My university degree didn’t automatically grant me a job. It didn’t give me a career nor did it earn me a promotion in my job once I graduated. To be completely honest, in my first professional job, people with less qualifications and experience got further in their careers than I did! I sometimes had to reflect on what advantages I achieved from attending university. So in the end was it worth it? What did I get out of finishing a university degree?
How to Think
Firstly, university taught me how to think. Thanks to my degree, I can now express my thoughts on many subjects. During this time, I had to research publications that align with my thoughts and present those findings in a coherent way. Even in my tutorial classes, I had to express ideas and defend them in an impromptu manner. It also helped me appreciate the views that were different to mine and understand how this actually enriches discussion on any topic.
Deal with Pressure
The degree I studied put me in situations of pressure and stress and I am grateful. This was of course more apparent during the assessment periods of each semester and heightened at exam time. Outside of university, I have also been through periods of pressure in various jobs and it makes it easier to withstand because I’ve been through this before.
Build a Network
The other benefit is that university allowed me to meet some great people. Three of my best friends that I have today I met while studying my undergraduate degree.
Strengthen Communication Skills
University strengthened my communication skills. The way I interacted with lecturers, tutors and class mates have helped me develop a productive communication style which serves me well today. Apart from day to day interactions, I learned how to improve my presentation skills. It’s thanks to the many group assignments that I learned how to collate a group effort and share the responsibilities of a joined presentation.
A university degree means something different to each person. The journey is quite unique and personal. All of which I’ve mentioned above can be accomplished without going through university. This happens to be the journey that I went through and what I came away with. I am grateful for my experience but a university degree isn’t everything. I found this out in the years after graduating. I wouldn’t change anything given a second chance though.