January 13, 2012 at 3:25 am

How to Beat School

by

Study Hall: the paradox of high school.  In your head, Study Hall is that time when you get all your homework done, study extensively for all your midterms, and then maybe even write down that poem you’ve been thinking about.  When you actually get to Study Hall, however, you stare blankly at an open textbook, talk with your friends about nothing, and watch that dumb Skyrim video on YouTube for the umpteenth time.  Now, the teachers are making you aware of the problem, and forcing you out of it.  Facebook and YouTube have been temporarily banned during Study Hall.  How are you going to change your work habits (or lack thereof)?

Think of school like a battlefield.  There are wins and losses along the line, and we all have our Waterloos.  If you bomb a quiz, you can’t let it crush your morale.  The trick to winning the war is to have a winning strategy.  Instead of using your study hall to collapse in your bunker and think of home, spend your golden 75 minutes planning your next attack.  You have allies everywhere: your teachers want to help you.  Don’t be fooled, they are on your side!  Use your resources to get ahead.  Here are some battle tactics: the first is, plan ahead.  Know what you want to get done in Study Hall, and, if you can, do most of your homework at home.  Know your enemy.  Know everything you can about induction, or the periodic table, or the French Revolution, so that when you fight it, you will win.  When you’ve emerged from your Algebra textbook victorious, move on to Beowulf!  You should always be one step ahead of the enemy.  Preemptive strikes at the next chapter in Chemistry could give you an edge in the next training session.

In short, use your Study Halls to make yourself into the epic ninja-soldier-gladiator-princess you need to be to slaughter the high school curriculum mercilessly and advance to the next level triumphant.  Because school is just like Skyrim, except that the rewards are real.  It feels pretty darn good to beat the dragon, but it feels better to ace the test.

Co-authored with Nolan Ellsworth

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