Don’t just get into university, thrive in it |

Getting into university is a tough process. First, you’ll need to really know what you want to study (which can be tough). Then, you’ll need to ace the applications in order to get accepted. But what happens after you’ve been through all that?

It can feel as if all your life you’ve been working towards just getting into university that once you’re in one, you tend to lose that drive. According to a 2014 study by Gallup and Purdue University, only a tiny 3% of students have the kind of transformative experience in college that fosters personal success and happiness. 

Since you’ll be spending a good 3-4 years of your life at uni, you don’t want waste your time. So, here are three points that you can learn from the 3% whose lives were transformed by their time at uni:

1. Find great teachers and mentors

When it comes to uni applications, most students will talk about the major they’ll choose, or what clubs they’ll join. But most tend to miss one of the most important influences: teachers.

Outside of family, no single factor is impacts a student’s success more than a great teacher. Great teachers not only teach, they inspire our curiosity – and the joy of learning. Students often fight hard to open the doors of university but don’t really knock on their teachers’ doors – you have to push through and insist on learning from them. Remember that a great education isn’t given – it’s taken.

2. Join a group or club

Everybody knows that to be a well-rounded student, it’s not all about getting good grades. Students who devote themselves to clubs or groups in high school, JC or poly are more likely to succeed later in areas such as campus leadership and independent accomplishment. This is because they’re able to sustain effort and growth into these extracurricular activities.

However, you want to limit your devotion to just one or two activities. Too many, and your list of clubs/activities only show that you’re cultivating busy mediocrity rather than sustained excellence. Time is limited, and the more time we spend on things we concentrate on, the better we perform.

3. Learn to love ideas

Everybody knows that you learn faster if you have a love for the subject. For students to be happy and excel at uni, they need to be open to new subjects and ideas – that may mean doing things they might not immediately like.

We all know of two student stereotypes: those who hate maths or English. Truth is, we all have minds and hearts capable of both. To counter the ‘hate’, you’ll need to overcome it by seeking out a better teacher, practising harder, or finding a connection to something else that interests you. It’s all about being creative.

To make learning fun, you should stop doing only what you’re good at, and learn that through practice (and perseverance), you can discover new worlds and ideas that are just as fun.