5 Things Every Student Should Study Before They Leave University

There has been plenty of criticism leveled recently at university degree courses. Apparently they lack one essential element; life skills. Here are five subjects that should be included as compulsory modules in all degree courses.

1. How to connect

At university you have to deal with a wide variety of personalities and people from different cultural backgrounds. Whilst this teaches you some people skills, knowing how to connect with anyone is a vital life skill that everyone should learn. Having the ability to build rapport and trust is so important if you want to land that job, and advance your career.

A good way to hone this skill is by going to various industry events alone and networking. If you are by yourself, you will have to chat with strangers; scary at first but once you start, it will pay off. The quickest and best way to learn how to connect with others is to get out there and do it!

2. How to have self-confidence

Being confident will get you a long way in life. It’s important for performing well at job interviews, starting work at a new company and advancing your career. Leaving your comfort zone will also help you to build confidence.

Try joining a public speaking organisation like, ‘Toastmasters’ and get yourself out there. Standing up and presenting an item in front of strangers is a great way of gaining self-confidence; if you can do that, a job interview in front of a panel of three will be a breeze.

3. How to adjust from study hours to full-time work

If you have opted for a career where core office hours are the norm, you will be joining the world of nine to fivers. Gone are the days of sleeping in and finishing early! A useful strategy to adopt in preparation for this transition is to make your job searching like a nine to five job. Get yourself up and ready to start for 9am sharp, have an hour’s break for lunch, then resume ‘working’ until 5pm. This way, your body clock will have time to adjust to the new routine and you won’t struggle as much when you do land your first job.

4. How to manage money

Everyone has to deal with money and it would be so very useful if university courses included a module on money management and budgeting. It’s alarming just how quickly a full-time salary can vanish from your bank account if you don’t keep track of it. Make a start by faithfully and routinely recording everything that you spend and get into the habit of watching your bank balance. If you’re not sure where to start, a quick search on Google will bring up some downloadable spreadsheets to make the whole process less daunting.

5. How to deal with office politics

Wherever you work, you will be faced with office politics. It’s a fact of life that personalities do clash and the office environment where everyone is cooped up together for eight hours every day is ripe for drama and conflict, especially if you work to deadlines and budgets.

The best advice is to not become involved in the office gossip mill. The temptation to join in can be great, but bitchiness and tittle-tattle can lead to accusations of bullying, suspensions, tribunals and eventually, sacking. Walk away; it’s not worth the hassle.

These tips should help you to prepare for the wide world of work, and indeed life. You might have graduated from university but the learning does not stop there!

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Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at

Alison Page

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