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June 4, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Fixing Your Life (Because Ours Are Written Off)

Hi Hec-Net.

I have built myself a pit and fallen into it. It’s entirely my fault, but I need to get out, and quickly. Basically, I’ve had a class at 8 am all semester and have not attended since week one. Now the exams are looming and I don’t know a thing. How do I pass? Help.

Regards,
BANANA PHIL.

 

Janet:

P-hil,

Some people can get away with not going to class. Maybe they’re nocturnal, or maybe they’re just lazy. They’re usually really smart, hence the ‘getting away with’. I find that once you miss one, it becomes easier and easier to miss the rest. WAIT. This isn’t helpful. You’ve already missed them all. Sorry. Are there lecture slides on the internet? Is there a textbook? Does one seem to fit in with the other? Do you feel right now as though you’re letting yourself down, every day, and so slowly that it’s difficult to tell? No? Is that just me?

Take a deep breath.

At this stage of the semester, it’s probably pretty normal that you’re freaking out. I’ve gone to all my classes, and there’s still a fair-to-middling chance that I’m going to fail one of my papers. My heart is beating too fast right now, because I’m comparing myself to you. I don’t even know you. I’ve taken the smart way out, and asked Hector to write something longer. He gives better advice, so it’s in your best interest.

BYE!

 

Hector:

What up, Phil.

Look, I can completely understand where you’re coming from. I’m in a pretty similar situation right now with one of my classes, and I was in the same tight spot 12 months ago. I, too, am feeling rather weak in the knees right now, and that’s normal. Human beings are panic machines, but thankfully we’re finite panic machines. We don’t have the capacity to feel the unlimited depth of despair that we really should, because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to function. That’s why we don’t all just break down sobbing for hours when we read the news or our Twitter feeds, and if we do sometimes, we get up and keep on keeping on. Also, the world has good things in it too. But I digress.

My point is, accept that you are panicking right now. That’s only to be expected; after all, you are under the pump here. But you can take it. The moment you let yourself believe that it can’t be done, you’ve already failed. Instead, let that panic drive you into getting it done—don’t let it pound you repeatedly into the hole that you mentioned in your letter. There’s a lot you can accomplish in two weeks’ time. There’s even a hell of a lot you can get done in 24 hours’ time. Read all your course notes, read the past papers, steal your friends’ notes. Go out there and kick some ass.

Realistically, though, you probably don’t want to go talk to the lecturer. That will only make it clear that you haven’t been attending class, and it will be mega-awkward. We have Blackboard now, so you wouldn’t get anything out of it anyway. Maybe you don’t have the confidence to just back yourself. Sadly, if this is the case, you might be screwed. You just don’t have the right stuff to be able to get by without going to class. I wish there was a nicer way to say it, but boy are you in trouble.

Maybe you should drop out of university and start working your way up the career ladder, on track for a far more successful and wealthy lifestyle.

On the other hand, maybe you should just play some more video games, eat some more pizza, and rewatch Arrested Development season four. Then call me and we can talk about how they shouldn’t have structured each episode around one character. I mean, come on, that’s such a lazy way to deal with the time break. Then, come exam time, you’ll fail without having bothered to try, and look really cool to all your mates and bros. There’s always next year—you were too busy finding yourself and being young this time around. Sigh.

Frankly, you still have two weeks, minimum. That’s a long time. Chill the fuck out and do some study. You’ll be fine.

Pip pip,
Hector.

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