How To Successfully BS Your Way Through College

bullshitIllustration by Brittany Isdith

If this $67,000 per year education has taught me anything, it is how to bullshit my way through basically everything. After all, college is supposed to prepare you for the real world, right?

Not everyone can be a grade A, master bullshitter. But with my help, you'll be at least one step closer. Here's what you need to do.

Know how to tell a good lie.

When I would lie as a little kid, my mom would tell me she could see my nose grow just like Pinocchio’s. Like several of the Disney movies I watched growing up, this idea that my nose actually grew when I lied caused me to be severely misled. The truth is, Prince Charming does not exist and there is no proven medical condition that causes noses nose growth when lying. Eventually I realized nose jobs weren’t for altering noses after too much dishonesty. In fact, there is no such thing as telling “too many lies.” When a friend asks you if you like their haircut, you wouldn’t tell them you don’t like it, would you? Similarly, when you email your professors telling them why you’ve missed class, “I didn’t feel like it,” does not suffice as a reasonable excuse. Its honestly just rude and will hurt their feelings.

You may be wondering… how do I tell a good lie? Well, first of all, they’re not called lies. Not to good liars at least. Lies are simply “fabricated facts," because that sounds better. There has been a negative connotation associated with lying, according to, like, the Bible, and academic integrity and stuff, I don’t really know. Make sure these fabricated facts include a good amount of detail, but not too much because then you’re babbling and wasting everyone’s time. Anyone can smell that bullshit from a mile away. Even more importantly, make sure everything checks out. If for some very odd reason you’re friends with your professor on Facebook and—actually no. That’s very weird. Don’t be friends with your professor on Facebook. But be ready to provide supporting evidence at all costs. If you don’t have a doctor in the family, find a friend with one in theirs. Doctor’s notes go a very, very long way. Slept through class again? You “had pink eye.”

Choose your major wisely.

If you plan on bullshitting your way through college, choosing a major that requires real knowledge, like finance, architecture, pre-med, or basically anything that has legitimate right and wrong answers and includes numbers is not the way to go. In English classes, the right answer is pretty much always up for interpretation. Why did the author choose for the main character to wear a purple dress? Probably because the author just likes the color purple, but according to your paper’s thesis, it is because purple resembles something of significance because it was juxtaposed with a clock, symbolizing time. See what I did there? I just bullshitted the thesis of a hypothetical paper that’ll probably hypothetically get an A on because the teacher will essentially have no clue what I’m even talking about. Doesn't matter though, because I used big girl words.

Have friends in your major—especially ones who took the class with the same professor last year. When they give you all their notes and suggest how to do well, the only reason to go to class is for attendance points. Then you can sit on your computer to online shop, catch up on current events, or start coming up with bullshit to say in your paper due tomorrow. Also, make new friends. Don’t look at that kid who killed the curve as a pompous asshole, but a study buddy to help you (or give you all the answers, depending on how you look at it).

Name drop it like it’s hot.

You know that kid who should have been kicked out a while ago because he or she has been failing for a while now, yet here they are next to you, snoring and drooling on their copy of the test you pulled an all-nighter studying for? You know why they don’t get kicked out? Probably because they know somebody who knows somebody, or are destined to take over the family business but lack the knowledge of how to actually run it. Regardless of how deserving or not they are of this opportunity, they still have it. In this day and age, rarely anybody gets where they are because they worked for it, it is because their aunt’s friend’s son’s wife pulled some strings. Power by association is still power. Take it or leave it.

Fake it till you make it.

If you speak in an authoritative tone and use big words, people will automatically assume you know what you’re talking about—especially if you have a British accent. Everything sounds smarter in a British accent. Ask about one or two complicated questions per class to maintain a reasonable participation rep. The goal of these questions is to sidetrack the professor and end up on a tangent so far off topic they’ll forget what class they’re teaching.

At the end of the day, this is the takeaway: , yes means yes, and no means either send another email or find a loophole in the system to make it a yes.

Real TalkThe EditorsComment