How to Write an Essay, and other stuff you need to know to thrive in college.  

If you are considering college, there are a few preparations you should make.

1. Learn how to write the most basic, formulaic kind of essay. You’ll need this, and once you master it, you can mess with the form and get more creative with your written arguments, but master the basic form first, please.

TAKE THIS CLASS! (It gets good reviews.)

How to Write an Essay, from UC Berkeley, yo.
“An introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing.”

2. Take note taking seriously. Use Google docs or Simplenote, or some combination of cloud-based, searchable, simple writing tools to take notes live, in class.

3. Learn a couple of very basic math tricks. Don’t be ashamed if you don’t know how to calculate percentages and proportions , or to compute volumes and area. They’re all simple, but you need to ask for help. Being too ashamed to ask for help will mess you up, forever. Get passed it.

4. Don’t delude yourself into believing some of the stoopid things college kids tell themselves:

a) “I actually study/write/drive better when I’m stoned.”

Don’t argue with me. You might think, for a moment, that you are more creative or concentrate better when you’re baked, but when you get up the next morning that brilliant paragraph always sounds childish and incoherent, and you will not remember much of what you studied. Don’t argue with me.

As you get older, you will notice (and it is kind of sad) when people you care about tell themselves lies that mess them up. It is a bad habit. Watch out.

b) “I’m going to study at my dorm desk tonight, and I will get a whole lot accomplished.”

Nope. Too many distractions. Go eat dinner then directly to the library and study in a cubical. You will get tons done, and when you return to your dorm room and your roomy is all stressed from getting nothing done, you can relax, hang with your friends without guilt / stress.

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