#434 Learning – S2 E7 – Studying at University – Passion VS. the easy way

When it comes to studying at University, each and every student might experience the same dilemma. On the one hand, sure, we really want to do this in order to gain knowledge. To learn and improve every single day! We are striving for more! Want to understand the world and are curious for the needy greedy details of basically every subject! But on the other hand there is of course the dark side of being at University rising in our own heads from day to day. The moment the pressure kicks in, the fear will sprawl it wings all over your place, trying to catch you in the darkness! Ok, well, maybe it’s not really like that, but you got the point right? The moment you start to worry, to doubt your one abilities, to fear the up coming exams, well, the fun part will be definitely over, my friend! You stop to invest time for stuff that is obviously not a part of the exam. You start to panic and freak out! Simply put, you want this thing to be over as soon as possible.

🤯🤔“You shall not get exmatriculated! You can’t become a failure! You just can’t! What will they say behind your back? What will you do afterwards? Sure, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are dropouts as well, but at least they were clever!”

PASSION VS. THE EASY WAY

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As always in life, there might be numerous of ways how to get from point A to point B. While some might take the left lane on the “Autobahn”, setting the cruise control to 280 km/h, others prefer to take the B, C and sometimes even D roads in order to eventually finish there academic degree. Well, no matter which road you take, you will reach your goal somewhere down the road, right? It may just take a bit longer. When it comes to University, there seems to be a lot of different ways how to get from your current point A to your bachelor or master degree somewhere down the semesters! Everything seems to be allowed. Having a break? Traveling the world? Doing all lectures at the same time? Working part time? Working full time and studying in the evening or on the weekends? From the nerd in the first row who is participating in the worlds fastest degree championship to the student who nobody knows because he or she never actually shows up in class. In the end, I guess it simply doesn’t matter which path you take or want to take in the future, the problem might always be the same.

Should you take the hardcore course that seems to be really interesting and useful for your future career? Or rather do not take it because of the exam that is said to be so extremely difficult? Should you go to this professor because she will give you a good grade anyways, even though the subject is really boring? Or take the hard way again and hope for the best even though your grade wasn’t that good last time?

Every student out there might have experienced the same internal struggle, the same dilemma, the same ongoing argument! But it is hardly our own fault, right? It’s the system that seems to be wrong! Our society that only cares for one thing! Good grades! From an early age onwards they have always taught us the same thing over and over again! As often as necessary until the message burned itself into our small minded brains.

IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU TRUELY UNDERSTAND SOMETHING OR NOT, THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS ARE EXCELLENT GRADES!

If you think that this is not the case in our world society, well, poor you, you did not even understand this lesson in life! In the end, nobody cares about you and the knowledge you actually have! They only care about your grades! The better they are, the more likely you will find a job! Well, sooner or later they will find out that in fact, you do not even know the basics, but that doesn’t really matter! Why? Because 95 % of the stuff at University is not important for you anyways, and you will learn the stuff you really need in the process. You will simply need certain skills at work and therefore develop them in the process of working.

Sure, if we would stop right here and let a very old man speak for a couple of seconds we might understand it better!

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

Albert Einstein

Back at school the only thing that mattered was what? Right! Exactly! Your grades! And at university? Well, the thing repeats itself! You write exams and get grades. The better the grades, the better the student! Sure, that’s not really what is going on, but that’s what our society believes in. In order to move on in life in a “normal”, or lets rather describe it as the classical “employees” career, you will need to have good grades no matter what! You can have skills that will bring you up to the moon and safely back the very next day, but without the good grades on your diploma certificate, the doors of opportunity will get closed right in front of your nose!

Sure, back at school we simply needed to deal with this fact! We had hardly any chance to change something, right? But well, here, at this fancy place people call University, well, it seems like you have, for the first time ever, actually a chance to escape. To show life the middle finger and actually follow your passion no matter what! Well, you have the chance! The opportunity! But do you use it? HA! Of course not! We would destroy our own lives, right?

THE QUESTION OF ALL QUESTIONS: WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT? KNOWLEDGE OR GOOD GRADES?

Sure, why is there even a need to decide? Just take both! But we all know what a decision like this really means, right? Hard work, hard work and? Oh, right! Hard work! What’s more likely? That a student will follow his or her own passion, investing every split second of his or her life and dedicate it to the topic in question even if that means to take the hard way? Or that this very student takes the easy way through University and enjoys his or her time on Mother Earth?

FREE TIME OR HARD WORK?

What is more important? Gaining knowledge or getting an excellent degree? Sure! Someone could argue that the better your grades, the better your understanding of the subject! And sure, maybe that’s the case. But looking at the big picture, that’s not really what is going on in this world! What does it matter if you pick the interesting but really hard lectures and professors, learn a good old lesson on how to use this knowledge later on in life, but do not get a job because of your bad grades? Nothing, right!

On the one shoulder you might have a blonde angle telling you to follow your heart! Take the courses you are interested in and follow your passion! While on the other shoulder there sits the devil! Demanding from you to take the easy way through life no matter what!

😈: “What! Hell no! You will not take this class! Look at the results from last year! The best dude had only a 2,0! You will most likely end up with a 3,0! Find no job and have to live underneath a bridge!

😇: “Don’t you listen to this negative thinker! He always exaggerates everything! Look! It’s so easy! Sure, you might do not have any chance to write a good grade, but come on! That is not everything in life! You will learn so much from this professor that the end result doesn’t really matters! You have learned for life, not just like all the others for the exam! And come on, the lectures will be awesome!

😈: “Awesome? A nightmare! This will be your end! You will fail in the exam! Then you will lose at least one semester of time. And don’t forget! The pressure will be on! If you do not pass this thing in time, it is all over! You can get your stuff and drive home! That’s it! FINISH! And you don’t want that, right?

😇: “Oh come on! What? That’s very unlikely! You will pass it somehow! Don’t you worry! Look! It’s so easy! Sure, you could go to the other professor where you will get a 1,3 easily, but that’s just not who you are! You are doing this in order to learn something, right? Come on! You are different! You are doing this in order to learn, not in order to have primarily good grades no matter what!

And this thing goes on and on … until …

Until you can’t stand it any longer! You get an unfair grade or two, think you deserved a better grade or actually fail in an exam. Well, these things will change your mind! They will cause you to think differently! That’s a fact!

Thank god, it was a bit easier in my personal case! Doing my bachelor in a dual way in Baden-Württemberg at a DHBW, my complete bachelor program consisted out of a fixed schedule. I couldn’t choose anything besides the topics of the thesis and the reports I needed to write. Therefore, I simply couldn’t chose a different professor, or skip a complicated subject. I just had to do them! Sure, with my current master program this has changed. From one day to the other I was free! I could do whatever I wanted to do! I had only two fixed lectures to take, the other 8 lectures plus 2 projects I needed to pick on my own.

Well, I definitely did not take the easy way all the time, but it would be a lie if I state out something like “I simply followed my passion and interests all the time!“. In fact I was just afraid about certain subjects. I was afraid that I would not pass the exams with the grades I wanted. And therefore, simply put skipped some lectures, or went into the lectures, but without any intention to actually write the exams afterwards. But instead focused more on projects, because they are, at least in my eyes, the better way how to train once own brain to think.

Well, how did you experience the situation? What was / or is your approach towards this dilemma at University? Feel free to share your strategy, opinion and thoughts!

See you next time!

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