Today, here is a question I would like you to ask yourself as a university student: What happens between when you enter the university at induction and exit at graduation? This, to me, is a most important question to ask yourself, and today I want to invite you to answer this question and question the answer again! This way, you will be in a better position as a student to pursue your higher education experience with clarity of purpose.
We live in a day and age where the pace of life and advancement is moving so fast, you blink and you miss something. I guess you agree with me that the days and weeks and months pass so fast for you, especially when you have assignments to submit or exams to prepare for! The danger in the hustle and bustle of the daily stream of experience is that unless you establish clarity of purpose for yourself, you can spend all the money and time going through a university programme without the programme going through you. So, you enter through the door of induction and exit through the graduation gate, with only very little change in your knowledge, transferrable skills, attitudes, confidence and golden connections. This is more than a danger. It’s an educational tragedy, which must not be allowed to happen. But, the reality is, an awful lot of students probably fall in this situation.
Back to our question, what must happen between induction and graduation? Let me point out the main personal developmental goals you can focus on. In subsequent posts, I will expand on each of these in some detail:
Make a determination to discover your areas of interest and natural flare. For example, if you’ve embarked on a Business Management degree and have interest in entrepreneurship, right from the beginning of your degree, begin creating the passion and appetite for topical treatments and activities related to this area. This is not to exclude other aspects of business studies, but instead, use your focus on entrepreneurship as a magnetic nucleus to keep your interest running forward. Every academic year, I observe first year students on our psychology programmes who manage to establish a pivot of interest that drives them through the three years on the BSc degree. One particular student had a passionate interest in becoming a clinical psychologist. This passion drove the young lady to put in the hard work and commitment required to engage with difficult aspects of the course such as research methods modules, experimental work and exams; she had the persistent determination to endure the difficult times of the weather, examination, assignments and all the technical complexities that come along; this lady had a group of like-minded friends with whom she socialized and organized her routines. Unsurprisingly, this student was creatively in control of her personal development, which was shown in her passionately high performance on course modules. In the end, she graduated with a First-Class Honours. The enthusiasm, sacrifice, fun, confidence and excellence demonstrated by this student made her into a local leader among her peers and tutors. The eventuality of this magnificent attitude to university experience is that this lady is currently a practising Clinical Psychologist in England, having completed her Masters degree at Brunel University and Doctoral degree at the University of East London! A few weeks ago, we invited her to give a career talk to psychology final year students in my department.
This is one point on what must happen to you between induction and graduation! I will write on Point #2 in my next post, so watch this space! Meanwhile your comments and contributions are welcome! Remember most of these points come from Chapter One of How To Excel And Have Fun At University