By Schuyler Holleman ‘20
United States History. These three words may evoke images of exhausted, half-closed eyes trying to make sense of Eric Foner’s words at 11:30 PM. As a one-semester veteran of the class, I will now impart my unequaled wisdom on how to survive U.S. History better than Alexander Hamilton survived his duel with Aaron Burr.
A few things you will first need: the Bible, better known by many as Give Me Liberty!, written by God himself, Eric Foner. You will also need to subscribe to the Crash Course YouTube channel; John Green’s historical analysis and hilarious one-liners are the only acceptable method for last-minute studying. Additionally, you will need a very large binder; preferably between 8 and 9 inches, in order to hold the plethora of handouts that you will only read once and never see again. Finally, you must dedicate at least two hours a night to reading about war, political parties, and presidents, oh my!
Now that you’ve got your supplies, it’s time to start your journey. For those who have not yet entered the class, or have somehow slept through the entirety of first semester, here’s a bit of a spoiler for you: America is the worst. Patriotic as you may be, U.S. History will inevitably remind you that much of America was built by slaves on land taken from Indigenous peoples.
Despite the not-so-smooth past of our country, U.S. History, like many history classes, reminds us not to repeat the past. While you may have failed your midterm or you may have said the Stamp Act was passed in 1674 and not 1765 (guilty as charged), the world goes on, you pick yourself up and keep going.
U.S. History is all about resilience. After all, while you might still be recovering like America after the Civil War, you better rejuvenate fast to be ready for IHAP season. So, to all underclassmen anxiously anticipating U.S. History and to my friends taking it right now, heed my advice, you’ve got this.