Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Student's Guide to Saving Time for Sleep

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The Student's Guide is a blog series designed to reflect a certain blogger's snark when confronting school while also imparting useful advice to fellow apocalypse survivors on how to become successful in school without becoming a robot of the education system.

Ask any high-schooler how much they sleep and they'll stare at you like you've gone crazy. SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK. Oh, and this post is Hunger Games-themed ... because the odds are never in our favour.
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1. Make a Cornucopia stock-up list.


(x)
How long are you at school every weekday? How long are you in class? I'll bet it's less than whatever your previous answer was. Do not let the munchkins steal that time.

Find a post-it. Write down all the trivial things you can handle in a second. Email a project partner. Find that chemistry worksheet. Read the article your teacher thinks is inspirational. Trust me, you can handle most non-strictly-homework things in less than 5 minutes, and you can do it anytime: on the bus, between lessons, after lunch.

2. Form your alliances.


It's very difficult to survive without someone watching your back, unless you're a sneaky bastard who is never noticed. (That was a compliment.) But why bother, when more than one person can make it out of school? (Hint: the person rambling about differentiation isn't one of them.)

Find a group of friends of similar, or rather, more competency than you. Pool your test notes and discuss strategies (and, of course, convincing the teacher you're right.) Advise each other on homework, but I do not condone copying. I repeat: I do not condone copying. It is ridiculously easy to get caught. Note that this does not apply for maths, because there's only one right answer and everyone does maths wrong in the same ways.

3. Suck up to the sponsors.


Teachers aren't that hard to understand when you keep in mind one thing: they have all the power. Yes. It's that simple. Know this, understand this, accept this. So if they have all the power to, say, give you homework and detention, they also have all the power not to.

In the first month or so of school, out-perform yourself. Hand in homework early. Do the extra credit work. Ask for personalised feedback. Pretend to be a model student, in other words. Once you've built that good impression, you've opened the gates for the rest of the year. So if you need an extension or a better explanation than the incredibly vague question, the teacher will be more inclined to help you.

Case in point: I switched to a new school this year. Since I was super nervous, I actually behaved in class for once. Keep in mind no one knew me at this place. By the end of the first month, I was chosen to become a prefect trainee. And since you're reading my blog, you know no one in their right mind would pick me for a prefect. Point no. 1: Tumblr.

I'm not saying this is logical. I'm just saying, teachers have all the power.

4. Learn acting, berry-gathering, archery, and cooking.

It's like the law of demand, but cooler.

This is called the law of multitasking, which states that the more things you do at a time, the less likely you are to procrastinate. I know, it sounds contradictory. But let's say you have your maths homework, your literature essay, and your presentation all on your desk. So when your attention span inevitably wanders from the maths, you can immediately start working on the essay instead of going on Tumblr.

The trick here is to carefully choose which things to multitask on. It's better if they're from the same subject or type of subject: for example, all the science subjects, or all the humanities subjects, or all the history homework your teacher saw fit to pile on you. But more importantly, it should be the same type of task: for example, it's all homework, or it's all revision. Otherwise, you'll find yourself gravitating towards the less work-oriented one. I mean, given the choice to sit in front of your notes or actually pound out an essay, what would happen?

Maybe these rules sound contrary to what school tells you. But to win the game, subvert the Gamemakers. Remember who the real enemy is.

How do you manage your time for studying and homework? What tips do you have for fellow students? Share in the comments!


Help other tributes—sorry, students— save time:
  • Sleeping at 3AM? @AlyssaC_HK has 4 tips for students to save time with the Hunger Games. (Click to Tweet)
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34 comments:

  1. THIS. I'm homeschooled and I still laughed. xD I'm sure I can find areas to apply it to...and oh, I love how you compare it to Hunger Games. As for managing time...I don't really sleep much, so I shouldn't talk. :P

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ooh, I never knew you were homeschooled, Aimee! Quite a few homeschoolers reading this blog :)

      It's certainly as exhausting and brutal, although with fewer dead bodies. I hope my tips help you sleep more!

      Delete
  2. What is sleep? I don't know, but if you think it is important then I shall try it. I'm homeschooled, but I'll keep this in mind for college! Suck up. Find smart friends. Got it.

