Tips for surviving summer school


So, you’re taking summer classes. Well into their third week now, these courses make May feel just like September or January.

Except it isn’t just like September or January. Because while you’re inside learning econometrics or reading 13th century English literature, everyone else is outside frolicking in shorts and shades. It’s summer, and courses or no courses, you better start acting accordingly.

It’s a common story – you want to do well in school, so you’ll pick up a few distance ed. courses so that next year you can take a smaller course load and actually get all your readings done, right? Or, maybe you’re stuck here because your co-op program forces you to stick around for an extra semester.

Either way, what you do during fall and winter semesters is none of my business, but in the summertime, there’s an unwritten code to live by.

Summer is a time for lethargy, hedonism and making the most of the roughly 25 days of decent weather that Canada experiences each year.

Luckily for you, however, summer classes are generally shamefully easy.

Even though you’ve been a keener your whole life, I’m confident that with a few pointers, you’ll have no problem learning how to score those credits without really doing or learning anything, all while soaking up some precious rays of sun.

As a seasoned slacker, it is my privilege, nay, my duty, to show everyone, even the serious academic, that school doesn’t have to overcome your life (or even a small, totally reasonable part of it). First and foremost, don’t do any work that isn’t explicitly tied to a percentage of the course mark.

Course readings? Forget about it. Can I do supplementary readings, you ask? Go sit in the corner and think about what you just said. Sure, readings give you bearings on what’s going on in your courses and teach you valuable things, but they also take time: time that you could be wasting.

Besides, with sources like Spark-Notes and Wikipedia, there’s really no good reason to read primary sources of any kind. Everyone knows that reeding is for sukkers.

Second, learn to multitask. Once you’ve mastered the art of multitasking, it’s easy to do schoolwork while being productive at the same time.

For example, you have an essay due, but you also need to watch Happy Gilmore for the seventh time. Well, sit yourself in front of the TV and start writing while you watch.
I can already hear your skeptical reply: “So, you want me to surround myself with as many distractions as possible?”

Yes. That’s exactly what I am saying.

Lastly, cram, cram, cram. Nothing shows that you’re a fast learner better than the ability to learn an entire course the day before an exam. Employers eat that shit up.

However, cramming without planning can lead to disastrous results.

What if the day before your exam has the best weather of the summer?

Contingencies must be accounted for.

The smart way to cram is to be on alert about a week before your exam. On the first sign of a rainy day, take the whole day to learn the course, and then carry on with real life.

However, the most important lesson to learn is to use your imagination. Once you feel that warm glow of the sun on your face or hear the call of patio drinking, you’ll use that brain of yours to come up with new and brilliant ways to not use that brain of yours.

Now go forth, and don’t do anything.

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.