Tips for successful slacking

Derek the Intern was wasted when he wrote this

Photo By kate murphy

The most important skill I picked up in college? How to get the best grades possible with the least amount of work. If you want to do well (not great) in your studies and attain maximum bro-down time, I’ll give you some words of advice that helped me earn a bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Davis (which, come to think of it, is about as useful as a gay-marriage license in California).

Addendum: If you’re one of those nerd burgers who are glued to their O-chem books on a Friday night, this advice will be lost on you.

Tip 1: Try going to class.

As a slacker, you’re probably going to miss a lot of class. It comes with the territory. This fact may screw you over when attendance is mandatory, but for lecture-hall classes, go ahead and slim down on those. But here’s the unfortunate truth: Going to class will help your grade immensely. Even if you’re a hung-over pile of suck in the morning, drag your ass to class, space out and just write down everything the teacher writes on the board. Even if you don’t understand it, don’t care about it or have any concept of what is going on—just scribble that shit down like it’s going out of style. You’ll be surprised how much will come back to you a few weeks later when you’re cramming for those midterms.

Tip 2: Nobody is trying to screw you.

Look, most college professors have way more important things to do than teach you little squishes general education (like curing cancer, inventing renewable-energy sources or whatever). A lot of them would rather be anywhere else than in a lecture hall, dumbing down their life’s study for cocky young adults who don’t even bother to show up because they’re playing Resident Evil 5 in their dorm, talking about how bangin’ Sheva is (hell yeah). Where was I? Oh yeah, teachers don’t care about these classes enough to trick the students. Almost all lecture notes will be straight out of the book, and everything on the midterms and finals will be from topics covered in the lecture notes. Get this: Professors want you to do well. They tell you what’s going on the test every single class. As long as you have the cerebral capacity to write what you see into your notebook, you’ll have everything you know when it comes to cram time.

Don’t get me wrong, there are professors out there who love watching students squirm in their little lecture-hall seats. And in that case, you’re fucked. Fortunately for you, God invented a little thing called teacher evaluations. Time to get those teachers back, right? Wrong! We’re slacking here, come on. Just write “OK” for every category and—bam—you’re out of class 15 minutes early.

Tip 3: The two-hour rule.

So it’s cram time. You told yourself you were going to study a little bit every day before the test, but all the sudden that sucker is tomorrow—and at this point you’d be hard-pressed to remember the class subject. Well, I’m not exactly sure how much other people study, but it always seemed like they did it way more than I did. Here’s my method of studying: Break it into two-hour increments. More than two hours of consecutive studying at one time is useless. It’s like trying to cram two months worth of shit into a 1-gallon toilet. It can’t be done all at once. For every two hours you study, take a three-hour break that has nothing to do with studying, so your brain can flush it all down. Go play Frisbee. Plant a tree. Just avoid TV, reading books or basically anything that involves literate thinking. Let those brain cells chill out and use different parts of your brain. My study routine for every test: three two-hour increments of intense cramming separated by four-whatever hours of being a total jag-off. This method sure as shit won’t get you a 4.0 GPA, but this is how to be a slacker, and as any successful slacker finds out, the most important things you learn in college are outside the classroom, textbooks and lecture halls. I mean, seriously—you never saw John Belushi cramming for midterms in Animal House, and look how he turned out.


Since I changed majors two years deep into college, I feel like the fact that I took five years to graduate should do nothing to taint my image as a model slacker. After all, I spent the entirety of those first two years experimenting with drugs, playing bad music and generally just being a huge pile, so theoretically, I graduated in three years. So just as long as you don’t blow it as epically as I did, four years should provide ample time to get your studies in and be the adorable slacker who everyone can’t help but to love.