Looking back, its been two years since my graduation, I often reflect on exactly what the hell did I learn while I was at university because all I remember is skipping class, having lunch and hanging out with friends. My first degree was in Psychology and second in Occupational Therapy (because I couldn't find a job with just a B.psych), both were from Universities within Sydney. I've spent many days on campus, so what did I learn?

Once you start working, kiss goodbye to that sweet 2.5-3 months break, those are unicorns that will only pop up if you are unemployed, switching between jobs, injured, getting married, having a baby or retired. 

In the real world we get 4 paid weeks off per year to on holidays. I was a workaholic throughout uni and worked throughout semesters and every uni break - BIG MISTAKE. Treasure those breaks and travel... you will have the rest of your life to work.

Uni books are ridiculously expensive, half the time they are probably unnecessary and will be outdated in 6 months time (the authors keep coming up with newer editions to rack in the money). I ensured to purchase second hand books and re-sell those books... or... just sucked it up and spent some time at the photocopy machine. 

$40 VS $120... you do the maths.

I learnt a truckload of theory that I wont be able to apply to the world outside of University. Psychology taught me a lot of social theories which provided me a better insight of why people do certain things... but unless I become a Neurologist, my colleagues will not care about neurons synapse. I did not gain any exposure to practical components in my psych degree.

My occupational therapy degree had a lot of practical components (whether it was field work, playing with cadavers, making a splint or manual muscle testing - it saved my ass). I enjoyed class (the ones I went to anyway - I was notorious for skipping class for work), the teachers challenged me to think laterally and stop being so naive, it's wasn't all bad.

This really depending on what degree it is and what you hope to get out of it. Unless you are looking to do honours and/or PHD, then you better keep a tab on your grades. The real world does not differentiate between someone who has failed 5 subjects and someone who graduated with a distinction average.

When I started my job as a graduate two years ago, I thought I had the solution to all questions. My grades fuelled my ego, making me delusional and believing that I was exceptional. Heck, I had to start from the beginning just like everyone else.

I learned that study life is not everything, it doesn't matter whether someone has a degree (or 10), a diploma, high school certificate, home schooled or never received an education, we all have strengths and weaknesses, we are all as amazing as Ryan Reynolds and his tight fitting spandex.

Photo by @stitchimonsta

P.S. About time Leondard DiCaprio took home an Oscar.



  1. I didn't do uni (didn't have the grades nor the motivation), but I also learnt that almost everything I learnt doesn't apply to the real world. I feel like travel's given me more of an education than school ever did!

    1. I know right!! A few of the most educated people i know are well travelled rather than collecting expensive degrees to hang on the wall, i dont even know where mine are. I definitely put more value on people's life experience.

  2. I have found that most things are learnt on the job and not from uni. So many theories and practises that may or may not help in the real world situation and once you're working, you don't think about them.

    Sometimes I feel that it's unfortunate that so many jobs require people to go to uni instead of starting at the bottom and working you way up like back in the day.

    1. I feel the same, i guess it's another way of ensuring money is going into higher education, the staff are very well paid in comparison to the average salary on the labour market. Now we are getting controversial.

      Ah well, some people see it as a rite of passage, whereas I feel like I wasted 4 years on my first degree because no one told me I wouldn't be able to find a job until the last semester, where they rounded everyone in a conference hall to break the news.

  3. Hi, I clicked on your link from beautyheaven and found this post pretty interesting. Why do you say 'The real world does not differentiate between someone who has failed 5 subjects and someone who graduated with a distinction average'? Do you mean that in the real world other things matter more than your grades, or that even if you get a distinction average, it's not good enough to differentiate from someone who's failed 5 subjects?

    PS, I will subscribe!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I suppose most employers would not look at your result transcript. I knew people who have failed several subjects in my bachelors landing a very similar role as the ones who graduated with relatively good grades. At times, the person who failed several subjects may have better life skills or experience, if they are able to provide better examples at interviews, they are more likely to be hired over someone with a distinction average. People who are book smart may or may not be as people smart.. and vice versa - I spent some time on a project that required me to hang out with a lot of homeless people.. and boy their knowledge was gold (going off topic now). For me, my grades never really mattered outisde of uni, nor did it ever help me to obtain any of my jobs, My employer hired me before they asked for a copy of my actual degree or transcript to ensure I did actually graduate. Most of my other employers never asked for any of my uni related papers. I hope that makes sense :)

  4. If it's one thing I wish I had more of when I was in Uni, it would be that I wish I had travelled a little bit more when I had the spare chance to. Sadly, given my degree, time off wasn't an easy thing, so I'm going to just be glad I got through University in one piece!

  5. the authors keep coming up with newer editions to rack in the money - so true! i photocopied most books then :) i also agree that some things you learned in college may not matter after (depending on the degree). its mostly true in my case. i guess one of the main things i gained out of chasing after high grades was the discipline to learn / the value of hardwork :)

  6. I bought all of the recommended text books in my first term for about £160 and hardly used them and still got a first that term so this term I've not bought any, they're just too expensive and I can get them from the library if I need them
    The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe

  7. Such a great post! I did University part time along with full time work, and it was tough! I did a Bachelor of Accounting and basically did everything externally, and worked in the field. I think only a small handful of the subjects were directly helpful towards my job in the long run, but all of them were helpful in some way. Except statistics. Fuck statistics.

    Years later, I am looking to transfer into a marketing career and looking to do even more study! What a fool I am :P Keep up these types of posts, love it!

    Kate | themintedblog.com

  8. So sorry your university time didn't make an improvement in your career life. I loved my time in school. My area of study was business and marketing. Once I'm not so busy with life I will be heading back for more. :D


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