Students can learn the art of skating by
There is a delicate art to passing a class while putting in the bare minimum effort. This isnât necessarily borne out of laziness, but sometimes our schedules are just too full and there are other priorities besides required classes or general education.
Not every course you take will catch your interest, but for the sake of grade point averages and parental wrath, thereâs still an obligation to do well. A common question asked by students at the beginning of every year is, âHow much work do I actually have to do in order to get by?â
This doesnât mean youâre a bad student, itâs merely a desire to make the most out of your time here â there is, after all, more to college than just going to class.
Certain practices, however, must be avoided so that you donât seem like a student who doesnât care, because hopefully thatâs not the case.
Despite popular belief, sitting in the back row does not make you any less noticeable to those in charge. In a way, youâre drawing just as much attention to yourself as those who promptly sit in the front of the class, backs straight and eyes wide open.
The prime real estate of a normal classroom is right in the middle. This area allows for flexibility depending on your mood that day. If you have something youâd like to contribute to class, sit within the professorâs line of vision. But if youâre not feeling active, there are also the sides of the middle rows, which are easy to overlook from the head of the classroom â perfect for when youâve had a rough night or youâre âjust not feelinâ it.â
Participation is also a tricky subject. When youâre looking to merely skate by, chances are youâre probably not up to date with every reading assignment. No worries â all you have to do is pick a section, analyze it carefully and be prepared to offer an ambiguous yet thought-provoking observation. Questions are even better because theyâll make it sound like you actually gave the text some consideration.
Now, for one of the biggest concerns when attending a class that you have little interest in: falling asleep. Weâve all experienced that terrifying moment when your eyes droop, the drool drips and your elbow slips. Suddenly youâre jerked awake right before you hit the desk face-first.
Falling asleep in class is seriously dangerous business. Besides the obvious risk of incurring the red-penned wrath of professors on your future assignments, dozing off could lead to sleep talk, useless notes, a possible concussion and â worst of all â snoring.
Finding ways to occupy your mind and body ensures maximum attention and prevents a narcoleptic disaster.
Doodling creates a tried and true method of at least staying occupied enough to not fall asleep. You can attempt to use your phone or laptop for texting or games, but this is the rudest option. Professors of a prestigious university deserve more respect than that.
Try writing down humorous quotes from your professor if he or she is of the quirky variety, or practice your writing skills by drafting a hand-written letter. You can also eye that cute classmate who caught your interest on the first day. Optical footsie presents an interesting way to make sure you arenât tempted to retreat into a deep slumber.
For the studious kids out there, participating in class is also a viable option. Believe it or not, raising your hand and contributing to the discussions at hand will keep you awake and cause you to learn a thing or two. By making a conscious effort to engage yourself with the course, you might actually discover that itâs not so bad.
Speaking in class isnât everyoneâs cup of tea, though, and a simple solution to this is to jot down your own questions on a notepad and then speak to the professor during office hours.
As for attendance, though your dedication might be questionable, avoid skipping unless itâs absolutely necessary. Being absent will only draw attention to yourself, and if your efforts have been less-than-satisfactory, this attention will definitely be unwanted.
Also, donât show up late. Itâs impolite and, again, will only earn you negative attention.
Though you might not be invested in a class, it doesnât mean you canât fake it till you make it. I mean, letâs be real here. I wrote this column slightly before my deadline. Pretty good though, eh? Just follow my example and youâll be flying by with little to no effort.
Nick Cimarusti is a junior majoring in English and Spanish. His column âGet Schooledâ runs Mondays.