Shred the syllabus
Cheers to FDOC, plebeians.
Remember kindergarten? I mean, why would you? Kindergarten is for idiots and, besides, finger painting is something that people without money probably do because they can’t afford brushes and can’t buy their happiness like I can. But I digress.
Starting classes at Duke is basically the same thing as starting classes on your first day of kindergarten—you’re dressed in your finest, you’re nervous, you’re excited, you miss your parents, you’re trying to make new friends, you cry, you pee yourself a little, a bunch of adults are yelling at you, and most importantly, you secretly want to go crawling back to your room to watch Dora the Explorer because, unlike you, she has realistic goals for her future.
Because Duke wants to make sure you can all keep your s**t together until at least October, I have decided to take a break from trolling Yahoo Answers and contribute. Let me be curt--life is about getting A’s and being better than other betches. If you don’t get A’s, you will fail, never get a job, never get into grad school, never get married, and most importantly, never get to fly business class. I need to remind you all how important succeeding in college is to your future happiness, because Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS) and your friends are honestly just too shady to be real with you. I’m pretty sure that American icons like Eminem and Kim Kardashian, along with other randoms like Bill Gates and Oprah, rocked college to get to where they are today. Sorry premeds, if you don’t have a 4.0, you’ll end up back in your parents’ basement playing Operation for the rest of your days.
So, in order to be successful, your guardian devil has decided to bless you with advice on how to do more than dress for success. (Real talk--if you don’t spend exorbitant amounts of time making yourself hot on your first day of classes, why would your professors take you seriously?)
Drop it like it’s hot. No, this isn’t Shooters. The rule of thumb when it comes to classes is the same as on the dance floor. If a class is too hard, too long, too far or even just too stimulating, it probably sucks and you’re better off taking a Classics, History, or Philosophy class about dead people. Remember child, you are a Duke student--you’re here for a degree, not an education.
ACES is sacred. I suggest you browse ACES this week like a SkyMall catalogue by taking note of all the interesting (useless) things that you want but don’t need. 15th century Medieval Media Studies? History of Asian-American Transgendered Poets in Africa? Organic Chemistry II? If you want to make up for not going to a fancy school like Harvard, where grade inflation is apparently bigger than white male privilege, you need to make your course record look like a Lewis Carroll acid trip. If your grandparents didn’t have a course like that available when they were in college, it's probably a safe bet it’s useless, and therefore, easy. Innovative education isn’t a thing anymore, just like MySpace or the Great Hall.
GPA over errythang. There’s no point in learning anything if it means your GPA might take a hit. The only acceptable reasons for a low GPA in my book are alcoholism and/or pursuing an MRS degree—I’m looking at you, Baldwin Scholars (just kidding, I can’t say that yet, it’s a little early for the annual CNN-worthy scandal). Never forget that your tuition, which is equivalent to the net worth of Malaysia Airlines now, was really meant for mediocre campus food and free T-shirts.
Can I put this on my LinkedIn? Clubs are the lifeblood of this university. Make sure you go to the activities fair this week and sign up for every single group. Eventually you’ll unsubscribe from the listservs of every organization that doesn’t provide free food semi-regularly, but until then, you can pretend like you’re involved. However, avoid organizations that involve auditions--I’m going to assume your self-confidence is already lower than last LDOC’s reviews.
I’m with stupid. When you feel bad about yourselves (which you should) because you’ve failed to take my advice, hang out with people who are being pulled by the struggle bus a little harder than you are. Everyone needs a Ryan Lochte to their Albert Einstein. Schadenfreude is a real thing, y’all.
If you’re an upperclassman, you’re already a lost cause and this advice is useless, but you might as well read it anyway because what’s the point in paying attention in class now?
If you’re not an upperclassman and this advice is too overwhelming for your “I used to be a child prodigy”-sized head, you could transfer. UNC started classes a week ago, but even I’ll admit that you can probably write better than their football team.
Your guardian devil is spending FDOC at the West Campus bus stop, trying to take the perfect FDOC Chapel selfie.