Many young people still have the perception that being a university student is to plan courses and attend classes only and wear beautiful clothes and take out for big shows and bluffing. They have forgotten to know that being a university student you have lot of important tasks to carry out that will enable you build up your intellectual strength in every walk of life. Some even think that attending classes without taking the lead in campus based activities is the most important part of a university life.
During my secondary education my vice principal used to remind me that being a university student means more than being a mere pupil. Nowadays times have changed. The definition of university student once was “one who attends a university”. Others, however, also defined university student as “one who attends a university to attain degree after completing secondary education”. This modern definition does not even show that the person does more than attend. College and university professors still use the first definition, and university have ways such as course materials, exams and grades to attempt to ensure that those who attend will also study and learn something. Who is an outstanding university student? What makes him/her different from the rest of the others?
There are five major qualities which make up a good university student—attitude, academic skills, awareness, accomplishment and ability, and university students with these attributes are very likely to achieve the best in the higher society.
Attitude is a primary genuine desire to learn, and the willingness to do hard intellectual work to achieve better understanding. This is also shown by how well you apply yourself to courses in which you have little interest, and how much you can achieve even when you dislike a professor’s style of presentation.
Academic skills include your ability to manage time, conduct research through analytical thinking and problem solving, intelligent use of resources such as library, internet resources, science laboratory and computer lab, efficient study habit and ability to apply logical skills and to communicate clearly and fluently when speaking and writing.
Awareness of what’s going on in the world around you, and intelligently relating them to your studies. For example, when you are taking a science course, you should relate scientific principles to phenomena you observe in your everyday life, and go out of your way to find applications and examples of science in the real world. When you are taking a course in political science, you should be able to relate what you are learning in class to what’s happening on the national and world political scene. You should be able to discover the contradictions in the generation in which you find yourself and use a possible modus of eradicating those contradictions and make a way forward.
Accomplishment is what you achieved successfully after a lot of work or effort. This is demonstrated by successful application of understanding. It is supported by correct and confident application of what you have learned to new problems and challenges, clear and effective communication of your understanding through speaking and writing, possession of a base of information, skills and understanding sufficient to allow you to continue your education outside of the classroom throughout your life.
Ability is the natural aptitude or acquired proficiency. It is understood that one goal of education is to achieve the ability to apply one’s knowledge in new, creative, and correct ways. Abilities are not entirely innate; some are achievable through dedicated and focused effort.
The successful university student has learned to budget time and uses it efficiently, and will always do whatever needs to be done, and when it should be done. The successful university student will also do things without being told, in that he/she doesn’t wait for exam to read ahead in the text books, or to seek out and study related books to gain better understanding. University provides a huge and great opportunity to broaden your mind and interests and explore new things. Much education can occur outside of class, if you seek it. But if you confine yourself to the things you have always done, avoiding anything new and unfamiliar, you will have squandered a valuable opportunity. University learning gives you an open mind to examine new ideas and facts, and having an open mind does not mean that one jumps on the bandwagon of every new fad. It is the mind that is willing to dispassionately and rationally analyze new ideas, weighing them objectively against established knowledge and the facts at hand.
However, much we learn, we realize there’s lot more to be learned, and that some of what one knows may turn out to be wrong. For this reason intellectual arrogance is unbecoming an educated person. Knowing lot of things is good, but knowing the limitations of one’s knowledge is essential to using it properly.
Do not be an individual with ideas following another person with no ideas. Always work hard to be educated, not merely trained. Don’t be complacent with memorized facts and opinions and conclusions of others. Use your ingenuity to carefully and intelligently analyze those facts and ask yourself how the facts were obtained, how conclusions were drawn from them, and how those conclusions were tested. A good university student does these things!
About the author:
Alpha G. Gray is a student of the University of Liberia reading Biology major with emphasis in Medical Science. He is so passionate about his field of study and wants to make the case in his scientific life. He can be contacted via ([email protected]) ([email protected]) Tel: +231776915195