In my Career Directions and Your Daily Bread class, I teach a variety of lessons to my students about how to make the transition from college to career. As part of the assignment to design and publish their own professional web site, I teach them the basics of how to write a blog post. The following blog post–really an open letter to college students, was submitted by Ms. Grace Johnston. It is my pleasure to feature it here on the Student Caring web site. If you want to listen to Grace read the letter, just click on the play button or go to iTunes and search for the Student Caring Podcast.    Prof. David Pecoraro


Dear fellow college students,

Getting straight A’s in college is important, but not nearly as important as what you could be doing instead of “How to Fail a Class”going to class, studying, and doing homework. College is full of useless things. Memorization skills? Who needs that? Reading and comprehension? Psh! General knowledge and information about daily life and the world? Boring!

What we learn in school will never follow us into real life, so why even bother? Here are a few tips on how to make the least out of your class!

Use your phone during class

Being distracted and disconnected is a key to future bad performance. Texting, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr; I want you to pick up your phone right now and immerse yourself in these things because you will be glad you did later! Especially when your professor clues you in on valuable information that’s not on the study guide for the next exam. You might as well disrespect the speaker while you’re at it!

Even if your homework assignments actually rely on a textbook, buy it and DO NOT touch it.

There is no better way to dissociate yourself with the course you’re taking than to purchase the required text and never open it. Who wants to waste their valuable social media/video game/nap time with reading a textbook that will help you understand the material that the professor babbles about in class? Only those of us who want to fail! The pros outweigh the cons; you’ll be short a few bucks, but you’ll have NO IDEA what’s going on in class.

DO NOT study.

Studying is a sure-fire way to get an excellent grade on exams and quizzes. We do not want success and progress to occur in your time at college, so put down the highlighter and the flash cards. Again, who wants to waste their precious time with studying? Your time at college is meant for other things like going out with friends, wasting your parents’ money, or gaining fifteen pounds. 

After the professor takes roll, leave as if you’re going to use the restroom and DO NOT come back.

Why on earth would you want to sit through a BORING, USELESS, INFORMATIONALLY VOID lecture when you’ve already got your name down on the attendance sheet? Only if you want to actually do well in class, of course! Use all of the time you’ve saved to do the really important stuff, like taking a nap, not finding a job, and avoiding all responsibilities.

Make fun patterns on your Scantron.

You could fill in all of your answers as “a” and be boring, or you could make your exam time much more interesting. Try to make squiggles, lightning bolts, zigzags, or, if you’re more advanced in Scantron art, a double helix. Don’t be afraid to let your artistic abilities flow, because that’s all that you have going for you in the future.

 DO NOT turn in any assignments.

This is a big one that fail-savvy students tend to miss. In some classes, assignments make up 50% of your grade. Imagine if you even TRIED to make an effort to complete one and turn it in on time. Avoid them at all costs; you’ll be glad you did.

Extra credit? More like torture!

Extra credit is absolutely detrimental to your failure. It could cause your grade to move up A WHOLE LETTER. Wow! Who would have thought that it could be so evil?

These are only a few tips to get you on your way to fail-ville. I hope these tricks and ideas help you and inspire you to get your grades down so low that you lose your scholarship.

A little disclaimer: some of these tips will not work for everyone, so try them all out and see which ones benefit you the most. I wish you luck!

Happy academic probation,

Grace Johnston

Grace Johnston

College Student, Educational Philosopher, Self-Professed Comedienne
Freelance Editor and Proofreader, Technical Theatre Major



Right or control click here to download the MP3 of the Podcast.

How To Fail A Class


We welcome your feedback to our work.

Email:  General Information   |   Dr. Daniel de Roulet   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David




  • Fay Nielsen, PhD

    Fay Nielsen, PhD

    This is great! Did she do that on her own? I often have an online discussion group during the first week of class where students can practice following directions by noting one way that they could flunk the course.

  • David Newton-Dines

    David Newton-Dines

    Grade A+ for irony …

  • Suman Shrivastav

    Suman Shrivastav

    Grade A for innovative thinking..

    Greetings! Fay – Yes, she did. It came as a nice surprise to me.
    Thank you David & Suman – Best to you all on this fine day! David

  • Dr Shagufta Tahir Mufti

    Bravo for Grace.She has very efficiently highlighted the challenges teachers face with the millennial students even better than ( for example ) I could..In its best part it reflects the level of awareness about these issues among students which should actually make it easier for educators to deal with these challenges.Grace could serve instrumental in this awareness campaign and she should seriously consider that.Students take things better and more easily from peers than from teachers.

    One thing though raises the bar of challenge much higher is the confusion and realization whether we are dealing with ” virtually intelligent and multitasking students” or genuinely intelligent and diligent students ” ” the smart generation”.The two scenarios are wide apart pose different issues and require different tools and techniques to deal with. The deeply digitally engaged and virtually intelligent students pose a REAL THREAT to the educational system.In the years to come left unchecked they would eventually succeed in shutting down the best Universities in the world.I hope my take on this is wrong. For the genuinely intelligent and diligent students we require more vigorous tools and techniques to channelize their robust intelligence in a productive way amid all the distractions,that would serve mankind well.Maybe we need to revisit our roles as educators and work on developing innovative instructional tools that would defy all distractions..

  • David Pecoraro

    Ken Mellendorf

    I very much appreciate the focus on long-term effects in this document. Many of today’s population have come to focus so much on short-term (a few days, maybe a few weeks), that they unknowingly forget long-term (a few years, maybe a few decades).

  • David Pecoraro

    Kevin Woolley

    Bravo for Grace tackling a prickly topic with a fun sense of humor! I have experienced every one of these behaviors but not every day (thank you). I don’t think it has gotten worse in the smallish size classes I teach of 20 students. What has increased is the overall sense of entitlement. Students demand more without doing more. They are the millennial “negotiators” used to getting what they want. They want to know exactly what is on the test. They want extensions on assignments. They even beg me for extra credit work the week before final exams. Is this a symptom of a generation of students… or their parents?
    I wonder sometimes.

  • David Pecoraro

    Ken Mellendorf

    @Kevin, I also see what you describe. I often speak with students not in my classes. They describe a life centered on gaining much while giving little. However, this is different from some previous generations. This is not a question of giving and taking money, but of life quality and time. Gain the greatest short-term life quality while giving the least life time needed. This corresponds to video games. This corresponds to many of the “reality” shows focused on personal conflict independent of earning wages or financial difficulty. Much of our upper class is based on obtaining wealth, often appearing to do so through taking chances with investment rather than through hard work. Much of the lower class is based upon filling out the proper forms and filing at the proper offices. Earning a life through hard work and personal development is seldom advertised.

    • David Pecoraro

      Harold Katcher

      Well I must say in teaching online I have none of that. Each student is required to post several times per week and posts are graded according to many criteria – including information content, originality etc so that students can’t not participate and get a decent grade in the course (and that’s their call isn’t it?). Of course our problem is students Googling a name (nowadays you can simply ask Google a well-formulated question and get your answers) and cutting and pasting someone else’s reply – which of course is plagiarism if found, or simply putting everything in quotes with proper attribution – which fails the ‘originality’ criterion. I now require that every statement made must be put into the student’s own words. It’s often amusing (sadly) to find that students take an article off the Net, and use a thesaurus to find synonym replacement for words – my favorite was a student describing a lab technique using ‘parched ice’ instead of ‘dry ice’.

How to Fail a Class



Student Caring