In a private cemetery in small-town Arkansas, a woman single-handedly buried and gave funerals to more than 40 gay men during the height of the AIDS epidemic, when their families wouldn’t claim them.
“Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkly clothes, and
cowboy boots. I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I
could get by with it. I did and I’ve worn black clothes ever since. ”
Today I (finally) got my final grade in Economics and I got an A! Ahhhh! This is a class at the beginning of the semester I thought I would have to take a B in. Everyone had told me it was one of the hardest classes that had taken, and I did not know how I could possibly pass a class where I could barely understand my instructor (she was Chinese, and her English was good, but not great, especially when she was speaking quickly). So I thought that in celebration of my intellectually victory I would create a post highlighting the tricks that I use to tackle (and get an A in!) the seemingly impossible.
1. Actually go to class (and pay attention): You would be shocked by the amount of students that skip class for weeks in a row and then can’t understand why they don’t score well on exams/don’t understand the material. Going to class and actively taking notes already gives you a leg up on being successful.
2. Read your textbook (smartly): In a perfect world the only thing that would be on tests is what is covered in class; but in impossible classes more often than not there are wild questions on tests that are only vaguely covered in the textbook and never covered in class. That’s why it’s important to crack open that book and brush through some things. DO NOT READ EVERYTHING THOUGH. IT’S NOT WORTH IT. IT WILL MAKE YOU CRY. Pay attention to vocabulary words, key concepts, and examples.
3. Star studying at least a week before your test: This is serious. Impossible classes are not ones that you can just look at your notes the night before and be okay. They are the ones that if you do that, you will walk out of the first test with a 37% and want to drop out of school. Know what the test will be like and study to that. If it is vocab based memorize vocab. If it is problem based practice working similar problems. If a concept is really tricky read the textbook section on it and take detailed notes. Just do not waste time. The more time you have to prepare for a test the better. Trust me.
4. Help other people who are struggling: By knowing the material well enough to teach it to someone else, you are basically ensuring that you have it memorized and applied. Explain concepts to classmates and friends when they don’t understand them, it will help them almost as much as it helps you.
5. Take notes by hand: Typing notes is just really not a great idea. You don’t remember things as well, it’s harder to flip back to previous notes, and if you have a laptop in front of you that can access tumblr/pinterest/imessage you will be tempted to stray and not pay attention. Happens to the best of us, but not helpful for passing impossible classes.
6. Make it enjoyable: There is nothing that I find overly exciting about economics. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to Freakonomics radio podcasts religiously and do like to see how the overarching principles affect our daily lives, but economics graphs are just not fun. But, everyday this semester I brought a small piece of candy to class to make class a little more sweet (or excuse me, sooiet). If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself to go to class or enjoy it, decorate your notebook really pretty, bring a cup of tea or coffee to class, sit with friends, or do anything that makes the class a little less dreadful for you. It will help you to be successful in the long run.
I hope these tips and tricks help you to get the grades that you want in the future! Go into classes that you think are impossible with a positive spirit and the energy to give it your all and you too can beat the heck out of that class.