By Rachael Grothe, December 6 2019 —
Third-year engineering student Sarah Gnugent certainly wasn’t expecting more than a few fun memories from her snowboarding trip over reading break, but what she received was a minor traumatic brain injury and, surprisingly, straight As on all of her final exams.
“My head and neck hurt a lot after I fell on the hill, but then when classes started again — I felt like I’d unlocked something in my brain. I don’t know a better way to describe it,” Gnugent shared after news of her skyrocketing grades spread throughout campus.
Gnugent’s professors are reportedly at a loss. Following the break, Gnugent submitted all of her final projects well before the posted due dates and then completed all of her scheduled exams in record time, a stark change in Gnugent’s academic performance from earlier in the semester.
“Suddenly I felt way more motivated and then everything was easy,” Gnugent continued. “Course content suddenly made sense, I could focus on studying for more than an hour at a time and, most of all, I stopped stressing about school like I usually do.”
Gnugent’s roommate, Emma, expressed mild concern.
“She started picking up more shifts at her job on top of everything else. She was working 35 hours a week, studying at least 15 hours a week for final exams, getting 8 hours of sleep every night and still somehow found time to hang out with me and her other friends regularly. It was like she was everywhere at once. She used to eat microwave-burritos for dinner, but now she makes salads every night, protein shakes every morning and she said she wants to work out more often. Where does she find the time?”
Campus specialists at the Wellness Centre and Sports Medicine Centre explained that this neurological event is unparalleled in their fields. Gnugent experienced what some would describe as a “cognitive restructuring,” resulting in better brain function, elevated productivity and a more consistent, optimistic outlook on life.
“I’m not sure what advice to give to people who haven’t had their brain functioning altered,” said Gnugent, when questioned about advice for success. “Just wake up on time, get to class early, attend every class, do all the assigned readings, study on campus, meet with your professors, keep a detailed planner and never miss a deadline. Then school is easy!”
Gnugent’s productivity has reportedly continued to manifest in her academic and personal life as she shared her extracurricular projects ahead of the winter semester — volunteering at a local animal shelter, learning a second language, organizing an environmental protest and planning a campaign for Students’ Union president.
“I don’t understand all the sudden attention,” said Gnugent’s father, appearing to remain unimpressed. “I didn’t expect anything less than straight As since she started grade school. Back in my day, Sarah’s mother and I owned our own house by her age and we didn’t owe half the student debt that she does to the government. A concussion isn’t going to fix that!”
This article is part of our humour section.