What I Learnt At University
A while back I took a survey asking you guys what you wanted to see on lifesfinewhine and one of the things that was mentioned a lot was stuff about university. Someone suggested that I do a post about lessons I learnt at university and I thought that was a really good idea. By the way the survey is still open so feel free to leave suggestions by clicking here.
These lessons are not going to be about the subjects I learnt although in case you’re interested I’m a history major. Instead, I’ll be focusing on other things I have picked up after being a full time university student for the last three years. Since I study in Canada but I’m Kenyan my experiences may differ a little as international students do tend to have different experiences.
I also think that being a history major also helped me pick up on certain lessons I may not have learnt doing other courses. I think when you study history you just understand the present so much better because you see what it has evolved from and that helps you understand life better. Or maybe that’s just me…
Anyway, here are the main lessons I have picked up from university as a full time student for the last three years:
School Doesn’t Teach You Everything
As a history major in particular one thing that I have really picked up over the years is that school/college/university really does not teach you everything. A lot of what you need to know to survive in the world is stuff you are going to have to pick up on your own often through experience.
And about the things that university does teach you- every professor/teacher has their own point of view and their own opinions. They can and of course should try to teach in as much of an unbiased way as possible but at the end of the day they are going to teach you what they believe is the truth or what they think you should learn. The sources you use, the books you use, the articles you use- everything is going to have an agenda.
If you really want to learn something in an unbiased way make sure you do your own research and read about both sides. You don’t need to agree with both sides or even either side but just knowing that information will help you uncover the truth because there really are three sides to everything. Never fully rely on just one source of information or one POV/school of thought.
Grades Don’t Really Matter
Okay, that subheading is not entirely true. Yes, grades do matter but only to an extent. When it comes to work or other things your grades are going to be something that people will look at. I’m definitely not saying don’t work hard or don’t bother trying to get good grades because you should try the very best you can and try to get the best grades you can.
However, grades are not the end of the world and they are not the only thing that matters. It’s sort of like when you were in high school and you were obsessed with test scores or exams scores but when you entered university it sort of did not matter as much how you did in high school and suddenly how you did in university became much more important. Well, when you think about like your university grades sort of seem a bit insignificant. Again, yes they can help land you a good job etc. But there is also so much more to life than grades. Don’t forget to experience those things too.
And if you happen to not get the grade you want for a particular course don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to everyone and most universities do let you redo courses or take different courses instead. It’s okay to mess up sometimes as long as you learn from your mistakes and try harder next time.
Always Be Proactive
I think this something that I REALLY learnt at university. The workload at university is no joke and you learn relatively quickly that if you do not start planning your self out ahead of time and doing what you have time earlier you are going to quickly find yourself in a downward spiral.
I think being proactive is a really important thing to learn as an adult because it not only helps you with university but with life as well. I talked about this in more detail in my blogging journey posts but one thing that really helps me stay regular with posting on this blog and maintaining this blog in general is being proactive. I try to plan myself out in such a way that I always have something ready to post in case I get busy with other things. And this has helped me stay active which consequently has helped me grow the blog.
Being proactive, knowing how to properly plan everything out, having a daily schedule and things like this are so incredibly important in life. It really helps you focus on your goals better and teaches you to make the best use of your time. If you look at a lot of successful people you see that they have the same amount of hours as you every day but they use them very wisely and make the most of what they have got.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
I think one thing that university has helped me a lot with is getting out of my comfort zone. Moving to a different country on a different continent can be a lot of change and it meant that I pretty much had to get out of my comfort zone and experience a lot of new things I otherwise never would have. Yes, it was quite difficult but it was also such an incredibly rewarding experience that if I had to I would definitely do it all over again.
As you guys may know I suffer from anxiety and all this change can be a lot even for someone without anxiety so you can imagine just how ridiculously anxiety inducing it was for me. But at the same time I felt like I had been stuck in a rut and was just doing the same things over and over again with no satisfaction.
That is why I forced myself to study abroad because as scary as it was I knew that I needed it for my own mental well being. And university also really made me get out of my comfort zone. It helped me get better at taking charge which was something I was formerly horrible at, speaking in front of people and much more.
I am so grateful to be out of my little box and now I have become a person who is so much more open to new experiences such as travelling, meeting new people, trying new things (not currently due to the pandemic obviously). I think of everything I could have missed out had I stayed in my comfort zone and I am so thankful I got out.
Do What You Genuinely Love
As you may or may not know depending on how long you have followed this blog, I did not want to major in History when I first decided to enroll at university. I was actually going to major in Psychology but decided to major in History later on instead. The reason I did not want to major in history was because I was kind of like- well what are you going to do after your done with the degree? I did not want to do law or anything like that. I just wanted to study History.
But I’m super glad I ended up majoring in History because as much as I loved and still love Psychology I don’t think it would have been the right major for me. I also don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed learning history. I think doing what your heart tells you to do or rather listening to your gut is very important because sometimes the universe knows things that you do not and is trying to nudge you in the right direction.
But basically what this situation taught me was that do what you love and everything else will fall in place. And honestly, I have seen that happen again and again with everything in my life. I freak out about something but the universe ends up taking care of it. It was like that with this blog too- I was stressed out and wanted to blog regularly but things were not falling into place. But then they did and just like that everything worked out.
Have you ever studied abroad? What were some of the lessons you picked up at university? Did you have any similar experiences or learn any similar lessons as those that I have mentioned above? What was/is your major? Do you work in the same field you majored in?
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