How to Guru: Papers

With Week 4 off to a warm start, midterm season is officially in full swing. And while a lot of us have tests to cope with, the rest of us have long, tedious papers to write. If you’re super unlucky, you have both. If that’s your situation, refer back to last quarter’s “How to Fail Your Midterms” guru for further advice.

First and foremost, when embarking on the path to a successful paper, it’s important to have your priorities straight. Life is short, and there’s no guarantee you’ll have access to Netflix later on. Make sure to fully utilize your friend’s subscription. Take advantage of your superb time-management skills by setting a 30-minute timer to alert yourself when the study break has finished. Once it rings, go ahead and push that reset button three or four times. After consuming hours of soap operas and cartoons, your brain will absorb a plethora of witty anecdotes that will prove to be highly useful for your essay. Just be sure to change all the characters’ names to alter the plot slightly.

Before you write a paper it is also crucial to expose yourself to a diversity of other cultures. This can be achieved by mingling in coffee shops and wandering aimlessly through campus. Get out of your comfort zone and smile at the first person who dares to make eye contact with you. The confidence you gain from building social skills will inspire a charming tone for your paper. Ask strangers questions, such as where they are from, and try to find out an interesting fact about their hometowns. This broad understanding of society will definitely make your writing skills stand out. Try not to think about that paper too much, though. Experience the moment. Breathe deeply and fully observe the subtle nuances of your environment.

Perhaps you will discover something you’ve never known before, like the philosophical purpose of Geisel Library or “Fallen Star” in Earl Warren College. Or you may happen to glance upon the nude female statue behind the Biomedical Library whose hands shoot fountains of water for some grand artistic reason. Spend a couple hours meditating, reflecting and softly pondering the inspiration for these aesthetic choices.

Meditation is an essential process for developing the critical thinking skills that your teaching assistant and professor value so highly. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to hone these techniques. Meditate on the 201 to Westfield Shoppingtown UTC. Meditate as you slowly window shop by Macy’s and See’s Candies. Buy a box of pre-Valentine’s Day chocolates for yourself and meditate as you eat them, slowly sinking your teeth into the cocoa ganache filling.

You may be tempted to rush home to get started on the 20-page essay your professor assigned. Resist this urge. Find out how many different places you can visit using public transportation and really get acquainted with San Diego. As you leave UTC, do yourself a favor and get on the wrong bus. By the time you finish transferring between multiple buses and relaxing as the bus drivers navigate around traffic jams, you’ll finally be ready to take a nap. And after the simple refreshment of 10 hours of rest, that paper will basically write itself.