Strategic studying, my comrades; this is your word of the week (heck, it should be your word of the year), and even though this blog post will cover the topic of strategic studying, I myself have only recently begun to appreciate the sheer brilliance of this concept, indeed I am what they call a “slow learner”.
Take for instance my PHL100 course, which I took only last year. In whole the course consisted of 11 BOOKS. Oh yes, you heard me right, I had to read 11 BOOKS during the entirety of that course. Now this is not to say that I don’t absolutely love spending endless amounts of time with the work of philosophers and their overly large minds, but holy smokes I was definitely not cut out for this kind of work. Coming straight out of high school where I could finish all of my homework in the wee hours of the morning (yes I too am surprised that I got into U of T with those work habits) this was quite the reading surprise for my little, under developed mind.
And I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who is in the same situation here. Those courses can really blindside you sometimes and smack you right in the face in the reading department, but you must strike back with a swift punch, and say NO! I shall not read you Mr. Literature (wait wait wait, I’m not as bad of an influence as I may seem, just keep reading).
Now this might sound like absolutely terrible advice at first, especially coming from someone who has already endured the troubles of many first year readings, tests and essays. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, I want you to study (and study you shall), but with the limited time us students have these days you must PRIORITIZE (ah yes, another valuable word you must be equipped with… I should just add a glossary at this point).
Its important to be able to figure out which readings are the most valuable for you to do, because lets face it, university sure doesn’t slow down when we need it to, nor does work, or family, or any of our other commitments. Therefore my fellow students I encourage you to analyze what is important to take care of first, and if you don’t have the time to get every single last page read, don’t sweat it because its far better to do the best you can and go to the lectures (bad idea to skip lecture just because you’re behind) than it is to worry too much about what you weren’t able to get to.
So keep on keeping-on, and try not to get hit in the face by all these September readings too hard.