How to study for finals

Posted on December 12th, 2011

As the parent of a teenager, I have many opportunities to study the teenager in his native habitat. (That would be the kitchen because he’s growing so fast.) But I also get to observe the species as he does something called “studying for finals.” Now, it’s been my observation that studying for finals involves a lot of reading, texting, eating and in general avoiding cracking open a textbook and actually reviewing the information learned throughout the semester.

So after an entire weekend of observation, here’s what I believe happens when a teenager studies for finals.

  • Locate history notebooks. These are the books purchased at Wal-Mart right when school started. Chances are, they haven’t been opened or even seen since they were purchased. But it’s time to study for finals, so you may as well do something and look for them.
  • Realize your notebooks contain only doodles and the phone number of the cute girl sitting next to you in history. Freak out a bit, then spend a few minutes admiring the doodles and consider texting the cute girl.
  • Decide not to text the cute girl because your mom is in the next room and if she finds out you’re flirting and not studying her brain might explode.
  • Locate your textbook. Open it and realize your mind is completely blank and you have no idea what, if anything, you learned this semester. Freak out a bit more.
  • Locate your worksheets, which contain information about everything you learned all semester. Start reading them. Remain puzzled because although it appears to be your handwriting on the worksheets, you would swear you’ve never seen them before in your life.
  • Decide studying would be better if you had food. Eat Lucky Charms in the hopes they make you pass your history final.
  • Read more worksheets. Still nothing looks familiar on them, except that handwriting.
  • Get something else to snack on. Obviously the Lucky Charms aren’t lucky because you still don’t remember anything about history.
  • Look at clock. Realize 5 minutes have passed.
  • Wonder if you were even in a history class this semester. Check your online class schedule. Turns out you were there.
  • Read more notes. Finally find something that you remember. Democracy and a bunch of Greek philosophers named Plato and Ari-something or other.
  • Wonder how time can pass so very, very slowly.
  • Go on smart phone and pretend to be looking up stuff about the Magna Carta, while secretly googling “why does time pass so slowly when I’m studying?”
  • Decide you would study better if you had a full meal, not just some (un)Lucky Charms.
  • Beg your mother to make you something because obviously you can’t interrupt your study time to do something unimportant like make food.
  • Google “how to study history.” Google “was I in the history class this semester?” Decide it’s Google’s fault you can’t figure out history.
  • Stare at the walls and wonder if the stuff you need to study for history will magically appear on them.
  • Eat the meal your mother prepared. Ask her if she knows about the Magna Carta. When she says “yes, because she was there,” do not laugh. Clearly she is telling the truth because she is really old. Also? She knew a bunch of stuff about the Berlin wall coming down and everybody knows that if you were alive when that happened, you were alive when the Magna Carta was signed.
  • Finish eating, watching the walls and googling. Sigh. Wonder if it’s really necessary to learn history since all the old people know about it and they don’t seem to need to use it everyday anyway.
  • After a last ditch google attempt, finally discover the Magna Carta was signed by a bunch of old English guys unhappy with their king. Decide you know everything about history and that it’s time to study for the PE final – which apparently involves playing basketball outside with friends.
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2 Responses to “How to study for finals”

  1. Liz Says:

    It only gets worse!! When they go off to college then they pickup other habits that are not good for studying. Like staying up all night. Sleep during the day. And then complain they are tired and have no time to study. Meanwhile I am getting tweets that clearly state they where written at 3 in the morning. I do not know how she does it. But she seems to be having a great time. The kid is social!!

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