College can define your future. You may learn useful skills to become a respected expert, or you may learn how to do the bare minimum you've been explicitly ordered to while being stunned at how much money you're spending. The choice is up to you how to use your time there.
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For that price, you should be sleeping on yeti-skin pillows stuffed with baby panda fur.
I've provided exam advice before. But waiting until exam time is what causes so many students to have problems in the first place. The most important lesson of third-level education is the same as that of being a new sewage worker: all this shit is now up to you, and it would be best not to drown. But while each class can impart important information, their organization in college can teach terrible lessons.
My studies in university revealed that undergraduate life has only two seasons: Endless Relaxation and the Oshitberry Harvest.
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"Oh shit, they were lying about the endlessness!"
College culture coasts on the idea that everything is absolutely fine until it isn't. Exams exist as black holes, theoretical objects that seem to be insane distances away, but the closer you get to them the more terrible stresses you'll encounter, and absolutely everything will lead to those types of stresses.
NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Gendler (for the Hubble Heritage Team) Acknowledgment: J. GaBany
What happens when even Apollo fails under the pressure.
This single ultimate stress point leads to self-destructive behavior and nonsense, like cramming. You can't wedge an entire course into your head overnight. There's a reason you don't see neurosurgeons hunkered down outside the operating theater flipping through their textbooks. And their entire job is opening up someone's skull and just stuffing things in there. If anyone knew how to cram, it would be them. But when they get something wrong it means someone else is stupider.
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"Oh man, I knew this bit before coming in here."
Worse, this all-consuming examgularity creates a bullshit binary expectation for life: either everything is fine, or there's a problem and all possible efforts must be bent only to its solution. Real life doesn't work like that. Real life is made of ongoing problems, and if one unresolved issue stops you from relaxing, you might as well get started on your heart attack now.
5Adopting a Stressona
I learned that any new scientific effect in an academic environment will create a monster, because I watch a lot of stupid movies. Binary stress' monster is the stressona. Yes, that is a bullshit portmanteau of "stress" and "persona." And, yes, that's the best it deserves, because it's a bullshit practice. Because exam stress affects everyone in the area at the same time, you end up with an immense echo chamber constantly confirming the idea that this is truly the end times.
"Absolutely nothing on Earth is more important than our interpretation of this chapter's subtext."
Convince people that they're in an exceptional situation and many will cast aside every social convention that makes it possible for society to exist without detergents having to advertise how good they are at removing blood.
"Our new Hemocleanse washes idiot-juice right out of your jacket elbows!"
Many first-year college-goers are just now working out how to deal with life as legally distinct adults. The first thing exam season teaches them is "problems suspend all normal behavior." The resulting panicked-herd instinct encourages more self-destructive behavior than aliens on a starship. They ramp the binary stress up to an entire mode of being. Students talk about late-night cramming, sleep deprivation, and time-saving-via-malnutrition, not as ways to destroy a healthy human body but as new strategies they're inventing and trying out.