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MIT student blogger Natnael G. '15

Sounding Stupid by Natnael G. '15

More Ramblings Of A Spring Semester Senior

How To Avoid Sounding Stupid*

*All advice should be taken with a grain of salt/pepper/Adobo and a pinch of parsley.

  1. Don’t ask questions in class; everyone around you will think you’re stupid for not understanding the concept on the first try.
  2. Don’t ask the person sitting next to you to clarify what’s on the board; they’ll ridicule you for poor eye sight and tendency to zone out.
  3. Don’t ask for clarification in an argument; that’s a sign of weakness that will immediately result in losing.
  4. Don’t go to office hours; you don’t want the TAs to put a name to a face and judge all of the stupidity that ends up on your psets.
  5. Don’t admit you’re wrong, even in the face of undeniable evidence. You can always question its legitimacy later.
  6. Don’t ask your professors to proofread your essays; you don’t want to be there when they find out you can’t remember the difference between affect and effect.
  7. Don’t voice any of your opinions; chances are you haven’t thought it through and they will poke holes in everything you hold dear.
  8. Don’t leave your room; everyone will see your torn up shoes and tattered jeans and dismiss everything you say.
  9. Don’t chime in on discussions about things you haven’t mastered. What do you know about the Palestine Israel situation? There are people who dedicated their lives to the study. Actually, don’t do anything that would be considered “chiming in”.
  10. Don’t talk at all, your poor diction and heavy slang use will make you look uneducated and is there anything worse than that?
  11. Don’t ask for the definition of a word; just smile, nod, and Google it in your free time.
  12. Or, ignore all of this terrible advice because you’re paying for your education and it’s your job to make the most of it. Life became a lot easier when the phrase “I don’t know what that is/means” entered my repertoire.  In the words of Jake from Adventure Time