Khloe, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian can teach you a thing or two about communication.
Say what you will about whether Kim and Kanye are for real, how momanager Kris oversees her daughters’ careers or that the Kardashian name is on literally everything except for toilet paper (it’s probably coming). Whether you love them or hate them, this family consistently displays one thing, aside from money: a commitment to communication.
The Kardashians may disagree and, at times, go to blows, but more often than not, you will find them working to repair relationships, self-analyzing and assertively confronting each other when words and actions impact the family system and, of course, the “Kommunicators” in question.
The Kardashians’ communication habits can benefit you in your college career. Let’s take a few examples from this season and apply successful Kim Kardashian dynamics to your classroom strategies:
What you might do: Bail from a class the first moment that it feels too difficult.
Channel this Kardashian: Kourtney and her boyfriend, Scott Disick (also the father of her two children).
Communicate like you’re one of them: Scott and Kourtney perpetually struggle to define their relationship. Scott feels like he’s an outsider to the family, and even to Kourtney at times. Kourtney admits that she holds her feelings inside and thus, has trouble with intimacy.
You may feel totally lost in one of your classes and you may feel like you can’t talk to your professor about it. But do what Scott and Kourtney do: Stick it out and fumble over the conversation anyway! There are few good reasons to drop a class, unless you are completely in over your head and there is no way out. And you know what? You and your professor should determine that together.
So go to your prof and say, “I feel like I’m drowning in this class/falling behind/worried about failing and I’m considering dropping. I would like to meet with you to figure out what I can do to save my situation.” More often than not, you will find out that you can stay and ride through that discomfort. Then, that class will be over (even while Scott and Kourtney Kardashian are still figuring things out).
What you might do: Never talk to your prof about your grades because you feel intimidated.
Channel this Kardashian: Rob and Bruce Jenner.
The Kim Kardashian Communication Know-How!
Communicate like you’re Kim Kardashian and one of them: Bruce Jenner has been a stepfather to the Kardashian kids for 20+ years. When Rob wanted to look for his first house, naturally, Bruce wanted to step up as a parent and help out. Rob made an off-handed comment about not having a father to help him, which deeply hurt Bruce’s feelings. Later, after learning the impact of his words, Rob went to Bruce and offered a heartfelt apology, which included the words, “I’m sorry for being dismissive of you…”
You may prefer to have surgery without anesthesia than have a grade discussion with your professor, and that includes everything from “I am trying to get an A in this class to keep my scholarship” to “I am terrified that I’m going to fail and I don’t know what to do.”
Take it from this professor: The biggest way that students self-sabotage their education is by not taking charge of their grades early and often enough in a term – Kim Kardashian does it! Many students feel scared to have those hard, necessary conversations about grades. You have to remember that you — not your professor — own your education.
Take charge, meet with your professor during office hours and ask the questions about your standing. You can say, “I would like to meet with you regularly to make sure I’m on track with my goals.” You can also ask, “What recommendations do you have for me to achieve the grades I want?” Even if you feel nervous, follow Rob’s lead: Initiate the conversation. Say the words that feel difficult. You will get answers, and just as Bruce responded positively, your prof will likely get you on track.
What you might do: Study like a maniac for hours in isolation.
Channel this Kardashian: Khloe … and Kim, Kourtney and Kris.
Communicate like you’re one of them: After Kris’ autobiography was published, questions emerged about whether Khloe was, indeed, a Kardashian. Kris wanted Khloe to take a paternity test to prove that Robert Kardashian was her father. Scott and Kourtney Kardashian “processed” this decision repeatedly with her sisters, and Kris insisted that they all process it some more. Ultimately, Khloe decided that she didn’t need a test to tell her that she was part of the family.
Khloe knew what she was doing by talking before testing. Did you know that when you are planning to take a test (and I’m talking about exams now), the more you talk about what you are studying, the better shot you have at retaining the material? That’s right. So explain what you are working on to someone else. Your brain will make a deeper connection to your information and come test time, you will actually remember what you studied.
Without a doubt, the Kim Kardashian and her other Kardashians will likely remain a part of our pop-culture conversation. You might not have their buying or star power (yet!), but let their communication know-how make you a stronger student.
Ellen Bremen, M.A. is tenured Communication Studies faculty at Highline Community College in Seattle, Washington and the author of Say This, NOT That to Your Professor: 36 Talking Tips for College Success. Ellen blogs with insider student-professor communication tips as The Chatty Professor and madly tweets @ChattyProf.
This story originally appeared on the USA TODAY College blog, a news source produced for college students by student journalists. The blog closed in September of 2017.