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7 Ways to Unleash the (Psuedo)Intellectual Within You

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The semester has already started and you’re motivated to ace it. Everything’s cool except the fact that you can’t skip reading if you want to maintain a good GPA. Now here lies a huge problem as not many of us enjoy reading.

Today, I am going to reveal some smart hacks to  unleash your inner intellectual beast without completing your readings which means you’ll have to at least open up your course pack  once in a while. (Yes, the title is misleading but bear with me for a minute)

1. Always be the first one to start the discussion

If you want to make an impression then present what you think in the beginning of the session because if you haven’t done the reading you’ll not get the most intricate details of the text. If you’re the first one to open the discussion you can start with something super basic and no one will judge you.

2. Skim your readings during the class

Basically taking out time just to read when you’ve tons of assignments pending doesn’t seem like a fair trade so it’s always easier to skip reading. The simple solution to this can be reading in the class. I know some people can’t multitask and you can’t finish the readings in such a short time while also giving attention to the class but make yourself familiar with the text.

Read even if nothing is making sense, try to get hold of keywords. Read first two pages, all the headings, one or two paragraphs from somewhere in middle, and then the last two pages. Do it for a few days. You’ll soon learn to figure out where you can find the most critical argument in the whole text.

3. Initiate dialogue

After skimming, rephrase the point you understood clearly and build up your argument. Try to raise a question that sparks up discussion. You can use hypothetical scenarios instead of examples given in the text. It will keep the discussion interesting for many others who haven’t done the readings.

Bring examples from contemporary era, use Bollywood references, use anime/pop-culture examples. Trust me, you’re free to do so as long as you can establish a connection with your readings. All in all, the key is to participate in the class discussion not only you’ll be able to pay attention easily but also you’ll learn a lot more through participation than through reading.

4. Put your phone on charging during class time

I leave my phone on charging  station during classes so I’ve no other option than to concentrate on the lecture. This works like magic because keeping your phone away when it’s accessible at times can be a real struggle.

5. Make notes

Just listen and write. I know when I am making notes that I will never read these notes ever again. However, I still jot down points because when I write the points they make more sense and I can easily memorize it. It also gives me one more reason to not sleep in the class.

6. Prepare for the class

Now when I say this, I am not suggesting you to seriously prepare. Take out ten minutes that you’ve assigned for Facebook or whatever and spend it upon getting the gist of the weekly reading. If the Goddess of Procrastination (i.e. me) can do it so can you. Ask people from your class if they have done the reading and if they can just share the important points, they won’t mind helping you. If you’re anti-social, you can just go to your class 10 minutes before time. You’ll always find this nerd who’s ahead of the syllabus so feel free to eat their brain out.

7. Sit in front

Don’t be the fool who sits at the back to make it obvious that you’re unprepared. Always sit in front so the instructor knows you’re not deliberately hiding. Also, sitting in front creates a pressure so you’ll be forced to give attention to the class and not to the person sitting next to you.

These are the sure shot ways that will help you establish yourself as a person who knows their shit. You’ll learn a lot many things out of this, may be not as smoothly as you might do it if you actually read. Nevertheless, something is always better than nothing and it’s a great way to start if you are really not a reading person. Once you’ll begin engaging in the class, you’ll get a grip over your semester which will enable you to become a good learner in the long term as well.

Best of luck for the new semester. Hope this helps so share your experience through the comment section after applying any of the aforementioned hacks. Also, enlighten me what do you think of the short cuts?

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Written by Ramsha Afaq

I am everything that begins with A. The list begins with artist, anarchist, asocial, asshole, and awesome.