University can be overwhelming at times. When you are first starting out, it can be hard to get your bearings and know what you should be doing. Here are three tips that can help point you in the right direction.
1. It’s more important to challenge ideas than it is to be nice
The university system is predicated on the notion that students should pursue conformity, like sheep who only know how to follow the herd. Learning is not simply a matter of listening to what the professor tells you, it’s about learning how to think by challenging and adding to your knowledge. And that’s perfectly fine because that’s what builds intellect.
Knowledge allows students to present their opinions intelligently, without fear of punishment. We need more students who can argue intelligently. Perhaps, students are scared to raise objections in class because they have been taught that arguing is disrespectful. Arguing intelligently is not disrespectful, because the purpose of debate is to uncover the truth. Go out there and let them know that you’re not going to be an easy one to argue with!
2. Prove your competence wherever you go
to show your peers and professors your value, you need to be competitive. Competition shows competence.
If you are having a discussion at the library with your peers about the upcoming election, engage in the discussion and speak intelligently instead of playing on your phone.
If your peers reduce your intellectual potential by dominating a group assignment, show initative by taking leadership roles in class and group assignments.
Universities want to produce the best students, teachers, lawyers and so on.
That is what we call the hierarchy of competence. Your goal as a student should be to be the best version of yourself so you can be rewarded properly. Moreover, being recognized as a great student motivates you to continue being great.
Go out there and prove to people that you are a competent student who wants to be great, because good is no longer noticed in our hyper-competitive world.
3. Don’t write your paper to impress the professor
We live in a university culture dominated by political correctness. Often, students may write a paper that fits the safety net, because they believe that going against what the professor believes will result in a low mark. This ideology limits intellectual freedom.
As students, we should write about topics that drive and interest us.
If that calls for controversy or offending the professor, so be it. You should risk getting a low mark rather than being robbed of your freedom of speech.
In my opinion, with intelligent organization, effective communication and evidence-based rationale, you can become unstoppable.
Go out there and be fearless!