The best and hardest lesson I learned while a university student was to find my passion. The transition from high school to university was a brutal one for me. I was unprepared for university, avoided attending classes, and failed one of my courses.
The Best Lesson I Learned
In this ongoing series, Taylor & Francis authors share the most important lessons they learned as students.
Every student is familiar with the term ‘study skills.’ But not everyone really knows or understands what they are or why they matter. After all, if your grades are pretty good why you should worry about improving your study skills?
I believed I had a real aptitude for studying and that I could, therefore, safely ignore the study skills-based provisions of my degree programme and instead focus my efforts on the subject specific material.
I returned to education as a mature student for an evening class in psychology. It was pre-Internet and before Wi-Fi access became ‘more vital’ than oxygen, food, and water. Yes! That long ago. The first time around, I had battled with the ‘no-pain-no-gain’ approach to learning. It was often painfully dull, and the gains rarely matched the effort.
I was an irritating student throughout both my degree and PhD who managed to go out dancing when my friends were stuck in frantically meeting deadlines or revising into the early hours.Even now, many years later, I hang on to a (fairly) healthy work life balance - even if there are less places to dance.
The best lesson I learned at university was to embrace digital technology and use it to benefit, rather than hinder, my studies. The realisation that digital technology could also hinder my studies was an important lesson I learned.
Go to office hours. It pays huge dividends. Half of life is just showing up, and you already know that. Consider the following parallel thoughts. Making it to class is useful for obvious reasons: course material is explained, answers are given, you take notes and have more time with the content. The same goes for office hours.