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University is about the experience, not the education

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Now, let us be frank and honest. However special you may think you are for going to university – you’re not. Nowadays, every man and his dog has a degree. Almost literally, as after a quick Google I discovered that you can take a degree course in ‘Dog Behaviour and Training‘…

Anyway, the point is, there is absolutely no point in just going to university, doing your degree and wandering out of it clutching your 2:1 to your chest. Sorry, that’s probably not going to be good enough in this day and age when everyone else is doing the same as you.

Here’s how to make the most out of your university experience and not just the education.

Get a part-time job

It may sound obvious as a lot of you will need a part-time job to get by at university anyway, but seriously, it will give you a lot more than money. If an employer looks at your CV and sees that you’ve been able to balance a job alongside your degree and still managed to get a 2:1, then you’re ticking that big box you never understood before called “transferable skills”. That’s right; you can be organised, manage your time well, and work with others. Crazy, huh?

Join societies

So of course, a part-time job will help you gain those all-important transferable skills which will help in any job, but they may not be so useful when you’re looking to specialise for a career, unless you can find a company to employ you for a few hours a week to work as an astrophysicist.

And that’s where societies come in, because guaranteed, if you’re at a big university, you’ll be able to find something which will help with your career. Physics or astronomy society, anyone? And if you feel like a society is missing which you’d love to join, chances are other people feel the same way – so why don’t you set it up? You should be able to write something for your student newspaper related to your aspirations, at the very least.

Move out

You heard me. Be brave, pack your bags and go to a university in a different location to where you live with your parents. Doesn’t have to be miles away, but far enough away that when your employers look at your CV, they’ll know that you did it. You got that 2:1 along with having to deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life: from chores to cooking, friends to enemies, travelling, and not having your mum’s shoulder to sob on when you’re struggling with an essay.

University is about much more than the degree you get at the end of it. It’s about developing your skills both generally and specifically to fuel your career, and, well – to become an all-rounded person. After all, the best memories you’ll leave university with won’t include the time you sobbed in your room when you couldn’t quite work out that formula. They’ll include the things you achieved that you never expected to even do in the first place.

Do you think university is more about the experience than the education? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo: Jonathan Rubio H. / Flickr

Sian ElvinUniversity is about the experience, not the education

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