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Choosing proper study habits creates free time


September 18, 2008

Yours truly is back for the final installment of his college career. I guarantee and promise to attend no less than 75 percent of my classes and finish with no more than 100 percent of all points possible in those classes.

But that is neither here nor there what is here and there is how you’re going to get the best possible grades you can get while giving the smallest amount of effort, and the answer is the Efficient Student Doctrine (ESD).

Before reading this please know that I am not an expert in many things, but I am an expert in what I like to call “College Coursework Efficiency,” and am the founding, and sole member of the Maximizing College Coursework Efficiency Society (MCCES).

Throw out your incorrect and preconceived notions of what the establishment would lead you to believe are “slackers”. Slacking is often incorrectly associated with coursework efficiency, but there is one stark difference.

A college coursework efficiency practitioner will have results at the end of the day. He or she will be on the dean’s list (check) and sustain at least a 3.0 GPA (check) with a minimum GPA of 3.3 in his or her major (check). I am nothing if not self-congratulatory. And though those standards are not extremely high, they don’t take into account leisure time, but if they did I would get straight A’s.

Let the ESD commence. The first common misconception to be addressed is spending two hours outside of class studying for every hour you spend in class. What schlub came up with this rule: from this day forth let it be known that the efficient student will spend a maximum of 15 minutes outside of class for every hour spent in class.

The first priority of the efficient student on the first day of class will be to scan the syllabus for dates of importance. For example, the class periods before and of speakers, presentations and exams must be attended.

Class periods immediately after speakers, presentations and exams must never be attended. For the efficient student’s final grade will never be contingent upon information learned during those class periods and thus he or she has much more important things to do with their time.

That will free up approximately 15 hours a semester. What will you do with all your time!? You could go to church, play flip cup, go to a Barack Obama rally or go to a John McCain rally. It doesn’t matter, it’s your time and you just took it back, congratulations.

You see, the MCCES crosses party lines; it’s a bi-partisan organization that only criticizes those who have their lives headed down the wrong path. The path of the overachieving student is a long and winding road my friends. Do yourselves a favor – get back on the straight and narrow and free up some of that time wasted during unnecessarily long lectures.

Preparation for exams is something that not even the most efficient of students should take lightly. I recommend beginning to study by at least 8 p.m. the night before the exam. If there is an important sporting event on, or a fascinating documentary on the history channel about the JFK assassination during that evening, you might be screwed because both of those things have been known to distract even the most efficient of students.

At the end of the day, the ESD and the MCCES just represent that American spirit that is buried deep down inside all of us. The ESD can lead anyone to find that something that we’re all looking for.

What is that something? For me itís my little son Levi, my wife and fantasy football. What is it for you? I don’t know, but I’ll bet that if you skip enough classes, you’ll find it.

Caleb Stevens is a student at UW-River Falls.