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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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The 9 Things You’re Doing Wrong in Class Right Now

Written by Ryan Bolton

Well, for starters, you’re probably reading this in class. I applaud you for reading, but time and place.

Listen, we all fuck up. That’s the point of learning. And as your currently in an institution built on that very point, you’re going to screw up. It’s natural.

As a nod to our collective mistakes, here are some reasonable solutions.

You Realized You’re Majoring in the Wrong Program, But Feel it’s Too Late to Switch

It happens. A damn lot. You feel that you’ve already dedicated a good two years to a program and are stuck. Why switch and lose everything? Well, 1) because it’s your fucking future, and 2) you won’t lose everything. Many courses can be used as electives and may transfer to your new major. Remember, you’re in this institution to learn. And you’re learning that this program isn’t for you. You’ve found a new career path that you’re truly passionate about. That doesn’t make you a failure. That means you’re learning. Follow thy heart.

You’re Eating Like Rush Limbaugh

When we go away to college and university, we sadly don’t bring our mothers along. This coupled with a student budget, we resort to food that can only be categorized as shit. KD, pizza, vodka, beer, a bong hit, McDonald’s, and the occasional salad to continue to lie to ourselves. By doing so, we’re hurting our chances at retaining information. Eat well and exercise.

You’re Letting the Stress Win

You’re stressed out. Often. You’ve got five assignments, two group projects, a part-time job at Aritzia, and a roommate that won’t clean their damn dishes. You’re stressed. But you’re letting the stress overwhelm you. Suffocate you. When you can no longer concentrate and it’s affecting your grades, you need to reign it in. Step by step, conquer the stress by putting everything into perspective. Start with managing your time. End with a good night’s sleep.

You’re Entitled

Yep, I said it. Tough love. Hitherto you’ve never truly faced failure. Adversity was brushed aside by parents, caring elementary teachers and everyone-wins soccer coaches. You’re at university to be educated, while forgetting that you’re the one that does the learning. You’re going to meet failure. Keep perspective.

You’re a Snapchat Addict

Or an Instagram addict. Or Facebook addict. Or, more likely, a CLS voucher addict. You have 45 tabs open on your browser right now in class. Oh, you’re not an addict? Ok, time how long it takes you to check your phone. Go ahead. That’s what I thought, not even 3 minutes. When it comes time to class or studying, turn it all off. Use the Self Control app.

You’re Comparing Everything You Do With Your Friends

We all do it. We all ask the same questions, “How much did you study for this test?” “Do you think this will be on the exam?” You know the routine. But by doing this, you’re undercutting your experience. We all learn in different ways. Don’t compare everything you do with your friends. Do what you feel is right. Listen to what the prof says for what will be on the exam. Study your ass off. You do you.

You’re Too Sheepish to Talk to Your Prof

Hells yeah they’re busy. But you’re not interrupting them in their office hours or for a quick chat after class. Talk to your professor. Make sure they know your name, your learning style, etc. Not sure of something discussed in class, meet with your teach in their scheduled office hours. Trust me, they love it. And they’ll love your gumption. Do this early on in the semester before the shit hits the fan and you really need them.

Hell, You’re Not Even in Class Right Now

You’re a smart kid. You’ve always gotten good grades with limited effort. Well, not anymore. Some profs will start to deduct marks off your final grade after two absences from class. You’re right, some subject matter is so ungodly boring. Some lecturers should be washing windows instead of droning on. But you paid big bucks to learn. At least attempt to learn. Go to class, cool kid.

You’re Content with an A Grade

There is such a thing as being “book smart.” And a figurative pat on the back for your A. But if you can’t apply that knowledge in the “real world,” you’re not helping yourself. Work on retaining your knowledge after the exam. Put your new knowledge to the test with continued research. If you’re in a program you truly care about, the passion will take you past the A grade and into a position where you apply what you learn.

Illustration by SLN’s Satesh Mistry.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.