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Ace advice for academic achievement


With midterms season in full swing, and finals looming ominously in the distance, you may be looking for ways to excel scholastically in the face of these horrors. Never fear — The Olaf Messenger has you covered with ten tried and true tips for being an academic weapon all test season long!


  1. Evade PubSafe in the library after it closes — remember, they can’t chase you! The ongoing hide and seek will also help spice up the study grind.


  1. Save your meal swipes by using only one to study in Stav all day without leaving.  Just make sure you have good noise-canceling headphones.


  1. Don’t worry about the eyebags, they make you look hotter. We promise. In fact, you should pull all-nighters leading up to midterms specifically for aesthetic purposes, and to train for when you need to work the whole night through.


  1. Make friends with the hat man so you’ll have emotional support when you start hallucinating from sleep deprivation. He prefers Stav snickerdoodles over their chocolate chip cookies.


  1. Use the last of your Flex Dollars. You deserve it, and the end of the semester will come whether you’ve gone through your money or not.


  1. Go to crowded, poorly ventilated events until you catch COVID-19. The midterms can’t get you if you’re convalescing in your dorm room, and your professors will pity you enough to bump up your grade. It’s not like St. Olaf has any policies to deal with the pandemic anymore.


  1. Drop an extracurricular, or five. We know, we know — all those tables at the Org Fair just looked so interesting, and you didn’t expect them to take the same amount of time as multiple classes. That extra music ensemble doesn’t deserve your nervous breakdown, though.


  1. Remember the 20-5 rule: your entire day should be composed of 20-minute segments of intense study interrupted by five-minute breaks to eat an entire meal, sprint to the Natural Lands and back, or engage in other relaxing activities.


  1. Let off steam by shouting in the Natural Lands in the middle of the night. You could even go as a group and howl at the moon. 


  1. Delineate your spots for studying and relaxing. Your brain doesn’t want to write a 12-page paper in the same spot that you were slouched over playing video games last night. That’s the video game spot, and it will viciously defend its title.


Good luck, fellow Oles, and don’t stress too much — remember, even C’s get degrees. Usually. 

Elias Hanson is from Chaska, Minn. His major is Environmental Studies. 

Jessica Schmidt is from Glenview, Ill. Her majors are biology and mathematics.