4 lessons you learn at university that don’t fit into the syllabus

It's not all in the textbooks. Source: Shutterstock.

With your hand cramping from making notes during the third lecture of the day, it can be hard to remember you’re not just learning about Physics.

University is bound to give you so much more than just the content on the syllabus. From lifelong friendships to an ability to adapt to new environments, a degree is invaluable for so many reasons.

You might be surprised at just how much you are taking away from university other than a nice bit of paper to say ‘I made it!’.

1. Perseverance

Degrees take a long time. Whether you’re studying for three years, four years, seven years or more, you’re not going to learn it all in a week.

You had a bad day. It was raining then you missed the bus, then you forgot that all-important textbook you so desperately needed and now you’re late to your lecture. It sucks.

But tomorrow is a new day, and regardless of yesterday’s mishaps you’ll get up and do it all over again.

There will probably be a lot of days while you are studying when it feels like the world is against you. However, there will be many, many days where you are in love with the world and feel blessed to be studying a subject you are passionate about.

Hang on to the good days. Persevere. You will get there.

2. Empathy

When you have those bad days it is important to remember you are not the only one.

Away from the bubble of home, and most likely mum and dad, you will go through a lot of emotional development. This can be hard but it is ultimately very good for you.

If you are in halls or other shared housing, learning to empathise is key. Understanding what the people around you are feeling is crucial to friendships and relationships of any kind. In the professional world, being able to read people will help excel your career. When it comes to friendships, empathising with your pals will help keep you close.

In shared housing, one of the other most important things you will learn is…

3. Communication

You will learn the value and pain points of communication during university because no man is an island, as they say.

The world is built on and connected by communication even though people often underestimate its importance.

You might learn this through making mistakes. Poor communication will see your grades and friendships falter but the good news is it is easily fixable. Just talk to each other. 

It is crucial to success in any relationship; with your friends, your teachers, and even with yourself. You must be clear about what you want, how you’re feeling and what is going on in your world, academic or otherwise.

And most importantly, you must endeavour to learn the same about others. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert will matter not; having good people skills will reap you benefits long into your career.

4. Self-improvement

So you didn’t get the grade you wanted this time around, or you had a disagreement with a friend. It happens. Was there anything you could have done better? Probably.

But we learn from our mistakes. We move on. And we get better.

You will no doubt learn hundreds of lessons at university; some big, some small. All of them will accumulate to make you the person you are upon graduation. When you make it through the other side, you will know you can handle anything the real world throws at you.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

Students share the most important thing they learnt this year

4 useful search extensions you would be silly to go without while studying