Starting university may seem similar to school or college, but you need to know when to be competitive, and why it matters when studying your degree. University is the start of your adult life and the time you spend at higher education will reflect on your future. We have broken it down for you so you can see why it is important and when it matters most to you.
The first place to consider is in class, where you will meet all kinds of different people from your degree. Classes, lectures, sessions and seminars are what university is going to made up of, where you are able to learn and discuss different subjects and modules that are part of your course. This is the perfect time to push yourself in front of your classmates, by answering questions, stirring debates and thinking outside the box. Teachers like students who participate in class, so make sure you make yourself known!
You can also compete secretly with friends, and we don’t mean by rubbing it in when you get a higher mark in the essay or to hack their computer to see what feedback they received on their coursework! Talk about your subjects with your friends and classmates and when there are deadlines and coursework results, use your friends that do better than you as a push to make you work harder! Secretly competing with your friends is a good incentive to do that extra bit of research, or to work an extra day on your coursework.
As well as this, participating In debates whether they are in class, extra activities like workshops or clubs at university will help bring out your competitive side! Discussing and debating about subjects that you care about or have a lot of interest in will help in the future, especially if it is connected to your degree and interests. It will help you get ideas and learn how to structure a debate on paper.
Societies are a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and to do things that your course may not be able to offer you, like events, workshops, special roles and activities you wouldn’t normally do. Within these societies, depending on the actual society itself, they can offer opportunities for you to push yourself and compete with others around you. For example, if you were part of a filmmaking society, you can set up a film festival inside the society for people to judge your work, create debates, talks and screenings that are up for discussion. Societies are the perfect place to go that extra mile!
Freelance opportunities are the hardest and most satisfying of all. If you freelance you are selling your own and completely individual work to businesses, people and companies. The feedback or rejection you may receive will strive you to better yourself and your talents, as well as the constant competition you will be up against as lots more people will apply for the same job.
If you have a placement, whether it is a year or a week, this will provide more experiences that can aid your education life. You need to make sure that you make the most out of your placement. Sometimes, placements and internships can lead onto better things, better positions and the possibility of a job at the end of it. When placements can put you onto great things, this is the perfect time to be at your best and show them what you’re made of!
It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, painter, scientist or are really good at remembering the statistics module of your Psychology course, your work is the best source of competitiveness. Use past coursework, essays, presentations and videos you made and use theme effectively on your next piece. Always strive to do better and to use the constructive criticism that was given to you with your feedback.
Now, all these different scenarios offer great opportunities to be competitive and to learn from your experiences, whether they are educational, personal or somehow connected to your degree and work. The biggest competitor you are going to face, is yourself. You will give yourself a hard time if you didn’t get a good grade after you spent so long on that coursework, or you may feel guilty you only spent a day on one module’s revision but weeks on another, but this is okay! it is normal! We are all forever in competition with ourselves because we know we can do better and that we can grow. Use this as an advantage to get the best out of you, and more importantly your education life. Get the degree you want!
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