What’s the most important thing students need to learn at university?

by Laura Buckler

How many things do you learn at university? If you started counting, the list would be endless. You’re constantly discovering new things. However, university is more than learning about concepts related to your future career. It’s more than developing the specific skills you’ll need for your profession. A university is a school of life.

Have you ever wondered what’s the most important thing you need to learn while at university? We’ll try to answer that question.

  1. Balance

When students first start university, they love the freedom of trying new things and being in a new place. They are not under parental control any longer. They love getting lost in the new city and enjoying the sense of adventure. That’s a beautiful experience to have, but it can lead to huge distractions.

However, the new circumstances are also very challenging. It’s difficult to get comfortable and blend in with the rest. You’ll have to cope with high expectations. You’ll complete complex projects and study material you don’t quite understand. If you’re fully focused on the studies, you’re getting in another extreme.

That’s the thing – at university, you’re learning how to find the balance between extremes. You’re outside of your comfort zone and you want to experience everything. Still, you’re sticking to your safe spots and investing huge efforts in your education.

Finding balance is one of the greatest challenges people face in their lives. At university, the circumstances impose the need for balance. You have an opportunity to turn your usual day into a balancing act, and that habit will continue to follow you throughout life.

  1. Expression

Sometimes you feel like university is all about assignments. One professor expects you to submit an essay next week, another one expects a case study, and most of them will require term papers at the end of the term. These projects may be the greatest burden throughout your studies, especially when you’re not a good writer. It’s no wonder why so many students decide to get help with college assignments.

Have you ever wondered what lessons academic writing teaches you? A research paper is not only about researching a particular topic and learning about it. It’s about expressing your points of view. You’re learning how to make strong arguments and support them with facts. Through practice, the skill of academic writing will take a new dimension – you’ll transfer it to all discussions you have.

It doesn’t matter what profession you choose. Every single one will require you to express and discuss your opinions. That’s a lesson you learn through these assignments.

  1. Decision-Making

Should I have a healthy breakfast or should I just get a burger later?

Should I start writing this paper or should I leave it for next week?

Do I have enough energy to attend this class or should I take a nap?

You’re making multiple decisions on a daily basis. You’re choosing what to do in every moment throughout the day. Now, you’re choosing to continue reading this article.

These decisions seem minor, but they determine the trace and pace of your life. If you decide to attend the class, your decision will have different results when compared to the decision to take a nap. Throughout university, you’re learning that every action has consequences. That’s why you start making priorities.

This doesn’t mean you should sweat the smallest decisions. Decision-making is a skill that will come naturally when you become aware of your actions and the results they lead to.

Balance, self-expression, and decision-making – those are the most important lessons you learn throughout university. The good news is that there are no textbooks involved. You develop these skills through constant commitment to your studies. We may continue criticizing the educational system for many things. But, it’s funny how it’s built to test and challenge you to develop the most important things you need to know.



Laura Buckler is a freelance writer and copywriter with background in English and Psychology. She has five years of experience in writing inspirational content for online publications, as well as the charity sector. At this point, Laura works part-time in a newspaper, and volunteers in the children hospital in New Jersey. Follow her on twitter.

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