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?