Recently, I was invited to give a talk to third and fourth-year University students about balancing emotional affairs with studies and career development while in school. I shared some insights on how to handle feelings and how to learn from fallout and disappointments. I ended by talking about some things every student must do before graduating from the University.
While it is true that the primary goal of every college student is to obtain a University degree, that is not all the four walls of the University are designed to offer a student. It is an aberration for any student to go through school without exploring other aspects of his/her life in the name of focusing only on the “supposed” primary goal of being in the University.
We, as humans, are holistic beings made up of the several components that make us who we are. We are intellectual, social, economic, and emotional beings, just to mention but a few components of our being.
The following are some of the holistic aspects of a student’s life:
Academic and intellectual aspects.
Religion and spirituality.
Morality and values.
Leadership and followership.
A student needs to pay undivided attention to all the aforementioned aspects of his/her life even if not equally, but be able to strike a balance across the board.
No one will penalize you if you don’t learn some of these things so long you are passing your school examinations and acquired your degree successfully but life will penalize you if you are not prepared to handle the more important things in it.
You have to learn to understand how money is made, understand how to relate/interact with people and find ways to balance work, family, personal being, and rest. It is in the four walls of the University you should learn these things before going out to face them in the real world.
10 Things You Must Learn Before Graduating
Life is beyond being able to read, write, and pass school exams. As we all know, school examinations are not a true test of knowledge, and it is possible to pass them without knowing so much.
However, school offers you the opportunity to learn how to navigate through life and pass the examinations of life itself. Here are some things you must learn before you graduate from the University.
1. Learning how to learn
As simple as it may sound, many people do not know how to learn. As you progress through school, you realize that one of the important things school teaches you is how to learn anything you desire.
There are some courses you find yourself naturally good at and there are others that present you with a bit of challenge. This is an opportunity to learn to figure out how to learn things you should even when they do not look easy.
Many students have mastered the art of passing exams. Yes, it is an art. But they do not give themselves to learning how to learn but this is one thing you must learn before you graduate from the University.
2. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is a vital skill to make out solutions to most of life’s problems. It also helps you learn how to learn because it gives you a systematic way to approach problems and find solutions to them.
Critical thinking enables you to process information and experiences in a critical unbiased way, evaluate them, and synthesize more useful inferences from the analysis. It is a dynamic process that involves continuous improvement and open-mindedness to change.
As a graduate, you should be able to verify information and ideas critically and systematically. School is not structured to force information down your throat, but you should engage yourself to think about why things are the way they say they are.
3. Managing Relationships
College affords you the opportunity to make many different types of relationships. From romantic relationships to regular co-student relationships to business relationships, superior-subordinate relationships, and so on. You need to seize that opportunity to learn how to manage relationships because they are not different from what you get out there.
Whether you are an extreme introvert or a ruthless bully, you should loosen up a bit. Be willing to learn how to build healthy relationships, sustain them, and offer mutually beneficial partnerships in these relationships.
Whether it is a relationship with your lecturer, or professor, or a romantic relationship with your girlfriend or boyfriend, it should be about being trustworthy, creating and offering value in a mutually beneficial way.
‘Don’t shy away from building relationships, you need them along the way. If you are convinced enough, it is okay to find a lover and learn from them how to handle romantic relationships effectively regardless of how it eventually turns out.
The earlier you realize that your entire life revolves around business, the better for you. There is nothing in this world that is not about being sold. Think about It. It could be a product or a service but eventually, it is about business.
Being in school gives you a very fertile opportunity to learn entrepreneurship. You have a lot of different people who could use a product or a service you can offer.
Also, as a student, you are likely still being supported by your parents or a benefactor. Your obligations are minimal compared to those who have a family already. This reduces the strain you might experience doing business in school while allowing you to learn the essentials of entrepreneurship.
5. Managing Finances
Haven’t you experienced that moment you go broke as a student and you are forced to patiently wait till the next time you receive your monthly allowance? These are normal experiences for every University student. However, these times should teach you how to manage your finances.
Financial management is a skill that many people lack, but if acquired can change your life in ways you could never imagine. It allows you to be accountable for your money or income.
Even if you don’t work to get your money as a student, you need to be accountable. Be deliberate about how you spend your money and learn to be accountable for your expenses.
Managing finances also involves learning to source or make money for yourself, to save it, and/or to invest. This is a skill you must learn before you finish from the University.
6. Love and Marriage
It is erroneous to be a complete novice about love and marriage by the time you are leaving school. Marriage is one of the integral parts of life and society, and except you won’t get married, it is something you must learn about during your growing up phase in school.
Whether you are open to being in a relationship or not, there are many ways to learn about love and marriage. Attend marriage seminars, read books on love and marriage, ask questions and get answers from those who have relatively successful relationships, and get close to members of the opposite sex.
Not many of us entered the University with basic training about what respect is and how it should be administered. Despite that, there is no excuse for not learning to show respect to people, irrespective of their age, class, or situation.
The University gives you an opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life and positions. It is left for you to learn to respect everyone and treat them the way you want to be treated.
School teaches you to respect your teachers, colleagues, junior students, and other people in departments different from yours. You should not leave school without developing an important virtue.
Learning leadership is going to be useful in virtually all areas of your life, from interaction with people, and your future family. Developing leadership skills will help you succeed in your professional life as well.
The University presents you with an opportunity to acquire and build your leadership skills. Engage in class leadership, and take positions in associations, student politics, religious groups, and sociocultural groups. These are avenues for you to develop yourself to become an exceptional leader.
9. Diplomacy Skills
Diplomacy is the skill involved in handling conflicts peacefully or mediating between two warring parties. It is something you can and should learn while you are still in school.
There will always be times when diplomacy is needed as long as there are students in the University. Conflicts are bound to arise, and after several occurrences, you should see the need to learn and develop your diplomacy skills while you are still in school.
Not only will that help you get things done during your studies in school, but it can also come in handy even after school, in relation to work, business, family, and social interactions with other people.
Home upbringing plays a great role in developing a person’s character. The social and outside environment also play a role. If you are willing to improve, the University is a great opportunity to do so.
In school, you see people with different characters, behaviors, and ideologies. But irrespective of what you see, or how you were trained at home, the University should be an opportunity to build a tolerating, peaceful, and kind character towards yourself and other people.
You should consistently look out for people who are better than you in certain ways, and take a challenge to develop those aspects of your life. Instead of copying negative behaviors, strive to be positive.
One great way to know key areas to improve is by reflecting on how people react to your behaviors. Typically, if your actions hurt or harm someone else, that is something you should work towards changing.
It’s Never Too Late To Make The Change
Whether you have graduated, or are already in your final year, it is never too late to develop these things as a person. I think you know better now after reading through this post. All you need is to take on a more proactive approach towards developing these other areas of your life and simply not getting stuck in “book intelligence” only.
Again, whether in or outside school, it is not easy to combine most of these with the primary aspects of one’s life. But in actual terms, there is no primary aspect better than the others. Everything is important and worth focusing on equally.
Striking a balance may require a great deal of sacrifice from your end but it is always the right thing to do. So, if you have not been focusing on these other aspects of your life, now is the next best time to do so.
Those are things you must learn before you graduate from the University. They are important for your success in life. it does not matter what course you are studying. You are going to have to study these alongside.
Even if you are well advanced in your studies or have already graduated, it is never too late to learn these things discussed in this post. The goal is to emphasize their importance in life in general.
Just like every other skill, learning these may require your time, patience, passion, and the recognition of how important they are to your success and survival through life as a holistic human.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.