Do you know what university teaches? It’s an interesting question to ask, because there are so many things that can be learned in four years of sitting around writing papers and drinking beer.
Do you remember how boring it was? I think we all do. My point is that the point of university education isn’t to just get a degree and go on with your life. It’s to learn more than just theory or facts, but practical skills too.
So what are these 20 skills? Well…
#1. Skills to Disagree with Authority
I wish I knew how to disagree with my professors effectively when they’re wrong, but most of the time I just agree and tune out.
At university, you will be forced to put forward your arguments in front of your professors, peers and maybe even the whole class, so it’s a good way to practice not only arguing, but also thinking on your feet.
#2. How to Work with People
In graduate school I’ve learned how to work better in group projects, and this has helped me tremendously because now I can work with anyone or any team. School might seem like a place where everyone should be working together, but it’s also full of people who are working only to meet certain requirements.
#3. Practice Your Communication
The ability to communicate is a skill that will take you far in life, and university is a great training ground for this. If you always thought of yourself as a horrible communicator before going to school, I promise you that you will become better with practice.
#4. Time Management Skills
Time management is important for anyone who wants to be successful, and schools are polluted with students who never learned how to manage their time effectively. School provides the perfect environment to learn this skill because it starts at an early age, but often times people just don’t know they need to.
#5. How to Deal with Difficult People
University is filled with some pretty strange people, and dealing with them can teach us how to deal with difficult people in the future. It’s important to realize that there are many different types of personalities out there, so knowing how to deal with them all is a big plus for life.
#6. Improve your Memory
I’ll be honest, university was not the best environment for learning how to remember things. But here’s the thing; if you want to remember something, practice it over and over again until it becomes automatic. The more times you do this, the easier it will become to recall whatever information you like.
#7. How to Take Criticism
Being critical of situations is something that everyone should learn at some point in their life, but it’s an especially important skill for students to have because you can’t get by school without being criticized for your work. The more times you are criticized, the easier it will be to handle criticism in any other situation.
#8. Skills to Deal with Different Situations
School is full of different situations, and you are constantly challenged by all sorts of things in almost every class. You learn how to deal with these situations when they arise, but even if you don’t get the results that you want there’s still something important for your development.
#9. Learn to Work with a Team
In school you will be put on a team at some point, and depending on the project it can go well or it can go horribly wrong. Working together is a skill that everyone needs to have because working alone doesn’t always get the job done.
#10. How to Compromise
Making concessions is something that you don’t necessarily learn in school, but it’s necessary to achieve your goals. You can’t get what you want all the time, so knowing how to give and take is extremely important.
#11. Learning How to Delegate Tasks
Knowing when it’s time for someone else to do the job isn’t easy at first, but there are many times in school when you will have to learn this the hard way. The sooner you learn how to do this, the less time it will take for you to get your work done.
#12. Learning How to Adapt Quickly
There are always certain things that come up unexpectedly in university, and if you can learn to adapt to them you will save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.
#13. Learn how to Criticize Yourself
Being able to criticize your own work is the first step toward improvement, and you can learn this skill by being critical of everything you do during school. You don’t have to be so hard on yourself at first, just try to be somewhat critical of your work.
#14. Learn How to Survive on Very Little Sleep
Studying all night is a great skill that you can learn in school, but it has its limits. The trick is knowing exactly how long you can stay up before falling asleep at random times and screwing up your schedule for the day. It’s important to know your limits so that you can get by with very little sleep, but it isn’t always necessary to do this when you’re in school.
#15. How to Balance School and a Social Life
Keeping up with everyone in university is tough because there are always people who want to go out instead of study. It’s a lot easier to keep up with everyone if you have a strict schedule, but it’s also possible to go out and have fun while still doing well in school.
#16. Learn How to Network
I’m not saying that you will automatically become popular in university, but there are many people who get jobs by only knowing one person. Networking is the best way to get a good job, and it’s something that you learn by interacting with lots of different people in school.
#17. How to Study Effectively
Studying is a great skill to have when you go to university, and it becomes even more important if you want to score well on tests and quizzes. The best way to study is by having a set time, and then making sure that you get all of your work done before that time elapses. If you get used to studying effectively in school it will be much easier for you when you need to do this later in life.
#18. How to Do Well on Tests
Every semester you will have a lot of tests and quizzes in school, and if you want to do well on them it’s important to study. Being able to take tests is a skill that everyone needs to learn, and the earlier you start practicing this skill the better.
#19. Learn How to Use Reference Materials Effectively
Using reference materials is a very important skill because you’ll be using them for lots of different assignments. The one problem with reference materials is that there are so many to choose from, and it’s always hard to decide which ones to use.
#20. Learn How to Gain Confidence at School
It’s easy to get insecure about your work in school, especially if you’re not used to having to compete with other people. It’s important to know how to gain confidence at school because it will help you finish your work faster.