How To Get Through That Compulsory Course You Hate

Like Bowser at the end of a Mario level, it feels like compulsory courses are there to stop you rescuing Princess Peach and getting your degree. Unfortunately, no matter how much you hate them, you have to pass to get to the next level and reach graduation.


If complaining to your mates and trying to ignore that course exists haven’t worked for you so far, try some of these steps instead.


#1 Be Accountable

Trying to go to the gym more? Find a gym buddy. Trying to make it to your 9AM lectures? Find a study buddy.


Guilt is the best motivator, and it’s very hard to go back to sleep when you know someone is waiting for you at the lecture theatre. Study buddies are also good at keeping you awake when you need to pull an all-nighter in the library.


Just make sure you find someone who’ll feel guilty for not showing up too, or actually enjoys the lectures. It’s not worth failing on attendance before you make it to exams.


#2 Collaborate To Cut Down On Work

If you aren’t enjoying the class, chances are your peers aren’t either.


The best way to battle through the semester can be to divide and conquer. Create a group Google Doc that you can all add to during lectures. Make a Facebook group for your tutorial where you can post any questions you have or any memes that are relevant to the struggle.


You’ll learn the content with half the effort, and when it comes to assessments you’ll be confident to go it alone.


#3 Yes, You Can Totally Reward Yourself

It makes it a whole lot easier to get through a lecture if you know there’s a coffee waiting on the other side (though not too many!).


Rewarding yourself for completing a task can be super effective in forming good habits. If you finish your tute prep, allow yourself to look at memes on Facebook for a bit. After handing in an assignment, spend the rest of the night watching Netflix.


Be careful not to get too frivolous with the rewards though – is writing one paragraph really worth a two-hour break?


#4 Think About The Bigger Picture

These courses aren’t just compulsory because someone in the faculty office enjoys punishing students – usually they’re relevant to your future career.


Try to see how the skills you’re learning could help you when you graduate. If you start to think about applying your learning IRL, the dots between your lectures and the greater world will join up pretty quickly.


Find profiles of alumni who are doing the things you want to do. They had to pass the courses you can’t stand now too, but now they get to do amazing things.


#5 Actually Ask For Help

Lecturers and tutors are paid to teach you. While it might be surprising, this does include answering questions you have and helping you understand the course material.


They don’t want you to fail their course because they’ll just have to see you again next sem. If you’re struggling with an aspect of the course (or all of it), send them an email or arrange to see them in their consultation hours.


They can’t help you if they don’t know you’re having trouble. Be professional and appreciative, and (within reason) they should be more than happy to help you out.


This article first appeared on Junkee. The full article can be found here.

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