Balance between academics and societal relevance
Gone are the days when instructions like, “It’s your book we sent you to read o! That’s all you should face” and many more like it, hold true. These days, being a complete student and getting the best of the student life involve more than just facing book. There are many more things to face outside books. Classroom experiences and academic workload alone cannot make a complete student or graduate.
You’ll agree with me that it’s no longer news to see the wide gap between what institutions are delivering in terms of education and what industries are after in terms of knowledge and skill requirements. Far beyond textbook knowledge, industries are dealing with practical and real-time problems, but majority of our institutions are still stuck to the curriculum of the 80’s and 90’s. If any student must rise above this problem and close the gap, such a student must seek societal relevance.
How can a student seek societal relevance?
Being relevant is about being known for something bigger than just being a student. As a matter of fact, being a student is not an identity. Relevance is about making your life count even as a student. It’s about having something you do that your immediate environment values you for. There are certain tools for building relevance and these include your talent, your values, your experience, etc. To learn more about them, follow the link above.
As a student in campus, deploying these tools are of great essence. There are several platforms to deploy them as a student. Several organizations allow student interns to work for them. There are NGOs such as AIESEC, ENACTUS, etc., that are student-based and give you platform to showcase your values. Another very big advantage is that you get to network, build experience and develop essential soft-skills that make you more valuable in the corporate environment.
How to create a balance between your academics & societal relevance
Balance is about ensuring one section of a thing (or system) does not progress at the detriment of another. It’s about even distribution of resources (time, energy and attention) to all the areas of your life such that in the end, your success won’t be one-sided. Here are some of the tools/approaches to ensure balance in your academic life while you pursue relevance outside the classroom:
Big picture mentality
As a student, you need to have an understanding of big picture. Passing your exams is one thing. Becoming successful in life is another thing. You need to be able to define what success means to you. This is not to encourage you to handle your academics lightly, but to help you develop the right perspective towards your studies and why they are important.
Avoid “spare time” mentality
A lot of students waste a huge amount of their time in campus on having “spare time”. There should be time to cool off and revitalize yourself. It may be time to see a movie, visit a friend or have a nap, but the important thing is, everything should add up. I don’t see movies that won’t add up to my mental development. No friend can have my time if spending it with them doesn’t add up to my growth. My relaxation and cooling off are part of the time-table. And this greatly helped me in managing time as a student.
Set your priorities
In the last section above, I talked about movies, hanging out and having nap. These are essential, but they should never be your priority. That means, they always come last on the list. Someone has said, do the things you need to do, before doing the ones you want to do and your life will be awesome. Always ask yourself, “if I must become that thing I want to become in the next 4 years, what are the things I must prioritize in my life?” This is not about when you feel good only. Whether you feel good or not, priorities are priorities.
Have a study group or an accountability partner
Actually, having these two is very vital; however, depending on your situation, you can always have any of them. This is for your safety and consistency. It’s easy to make up the mind about certain things, but when it comes to following through, sometimes, we always need someone to keep us accountable. And when you’re part of a study, you enjoy the benefit of having people with different intelligent levels, aptitude and perspectives. Coming together to study a particular subject matter gives you an opportunity to learn deeper and better. However, they must be serious-minded individuals as well.
There are many more I would love to share with you about your academic stability, but they are spread out into other articles. You can Click Here to learn more productivity secrets for students.
I remain your clarity coach and your clarity remains my priority.