“The best University is the University of Life”
University is the globally recognized body for higher education with infinite amounts of knowledge in the form of books, libraries, coursework and access to some of the smartest people you will ever cross paths with. But there’s a few lessons it doesn’t provide and that is real world experience and exposure to the practical aspects of what you learn. Also, it’s important to note that university doesn’t teach you what it doesn’t teach you. Fundamentals of life from communication skills, networking, the development of interpersonal relationships, autonomy and even understanding emotional intelligence arguably contribute much more to a person’s success than that HD you received for Advanced Nerve and Muscle Physiology.
In the educational realm high course marks and academic awards are of paramount significance and prove that you are in fact a distinguished individual with the capacity to learn and understand any theory you come across. As a result these marks may give rise to some potential real world opportunities and will give you a chance or a foot in the door so that you can prove yourself to an interviewer, prospective employer or business partner.
However this is as far as these marks will probably take you. The next steps after this are completely dissociated from anything that university ever taught you. In the real world academic achievements and high distinction averages are silenced. It may come as a surprise to realise that George Bush, the former president of the United States of America was a C student in college.
It’s important to recognise that university is not the be all and end all with regards to the ultimate amount of success you end up achieving in life. If anything though, high marks and awards are a testament to some positive attributes that you have already developed. These include persistence, a willingness to learn, passion, motivation, discipline and a degree of baseline intelligence which are definitely a value add to any other journey you pursue in life. The person that can utilise these skills in every other aspect of life is a person that will do remarkable things.
Self-directed learning on topics that you may not get formally taught (eg. How to successfully network) and doing something you are passionate about are the foundations required to achieve anything extraordinary. Initiative and creativity can be developed if someone is willing and these are among some of the things that will separate you out from the conforming masses.
Interestingly the most valuable lessons in life are taught by yourself, to yourself. You are surrounded by knowledge, novel events and diverse life experiences every day and what you get out of this is ultimately what you want to get out of this. Be curious, be passionate and always challenge yourself. Always take note of the real world lessons that life bestows upon you and never be scared to try something new. To fail in anything is a gift, because under that failure is a lesson that can only be taught in that way.
If people studied life like they studied their degree their ultimate success would far exceed the paper certificate awarded upon degree completions.