7 lessons you learn at university that will actually prepare you for the real world


Image: John Morgan via Creative Commons

University is definitely a life-changing experience that enriches your mind and broadens your horizons, but there is also so much more to learn outside the classroom that will prepare you for the challenges of the real world.

#1 How to budget — University might teach you advanced maths skills, but the real number-related skill you can use for life is how to live with a tight budget and make your money stretch further. You might be complaining about how you have to be super careful with every dollar you spend when you were a university student with a limited disposable income, but those valuable budgeting skills and frugal mindset will become the solid foundation personal finance of your adulthood.

#2 How to juggle — With study, work, social life and much more on your plate, it is a recurring voice we hear among university students that how they are constantly exhausted from juggling. It may seem both physically and mentally draining to try to squeeze everything in a day, but it is a valuable learning experience and you will realise when you are done with university that there are just more tasks life will throw your way.

#3 How to work under the pressure of deadline — Need I say more on this? Who hasn’t pulled an all-nighter to finish that 3,000-word paper or to cram for the final exam? University can make you stressed out from time to time, but at the same time, that looming deadline will gives you that extra drive to smash out what needs to be in on time. This will teach you a great work ethic, too, as in a real-work environment, your boss probably won’t be as lenient as your university professor to give you an extension.

#4 How to multi-task with kitchen equipment — Most university students, especially those who have moved out of their parents’ place, know that you can butter bread with a spoon or that those jam jars can double as food storage containers. Aside from being creative with cooking utensils, you learn how to whip up a quick dish using anything you can find in your pantry during the hectic semester.

#5 How to stay positive and trust yourself — University is a melting pot where you meet tons of people from different backgrounds. If you want to earn the respect of others, you need to respect and trust yourself first. We all have to deal with failure every now and then, but treat it as a stepping stone to success. If you stay happy and positive, good things are bound to happen.

#6 How to embrace opportunity — University offers a plethora of overseas internships and study tour opportunities through the study abroad programs. Sometime you get inspired when you travel and sometimes you even get a job out of it. While you have the opportunity, don’t let it pass you by as you don’t know what amazing adventure it awaits.

#7 How to view university studies with a big picture in mind — So many students have been through the phases where they just seem so confused about what their future will hold and they’re scared about that life path they are going to embark on after they graduate. No matter how lost you might be, remember that you are not alone and you will be fine. University is not your final destination but a stop where you learn so much about yourself. What you study in university won’t decide what you want to do with your life. So be bold and create your own unique way of living.

About the author

Jennifer Zhao