Sit in the front row. It will make you look smarter.
Know that the people who seem smarter, probably aren’t.
They just put in more time.
You will never have enough time,
but you have more than you think.
Stop playing video games.
Raise your hand.
Visit your professor’s office.
Do not begin with “did I miss anything?”
Do not parrot back your professor’s opinions.
Do not parrot back your father’s opinions
or what you heard on talk radio this morning.
Ask a classmate to lunch.
Remember, everything that comes easily to you
is hard for someone else.
Give up all your notions about what men do,
what women do,
what you can’t do.
You can do anything.
Join a club. I don’t care if you think it’s lame.
You said you wanted a better life.
Remember, that also means a different life.
Karelia has been teaching writing at community college for over ten years. She is author of The Admirer, The Purveyor, Forgive Me If I Told You This Before (coming Oct. 31, 2014), and Something True (coming January 13, 2015).