1. Don’t be prepared, just dive in.
When you are embarking on a new path in your life, it is common to receive advice from friends, family and others, to help guide you down the sometimes winding path to study and further education. And while it’s often well meaning, it’s important to sift through advice to determine the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is a list of some advice you might receive that could adversely affect your chance of success at your education
There is a school of that that you can’t prepare for study, you just sign up and turn up. But while you may not be able to pre-study or anticipate the rigors and demands of study, there are things you can do to prepare before each semester, each class, each assignment each exam. This can be as simple as learning where things are, who your lecture or tutor is, where you need be and who to go to if you need extra help. Also ensuring you have all the resources you need (texts, stationer and other materials) to complete the work you need to do can give you that feeling of confidence that comes from being prepared.
2.Don’t keep your eye on the prize
There is a growing movement in the world the moment about being present and not focusing too much on the future. However when you’re studying, keeping your mind’s eye on the end game can help keep you motivated, and pushing forward, especially when times get tough. So do be fully present in whatever moment you’re in, but don’t lose sight of what you wish to achieve.
3.Don’t use the time to make connections
Connections you make through study are one of the very valuable fringe benefits of your time at university. These are more than just a mere distraction but can prove valuable for your career, personal development and in ways you may not have thought of. So take the time to make connections of all sorts. Attend social events, develop a relationship with university staff – both academic and other and get involved in your university community.
4.Spend ALL your time studying, don’t aim for balance in your life.
We’ve discussed previously how important balance is when you’re studying. It makes you more productive, changes your focus and provides new perspectives. So strive for balance. Engage in other activities other than study and renew and nurture relationships.
5.Fake it til you make it
This is an oft used saying that is imbibed when people are out of their depth or engaging in new activity that might be a bit daunting. This is NOT the case when you are studying. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t get or don’t agree with, don’t pretend you do. Say something, question, debate discuss. Don’t just go along with it. Now is the time to question, and seek understanding. So do that.
6.Don’t study what you want to learn- just get a degree in anything
There is a school of thought that it’s better to have a degree in anything than nothing. However if you’re not terribly interested in what you’re learning, you will find it challenging to keep motivated and to understand what you’re learning even if you find the subject matter relatively easy. Learn what you’re interested in, it will make for a much more meaningful journey.
7.Think only about the money you’ll make after your degree
If you’re doing a degree only to get you that higher paying job, you may miss out on valuable opportunities to get other benefits from your study such as the skills you obtain and the connections you make.
8.A higher education degree or bust
While a higher education degree can be valuable for certain careers, there are many other pathways towards achieving your educational dreams. Don’t be afraid to look towards vocational education and training or even short courses as a way of starting your educational journey. Who knows where it may take you.
What’s some of the worst advice you’ve received as you undertake your studies?