I’m Red-beard The Pirate and I’ve helped thousands of students get killer grades with my book (and I’m even talking about the procrastinators too.)
Only $4.99 and you only pay it if you see the results you’re looking for – otherwise I walk the plank matey!
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I’m writing this article in response to a question a reader sent me.
He was responding to my article on keeping a budget in college. The reader is a high school student concerned about all the costs of college. He wanted to know what I thought he needed to get moving to college as the bare minimum. He was also asking about textbooks which I have my own dirty little secret about… I’ll get to that though.
Here is the short answer:
You don’t need to buy for anything for college.
No… You don’t need the usual list:
- An awesome comfortable chair
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Good speakers
- A new computer
- Clothes that make you massively uncomfortable but look good
- Shoes that cost more than your old car
Yea… I know that sounds odd. The whole world is trying to sell you stuff for college. Back-To-School ads can have you convinced that you’re going to look like a fool if you don’t prepare properly. Those companies will sell you new sheets, new clothes, and just about anything else you can squeeze into your seemingly 10 square foot shared dorm room.
You’re not falling for that. Sure… you might buy a couple things but you have the good sense to know they’re just pulling your leg. No fancy new something or another will make your life complete. (Tyler Durden agrees.)
There are a few quirks to this strategy you’ll need to know. I call it…
The Wait And See Approach
Kay is going to tell her story to start this section off:
When I was graduating from high school I went to website after website looking for important stuff I needed for college. I ended up with a list of hundreds of things. I was lucky enough to have my parents buy me just about every one of them. My dorm room was packed.
One week into school I realized I was missing another dozen important things. I had to go out again. Then again another week later.
That made me want to go check my list again. I was wondering how I could have missed these things.
As I went through the list I realized that I hadn’t used 90% of the stuff I bought for college. Most of it was just packed away somewhere. I didn’t even know where half of it was. I didn’t even care because now that I was going to class, they just seemed useless.
What’s the moral of this story?
Don’t trust lists online!
I love that moral.
I’d prefer the moral of the story being:
You’ll have plenty of time to buy stuff for school. You don’t need to buy it immediately.
Sure… you want the basics:
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, soap, etc.)
- Notebooks, paper, pencils
But you don’t even have to buy most of these things. I’d start the year by just bringing the stuff I have from home. It may not be enough to finish the semester but it’s probably enough to start the semester.
First Class Solution
During the first class teachers will tell you the things that you actually need for their class. That means you won’t have to guess by buying thirty notebooks and a dozen binders of assorted sizes. You just get to wait and see and save a whole buncha’ dough.
If you’re in desperate need for something then you can probably find a way to get it. In most cases, try to just pay attention to the things that you need. Make a list of the things you need when you need them.
If you’re desperate then ask to borrow stuff from other students short term. Believe me, they’ll have their own lists of extra stuff they’re never going to use this semester. They won’t mind.
If that’s not an option then head out to a store and get the minimum off your list.
The best part about this strategy is that you’ll end up needing a whole lot less than you think you do. Most of the stuff you “need” is just based on the habits you’re stuck in. You just think you need them because you’re in the habit of using them. As soon as you’re in college your habits are going to get flipped upside-down.
It’s the perfect time to accidentally simplify your life a little.
Never Buy Your Textbooks (Yet)
I don’t believe in buying textbooks before the semester starts.
It’s usually a waste of money.
Every single semester of college, I had at least one textbook I never opened through the semester. That textbook turned into a $150-$200 paperweight. That may be chump change to some of you but to me that was a serious expense. (I was paying my way through college washing dishes.)
You’ll end up needing most of your textbooks in the long run. You can just buy them a week into the class when you’re confident you’ll need them. That will save you from spending a few hundred dollars on textbooks that will just weigh you down.
Early in the semester you can borrow a textbook from a friend or read it in the library. After the first time a teacher tells you to use your textbook you can buy it used online. You’ll usually only have to manage a week or two around it.
Show Off By Not Showing Off
The biggest objection most people have to this minimalist strategy is fitting in.
No one likes feeling like they’re alone.
If you’re the only student without new stuff then you may feel a little bit left out. New stuff can be a bit of a status symbol. Many students go to college expecting to rewrite their personalities and they use objects as a way of representing it.
