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10 Life Lessons You Learn at University

Eirik Nilsen

This post is also available in: Spanish Italian German French

Attending university is not only about turning up to classes and passing modules. Though it may feel like you’re only checking boxes for your professors, you’re actually picking up valuable lessons that will prepare you for your future.

1. Being different is good

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The easiest thing to do is to say nothing, agree with everyone and keep out of people’s hair. Thing is, not much good comes out of being a nobody, you simply weren’t created just to be an anonymous sheep in the flock. University is an excellent opportunity to ask questions, be creative and try new things. You learn that once you take a stance and dare to be different, or simply dare to be yourself, your actions will have purpose and your life will be lived on your own premises.

2. Structure is important

You probably got away with taking everything on the fly at high school, but you need some kind of planning or structure to cope with the workload at university. Simply knowing when and where to work, and what to actually work on will take you a long way. One day you will find yourself in an office making the same lists that you used to scribble down in the library.

3. Get stuff done

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Humans are damn good at procrastinating, but once you’ve pulled an all-nighter on coffee and Red Bull to get your paper finished, you realise that it’s a pretty bad thing to be good at! As soon as an assignment comes in, you want to get it done and out of the way. If you feel busy now, imagine what life will be like with 3 kids and a dog to take care of. Getting stuff done makes it easier to manage the rest of your life.

4. Savings always come in handy

Spilled coffee all over your keyboard? That’s a few hundred euros out of the window right there. Luckily, you’ve saved up some cash so you can keep working (and watching Netflix). Today it’s your laptop that needs fixing, in ten years it’s your Mercedes.

5. Embracing new cultures will make you grow

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If you’re lucky enough to have foreign classmates (or maybe you are one yourself) you’re in for a crash course in culture and HR. Working with people from other countries can be frustrating and difficult at first, but will most likely expand your horizon and give you some more skills. You’ll pick up new languages, learn how to cook new food, find new ways to communicate and most of all, learn that different people work in different ways. That’s great experience to have, and your future employer will be grateful for it.

6. Surround yourself with goodness

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We spend half our lives in bed, so it’s pretty damn important to have a good one! Where you sleep, hang out and cook will have a big impact on your productivity, friendships, happiness and overall wellbeing. Improve your surroundings, and you might see an improvement in yourself too.

7. Creativity will save your meals

They say the best chefs are the ones who can make gold from something simple. This is pretty much the slogan for a student kitchen where you have to get smart and creative to get tasty meals out of noodles, beans and canned tomatoes. There is no excuse for having a bad meal, you just need to have the right knowledge and effort!

8. Self-awareness is key for productivity

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Knowing what gets you in the right work mood is something you figure out pretty quickly as assignments keep rolling in. If you get the most done in the mornings with your iPhone on silent, you simply get up early, turn that phone off, and hit the library.

9. Enjoy the moment

You’ve (hopefully) chosen an education you like, and you’re working on projects together with like-minded and interesting people. Your afternoons are spent reading stuff you’re interested in, and the evenings are occupied with sports, campus societies and parties. You’ve done well for yourself, so sit back and enjoy the ride, student life only comes once!

10. You’re good enough

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You might have spent your childhood dreaming about becoming someone else, but being at university teaches you to stand on your own legs. Trust yourself and your abilities – you’ve made it this far and it’s actually only the beginning. Someday, somewhere, someone will dream about becoming you.


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This post is also available in: Spanish Italian German French

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