College taught me a lot. It not only refined my beer palate, it also taught me how to cry my way into turning in a paper late and how to pass a class without ever actually having attended it. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there, I earned a degree in Psychology. At least, I'm pretty sure I did. I was too hungover to attend my graduation ceremony, but I did receive a piece of paper in the mail that was signed by a bunch of people I've never met and said something about a Bachelor's of Arts. I didn't realize it was my actual diploma until after I'd already Sharpie'd in an "F" before the word "Arts." Employers don't find this funny, trust me.

Name drop like you're Carson Daly and it's 1999; any big name relevant to whatever field/topic you're writing.The most important thing that I learned while in college, however, is the art of bullshitting. Never in my life have I acquired something that proved to be so incredibly useful in the real world than how to BS my way through something. In fact, my proudest moment in life was not when I was accepted into school or even when I finished school; it was winter quarter of my sixth year. Or, as I called it, Senior Year: Take Two (junior year also had a take two… I took what I call "the scenic route" through college).

Ashley drinking beers posing

Anyway, the quarter was winding down and there was roughly about a week left of classes before finals began. Because I was so far along in my degree, I was taking my Capstone Course. Basically this is the one huge class you take that deals with a specific area of your major. Mine was Child & Adolescent Development. The course required us to write a final paper due at the end, which we had all ten weeks to write. It also required that we do research, conduct interviews, and run an experiment. Naturally, I put off writing the paper for as long as I could. And by "as long as I could," I mean I didn't write it until the day it was due. Nor did I conduct any actual research. Or interviews. Or run an experiment.

What? Don't judge me. I was really busy that quarter. I had just gotten season 4 of Felicity on DVD and this was also the quarter I discovered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Since it was my sixth year, I was fairly confident in my ability to not only bullshit my way through a paper, but to do it quickly and efficiently. I mean, not only had I been writing my own papers all this time, but I had also been writing papers for other people as a side gig to support my alcohol habit. (I can't tell you how many book reports I wrote without ever having actually opened the book.)

I went to class, head high, confident in my bullshitting capabilities to pull this off.So I walked over to my local Starbucks, purchased myself a venti coffee, popped open my laptop, and began to write. By this time I had established a process on how to write a paper without actually knowing what I was writing a paper about.

First, it's important to use big words. Not just any big words, though. They have to be pertinent to the class you're writing the paper for:

"In previous psychological explorations on this matter, Sigmund Freud established a code of ethics in regards to the degree in which an individual can be effectively studied. One's amygdala is crucial to the formation of emotional representations."

I have no idea what the hell I just wrote. It doesn't matter though, what your professor sees is this:

"Blah blah blah psychological yadda yadda yadda Sigmund Freud, penis envy, id, superego. lakdjflaskdjflakdsjf amygdala."

This makes it seem like you do know what you're talking about while also incorporating key terms. Bonus points!

Next, name drop like you're Carson Daly and it's 1999; any big name relevant to whatever field/topic you're writing.

"Alfred Binet did something with IQ tests. I don't really remember because I skipped that day. Um, then there was Leif Ericson. Or wait, was that the Norwegian guy? Leif Garrett? No, that was the 1970's pop idol. Oh! Erik Erikson. That's him. Alfred Kinsey was the sex guy."

Again, all your professor will see:

"Alfred Binet don't care don't care IQ tests still don't care, not really reading this Erik Erikson wait, I still have 38 more of these to grade? Alfred Kinsey I don't get paid enough for this shit sex."

Okay, now this part is crucial: your professor does not read what is in the middle of your paper; he/she simply doesn't get paid enough to. The only reason they're teaching is so they have the grants/time to further their own research. In fact, I'm 99% sure my own college career was a research project for the University of Cincinnati's Psychology Department. Anyway, below is an actual excerpt from page 12 of my research paper:

"This is the point in my paper in which I began to question if you're even really reading this. If you've made it this far, congratulations! You're the first professor in my 5 ½ years at this institution to see through the bullshit I've written. You should know that I only attended about three of your classes because it coincided with Days of our Lives and, I'm sorry, but Days of our Lives and I have a solid ten-year relationship and I couldn't allow your class to stand in the way of finding out what happens to Bo and Hope next."

This is what it looked like when I got my paper back:

Great point note on an essay paragraph

It took two and a half hours, three cups of coffee and five mini-panic attacks in which I began to question why I had chosen this particular major and also why I went to college in the first place, but I finished the paper with about an hour to spare. I went to class, head high, confident in my bullshitting capabilities to pull this off. While all the others in my class had been discussing their research and experiments for weeks, I had silently been sitting in the back of the class Googling "Britney Spears crotch shots" on my laptop. I would soon learn if my procrastinating would come back to royally bite me in the ass, especially considering I needed to pass this class to graduate.

The following week we got our papers back. I finally worked up the nerve to look at my grade, which the professor had put on the last page of the report, page 25 (again, they do this to make it look like they actually read your paper).


It was at this moment when a calm came over me. I knew what that B+ meant. It meant that I was going to be okay, that I would survive in the real world, having established the ability to talk people into believing whatever I had to say. And, if all else failed, I always have my boobs to distract them.

These skills are especially handy working here at the Points in Case Headquarters. If I get the sense that Court, our editor, is beginning to question my work ethic, I just use one of my old fallbacks to make it seem like I'm actually working: I like to do laps around the building, stopping at a filing cabinet every so often to "look for something." I also keep a list of "Things to Do" front and center on my desk, with a bunch of items crossed off. Or I sit at my computer, typing frantically on my keyboard (it looks like I'm working on my column, when in reality I'm working on my Twilight fan fiction). And if none of those work, I just put on a low-cut shirt.