Rant: Education

Dear Diary,

I have graduated university! Four long painful yet memorable years have finally come to an end. I will receive a fancy piece of paper with my name on it worth over $50k, my blood, sweat, tears and a whole lot of caffeine. But hey it was all worth it…right?  I’m not too sure about that one. Now, don’t get me wrong, an education is an amazing thing to acquire. I love what I studied, and definitely don’t regret it for the most part. However I wish I had done things a little differently. So this rant is probably going to extend to a number of rant blog posts around my thoughts on education, getting a job, the corporate world, and following and pursuing your dreams. So, if you would like to read about what goes through this crazy mind of mine, stay tuned!

For those of you who don’t know, I went to the University of Toronto and did a double major in Psychology and Communication-Technology (the program has a much longer name, and defining it would need a blog post on its own, so just go with this).  I absolutely loved my majors, it helped me find my niche of interest in academia. Opened my horizons to a whole new world I was unaware of, it was just great! But what’s the issue? Several.  The choice of university would be my first issue. For anyone who didn’t go to UofT will probably call me ungrateful for having gone to the best university in Canada and not appreciating it. But ask majority of people who did go to UofT and they’ll probably have a similar reaction as me. Why? Simply put, it’s tough. Sure it’s good in the sense that you are burned and refined to shine brighter, but when I’m applying for my masters, and the competition is high, my stress level is high, the caffeine is on a whole new level, but my grades aren’t leveling up to that, the shine isn’t so bright.

My second issue would be the education system as a whole. We are taught to memorize concepts from the textbook, word for word, letter by letter for a test or exam. But what happens once we walk out of that room? We leave our memorization behind in that room and remember absolutely nothing from the whole course. To me that’s a waste of time, energy and money. In all honesty, the only things that I have actually learnt would be from the assignments I’ve submitted. Why? Firstly, there is no time crunch (unless you procrastinate), you have time to sit and understand a concept without any stress or tension of meeting a 2 hour time limit. Secondly, you are applying the concept, fully understanding it to its depth and as a result most likely retaining it.

My third issues/regret would be going to university as a whole/going to university and not doing a co-op placement/internship. If any of you are going to university, or just started, then listen closely- APPLY WHAT YOU LEARN IN A REAL LIFE SETTING! I cannot stress this enough.  How can this be done? First of all, if you are looking into a university program that has a similar program in college, go for the college program. Majority of college programs have a practical aspect embedded within the program where you can apply what you learn and get a jump-start to your post-academic career life. If your university is offering a co-op program, TAKE IT. This is one mistake I made, where I went to university and didn’t apply my skills in a practical setting.

My fourth issue would be going into university blind. I had no idea what I wanted to do, what my interests were, where I saw myself in 10 years etc. That is partially the fault of our education system, because there should be some bridging option between the jump from high school to university to help a student understand themselves and what they want to do. Partially my fault as an 18 year old, I should’ve been thinking ahead rather than worrying about who A was in Pretty Little Liars (and became upset when it got revealed and realized it was such a waste of time). But hey can you blame an 18 year old? To give you an idea of my struggle in university, I changed my majors 4-5 times in the first two years of university simply because I did not know what I wanted to do.

In all, I don’t regret my university experience entirely, I made a great group of friends, had amazing experiences and eventually found my niche of interest. I just wished I had done things a little differently to reap the most out of these four years! Nonetheless, it was an amazing learning experience and I hope y’all can benefit from my experience.

Do you have any tips, regrets, issues with your education experience? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s chat!


Shazia Arif


Note: Image is taken from Facebook





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