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    1. *cracks up* Oh my, your comment is THE BEST. Another homeschooler, I see! Take it from this girl who spent far too many years in the institution that you really need to be prepared. Good luck with surviving in college; I hope my tips are as helpful there!

      Delete
  3. AAAH. I NEED YOUR WISDOM. I am starting college this fall and saving this blog post as a reference. Thanks for the tips. I am ready to do my best in college, but I don't want to give up my sleep for ANYTHING ; )

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    1. GET YOUR WISDOM TAKEOUT NOW. To be honest, I wrote these tips based on elementary/middle/high school, so I'm not sure how effective they'll be for college. Do let me know -- and sleep is important anytime!

      Delete
  4. Ha. Ha. Ha. Sleep? What's that? I am actually sick of 17 or 18 hour days EVERYDAY at least all filled up with school and extracurriculars. And I don't get sleep, even though I try to. xP I agree with most of these points, especially behaving and getting on your teachers' good sides. However, multitasking does not work for me. It's actually distracting and ends up decreasing my productivity. But hey, if it works for you, then that's fine.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So apparently quite a few people in the comments section haven't heard of this esoteric practice. My sympathies on the long days!

      I suppose everyone works differently -- I know some people who swear by powering through things in 15-min blocks. I don't multitask when writing (although that's because I LIKE writing). After all, the law of demand can be violated too ...

      Delete
  5. I have 11 days left of school and I am drowning in life. I grapple for anything I can cling to.

    *clings to post*

    Save me.

    (Also, I can testify to sucking up. It's a great idea.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yay, 11 days! That's not too bad, just a couple of weeks! I still have a month of formal lessons and another two weeks of exams :S

      Glad to be your lifeline! Apparently sponsors ARE very important in the Games, as the tributes in the comments are confirming.

      Delete
  6. This was brilliant! I normally have about 6 hours of sleep each night, so these tips are helpful :) Alliances and sucking up are very important.

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    1. I'm glad these tips are good! 6 hours is pretty much the bare minimum I can survive on, and then only for very short periods, so power on :)

      Delete
  7. BRILLIANT POST. I loved THG theme throughout. :') I'm in my first week back to school again, so your advice was much appreciated. Also, number 3 may just be the most accurate thing ever! I've had teachers go easy on me and be generally more lenient towards me all because of impressions. School is a war ground, and we need a strategy...:)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'M GLAD YOU LIKED IT. I had lots of fun looking for all the connections :D All the different systems in the comments are so interesting to hear about! There are people just wrapping up, others homeschooled, and there's me, who still has a long wait ahead.

      Agreed, and what better strategy than (a) deception and (b) retreat? (Hey, I didn't say it, the Thirty-Six Stratagems did.)

      Delete
  8. I'm in 2nd year of my college (Almost done with it) and I still find this amusing :P
    Reminded me of my schooling days (Nobody cares anymore if we've done homework or have studied :P).I used to stay up as late as 3 am studying during my 12th class.I felt easier to study at night with no one to disturb me I still stay up late into night doing my work for this reason.
    I've never been into sucking up to the sponsors :P
    Sponsors hated me because of that :P
    The ones in college do to because of that :P
    Making alliances is important!!Yes it is..they watch out for you..even mark your attendance if needed :P

    Neal Kind
    Daily Diaries

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    1. Congratulations on surviving so long! I really hate staying up late (hypocrite me, typing this at midnight) because it comes back the next morning. Sorta like hangovers, I guess.

      Yeah, sponsors are picky like that. But you know, play hard to get, that sorta thing! And ooh, marking attendance. A nifty trick for large classes.

      Delete
  9. I think my previous comment was eaten. Anyway, nice tips! I don't often like sucking up to teachers, but I have to admit that it has its perks :P

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    1. Oomph, that's not good. Sorry about that. I do dislike Blogger commenting system sometimes; will add that into the next survey to see whether we should switch. And yes, the things we don't like are sometimes useful :D

      Delete
  10. Sucking up the sponsors... looks like I did everything wrong with my maths teacher :D
    I hate maths homeworks and I already failed doing them the first week of school. Also, she already had a bad impression of my brother...
    But anyway, I'm in tenth grade and that is the last year I have to relax before everything is becoming serious and I really need to pay attention.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh well, you can have some leeway for maths, I suppose. It's an exception. No one really does maths homework.

