Surviving higher education: 7 top tips

Image from Pixabay
Here are top 7 survival tips for working in higher education (or for that matter, any profession).

1. When I first started work, one wise old colleague told me that wherever I went, I should always carry a piece of paper around with me. It didn't matter what was on the paper. It could even be blank. He told me it would made people think I was busier than I actually was. He was fired.

2. If you don't want to be in a boring meeting, you can set the alarm on your smartphone to go off exactly 7 minutes in. Look embarrassed, make your excuses with 'I'm sorry, I have to take this - it's a very urgent call', stand up and quickly leave. Better still, send your apologies beforehand for each and every meeting. Your boss will thank you.

3. If you really really can't get out of a meeting, conspire with another member of staff (who'll also be at the meeting) to have a game of Disney Bingo. Liven up the meeting by making contributions that include Disney characters. Example: 'We need to avoid Mickey Mouse courses' and 'This department is the Cinderella department of the university....' and 'The Vice Chancellor looks just like Quasi Modo'. No-one will ever twig, but it will amuse the pants off you and your collaborator, and the meeting will go a lot faster.

4. Get your students to do all the work. Set them a random task or problem that it will take them hours to solve. They will work hard, with minimum effort from you, as you swan around the room 'monitoring their progress' and lobbing in an occasional grenade. Always keep them guessing. Especially about what they are meant to be learning.

5. Never volunteer for anything, ever.

6. Only drink coffee if you want to stay awake.

7. Join a union.

Can you think of any more? Answers in the comments box below!

Creative Commons License
Surviving higher education: 7 top tips by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Ray Huntley said…
8. Work in a university where they show a bit of compassion and common sense when you make one mistake.

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