Read to succeed

Jamin Kim-Sanders/File

The semester is still young and we all begin this new year in the delusionally hopeful state of mind that we will actually keep up with our readings and stay on top of our classes. After just one short month we either learn or rediscover the sheer madness of that thought, and find a happy medium between purchasing the reader and having a detailed analysis of each salient quote.

Without further ado, here’s a psychological analysis of an attempt to be on top of our shit and participate in intellectual happenings by actually doing our readings.

Firstly, we purchase the reader. We have stood in line for either about an hour during the first week of school or just waltzed into Copy Central yesterday. Whatever the timeline, the feeling is still the same: pure achievement — we own the materials. Secondly, we go onto bCourses, find the assigned reading and write it down, admitting to ourselves that this task actually exists. Next we open the reader, obviously at a later time, situate ourselves in a comfortable position and begin.

We’re so proud of the fact that we’re actually doing this! We then read about three sentences and suddenly feel exasperated. Is it over yet? Are we at least halfway done? The answer to all of these questions is “of course not” and we still have 35 more pages. Not to mention, these pages are two book pages per reader page, so technically speaking that’s actually 70 pages.

Next we think, “Can I do this?” We decide to charge forth only to stop a paragraph later twice as tired as before.

After repeating this process a few more times, and watching an hour go by, we eventually come to the conclusion that we should take a break and eat. Snacking then occurs followed by an extensive period of staring at the wall, at least 45 minutes of social media stalking and about 20 minutes of pondering whether you should stay in this class, your major or even at UC Berkeley. In short, you begin to undergo a full existential crisis.

To conclude, course reading is undoubtedly the worst component of academic life. Overall, it’s clear that we should all save ourselves the $25 (or more) trip to Copy Central and, quite frankly, the trees. We should accept our defeat and learn the real life lesson: how to bullshit your way to success.

Contact Nichole Bloom at [email protected].