Food & Fitness

What I Learned from University

Today I am picking up my university diploma.

I opted for a simple 3-year Bachelor of Arts. I want a career in editing and writing, and that is something that you really learn a lot more from experience rather than from spending years upon years in university studying. The degree itself is in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications. What that essentially means is that I have been trained in the art of analyzing just about anything to death 😉 (Kidding. Kind of).

The last few years at university have been awesome. I base that on the fact that I took classes I really wanted to take, rather than the classes that I felt I “ought to” take. Too often I see students burned out or growing resentful of their academic life because it just bogs them down. But I loved it. My Rhetoric classes were all about communication and analyzing communication in order to understand the way that we interact. I also learned about editing and the history of communication. I had some of the best professors a student could ask for.

My electives were enjoyable, too: a nutrition class and several Classics courses were my favourites. I did fairly well in university, which I attribute to the fact that I really liked it. I wanted to be there.

Most jobs these days require some kind of university degree. It doesn’t have to be anything special, and your GPA doesn’t have to be through the roof. Even an accredited online degree is sufficient for many jobs. But some level of university can certainly get you further along in life, and not just for a couple letters after your name: going to university proves to future employers that you know how to deal with deadlines, that you can work with others, that you can work under pressure, and that you can dedicate yourself to a task. Although an appalling number of students use their cell phones in class, a university degree is generally an indication that you have some measure of respect for others. It also suggests that you have decent time-management skills.

Half of what I learned in university wasn’t from the actual curriculum as it was from the simple act of going to university. It was a fun experience. I think that everyone can benefit from taking a university class or two at some point in their lives. Just make sure that it’s something you want to do, and that you take a class in something you’re truly interested in. Finding a great professor to give the lectures also has the potential to make or break the class.

I opted out of going to Convocation to receive my diploma and shake hands with the higher-ups because I just didn’t feel that it was really necessary. I’ve got the diploma, and that’s what counts. Besides, I’ll probably go back there at some point to turn my B.A. into a double major with Classics. I’ve got enough courses in the Classics department to get a good head start towards a double major. It’s something to work towards down the line… but first, I’m job-hunting to find work in communications, editing, and/or writing. Want to hire me? 🙂

Have you gone to university (or are you in university/college right now)? What do you think of it? Learn anything?


  1. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman

    Congratulations!! I graduated college in 2004, which doesn’t seem that long ago until I count that it’s been six years. Yikes. I learned so much in college. There were some pointless classes I had to take–statistics, I’m looking at you–but all of the courses I took in my major (journalism) were so helpful. Only since I graduated have I realized how fun learning is. If I had the money, I’d go back.

  2. Emergefit

    Congrats!!! I have both an under graduate, and a graduate degree. All I can say is, don’t let your education get in the way of pursuing your dreams. My institutional education has contributed very little to my adult life other than teaching me organizational skills. Start early, work hard, finish — that is how dreams are achieved. Good luck!

  3. asithi


    I had a good time in college even with all my engineering classes. My classes are directly related to what I am doing now. By the time of graduation, I was ready to get out of the school environment and start making some decent money. Within one year of working, I realized school was definitely more enjoyable. This goes to show that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

  4. fd

    Congratulations! Its a great and proud moment for sure!

    Well, its been six years since I first graduated. And I went back for postgrad, and its been two years again since that. And I can say that while the stuff I learned was invaluable (both skillwise and contentwise) I much prefer working. I love it out here in the working world, even when I’m not loving my job. I was not a particularly naturally gifted student.

  5. Sagan Morrow

    Miz- Time sure does fly!

    Tracey- I am SO GLAD I avoided taking statistics throughout university *shudder*

    Emergefit- I think that’s really important. Too many people go through school thinking it’s the be-all end-all, and it’s really not… there’s much more to life than taking classes!

    Asithi- Hmmmm. Wonder what I’ll be thinking in the next year… hehe.

    fd- I hear ya. I’ve been ready to get out of school for a while now. I liked it while I was in it, but I really want to do what I love now (and get paid for it, rather than me paying the school to do what I love, heh).

  6. Mary (A Merry Life)

    Congrats my friend! I’m so proud of you!

    I went to university, but I didn’t learn much. Sad. Haha. I studied history, so I have a liberal arts degree which I don’t really use. But it did teach me how to write and research (I studied journalism as well) so in a way it has helped me out indirectly.

  7. Lance

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I am virtually shaking your hand!

    And…I’m with Miz…wow!! It’s been nearly 20 years since I finished college! Scary thought!

    I don’t use my degree anymore (engineering degree) – still, though, going to college was such a great experience – and so much more than just the classwork.

    And – that great job is out there…

  8. Sagan Morrow

    Reeni- I figure, if you’re ENJOYING the classes, then might as well stick with it, even if you haven’t figured out the degree. But if it’s bogging you down, it might be better to wait a bit. Might as well have fun with the experience rather than feel frustrated!

    Diane- Beach time is IMPORTANT though 🙂 I am a firm believer that the rest and fun times are equally as valuable as the studying!

    Mary- Indirect help is always useful 😉

    Lance- It’s out there… somewhere… just gotta find it! (I am virtually shaking your hand in return, hehe).

  9. Dr. J

    That’s wonderful news, Sagan!! You know the smartest person I ever met, after a 15 minute introduction as a speaker from the dean of the college, walked up to the microphone to a standing ovation and simply said, “Really, I’m just a liberally educated man.” Somehow those few words meant more than the long litany of all his numerous accomplishments.

    OK, liberally educated woman, go get ’em 🙂

  10. The Candid RD

    Congratulations to you 🙂 What a fantastic accomplishment! I couldn’t agree with you more when you said that half of the learning during university years is from the living experience, rather than the classes. This is so true. While I learned SO MUCH in my classes, I learned even more valuable and life altering things just by living in a dorm, living in a house with three other girls, and having to live without my parents for the first time!

  11. T

    been out for … crap, five years now. majored in journalism … not really doing much with it. still, at least i’m employed doing something!

    keep thinking about going back, but no idea what i’d do …

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