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Friday, February 23, 2024

Column: Freaky finals

Finals week presents students with a chance to redeem themselves. While some students would gladly sell their souls, arms, legs and firstborn children for a set of perfect As, most are just hoping to slide by unscathed. So as an act of selfless generosity and compassion for your suffering, I have decided to share with you the following secrets for success.

Firstly, if you still have a social life, you must exterminate it immediately. Social events and gatherings are like hot potatoes — the longer you hold them, the more likely they are to gradually and painfully burn everything you have worked for to ashes.

In order to rid yourself of distractions, you must not only put your relationships on hiatus, but also learn to spend all of your time at home, slaving over a hot computer. The 10-minute breaks between classes should be more than sufficient as your sole sources of fun and entertainment.

When you get home, grab a pot of coffee from the kitchen, then lock yourself in your room and work. For every two hours of doing homework, remember to spend one hour studying for future exams. Continue until finished with everything due tomorrow.

If it is still before midnight, that means you did not put in enough effort, will ultimately fail at life and will have a career of selling organs and donating blood multiple times a week, earning just enough money to buy a meager month’s supply of Top Ramen. If it is after midnight, then congrats; you are one step closer to your 4.0.

So what now? Though there are various ways to waste time, sleeping is by far the worst. In order to get your As, you must learn to sacrifice. At midnight it is crucial you reread your notes (to ensure maximum retention) and begin reading chapters that professors have not yet assigned, so that you may strut ahead of everyone else and slowly tear them apart in fiery classroom debates, watching them squirm under the iron pressure of your overachieving thumb (this is an extra reward for being studious).

What more? I have two words for you: teacher’s pet. Go to PetCo and buy yourself a collar. Everybody loves self-righteous and if-I-have-to-kill-to-get-my-A-I-would-students, especially educators. They will enjoy your dedication, ambition, knowledge and consistent participation in class. Make sure to wave your hand in the air repeatedly (mimicking air traffic controllers) and elaborate on what others are saying, or interrupt them before they can say anything that might impress the teacher.

Always pay attention in class. Write your notes in no less than seven colors and bring highlighters to categorize your information and make your books look like they were attacked by Care Bears. Also, have a stapler, ruler, protractor, eraser, tub of paperclips, laptop computer, bottle of Prozac and a crucifix with you at all time. Readiness and organization is key!

If you have problems fitting all of your resources in a traditional backpack, opt for a rolling one. Alternatively, you can buy a large, yet easy-to-maneuver suitcase, preferably one with 360-degree swivel wheels. If all else fails, however, and you are willing to augment your budget, a dolly or personal UPS truck would be ideal. (Or you can become BFFs with a proctor and beg him or her to drive your stuff around.)

Remember, self-harm is not the answer. Sleep deprivation, though perilous in excess, is perfectly okay! All this work will pay off. Someday you will wake up in grad school or med school. When you do, feel free to use my methods for another exciting four-plus years. If you live through that, you will score a job and at last be able to live your life in the freedom and happiness of the confines of a cubicle regulated by a most soulless boss.

Not. Don’t sweat it. Study for a few minutes every day and you’ll be fine. Finals do not have to be the bane of your existence. Happy testing! Also, I’d like to thank all my readers and skimmers for spending their valuable time on my column(s). It was a pleasure!

If you ever need to talk, ZENITA SINGH will always be there for you at zensingh@ucdavis.edu!


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