You’re about to star in a movie. In this movie, we stare at your scars. We quiver at your night terrors. We shudder at your darkest secrets. Yet, we want you to win big. That’s because, when You’re the star, we feel your pulse, your thrills, your fears. The movie is an autobiography about your leap from an F, D, C, B, or A student?to an A+ champ.
You see, every movie starts with a flawed star who has a goal. And we’re all flawed. But the best movies?and the best life-stories?end with a shift: special-ed kid turns prof. Now, that’s a true story.
So, what flaws stop you from scoring A+ status?
Well, let’s find out from Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s book called The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws. They (in bold below) list flaws?and antidotes. I single-out the student-centric flaws and sprinkle them with star-student fixes.
Disorganized? Forgetful? Scatterbrained? If so, you may have poor time management skills. So, stop cramming!
To stop cramming, cut-away chunks of fun time. Fill them with steady schoolwork instead. But take breaks?a 15-minute break every 45 minutes: the simple one-hour rule, I call it. Use cooking timers from cookware stores. (I use Teavana timers.) And during your breaks, get healthy: read, meditate, exercise.
As for time management skills, spill thoughts in a daily journal, including deadlines and progress. Journal an hour-by-hour to-do list. Structure that scattered brain.
And you cannot be a top student without a granddaddy-sized calendar. Complement that granddaddy with a paper-planner tucked in your backpack.
Foolish? Foolish people get distracted easily.
And fools fall in love, don’t they? So, first, look at your turn-offs. I mean those distractions you need to turn off: TV, loud music, cellphone. And, best of all, turn off the Internet. Just you and your work will go on dates. Pick the three top tasks for the day (like three top traits in a love interest), and focus on them. Fall in love with your work.
Irresponsible? Irresponsible people need rewards and self-esteem boosters.
Sometimes you take breaks. But sometimes you take?breaks. When you finish a paper or exam, see a show. Dine at a five-star steakhouse. Or if you’re poor, splurge on ebooks or pour bubble tubs.
If you lack self-esteem (and who doesn’t?), audiotape or journal kind words: “I am a worthy and smart student. I enjoy an intellectual challenge.” Anything less is a lie.
Unintelligent? You may need pro help to kick-start your brain.
Pack your bags. You’re now hanging out at the university student write center. Or the math help center. Free help will up your grades. Guaranteed.
And before every semester starts, read a grammar book and a how-to-write book. Kickstart your A+ semester.
And buy or rent extra books on your subject. Sometimes a question on a test will be in an outside book: word-for-word.
But don’t forget to call either your AU tutor or a private tutor when you get stuck. Private tutors cost. So, stick mostly with your freebies: AU tutors and the writing and math help centers.
What is your life’s purpose? To hone your flaws. And stars transform to perform. So, splash an A+ act on your flick of flaws.