How to Cruise By College

Based on How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie) by Junot Diaz

Show up to class on time, just a little bit earlier if you can. This gives an impression of wanting to learn.

Keep your head up in class. Listen. Chime in. Participate just enough so people remember you there, but not enough for that guy who really doesn’t want to be there to think you’re an asshole. That guy doesn’t like the student who always answers.

Keep track of the homework, you never want to be overwhelmed. This doesn’t mean you have to do it as soon as possible. Just keep a tab of what to do on which day. Usually that means the night before. Maybe for some, thirty minutes before class.

Aim for the night before, that way you have more time to develop out how you want to BS the work. Because you will BS it. You didn’t read the notes. You don’t have time for that. It needs to get done.

If you were lazy enough to start the homework less than an hour before class, it’s time to just try your best. Even trying to BS is work. It requires a skill of making something appear as if not done hastily. You have to do it hastily. Just write down the things you remember. Quickly fluff the other parts.

As for projects, give yourself the weekend. These require much more work, and you have to put in about a third of what others did in order to make it look comparable.

If you have to read, find it on Audible. You can listen to the book wherever. Now you don’t have to spend time reading, just listening. I hear driving to school is a great time for Audible.

To study for a test, cram the night before. Spend hours doing so. This is where cruising bites you in the ass, but you’ve made it this far so it must work. Look at the notes, the notes are right, your homework isn’t. If there is time before your class the day of, study more. Remember, the hours you spend here become the hours you don’t have to spend studying in the weeks between.

Finally, accept the C at the end of the semester. Sure, you could have done better, but you didn’t want to. You just wanted to pass, and you’ve done it. Celebrate by doing what you do best: nothing.

Originally written at San Francisco State University in 2015.


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