Indulge me

Please indulge me if I pause a bit today to celebrate the final day of coursework!  I started kindergarten when I was 4, back when they were much more flexible about deadlines and birthdays.

 first day of class^ 

And now, 35+ years later (with some years off in the middle) I have finished my final class of my ed-joo-cation (with still a couple of years of dissertating ahead of me).

Some school-going wisdom I've acquired over the years, or what I wish I'd known before:

Always read the syllabus ahead of time.  Trust me on this.

Go ahead and raise your hand and talk. Ask questions, be skeptical.

Sit toward the back with the sarcastic people (part rebel) but speak up (part teacher's pet).

Eye contact and nodding will go a long way toward making your teacher/professor think you know more than you do.  Especially if you are really texting your daughter on your phone at the time.

The semester system was not created with mothers of three in mind, especially around the holidays.

Some reading is optional.

The older you are, the more likely you are to do the optional reading just because it's interesting. 

There's no shame in dropping a class.

Good writing skills go a long, long, long way. Thank you, Mrs. Stock (and others).

Attendance, while not always mandatory, is usually a good idea.

Years from now, will you really care what grade you got in Psych 301? No.  Just do your best and move on.

Group projects are an exercise in futility and frustration (and scheduling nightmares) but just go with the flow.

Email yourself your papers just in case your disk drive crashes. Sigh.

College and graduate school degrees just mean you sat in class for a certain number of hours, read a lot, and wrote a bunch. No magic involved, just work.

I will admit to some lesser moments.  Like my last class of my undergraduate years, BIS 140 (said with derision), a class that taught you how to use a computer (rolls eyes).  I felt I already knew how to use a computer so I didn't attend very often and learned, when I showed up for the final, that in fact I did not know four different ways to save a document using WordPerfect (who needed to know four ways? And, it turns out, who needed to even know WordPerfect?) and other trivial but tested concepts. The sad result was a mediocre grade that, I found out after graduation and walking across with pride, kept me from getting the Summa cum laude distinction after all.  Whoopsie!

What school memories or wisdom would you add to the wish-someone-would-have-told me list?