22 Jan The hidden gems of university life revealed
Let’s be honest. Most people say they’re going to university to get the ‘bit of paper‘ and to be able to get a job. But, is this missing the real point of university? Is it about more than just fulfilling the requirements and getting out as fast as you can?
We believe it’s about more. University life in its ideal state is inspiring.Throughout history for millions of people universities have provided a rich community in which to expand their ideas and ideals, while experimenting and seeking out new opportunities. It’s been the home of deep learning and research where countless great innovations and ideas have been born, debated and built upon.
This is all being challenged as we start to ask why bother? Costs are rising and as courses start to go online it is natural that we’re all beginning to ask – is it worth it anymore?
If your job and career interests align with university and you’re wondering how to make it worth it, this is the article for you. In it we explore some ways to get the maximum bang for your buck from university.
It’s now so easy to skate through a degree without meeting any new people or even going to sit in a lecture. You need to be active in making the most of your university experience, so here’s our top tips on how to capture the hidden gems of university.
Avoid being a digital nomad trap
Yes university is now a whole lot more flexible than it was before online learning. This has a multitude of benefits, but something that really suffers is the loss of face-to-face time. Traditionally when everything was face-to-face you were surrounded by people, events and the osmosis of learning collaboratively. Lectures, tutorials and lunch halls were packed with people all trying to make sense of the scribble on the blackboard and what would be in the final tests.
They were learning. They were together. And when they were together it was more fun. While it’s easy to pick convenience and doing lots of your degree online, try to really think about what amazing things could happen if you graced campus and your lectures a little more often. Make a practice of choosing to show up in person.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the quidditch club, a music club or the university magazine. There are so many clubs and groups that you can join to expand all dimensions of your university life. We recommend joining a couple and trying out new things.
Students clubs are also a great way to meet a new community if you are in one of those really big degrees where it’s difficult to run into the same people time and time again.
Go to lectures from other subjects
This is how Steve Jobs discovered the power of typography that would come to transform the modern computer. He went to lectures at his university that interested him, but were unrelated to his degree. You have the chance to do this everyday at university, but so many people don’t ever take up this offer. You might find your dream subject if you take a little time to explore a lecture in your free period or a seminar after your regular tutorial has finished.
Before taking up this option we do suggest that you check whether this is ok at your university. It should be but some are starting to be more strict on who can attend lectures.
Reach out, start conversations and get outside your bubble
You probably spent your high school with students who are similar to you. Similar location, similar demographic and often similar views. University gives you the chance to get out of your bubble. Take advantage of this to meet people and to learn about things that are new and challenge you. Make friends with someone you wouldn’t traditionally and engage in conversations that are different from your status quo.
Make use of the facilitates
Universities have first-class facilities. Whether it’s the gym, library or live music venues, on your university campus there is so much to do and you can often do it at a great price as a student. Sign up to be involved and take the opportunity to immerse yourself in what’s available. Most information centres and magazines have lists of things that are happening.
Make the most of scholarship, networking and mentoring opportunities
Most people when they get into the routine of university life stop looking for new opportunities and things to do. These people often miss new and exciting opportunities that pop up for financial, career and general life benefit.
It might be a program directly connecting you into industry experience or a scholarship that you’re eligible for – get involved and keep on the lookout for new opportunities. These might save you thousands of dollars and they could also open up career doorways that will be much more difficult to open once university has finished.
Alright that’s it! Now it’s up to you to make the most of university life. Take the time and get curious to see what your university can do for you. The benefits that can come from any of the above tips could change your life whether it’s meeting your life partner in the library, getting into a mentoring program which sets you up with a job after university or even joining a student club that becomes so impactful that you decide to devote your entire career to that cause or area.
Go out and make the most of those hidden gems.
P.s. my personal regret is that I never joined the university paper, animal welfare society or attended a university games. Anyway that’s enough from me. Go and enjoy uni life!