They go to school with this illusion that they can improve everything in their life at once. Maybe they’ll make more friends. They will improve their grades. They can have more fun than ever.
This… unfortunately… is just an illusion.
Dressing differently or buying cool new stuff may give you a temporary boost but no object will change who you are. To change who you are you don’t need to buy a thing.
Make yourself proud by not needing to buy things to show off. Be the one person that looks like they’re not trying too hard from day one. Be comfortable in your clothes. Be comfortable with your stuff. And be comfortable with you.
It’s easier and way cheaper that way.
No amount of buying stuff can change the most fundamental parts of you.
Enjoy your life. Don’t just try to enjoy your stuff.
A B&C Students Guide To Mercilessly Crushing A Students At Their Own Game (While Laughing Your Way Towards The Ivy-League)
Are you smart but getting meh grades?
The smartest students are often the ones the school system leaves behind. It’s easy to motivate a half-wit (or even almost-wit – like a horse with a carrot dangled in it’s face to get it running. Giddy-up horsey!
You would never fall for that, right? Then this is for you.
It’s easy to procrastinate when you’re getting a raw deal. That’s the smart thing to do.
Academics is a game – and its prizes are good. Really good! There is more to the story than that though. What do you have to do to get that prize? And that matters even more than the prize. Study 18 hours a day for straight-A’s and a high-paying job someday in the distant future? Ughhh… Not me. That’s for sure.
I scored near the top of my college Engineering class while studying less than 15 minutes a morning. And seriously, I don’t sound like a super genius, do I?
Hint: I had barely scraped a 1.0 GPA in high school and I wasn’t skipping and having fun with friends either – I was… dare I say… trying my best.
Big Tip: trying doesn’t matter unless you’re experimenting or already using an effective strategy. Trying without an effective strategies is a waste that can plop your grades in the stinker. First step – STOP TRYING with ineffective strategies.
You got that?
Look… I’m a bit crazy. I get it. I’ve read hundreds of books on grades, learning, and memory. I spent sleepless nights studying obscure academic journals. I swear, I even read the book “How To Read A Book” and didn’t have to drink alcohol to do it!
WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF!?
You wanna’ know why?
Don’t tell anyone but… I care. I was emotionally crippled by the school system. I had heartless, lazy, and downright mean teachers (and a couple good ones that couldn’t help.) It took years for me to untangle their mess…
And I went to college and beat them at their own wretched game. Top scores. Easy studying. Time to make friends and impress the ladies. (You know… the important stuff!)
But I know… I wasn’t alone and I know there are others facing similar and worse challenges than I did. And I may be out of the warzone now but I can’t in good conscience leave you behind without my arsenal.
That’s why a decade ago I founded Smart Student Secrets and got link backs from LifeHack, HuffPo, and good college professors with names I can’t pronounce from all over the world that see these strategies crushing every day. But forget about them… the emails I get from grateful students… that’s the stuff a good life is made of.
My newest book is, in my opinion, the best book ever written for students that want to absolutely crush the academic game.
It gets you to focus your energy on the most important aspects of grades – giving you leverage on the system.
It shows you the big painful studying, you’re not benefiting from – that you thankfully get to stop today and forever.
It takes the latest in academic research on memory and puts into your hands, the exact memorization strategies that a Purdue Professor proved can let someone memorize 2.35 things for every one they’re memorizing now.
And this isn’t about “working harder” – and it’s not about “working smarter” either. (I cringe every time I read that phrase.)
It’s about working only when it matters most and creating the habit of motivated and effective learning.
I guarantee this… You can skyrocket your grades with my book while studying less than you ever had to study before. If I’m wrong, send me an email and I’ll refund you – no questions asked.
Please give me the chance to change your life for the better – it’s on me to prove it. What you’re going to do is: click on the link here or below, click “Buy Now”, fill in the boxes, and you’ll get your copy of the book through an instant download.
Warning: Inflation is eating my butt right now. My accountant is saying the prices need to go up to keep up with server costs ASAP or this whole site is in danger. I’m writing this one last message as a last ditch effort to get this book to anyone that wants it. If you want it, do it now while the guarantee and price are still available. You will have it for when you’re ready to start.
Last chance! Don’t miss it at the lowest price and best guarantee I can do.