something important done.

I can say that I've enjoyed college and most of my subjects so far. The electives I took were fun. My chemistry courses were. . . meh. I hated Physics and Math, while I especially hated Differential Calculus but I also loved it in a weird kind of way because I had to work so hard in order to pass that course. I hope you learned something from the tips I've given above. These can work to give you good and decent grades. If you want to graduate with Latin honors, then don't follow my examples. You need to work harder than I do.

I'm going back to my It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia marathon now. Wildcard, bitches.

kudos to all the nice students with good grades.


The girl of the sun said...

These are great tips which have a great effect of encouraging students not to give up and hold on in the right place with gradual movements ahead :) Good luck with everything you've begun!

Asinastra Nightshade said...

Congrats on making it this far - sounds like a nightmare!
Your tips are much appreciated. And realistic. =)

Diego Green said...

As someone on the verge of finishing four-year university (taking far too long to do it) - this last term is the longest and most difficult, but only because I have all but given up on caring. We shall stab pigeons yet though!

Your tips are very valid - too many students take the freedom given and end up wasting their college experience.

Oliver said...

Thanks! =]

Haha does it sound like a nightmare, really? It wasn't that awful; I can say I had more fun than I got stressed out. Thank you! You can very well make use of these tips! =D

I agree. College gives us freedom but it also is a huge amount of responsibility to start building our future. Good luck with your last few months/weeks/days in the university. Hold on, do great, carry on, and stab pigeons! =]

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