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April 30, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Idiot’s guide to getting a degree

If you’re reading this, you have two things going for you:
1. You’ve hopefully learnt to read;
2. You’re probably enrolled at University.

Congratulations – you’re already on your way to getting a degree! But, like most idiots, you’re probably most concerned with getting your degree in the easiest way possible.

Obviously, the easiest way is to go to Waikato University. That’s a no-brainer. Yet it is probably safe to assume you are at Victoria, so today’s column will be regarding how to make the best of a bad situation.

First things first. You need to enrol in a BCA or a BA (the letters are unimportant), preferably majoring in marketing or Maori studies. This means as long as you write something in your exams you will – in all likelihood – pass.

Much like that pick-a-path adventure book you are still reading, you have two options – both of which all but guarantee you will get a degree.
1. Go to class and perfect the art of smiling politely; or
2. Avoid all classes and perfect the art of paying an Asian guy to do your exams. The first one is probably preferable.

Assuming you choose this option, your first step will be attending a lecture.

Now, you don’t need to go to every lecture, just go to the ones that that correspond with the papers you are enrolled in. Even then, you don’t need to go to all of them. But you do need to go to enough in order to be able to answer enough questions in your final exams. This roughly amounts to anywhere from a third to a half of all applicable lectures. Once you are in the lecture hall/theatre/room (each recognisable by having a series of at least 4 distinctive wall-shaped objects called walls), you will need to choose where to sit. This does not really matter, but the following may act as a guide:

• If you are over 30 years old, sit at the front.
• If you like to wear a lot of black, sit at the back.
• If you are really tall, sit in front of the shortest person you can find (usually the Asian who someone is paying to sit their final exam for them).

Now, fall asleep. Notes are a waste of time. Everything you need to learn will soak in through osmosis. The only thing you have to worry about is the lecturer or tutor noticing your lack of consciousness – you need them to think you’re trying really hard. So, like the girl from Raiders of the Lost Ark (the greatest documentary on attending lectures, ever), paint eyeballs onto your eyelids (not the other way around). If necessary, the guy behind you can probably do this for you – or ask an adult.

At the end of each class, go up to the lecturer and ask a pre-prepared question. Ideally, this question will have something to do with the topic discussed during the lecture – but if you were in a deep sleep, you can just use a set of general questions, copied from most discussion pages on Wikipedia. Just substitute any naming word for the title of your lectured subject. For example:

“Can someone explain to me what (insert subject here) is really all about?”
“I completely disagree with what you were saying – (insert subject here) is important – thoughts?”
“Did Haley Joel Osment know Bruce Willis was a ghost at the end of (insert subject here)?”

Now, you have to keep this up throughout the year, in order to earn enough sympathy votes to pass the final exam and any internal assessments. As a safety net, try to learn how to fake a disability of some description. Or, be prepared to break an arm shortly before/after/during any form of assessment. An arm breakage is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for idiots trying to get degrees.

After your first year, you may notice that your classes are smaller and the subject is harder. Perhaps sleep osmosis doesn’t work quite as well as it used to. Whenever this starts to get you down, always think of the fact that there are already a lot of really stupid people who have degrees – and you can be one of them! Just make sure you enrol in papers with lots of exchange students or old people.

Best of luck with the next three, four or five years of your first degree! And remember – there are always Asians. Ka Kite Ano.


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