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How To Break-Up With SparkNotes

You’ve been assigned a reading of the first two acts of King Lear. You look at your schedule. You could squeeze some time in between your routine Netflix marathon at 7pm and your Her Campus meeting at 10pm. Still, the familiar friend SparkNotes beckons you, like a stranger offering a small child a 5-pound jawbreaker.

I mean it will take a lot of willpower to turn down a website that includes plot synopses, contextual background on the author and his or her hometown, line by line translation…AND MORE. I mean if everything happens for a reason, SparkNotes must have been created for a reason…right?

All of these services offered can pretty much feel similar to Chris Hemsworth holding chicken nuggets, a box of chocolates, and a bouquet of 100 dollar bills.

This can be especially hard for college students to resist since we are so addicted to immediate gratification due to our laziness and stress due to overbooking.

We’ve been told since we’re little to avoid Wikipedia and SparkNotes like the black plague and that taking the easy way out will just kick us in the butt later. This is partially true. Complete reliance on outside sources is a bad habit. You wouldn’t want to copy someone’s homework for an entire semester and then be unprepared for the final exam.

Still, I like to think that a healthy relationship with SparkNotes is possible, where it can be used as a study guide after you have actually done the reading. That being said, SparkNotes is a hot shot, a player with many clingy girls with overdependence issues. If SparkNotes shut down the night before a midterm (or your boyfriend was busy a rough day) would you survive?

Breakups are something to think about and something that requires communication and discussion. So sit down and really think about how often you actually read what you’re supposed to and compare that to the amount of times that you just read enough to give the appearance that you know what you’re talking about.

If you think you might be too dependent, don’t stress. Just try and slowly wean yourself off SparkNotes. If you’ve usually been reading the entire translated play on SparkNotes, then start with just reading the translated part for one scene, and make sure to treat yourself when you actually do your homework.

And don’t fret too much if it’s a difficult transition because time heals everything!  

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