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5 winning strategies to motivate yourself to attend class

As usual, fall break ended too soon. It’s strange because midterms certainly felt like the end of your classes, or at least a suitable stopping point, like the end of the last non-Netflix produced season of "Arrested Development," since you knew that it couldn’t get any better from there. But sadly, the trustees of Princeton University have renewed your semester for another nine weeks, and you will have to continue in the same, tired manner of existence, until the trustees decide to cancel your fall schedule and produce a spinoff with new classes in the spring.

And unlike "Downton Abbey," where you can stop watching after Matthew dies (SPOILER ALERT), you will incur the wrath of the trustees if you just decide to stop classes after the death of your soul during midterms.But you’re in luck, because we have five winning strategies to motivate yourself to go to class.


1.Make a countdown.

For instance, as of this article’s publication, there are approximately 13 days, three-and-a-half hours, and 27 seconds until Thanksgiving break. There are 37 days until winter break. There are 10 weeks until Intersession. Basically, you can keep on counting, forever. So do that. It’s like counting sheep, except backward. It’s a good way to forget about all the work hanging over your head, by pushing it aside in abstractions — speaking of which ...

2. Procrastinate. (Please read my explanation.)

OK, before you condemn me with my flippant disregard of obvious conventional wisdom, hear out my logic. It’s very hard to motivate yourself to go to class after fall break. But youcanmotivate yourself, if only you procrastinate and put off your work just a tiny bit. Take a day off. And another. And then one night, when everything has built up to an insurmountable and unconscionable workload, you will have a horrific nightmare about graduation, in which President Eisgruber wags his finger, tears up your diploma and kicks you out of FitzRandolph Gate, fulfilling the ancient prophecy. You will wake up in a cold sweat. You will feel guilty. You will finish your work, you will attend class and then you will become enormously successful and donate a building to the University. And if that doesn’t work ...

3. Imagine everyone in your precept is naked.

I’m not exactly sure how effective this is — I’m pretty sure the source proverb had to deal with public speaking. But anyway, this should boost your confidence (or lower your self-esteem, if you are in Rocks for Jocks or Emails for Females). Just remember that if everyone in your precept is naked, then they will be freezing, but you are nice and toasty in your Snuggie, slippers and nightcap, since you just rolled out of bed like a boss. But really, this amounts to a psychological advantage, one that you can enhance if you ...


4. Increase your toughness — survival is the only option.

Princeton is like a roiling tempest — your ship, the foundering "Anytown High School," has struck an orange-and-black coral reef, and now you struggle for survival on a raft, which you share with a giant Bengal tiger. Sound familiar? But wait — the tiger is only a metaphor — representative of the failure that will consume you whole if you don’t fight to survive and write a book about it. With every attack that you repel, there’s another one coming. So what can you do? The answer is obvious. Become a better swimmer, and ...

5. Endure.

My uncle Alfred, or at least someone’s uncle, once told me some words of wisdom through a television screen that stuck in my mind, mostly because it’s from a movie I’ve watched a hundred times.

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“Endure, [Princeton student]. Take it. They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of [being a Princeton student]. He can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make — the right choice.”

To Conclude: Go to class, people.