By Nelson David Bassey
In my previous article What’s Significant About College/University, I concluded with a great quote by Annie Murphy Paul that says “… the most significant thing about college is not where you go, but what you do once you get there.” How truer can that get?
In succession to that however, here are four simple advice/tips that can add immeasurable value to your “Experiential Learning” in college and can potentially revolutionize your college experience, for as long as you are there. They are as follows:
Avoiding involvements in campus is synonymous to sabotaging your opportunities for self-discovery. Involvement is key to discovering your strengths, and serving will make a way for you. Get involved in extra-curricular activities. Join clubs and societies and take up a role (in my book, coming out soon, I advised to work your way up to becoming a club president). Be an active member. Involvement gets your pants warm.
Peter Drinklage once said “There are not shinier, more important people out there. Your fellow students, your friends, sitting around you are as good as it gets.” Develop meaningful relationships with them. Every resource or opportunity you are seeking in life has been placed within someone around you. Your relationship with them gives you access to those opportunities, privileges, and resources. Build relationships with lecturers and professors, also with senior management staff. Studies have shown that students who develop relationships with their lecturers get higher grades (unfair? ―I don’t think so.) In addition, most successful college graduates have gotten to where they are majorly because of the relationships they developed in campus.
Outstanding students are recognized for/by their “creativity”. I define creativity as your ability to identify a problem and create something in an attempt to solve that problem. Identify a problem in your campus or community and create something in attempt to solve that problem. Don’t be afraid of failure. Just do it! And don’t forget to call on your “Relationships” for advice, support, and encouragement. Remember, your rewards in life are determined by the problems you solve for someone else.
4. Self-directed learning
If you read ONLY to pass your exams, you are barely scratching the surface of the kind of experiences that will take you further in life. Reading for a test is probably the worst habit we have picked up in school. The lesson learnt is simply in-and-out once the test is over. Excellence in classroom and real world achievements are driven by the habit of “learning to know” and “applying knowledge” in your daily life. The secret to your future success is hidden in this habit. Read to apply knowledge! Devour resources related to your area of interest. Explore the books in the various categories of your library bookshelf. Once you leave college, you may scarcely find such great collection of resources at your disposal. The Pencil Box Project however, is one perfect platform that provides you with the opportunity of self-directed learning. Sign up for the free weekly resources (if you haven’t), take full advantage of it and maximize the opportunity!