Surviving a Class You Hate 101

  • Nov 4, 2016

Hello students, and welcome to Surviving a Class You Hate 101. I, a fellow student, will be giving you some insider's tips on how to survive (or dare I say, succeed?) in those classes that you loathe with a deep passion.

Now, have you ever had a required course that you absolutely hated? Or maybe you are currently in that required course, and are exceedingly close to dropping out of college to go live in Antartica with the penguins, simply because your course has you down?

Maybe this is a challenging class for you, whether or not you like the material, or maybe other circumstances make this class a struggle-bus. In the end, especially with classes that your major requires, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive and succeed.

As such, here are some tips and tricks to help you survive (and hopefully succeed) in those pesky courses that you wish you didn't have to take:

1) Attend your lectures. Even if they are a pain in the butt. When you attend lectures, you grasp the material better, and not to mention sometimes professors go into detail about problems that will very likely be on your next exam.

2) Take notes. Even if this is a class you hate and you think your professor and their lectures are useless, still take notes. If you actually write stuff down, not only will you retain information better - it also prevents you from falling asleep in lecture.

3) Do extra credit. If your professor offers extra credit, why would you not do it? 

4) Do all the homework problems. Easy points, extra practice. 'Nuff said.

5) Study with others. Maybe you don't understand what your professor is even saying, but your friend probably does, and can relay the info in another (and better) way.

6) Go to office hours. Or at least email your professor if you are struggling and you can't make their office hours. This allows you to get extra help on material that you don't know how to approach.

7) Go to help rooms. TAs will help you with your homework. They are godsent.

8) Make cheat sheets. Even if you can't use them for the exams, the process of making cheat sheets will help you retain information (because you are writting important stuff down). Also, cheat sheets make great study guides.

9) Do mock exams. Sometimes your professor gives you mock exams to do. Sometimes you have to fish for them in the depths of koofers. Either way, practice problems.

10) Look through old homework. Chances are, problems will be pulled from your old homework assignments.

11) Look through old lectures. Maybe you missed something important while you were chilling on your phone in class. Looking through old lectures on D2L on your own time will help you recognize what information you don't grasp completely, or what information you've forgotten/missed.

12) Study in advance. You should NOT be studying only one day before the exam. Study a few days in advance and you will retain information better, and you will do better.

13) And most importantly, take care of yourself! Eat real food. Sleep a good amount the days before your exam. Take study breaks. Stretch, take power naps.

Just by changing the way I studied and sought help, I was able to go from getting a 20% on my first Physics 231 exam, to getting a 96% on my third exam, and earning a 3.5 in a class I started out failing. So do what works for you to survive and succeed, and never give up!

By Anna