From Return of Kings. Good stuff.
What every modern college kid needs to understand is that undergrad college is NOT about learning things, it’s about getting a degree of your choice and maintaining a good GPA while doing it.
Yep. It’s strictly a mercenary thing. Besides, kids going off to college these days are, by definition, Millennials, and y’all know everything already anyway. Chase maximum returns for minimum effort.
All that matters is ‘Required Course 101’ and the grade on your transcript. All sections are supposed to be equal, even though they are taught by different profs. However, this is almost never the case, and you MUST find out which sections with which profs to take beforehand and register appropriately. Once everyone finds out what a Nazi Himmler is, they will all try to transfer out to Buttercup’s class and very few will be successful; the rest are boned because it is too late.
Eh. This might work at smaller schools. At bigger schools (and lots of the smaller ones, alas), Required Course 101 is taught by a graduate student. The quality of TAs can range from “pretty good” to “redlining the autism spectrum,” and they’re very difficult to research beforehand. Plus, they’re all under the delusion that college is for learning stuff. Your best bet is to find an adjunct. Look at their faculty page — “adjunct professor of ___” is best, as they’re short-term mercs who perpetually have one foot and four toes out the door anywhere they teach (if she doesn’t have a faculty page, it’s guaranteed she’s either a TA or an adjunct). They don’t give a shit; just follow their instructions to the letter and you’ll be fine. Failing that, get the oldest, crustiest prof you can find, for the same reasons. But do a bit of research beforehand; some of those old guys are bears. But most of them haven’t given a shit since 1972 — just follow the syllabus to the letter, no matter how pointless and bizarre, and you’ll be fine.
Go to review sessions, go to office hours, look like you care, and you might get a bump up to the next letter grade for a good effort. Many profs will drop obvious hints about what will be on the tests to folks in their review sessions.
Oh God yes. The dirtiest secret of the academic biz is that “teaching effectiveness” counts for tenure, and the only way to evaluate that is… student evaluations, which are 100% based on grades. You can’t just give everyone an A (looks too suspicious) and you can’t fail everyone (ditto), but everything else is wide open. There will always be a plethora of jackalopes who volunteer for the F’s; it’s often much tougher to find volunteers for the A’s. BE ONE OF THEM.
(That said, remember that baksheesh makes the world go round. If your prof gives you an A for showing up to office hours, you owe it to him to give him the greatest student eval in your college’s history. I’m talking Dead Poets Society shit. When you’re done with his eval, every administrator in the department should want to lube up and put on some Barry White records and wander into his office for an individual “mentoring” session).
Most of any given school’s faculty and administration don’t care about whether or not you do well. You’re just a number, and if your TA can’t speak English, or your professor gave you a test on a chapter that hasn’t been covered yet, no one will really care.
Yep. They won’t actively persecute you, but you’re like the guy who wants to donate less than $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation — fuck off, Jack, come back when you’re worth my time.
Your room is not a place to study. Your desk will be small, and taken up with stuff, you’ll want to play music and be distracted by things; it just doesn’t work. Find some area, like at the library, get a big table, and do your homework there.
Again, maybe at a smaller school. Libraries at big state schools all try very hard to be a combo shopping mall / coffee house / sports bar. Books are optional, and you’d have an easier time studying on the infield at the Indy 500. Work outside in some off-the-path corner of the quad, weather permitting, and in “study lounges” when it doesn’t. Most big dorms have these. Yes, they will be filled with sweaty foreigners eating what smells like squid-flavored ramen noodles and other escapees from a comic-con. For study purposes, it still beats your average off-campus coffee shop. Stick some vapo-rub up your nose and learn to deal.
This was from 2006, by the way. I’m sure it’s much worse now. But if you’re dumb enough to go to a modern American college, you deserve what you’re going to get.