The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Five Reasons Stupidity Actually Makes You Smarter

Sometimes knowing less leaves room for learning more

About a month into the summer, University students tend to opt for one of two paths — a productive break filled with reading, exercising and self improvement, or a degenerate couple months filled with hard liquor, late nights and absolutely no mornings. Books or bottles, dedication or drink, libraries or libations. 

If you’ve chosen the wayward lifestyle, the guilt may be piling on fast. Playing hooky from responsibility is fun until you wake up three states to the west, on top of a silo, wearing nothing but a cowboy hat. Yeehaw. You may begin to fear you’re becoming stupid. But no fear cowboy. Like the devil on your shoulder, I’ve provided you with a list of five reasons why being stupid actually makes you smarter. 

1. Stop Overthinking Things 

When someone looks at you for a half-second longer than the national average, do you convince yourself you’ve done something to upset them? When someone sends you a text message without an exclamation mark, do you believe they now hate you? When you wake up five minutes before your alarm, are you convinced you have clinical insomnia? Well if you get stupid, you’ll be able to think considerably less, and ergo, overthink less. If you shut off the thinking part of your brain, you become impervious to the army of pesky inner voices that analyze everything. 

2. Lower Expectations 

Many students feel an overwhelming pressure to succeed. Parents look at you with pride, siblings look at you with envy, and teachers look at you with hope. And when you use 12-syllable words, take eight classes a semester or successfully solve a Rubik’s Cube, you do nothing but encourage their delusions. Set the bar lower than an Adam Sandler movie. Speak in guttural, one syllable exclamations, accented with funny tones and impersations. Or better yet, just grunt. One grunt for yes, two grunts for no. People will consequently lower their expectations. With the all consuming pressure of being an overachiever alleviated, your brain is free to work at its best. 

3. Confidence 

Being stupid may actually boost your confidence. They say that the more answers you find, the more questions you have. With knowledge, comes awareness of just how little you know. Without knowledge, comes a confidence so bold it puts Tiger Woods to shame. Not that he needs our help with that. As you get dumber and dumber, you will get more confidenter. 

4. You Remember Things Better 

Ever wonder why that kid you babysit has the fine motor skills of a chicken but remembers every curse word you’ve ever said? Aside from the brain plasticity, kids have a greater sense of wonder — everything is new, thus everything is exciting, and everything is memorable. When you’re stupid, and know nothing, much like a child, the world is more exciting. And when things are exciting, you remember them better. Get stupid and you’ll have a memory to die for. Trust me, I rememb—

5. People Stop Asking You To Do Things 

If you display your incompetence with the pride of a preschooler who can count to 10 out of order, people will stop asking you to do things. Mundane tasks like “personal grooming” or “taxes” or “writing your article for The Cavalier Daily” will become distant memories, taken care of by some sorry sucker so frustrated by your incompetence that they will complete these chores for you. With these pesky distractions out of the way, you’re free to read more, write more, converse more. Or drink more. We’re still Wahoos, after all.