I don’t know if you’ve come across the saying “Real life starts in college” but right after graduating university you’ll probably realize, well, real life will really hit you there.
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Going to university was probably my most wholesome experience yet in a sense where growth happened through a lot, if not all aspects of life. In this post, I’ll be sharing those lessons for growth that I actually use and are actually helpful to me, personally.
There’s a lot of growth you can experience when joining university organizations and aside from developing your social skills, it is in joining organizations where you can get familiar with structure, different lines of work, teamwork, and different processes and operations of a team.
I look at different organizations as small (or big) companies minus the profit. If you’re a leader who understands the value of each skillset of your members, then visions and operations follow accordingly. If you’re a follower who understands your own value and the value of your fellow members, and you see eye to eye with who and what you’re working towards, then most likely you’ll be taking your work seriously and with passion.
Practically speaking in the real world, we work for money, and that’s not a bad thing. It is, however, a beautiful luxury when you work in a company you actually believe in and when you’re a part of a team you work harmoniously well with.
For me, that is something rare to find. Not all companies are perfect, and not every team’s perfect. No person is perfect including ourselves which factors in the imperfections that will occur in every workplace. But it is in joining university organizations where I realized how people affect teams, how teams affect the general work, and how the heads or leaders affect everything.
Responsibility & Self-Reliance
When it Comes to Work
In university, the professor won’t always look for the student. Meaning in order to pass your classes, you need to have initiative. There won’t always be reminders of people here and there so you have to be able to rely on yourself to remember everything you have to do.
Developing my own systems have helped me learn more about how I work and how I prefer to work. It also built my trust in myself as I am more aware of what I can and cannot do. You get more confidence when you know you can count on yourself to do something.
After university, this is especially helpful when you’re working from home or when you’re working for yourself. If you’re an employee in an office, it is also helpful as it boosts your performance when you get stuff done on time, or even ahead of time because you can count on yourself and because you have initiative.
Taking care of yourself health-wise is like parenting yourself. Overworking without caring for your health is not being “responsible”. Responsibility should have no limits but rather, it is knowing and doing what you ought to do – and you ought to take care of yourself.
In university, especially if you live alone or in a dormitory, learning this is probably inevitable. You yourself can watch what you eat, track how much sleep you’re getting, etc. Being able to parent yourself in these areas will surely help you in the long-run as you adapt to a certain lifestyle.
Not every university student is a working student but regardless of where your money comes from, whether it be from your side hustle or allowance, learning how to budget your money starts in college. In my college years, I took note of where my money’s going, how much I’m spending for food, for transportation, and if I need to buy some supplies.
If you’re someone who’s living in a dorm or in an apartment, you’ll be taking into account more expenses.
This skill is surely helpful for the long-term as there is no such thing as “too early” when learning about budgeting.
Openness to New Knowledge
You don’t learn everything in school. Some of my colleagues even say that in architecture, you only learn about 30% of what you need to know in university. When you graduate, learning doesn’t stop so it matters to be humble and to keep an open mind whenever meeting new people and encountering new challenges.
I don’t know about you but when I started university, I was really naive. The older I got, the more I realized the vastness of what I didn’t know, while at the same time expanding my knowledge of what I did know.
I think this mindset shouldn’t stop after graduation. I think that the moment you think you know everything is the moment you could become foolish.