6 Non-Academic Lessons Taught at Schools


Early on, college can seem like just another chore. When I was a student and was done with my work, I would put my notes on my desk and never thought about them until test day. When your mind is constantly being fed new information that you are expected to retain, time for reflection often becomes lost. It took a few years of working for me to finally realize just how much my professors had taught me. To save you from that trouble, here is a list of common non-academic lessons you may not realize you’re being taught in schools.

  1. Have Patience

When you’re in the thick of a degree hunt, waiting is the hardest part. Everything is about planning for the future at this point — in two years I’ll have a job; in four years I’ll get a promotion, etc. Learning to be patient will greatly influence how you go about your career. Most employers see drive and enthusiasm as good traits, but too much of either can be detrimental to finding a mobile path.

  1. Learn to Love Learning

Education doesn’t end once you’ve gotten your degree. Once you learn to love learning, you will have a skill that can create opportunities for a lifetime. Learning doesn’t mean studying your biology notes for years after you’ve graduated. It can be as simple as making a mistake, owning that mistake, and knowing how to do better next time.

  1. Know That You Don’t Know

This is the inevitable paradox of education—the more you know, the more you see what you don’t know. Being cognizant of what you still need to learn will drastically improve how you approach your future.

  1. Embrace the Art of Multitasking

It’s the middle of the semester, and you see that you have two tests and two essays due on the same day. It seems like a cruel game, right? Pure evil. But, these kind of days prepare you for real world experiences. Learning to balance time and energy effectively are skills that many employers find attractive.

  1. Appreciate the Small Things

You don’t have to win the lottery every day for your day to be a success. Finding victories in things like arriving to work on time, or eating a healthy breakfast can go a long way in improving your self-esteem and outlook.

  1. Figure Out How to Push Yourself

It doesn’t take a football coach kind of mentality to push yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone responds differently to motivation. Yelling, cursing, and screaming doesn’t always wake the warrior inside. Learn what motivates you and exploit it. Some students are motivated by breaking a big goal into small tasks. Others get stuff done when they can look forward to a reward. This is a very personal, yet profound journey you must take.

It may take time to learn these lessons for yourself, but once you do, you’ll really start to appreciate the education you received rather than just the degree.

October 10, 2016 | Experiences, On Campus, Student Life