This is the first time in as long as I can remember where I’m not going back to school in the fall. It’s a very weird feeling and the more I think about it the more nauseous it makes me. After countless years as a student, hitting rock bottom and then graduating with distinction, I feel like I’m in the position now to share my experiences and secrets.
The thing about school is that it doesn’t differentiate the smart people from the dumb, or the hard working from the lazy, but rather those who “get it” from those who don’t. Now we all know at least one kid who claims to never do any work, hangs out all the time, never says no to anything and is always busy with things other than school but yet seems to always get high marks. Now compare this to the girl who’s always studying, says no to any social activity, stresses over every assignment and exam, and is the ultimate nerd but in the end only ends up getting average marks with the occasional A which is the only thing keeping her from committing suicide. We usually just say that the guy who excels at school while maintaining a busy schedule is “naturally gifted” while the girl who studies all the time and gets average marks is dumb. There is some truth in that, the guy is smart because he keeps a busy schedule while the girl is dumb because she dedicates all her time to school. That’s it. Neither is more naturally gifted than the other, the fact of the matter is that the guy in this story has well developed study tactics while the girl does not.
So I’m going to start a new multi-part series and reveal my study tactics which allowed me to turn a deans vacation in chemical engineering to the dean’s list and graduating with distinction in a degree I don’t even like. I’m also going to take my blog in a new direction, instead of just spewing off theories which are all correct, I’m also going to give tactics and strategies in different areas of life which I think have I figured out reasonably well. I’m going to give my stuff for free (for the time being), but all I ask in return is that if you use my tactics please tell me how they worked out for you. Email me at uzairah at gmail.com and tell me how you were doing before and how your marks have improved. I’m convinced that no one is actually smarter than another person and it all comes down to the tactics they use. These things worked for me and I’m sure they will work for you too!
In this series I will talk about my memorization tactics, which are pretty amazing but I don’t want to overhype it too much because I don’t want to oversell and under deliver (They really are that great though). How to create notes the right way so by the time the exams come around you barely have to study for them.
But first and foremost I will talk about your attitude when it comes to school, because you have to get your foundation down right before you can move up. Remember though, this is about tactics that you can start doing now, not wishy washy things that you “should” do.
Napoleon Hill once said that if you want something done right get a busy person to do it. In the real world, your mind functions at its peak only for a limited amount of time (2-3 hours), and there is a limited amount of new information your mind can take in and understand. Plus there is always boredom. Most people who take fewer classes do worse in them than if they had taken a full course load. This is because when you have too much time, you delay your studying because you think you have all day Saturday to study. It’s very common for people to think like that but at the same time very counter-productive. What you should do is have different things going on at once, doesn’t really matter what. Just make sure you are committed to it while at the same time school is your number one priority.
You should probably juggle only 3 things; school, club, and a hobby. Anything more and it starts to lower your quality of work.
1) Join a club – I highly recommend everyone join Toastmasters, a world-wide organization dedicated to helping people practice and improve their public speaking skills. The benefits of joining this club are twofold, one being a club that meets at a certain time every week helps keep you busy and second being that you become a much better communicator in every way. Most people suck at public speaking and you probably do too. No one wants to hear a poor speaker and it’s a skill you have to practice like anything else. It will be beneficial in all aspects of communication from job interviews to talking to a group of friends to making up a story on the spot to the dean after you get caught cheating on your finals.
2) Hit the gym – This is pretty much self-explanatory, if you aren’t going to the gym regularly already you have bigger issues to deal with like how fat you are. Pretty much everyone works out now and it’s not easy, so if you’re not doing it you’re really holding yourself back. It improves your confidence, improves aesthetics but most importantly it forces you to manage your time!
3) Play your high school sport recreationally. Have you noticed that a lot of the kids who played on sports teams in high school and the stopped playing once university rolled around ended up getting fat and out of shape? Don’t be like them; continue playing the sport you played in high school regularly. It’s about having fun and about staying in shape. Best of all it forces you to manage your time!
That’s it for this week. I’m not going to bombard you with information. This is a process not a “Top 3 ways to succeed at life” gimmicky tidbit. Stay tuned for my next post on my study methods which are highly effective, efficient and easy to replicate.