Chapter I – COLLEGE: “GET OVER IT”
First of all, let’s get this college thing into perspective. Some of you are waaay too impressed by the place you are going to spend the next four years or so. If you experience fear, awe or confusion when you think about attending College, prepare to ditch all of that…
- Discover the five things you must start doing the day you arrive at college—and immediately begin playing the college game better than most seniors.
- Learn the five ways you can make every class a stepping stone to a great career.
Chapter II – Cutting Through the Crap: Why People Are Willing to Spend Thousands to Earn a College Degree
A government study in 1995 and determined that the average college graduate makes 74 percent more than somebody with only a high school diploma. And this earnings gap is widening (in 1974 there was only a 38 percent difference). You are reading this because you are committed to being on the right side of this grim divide.
Good for you!
- Learn the one thing you must do before leaving college to earn an average of 74 percent (at least half a million dollars) more than somebody with only a high school diploma!
- Learn the one skill set employers will be looking for when you graduate, no matter what your major is.
- Learn how a single visit to an academic advisor can save you thousands of dollars and tons of heartbreak when you ask the right questions.
- Learn how to save $10,000, $20,000, or more on college expenses before your sophomore year.
- Learn three guerrilla strategies to make your toughest, most dreaded courses MUCH easier—before you even set foot in the class or complete your first assignment.
Chapter III – Gunnar’s Philosophy of Intellectual Horsepower
Two kinds of students will read and benefit from Kick Ass in College. The first group bought this guide to get an edge on the pack. These students may be brimming with self-confidence, and eager to break curves and break hearts. Fair enough. There are crucial lessons for them within these pages.
My other group of readers probably do not identify with the confident, empowered student I am telling them they will be. I understand this skepticism. But to them I say this:
I will show you the handful of critical techniques and approaches of people who succeed brilliantly in college. They are not complicated or mysterious. They are easily modeled by anyone with a desire for success. They mainly involve advanced planning, high-quality information, and a discipline that will grow naturally from the seed of success planted early in the span of a college career.
- Learn to eliminate the two most common causes of student failure.Learn why 95 out of 100 college students possess comparable intellectual horsepower—and how to be one of the few who harness their intelligence to break away from the pack.
- Learn why 75-95% of your performance is dependent on whether you are exposed to the type of information presented in Kick Ass in College
- Learn the three false beliefs that plague most academically troubled students—and how to systematically overcome them.
Chapter IV – Choosing to Succeed By Planning to Succeed
The number one difference between a person who succeeds and one who doesn’t is the quality of his or her planning. Without a plan, motivation – the engine of success – is not easy to ignite. Plans and goals give context to hard work. I’m not going to lie to you. Hard work is the basis of success. Period. But …
With a plan, hard work becomes satisfying, meaningful work. You begin to require it in your life, like a race horse requires hard riding. When hard work translates into tangible results and rewards, it ceases to be something to be avoided like so much pointless suffering. In this sense, success gets easier to accomplish. A good plan, broken down into realistic, manageable steps, makes it possible to visualize successful results. If you can see, feel and taste the results of your plan, you will live and work with enthusiasm and purpose.
- Learn step-by-step mastery of the number one skill that separates those who succeed from those who do not—both in college and throughout life!
- Benefit from Gunnar’s decade-long study of dozens of the greatest motivational authors of all time—now distilled and condensed for you into just a few pages of high-octane motivational fuel.
- Learn the single most effective technique to fuel your motivation even during the toughest times—and how to create an unshakeable will to achieve your goals with a simple formula that takes only a few minutes to use.
- Learn the easy but incredibly powerful success technique used by professional athletes and top entertainers like Jim Carrey—people who don’t have time to waste on ineffective methods.
- Learn how to use the last two minutes of every day to save yourself hours the next day—and to program yourself for daily success.
Chapter V – Making Them Eat Your Academic Dust the Gunnar Way
The next couple of chapters cover study skills. You’ll find some kick-ass study tips here, as well as some essential advice to help you get your mind right. It’s important for you to know that for a particular tip to be included here it had to be:
1. highly effective;
2. something you’ll actually be able to use; and
3. something you’ll actually use consistently.
People are always full of bright ideas, like telling you to draw lines down the middle of the page when you take notes for God-knows-what reason, or insisting that you should use six different colors of highlighters.
I’m not here to overwhelm and demoralize you with outlandish tactics you’ll never apply. This chapter is supposed to make your life easier. Again, if you see a tip in here it made the cut because it’s field-tested and practical. In other words, it’s as easy to use as a screwdriver!
- Learn the two simple things that all professors demand from all students – but only receive from their “A” students.
- Learn what you can do the first two weeks of each semester to cruise to the top of the class – and STAY there.
- The three proven ways to ensure you take classes with the finest professors – and why your success depends on it!
- Gunnar’s tricks to getting into the most popular classes in college – maximize your chances of registering for the classes so you don’t get stuck with leftovers!
