Don’t Wait Til You Get A Job: Learn Confidently
We look to college as a place to gain education. We pick an area of study, focus on that for roughly 4 years, and hope to walk out a little smarter, and more proficient in that major hoping we’re qualified enough to snag a job. Along the way, we also experience the realms of life and get a taste of the real world. Life lessons get thrown our way, from financial hurdles to relationship troubles to the game of networking, and we are left with two options: learn from them, or let them pass by without a spark of influence on our evolving selves.
This point in our lives actually presents a great pool of education that is completely separate of our college campuses. We have the opportunity to test the waters of the world and grow into our surroundings independent of our degrees. However, these aren’t lessons we can be forced to learn. No one posts on Canvas or Blackboard how to experience life, nor do they tell you what you should take away from a class that isn’t relevant to the material. You’ve got to seek out these opportunities yourself, and discover these important coming-of-age milestones to enter the successful world of adulthood.
You may be in class all day, but no one is forcing material down your throat. Unless you have an excellent professor, you cannot depend on college classes alone to teach you all that you know. There is no course on apartment living, nor is there enough money in the world to pay for every class in every area of interest you have. If you want to know something, go out and research it yourself. Read, watch movies, research, immerse yourself in the content you want to know more about. Just because you’re taking a class in anthropology doesn’t mean you are going to walk out knowing all there is to know. Getting an A doesn’t guarantee retention of material.
A good way to also sound like you know what you’re talking about is to have some fieldwork under your belt. No, I’m not just talking about extra exposure in your major (while that is beneficial, I do not deny that), I’m talking about things a little more casual: go to concerts and witness your favorite artist, see movies that tickle your fancy and cause controversial conversation, go to parties and see what the fuss is all about. You can only understand and relate to things but so much behind a computer. There’s no better way to learn about the world and you’re community than to actually go out and live in it. Not only does it build on your mental encyclopedia, but it makes you feel more relatable to others.
Stop Doubting Your Intelligence
I fall victim to this all the time, but it’s exceedingly important to overcome. Charles Bukoski’s famous quote “intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence” is all too applicable. In a way, it’s a great thing to doubt what you know. It means that you’re probably careful to speak unless you’re 100% about something.
However, sometimes we never get to that 100%. We doubt ourselves because of our “careful” intelligence, and take ourselves out of a moment that we could share what we know. The tough, yet important thing we must do is understand that we know what we know, and put our foot down confidently. No one is going to hear our thoughts or read our minds.
Listen and Learn from Others
And if we’re wrong, we must be open to be proven right. We must be okay with having our peers teach us a thing or two, because no matter how smart or proficient we are in one thing, we will never know everything. Being ignorant to our surroundings and it’s infinite education only stunts our growth. It’s like being stuck in the same decade forever.
Realizing and understanding that most of our intelligence comes from our own willingness to learn and grow outside of the structured walls of academia is probably the most important thing to do in order to gain maximal knowledge. Unfortunately for most, this isn’t always achieved. Fortunately for you, discovering this power you possess will make you a competitive and full of knowledge that can’t be found in a textbook.