4 Tips to Help You Survive Going Back to School

School is starting up again and, if it’s anything like what I remember, it’s a warzone out there. But I made it through. I survived. And I’m here to tell you that all is not lost. If you follow these 4 easy tips, you won’t be able to just survive school, you’ll be able to enjoy it.


1. Develop your brand

This is by far the most important thing you must do while heading back to school. Let me put it bluntly: if you don’t have a well-crafted personal brand by the third or fourth week in school, you’re gonna end up sitting by yourself at lunch and walking through the halls like a ghost. Nobody is gonna care about you. “Who’s that guy?” people will ask. “Oh, just some brandless loser. Destined for nothing,” they’ll answer.

And it’s not even hard to come up with your own brand these days so there aren’t really any excuses to not have one. Back in olden times, like the 70s or whatever, people only had about 4 or 5 brands to choose from. You had to be either a jock/cheerleader, a nerd, a freak/punk, a goody two shoes, or a class clown. Everybody else, all the brandless screwups, were nothing but extras walking around in the background of the movie. Life was rough back in the days of yore.

 My brand.

My brand.

But, like I said earlier, it’s not hard to come up with a brand these days. You can make anything up, and as long as it’s distinctive and sets you apart from everybody else, it works as a brand. Take me for example: my brand is “kinda gross but in a sexy way.”  Basically, during market research, the response I want to elicit from my core demographic is “Yeah, I can tell he hasn’t showered in a day or two, but that really gets me going. Like, Thor probably doesn’t shower every day, why should Zach?”

And it’s even easier than that to come up with a brand. You can just find a cool hat and wear that hat literally 100% of the time and then that hat becomes your brand. While easy, this is also a dangerous move, because if you lose your hat than you become like lil Bow Wow at the end of “Like Mike” when he loses his sneakers: powerless. And if you think you can pull off some feel-good BS by making a game winning shot without the help of your brand, guess again. This is the real world. Stuff like that doesn’t happen.

My best advice is to pick something that’s simple yet lovable. Don’t get complicated with it. Be the one who always brings really nice beer to the party instead of some cheap crap. Or studying! Your brand can be that you study a lot. Or how about giving a lot of high fives and saying “Radical!” every time. That’s a cool brand.

It’s really not that hard to pick a brand. I came up with three on the spot. Just do it, folks.


2. Perform a summoning

    Look. School is hard. I know, I’ve been through it. You’ve got tests. You’ve got essays. You’ve got pop quizzes. You’ve got social anxieties. Sometimes, you wake up late for school and you don’t want to go. You ask your Mom, “please?” but she still says “NO!” Then, you miss two classes and you don’t have your homework. And, on top of everything, your teacher preaches class like you’re some kind of jerk! Gee whiz!

It’s a difficult life and, understandably, students often look for quick fixes. They do drugs like adderall and ritalin. Or they go online and they hire somebody to write their essays. Or they hack into the school database and change their grades.

I’m here to tell you that none of these methods work. Drugs cost too much money and will ruin your life. Buying essays costs a lot of money and, unless you’re buying all your essays, it’s really super easy to figure out what’s going on when your writing improves to a doctorate level over the course of a week. Oh and hacking into the school database? If you can do that, why are you even in school? Go make a billion dollars writing an app that calculates whether someone loves you or not based on their voice patterns or some shit.

There is only one tried and true quick fix method to getting by in school and that’s summoning a demon to the earthly realm and then forcing it to do your bidding, i.e. all your homework, so that you can watch Netflix. Don’t let all those horror movies that are about people summoning demons and subsequently losing control of the demons who then go on a blood rampage deter you. That is all literally 100% propaganda by the Illuminati. If every demon summoning went that poorly, why would people ever even try it in the first place? My guess is that the whole blood rampage thing happens maybe once every thirteen times. You’ll be fine and, if it works, it’ll be totally worth it. No more homework!

I summoned a cat demon with 4 Perriers and a bottle of wine.

Other benefits of summoning demons from the nether realms:

    It’s a one time fee of ~5$ for the candles and the chalk. And shoot, you probably don't even need that. You can use whatever to summon a demon, just make it form a pentagram.

    You also get a new friend.

    "Demon summoner" becomes your badass new brand.

    It only takes one evening.

    You can’t get addicted to demons.


One thing to watch out for though: don’t fall in love with it. Demons can sometimes be very kind souls and worth loving, but mixing species from different realms is unnatural and evil. Call me old fashioned but that’s just what I believe.

How do you actually summon a demon? I have no idea. Here I googled it for you. Have fun.


3. Make friends with the janitors

    This one isn’t really super complicated. Janitors are generally just cool-as-shit people. Be friends with them.


4. Blow off every STEM class, only take humanities

    You’re gonna hear a lot of garbage from a lot of people about how STEM classes are the best thing to take because they’ll get you a good job and are actually valuable or some shit. Don’t listen to a word that their saying. Listen to me, a creative writing major who’s now writing for The Blowhard. Life is great, I’m happy as a clam, and I know what I’m talking about.

    The biggest reason not to take STEM classes is because you’re gonna run out of shit to do in like 20 years when computers become smarter than humans and instantly put every scientist out of a job. And scientists will have nobody to blame but themselves. Us creative writers have been churning out science fiction stories for decades about how making robots really smart maybe isn’t the best idea, and does anybody listen to us? Well, there’s an army of flying robots bombing other countries as we speak, so I’m gonna say, “no, not really.”

Here’s the thing though, when the inevitable happens and computers do become smarter than humans, what jobs are gonna be left? Oh yeah, that’s right, all the creative, emotional shit. Like writing for the Blowhard. And robots are never gonna be able to do that stuff. I mean, why would they want to in the first place? Hey robots, here are these things, called feelings, that humans have which can be kind of fun sometimes, but mostly they just feel like a weird smoothie blender inside and they make us do things like kill each other and/or sit around in our underpants all day thinking about stuff that happened three years ago that doesn’t affect us anymore but we just can’t let it go. The robots are gonna be like, “no thanks, hard pass.” And that leaves us English majors on top of the world. Cause we got that empathy, yo. That emotional intelligence. All the jobs are gonna be ours, suckas.

We’re playing that long con and when everything turns out literally just as I wrote it, victory is gonna be sweet. Unless the robots try to kill all humans. Then victory won’t be that sweet.



Got any other tips or ideas on how to survive school? Want to let me know how following my advice went well or horribly wrong? Hit me up on Twitter @ZJShearer