- Gunnar’s Kick Ass mini-guide to notetaking – a simple, effective, class-tested method that automatically and continuously sharpens your memory (other books either gloss over this critical skill… or overload you with methodology only a robot would ever follow).
- How to identify the 10-20% of the class material that will almost definitely appear on exams and have the greatest impact on your final grade.
- The smart strategy for choosing study partners to make you more effective – not burden you like dead weight.
- The half a dozen factors you must consider in designing the perfect study environment, both at the library and in your dorm room or apartment.
- Your secret weapon for securing peace and quiet while you study.
- How a special type of highlighter can save you tons of time and help you memorize vast amounts of info – and why using an old-fashioned highlighter will often waste your time and slash your study efficiency.
Chapter VI – Averting Disaster: There’s More Than One Way to Flunk A Cat
During the transition to college, freshmen must adjust to a new place, to new people and to new responsibilities. No longer will the student live within a structured family setting, with set wake-up times, bed times and meal times. Nor will the student’s clothes get mysteriously washed, folded and deposited in drawers. Most importantly, no one will be breathing down his or her neck to roll out of bed and into class. These changes in your life all fit under the category of freedom… How do successful students cope with this new-found freedom?
- How Gunnar’s philosophy of “EARNING your fun” will help you blast through college and achieve optimal productivity for the rest of your life.
- Get Gunnar’s mini-guide to choosing your college housing and roommates – choices that can propel your success or sink you like a stone.
- Discover the three kinds of classes you should almost never take!
- Get Gunnar’s mini-guide to choosing a college job – and how you may be able to avoid getting a time-consuming gig in the first place just by asking your financial aid advisor the right questions.
Chapter VII – Gettin’ Testy With It: Curing Test Anxiety and Laughing in the Face of Death
The best antidote to test anxiety is knowing that you are prepared. And whether you are prepared is largely up to you. You can study in a calm, consistent, savvy manner… or you can cram and choke. It’s just that simple. But many students just can’t seem to accept the power they have over tests. Their attitude is that test days are always bad days – opportunities to fail. In fact, test days are opportunities to kick ass. Accept control and don’t let tests just happen to you.
- Learn the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Learn how to defang even the scariest exam with a KICK ASS test drill.
- Learn an astonishing test trick that can literally earn you an A+ on your essay exam or a perfect 100 on a multiple choice test—an unbeatable strategy that only a fraction of students know about or use.
- How to ace tests by using the first two minutes of your exam period to harness the power of your subconscious mind and multi-task like a supercomputer!
- Learn to avoid the two most common test-taking mistakes that students make.
Chapter VIII – As The Phrase Turns: Writing Your Way to the Top
There are a few simple ways to improve any written assignment beyond your professor’s wildest dreams.
- Get Gunnar’s mini-guide to pulling A’s on essays – the ten-step checklist you MUST use before turning in any paper.
- Create a mega-brainstorm every time you sit down to write an essay and watch your ideas fill the computer screen effortlessly.
- Five common but easily fixed mistakes that show up in college essays repeatedly—and how you can make your writing flow like honey by getting rid of them.
- How to build a dictionary-like vocabulary without even thinking about it and stand out among your peers on essays and in verbal communication.
Chapter IX – Time Management: the Cornerstone of Success
You’ve heard it before:
“Time management is critical in college… You must schedule carefully so that the 86,400 seconds in each day don’t slip through your fingers like sands through the hourglass, blah, blah, blah…”
Well, take heart because I’m not about to make you suffer through a hypothetical series of pages out of somebody’s daily calendar, with 47 minutes set aside for lunch, 21 minutes for folding the laundry and 2 minutes for flossing.
Let me break it down for you: the main reasons students bite the dust in college are: (a) poor study skills and (b) not spending enough time studying.
- Your Kick Ass mini-guide to practical time management – an exclusive five-step formula you’ll love using to kill procrastination, organize your life and take control!
Chapter X – Congratulations: You’ve Got a KICK ASS Memory!
Your memory is perfect. The trick is learning to move short-term memories into your long-term memory bank.
I like to remind students about a bizarre incident that occurred some 25 years ago in which a woman awoke to find her husband talking in his sleep – in a foreign tongue of some kind. The odd thing was that the man had no foreign language skills. Fortunately, his wife had the presence of mind to record her husband’s lengthy nocturnal ramblings. It was later determined that the man was speaking perfect, unaccented Russian. It seems that at some point in his life he had been within earshot of two people having a mundane conversation in Russian. For whatever reason, his brain had absorbed this information and randomly accessed it in his sleep, causing him to recite the conversation perfectly. Similarly astonishing results can be obtained through hypnosis.
Gee, I wonder if your memory is good enough to get you through your next Geography test. Ya think?
- Gunnar’s Kick Ass mini-guide to memory mastery – efficiently works in conjunction with Gunnar’s note-taking strategy and has been shown to increase retention of lecture material by 75 percent!