      Sibling impressions are one thing I totally forgot when writing this post! I'm an only child myself, so that's why. Well, enjoy your honeymoon year as they call it, and power on for eleventh!

      Delete
    2. I even do maths sometimes, but usually then, when it isn't the most necessary thing to do.

      The sibling thing even fits perfectly well into the Hunger Games Theme. It happened that siblings of previous victors would be reaped with a remarkable high frequency :-)

      I'll follow your advice ;-)

      Delete
    3. TRUE. You do the boring stuff only when there's more boring/extremely difficult stuff that you should do.

      OH. YES. Such a fabulous connection, Windsprite! Lots of pressure to perform as well, high chance of being messed around by Gamekeepers ... definitely! And hopefully my advice helps you :)

      Delete
  11. Sucking up is so hard when none of the teachers like you, except the English teachers. :(

    Ah well. At least I have fun being the class badass (hint: I'm not. I just talk a lot in class)

    Hm, alliances......I shall gather my army of bookworms and nerds to overthrow the power of the teachers! :)

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    1. True, this method works best at the beginning of term, when you can start with a clean slate :/ Talking a lot DOES make you a class badass! When my teachers ask questions we just go on sleeping, so being awake is already an accomplishment :D

      Wait, isn't that the plot of Catching Fire? XD

      Delete
  12. OH MY GAWD THIS IS GOLD!!! I LOVE IT. I WILL FOLLOW THIS POST VERY CLOSELY. TIME TO GET THEM ALLIANCES. *nods head vigorously*

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    1. THANK YOU. I AM GLAD THEY ARE HELPFUL. IT IS MY DUTY AS YOUR MENTOR.

      ... wait, what? XD

      Delete
  13. THESE ARE GREAT . I'm definietly a teachers favourite at school, but it always pays to get on their good side then bat your eyelashes when you're busy. I think teachers don't know a lot about me (like my tendency to procrastinate, lol. And you have to have friends. I do believe in a good nights sleep regardless of how much homework (or external exams. Which are next week. Ugh) Thanks for this, Alyssa!

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    1. I'M GLAD YOU FIND THEM FUNNY. I'm also something of a favourite at school, and I have like way too much leeway. *whispers* I don't think they know I'm on Tumblr.

      Good luck on external exams! :D :D :D

      Delete
  14. Bahaha this post was absolutely brilliant, Alyssa! I'm in junior high, and if I'm lucky, I manage to squeeze in 6 hours of sleep before school. ;) For form your alliances though, I'll admit I'm doing it wrong. I have a group of friends who are as competent as me--aka they're all a bunch of slackers and procrastinators, and we all stay up late to ramble to each other instead of studying. Oops. But seriously, this whole post was brilliant and I just love the theme. ;)

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

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    1. I'm glad I made you laugh! I don't think I could survive on 6 hours of sleep, so kudos to you on that. And ahaha, I befriend far too many slackers as well. On the bright side, we find the easiest way to complete homework together.

      The theme was my favourite part to write, to be honest :) Shocking how school is so brutal. Sorta like real life.

      Delete
  15. This is FABULOUS! I mean, certainly for its content, but also in large part to its Hunger Games references. Because I adore, as we all know.

    See, I think the number one rule for all of school is basically just to be incredibly fabulous at bullshitting anything and everything. That is what I did, and school was a breeze. Also, it is helpful if you have a friend teach you how to properly suck up to nuns. This doesn't just help in Catholic school, no, this applies to life. Because apparently, if it works with nuns, it works with EVERYONE.

    Oh, and I took your survey, and I kind of wished there was an "ABSOLUTELY YES PLEASE" option for calling me a grasshopper. Because, that.

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. I mean, obviously the Hunger Games references were more important.

      OH. YES. THAT IS TRUE. I basically treat every class as "bullsh*tting in a particular field", especially since I take the IBDP and all we do is write insanely long essays. I suppose nuns are pretty easy to deal with if you know how to BS with the Bible. I get A+ in Christian studies all the time and I'm an atheist. It's an acquired skill. *nods*

      I am glad you like the term, because it is utterly random. It looks like most other people are okay with it too, so that's decided :D

      Delete
  16. This is EXCELLENT hahaha

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