We all probably know that experience we get while studying at a university is far from being limited to studies per se. New living environment, new acquaintances, new rhythm of life, new everything – in addition to dumping an incredible load of new information on you, your university years are an intensive shake-up for your lifestyle – which is beneficial in and of itself.
But studying at a huge elite university like Columbia University may be even more life-changing. Here are 5 important life lessons you will learn there.
1. You Cannot Afford to be Narrow-Minded
People we meet and befriend are one of the most important assets in our lives. Not in the meaning of useful connections (although these won’t hurt either), but in the meaning of interesting, fascinating encounters and acquaintances that broaden our horizons, open our eyes on new things, allow us to see old things in a new light and so on.
At Columbia University you are going to meet people of all possible nations, backgrounds, religious and political beliefs. It is a giant melting pot where you will rub shoulders with people you would’ve never met anywhere else. Being exposed to that many different outlooks on life, religious and cultural peculiarities, beliefs and ideologies will teach you one thing: there are new and fascinating things to learn everywhere, and there are people out there who are nothing like those you are used to dealing with. It is an extremely refreshing and thought-provoking experience that will be of great help for you later in life.
2. All Things Are Truly Interconnected
In ages past people of science used to possess great amount of knowledge in a vast array of fields, believing that a truly well-educated person shouldn’t be limited to any narrow area of expertise. Slowly but steadily this principle is getting popular again after a long period of specialization running the show, and Columbia University reflects it in its approach to academics. Disciplines that are traditionally isolated from one another get interconnected, professors of different and seemingly unrelated fields share lectures in core curriculum classes, giving the students an opportunity to really see the big picture.
3. Time Management Is Crucial
Proper time management is helpful at all stages of life, but only after entering Columbia University you will understand that it is an absolute must. We don’t just mean the titanic load of work you have to deal with, we are speaking about a host of possibilities surrounding you with only a very limited amount of time to cram them into.
You will have to learn how to prioritize, use you time resources more effectively, improve your performance and memory, learn how to distinguish between the necessary and the optional, in other words – find exactly how you can use 24 hours you have every day to the maximum advantage. Because if you don’t do it, you will not only fail to receive the kind of education you need but have a really miserable time for the entire duration of your stay at Columbia.
4. Sometimes You Just Have to Bite the Bullet
All this talk about finding what you like and doing it no matter what is all very nice and sweet, but in reality you often have to do things you absolutely hate – and academics, even at an elite university with excellent professors and in a carefully chosen course are not an exception. There will be times when you will be bored out of your mind, tired and willing to do anything but continue studying – but you will have to learn how to persevere and go on regardless.
5. Your Life Is Your Responsibility
From now on, you are on your own. You may have the best tutors and all the resources of one of the most prestigious universities in the world at your disposal, but if you are unable to take responsibility it won’t help you one bit. It is probably the one most important lesson of all – to understand that when all is said and done nobody will tell you what to do and take responsibility away from you.
The best thing about studying at Columbia University is that you study every day, every minute you stay there – but these lessons are better be learnt as early as possible.