Chapter XI – Your Personal Success Team
You are not in this thing alone. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a helpful, well-intentioned member of your campus community. They care about you. They have made education their lives. You should thank heaven for these people every day. These members of the faculty and staff will be all-too-eager to serve as members of your own personal brain trust. Over time you will assemble your own success team, building key relationships that will make you unstoppable.
But you must call out to them for help or nobody will hear you.
- Learn how to recruit your own personal success team at college – and why your academic and financial well-being depends on it.
Chapter XII – Making a Name for Yourself: If You Don’t Toot Your Own Horn Ain’t Nobody Gonna Toot It For You
Extracurricular activities should provide valuable experience in leadership and administration. By your in-depth participation you are also demonstrating to prospective employers and graduate schools that you can juggle several responsibilities at once. This is important.
(Juggling, after all, is what adulthood is all about: juggling your job, your family, and everything else in your life. In college, you must demonstrate the ability to juggle your grades, your extracurricular activities, any work obligations, your relationships, and all of the other potential responsibilities foisted upon you by college life. Of course, part of a successful juggling act means knowing when to juggle only six chainsaws rather than seven.)
- Your 3-step plan for evaluating extracurricular organizations to ensure that membership will help your career and sharpen your leadership skills.
- Gunnar’s tips for setting priorities so you can effectively juggle academics and extracurricular activities.
- Gunnar’s secrets for scooping up campus honors so you soar above thousands of other job applicants.
Chapter XIII – Sucking Up: A Lost Art
For some students, the most intimidating aspect of college life is relating to the faculty and staff. They watch their college’s officials from afar, never approaching them for help, or even just to offer a simple “hello.”
And yet professors, for example, are just like you and me. (Granted, they undergo periodic molting periods and have two spinal columns, but aside from that, they’re just regular folks.) They aren’t gods. They have families and lives and run-of-the-mill problems with their cars and plumbing.
There are many reasons for you to get to know the people running your institution and grading your performance. Intuitively, you know that a good relationship with your professor will benefit you. You realize that while it won’t guarantee you an A, it will guarantee you an edge… and little edges here and there are the stuff that A’s are made of.
- Gunnar’s mini-guide to dealing with professors and teaching assistants to get a huge edge on the competition—what to say, why and when to say it (there are sample questions to make the process easy for even the most shy student).
- Learn the secrets to getting truly stellar references from your professors so you can land that dream job or graduate school admission.
- Why understanding the way your college administration functions will help you grab plum opportunities for grants, travel, and impressive leadership posts that are unknown to most students.
Chapter XIV – Snagging A Good Gig: It’s All About Persistence
You may hear people tell you not to worry if you haven’t chosen a major yet. “Let a couple of years pass and wait to see if something leaps out at you.” Needless to say, you can fertilize your lawn with this kind of advice and it will grow green, lush and pretty. Yup, it’s what we used to call “ca-ca” when I was a kid.
There’s nothing wrong with not knowing exactly what your major will be. But you must avoid taking a laissez faire approach to any aspect of your life (laissez faire, of course, is French for “sitting around on your can and watching the world go by”). Rather, you need to invest a great deal of conscious energy in exploring your aptitudes, interests and dreams. You can’t expect your future career to fall out of the sky and bonk you on the head.
- Your mini-guide to getting your major in focus – your exclusive three-step plan for major & career exploration, including how to attract phenomenal career mentors!
Chapter XV – Accepting Adulthood: You Can Run But You Can’t Hide
I want to provide you with some useful ideas for success in life outside of the classroom – during your college years and beyond. There are many important things we are not taught in school, among them:
1. How to be a good husband or wife
2. How to raise kids, and
3. How to manage money.
I won’t presume to try to give you a plan to deal with these three daunting areas in a single book, let alone a single chapter. I only mention these conspicuous educational gaps to emphasize just how much critical knowledge society expects you to acquire on your own. Because of this, most successful people have done a lot of self-education.
- Gunnar’s mini-guide to college finances — ten strategies to keep you afloat financially, academically and emotionally.
- Gunnar’s mini-guide to having a Kick Ass adulthood – 20 non-academic issues you MUST address as you launch your college career! (Several of these life coaching points will save more than your G.P.A. or your money—they might even save your life!!!)
Chapter XVI – Stairway to Tomorrowland: More Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Advice for Future-Minded Students
A collection of sure-fire gadgets for the dorm room, the classroom and on-the-go.
- How to stop buying textbooks like your Grampa did.
- How the magic and fun of graphic novels can boost your grades.
- Courses you can take to become the next high-tech badass.
- Gunnar’s three key courses for understanding the future — by studying the past.
- Courses and strategies that build futuristic, lucrative careers.
- The most hip, wired campuses.
Chapter XVII – Sealing the Deal: Winning Admissions Essays for College or Grad School
A fantastic guide to writing winning admissions essays packed with clever and inspiring ideas – don’t miss this!