Managing Editor Betsy Ladyzhets is not nearly as good at managing her life as she is at managing Bwog, but most of her casual acquaintances, classmates, and daily editors don’t know it. She shares some crucial tips for maintaining a veneer of respectability when, in truth, your life is collapsing faster than a biochem major’s ego after the return of an orgo midterm.
1. Make your bed every morning. This is one of the simplest ways to make yourself appear more on top of your schedule than you are, even if only your roommate sees the evidence. They’ll think, wow, what a motivated person, actually pulling the covers up. Plus, jumping on top of your bed to tuck in all the edges is a nice way to get your energy going.
2. Dress well. Or at least, dress in clothes that match. Or at least, don’t wear the same shirt two days in a row. (You could probably alternate between free Columbia shirts.) Nobody will be able to tell that you’ve been wearing the same pair of socks for half a week because you haven’t had time to do your laundry.
3. Get to class precisely thirty seconds before it starts. Your classmates will think you calculated the precise amount of time it takes to walk from Plimpton to Altschul. They’ll have no idea that you actually left ten minutes later than you planned, sprinted down 120th Street, and jaywalked three times.
4. Snack on fruit during lectures. This will make you look healthy, like someone who cares about a balanced diet and appropriate Vitamin C intake. Nobody needs to know that the apple you’re eating a. is one of your two meals today and b. has been in your backpack since you took it from Hewitt two weeks ago.
5. Have the readings for all of your classes with you at all times. Nothing says “prepared student” like a printed copy of all two hundred pages of Marxist Leninist psychoanalysis of the most foundational texts of twentieth century British literature. (Have you read more than two pages of it? Of course not. Did you use up all your print quota? Worth it.)
6. Exercise regularly. The kind of person who goes running in Riverside Park five times a week or spends two hours in Dodge must be the kind of person who has a well-organized schedule and gets all of their work done, right? Wrong. Exercise is the perfect deception, because you can look fit and procrastinate on your work at the same time.
7. Surround yourself with people less productive than you are. Studying somewhere like Lerner or the Diana Center may not have the relatable chandeliers or the stressful atmosphere of Butler, but it has one clear advantage: at least half of the other people there are taking a break. They’re eating, or hanging out with friends, or practicing with a dance group – either way, you’ll feel much more mentally successful in comparison.
8. Don’t keep more than six tabs open. If you have a ton of tabs open, it’ll be pretty obvious that you’re trying to do way too many things at once. This is probably true, but you don’t have to let anyone know about it – instead, have a couple of windows open with several tabs each. You can compartmentalize while you deceive.
9. Chew a lot of gum. Remember that thing middle school teachers used to say about how chewing gum helps you concentrate during a test? That may be a myth, but it makes you look productive – if your jaw is intently moving, people will assume your mind is, too. And the minty fresh scent will hide the fact that you keep forgetting to brush your teeth.
10. Do not post in Columbia Buy/Sell/Memes. Seriously. Don’t do it. Resist. The moment your friends see you cleverly pricing a starter pack instead of revising your essay, they’ll know you’re doomed.
The kind of photo a productive person would post on their Instagram via Betsy Ladyzhets