There is no doubt that any kind of learning will have an impact on the person doing the learning. Not only do you acquire new knowledge but it can help you grow and develop as a person. How great the impact is will depend on how much of yourself you put into it. But what we as students often don’t think about is how we can use our studies and the knowledge we’ve acquired to make a difference to the world outside of university. Making a difference is can mean anything from impacting your local community to improve the way things function or it can just mean changing the lives for the better of people withina c ommunity. The community may be your local community near where your live. Or part of a broader global community of which all citizens of the world belong.
There are plenty of examples on CDU’s Launchpad on how what students have learnt at university have made a difference but if you really want to change the world ( even just a little) , there a few things you need to do to make that happen.
You have to want to make a difference.Consciously wanting to make a difference can affect how you view opportunities that will arise after university and whether or take advantage of certain opportunities over others. It may mean that you follow opportunities for work that allows you to make a difference to a community to those that perhaps just offer the best salary or the most convenient location.
Be open to changing your path or following a different path to that you which started from.Often those that seek to make a difference find themselves following a different direction to that from which they intended. Current CDU PHD candidate Samuel Keitaanpaa initially set out to study dentistry but realising the impact pharmacy could have on the world changed his focus and is now looking to impact the rates of smoking on Indigenous community. Often to make a difference you have to allow yourself to follow opportunities that enable you to do just that – wherever or whatever they are.
Seek experience –There is an old Chinese proverb that says “experience is the best teacher”. Seeking out different types of experience can be invaluable in helping you decide just where to use your newly acquired knowledge to make a difference. Seek experience through volunteering, explore job opportunities in industries or organisations you are unfamiliar with and travel as much as you can.
Never stop learning.Learning can help facilitate difference. Whether it’s formal education or just making ti your goal to learn from life experience, make it your mission to never stop learning and building on the knowledge you’ve acquired from university and you will inevitably make a difference on those around you .
Start from the immediate world.Don’t feel you have to take on the big bad world as soon as you graduate. Take time to assess and think about how you can use your newly acquired knowledge to make even a small difference in your local community.
- Think bigBy the same token, don’t be afraid to think big. A big impact often start from small beginnings. The important thing is that you do start.
Are you wanting to make a difference after study?