What’s the point?
My personal opinion to this question that passes through every university student’s mind at one point or another, is rather simple – university is one giant networking opportunity.
Networking, on all levels of the spectrum, will fast-track you to your future destination.
Not only are you spending the next four years of your life learning valuable information in your field, you are literally thrown thousands of opportunities, all of which have the supplementary capacity to get you where you need to be.
Do you want to study abroad in New Zealand for a year? Do you want to run your own business? Do you want to go to a wine and cheese with RIM executives?
If you haven’t recently watched Jim Carrey’s Yes Man, you most definitely should. Say yes to as many networking opportunities as you can.
Do what makes the most sense for you.
Get to know your professors, get involved with campus clubs, volunteer and most importantly make connections.
I like to call it climbing the “networking ladder”.
Put yourself out there, get to know as many people as you can and don’t burn any bridges.
Some call it luck, or being in the right place at the right time, but having unflappable determination and a couple good references under your belt will land you a lot closer to your career goal than floating around in the realm of fate for the next four years.
The big, bad world is just around the corner, so keep your eye on the prize.
There’s no one definitive reason why somebody goes to university. Some are after all the fun, some are after the job prospects and others still are pushed into it by their parents.
There is, however, one definitive reason why somebody should stay in university – and that’s for the academics.
Universities are, above all else, the storehouses of the knowledge and wisdom that our society has amassed.
The point of studying is so that, after four (or more) years, you can have a brief glimpse into the vastness of human knowledge.
Whether you’re entering first year with the hopes of rushing through your BSc so that you can get into med school or you’re taking music just because you love it, the point remains the same.
As you enter university, you most likely have a vision of who you want to be when you gradu-
ate and, whether that person is career-oriented or purely curious about the world, it is classes, lectures, papers, tests and conversations with professors that propel you towards being the person you want to become.
There should be no doubt that academics are the main reason you are about to attend university.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t join clubs or go out and get hammered – these things are necessary to keep yourself sane.
Just don’t confuse the more glamorous, exciting aspects of university life for what’s most important.
Sure, classes can be boring, stressful and often irrelevant, but they are also what make university worthwhile.
Avoiding real life
The real world is a dark and scary place full of nine to five workdays, taxes and career choices; if you don’t have a clue how you want to spend the rest of your life, it can be quite daunting.
Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t good to grow up, but it’s considerably easier to do this in small steps than in one giant leap.
However, once you’re out of high-school, it is generally expected that you do something with your life.
This is where university excels, in that it gives you a perfectly socially acceptable excuse to loiter around, drink excessively and hang out with friends for four or more years while you get out from under your parents roof.
Real life gets put on hold while you get dragged into the university lifestyle instead.
It postpones the main worries about finding a worthwhile and fulfilling job, about starting a family and about generally moving onto the next stage of your life. Instead, you get to worry about relationships, parties, nights out and, depending on your major, grades.
Sure, it can be an expensive and sometimes stressful delay, but it’s a fair and, I believe, necessary trade-off.
I know this may sound quite irresponsible – and hey, perhaps it is – but for me at least, university is an incubator to the rest of your life.
I sure as hell wasn’t ready to go out into the world alone and start a career or life for myself.
And so I get to put life on hold while I enjoy myself, see some interesting things and meet new people all the while growing into a person that will eventually be ready to face the world – what could be better?