I graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Miami. I never thought that I would graduate from anything, much less graduate school. But hey, I’m also proud to have graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University (FIU). FIU is Miami’s largest university, so it’s not really seen as a big deal for someone to graduate from there. But let me tell you this, I had nothing but great experiences at FIU. I loved FIU. I loved my program, I loved my teachers, and I loved the extracurricular activities that they had available. Activities like human trafficking workshops, national security seminars, and career symposiums. I loved my time at FIU and I would gladly recommend the school to anyone asking.
In Lessons in Higher Education part 1 I shared about the three things it takes to succeed in Higher Education.
Aside from a piece of paper, what are the three lessons that Higher Education gave me?
In high school you could’ve passed just by showing up. Or maybe you had help from your parents or a tutor. Did your parents ever do your project for you? In college, forget it, you’re on your own (YOYO). You need to set your own schedule, go to class, take notes, do your assignments, and study. You need to push through. It won’t be easy but that’s the point.
2. Work well in teams
Honestly, I was terrible at this. I hated working in teams. I found it easier to take care of things myself. But in the real world, everything is done in teams. This is the most underrated skill. Higher Education taught me to share responsibility fairly, listen to others, present my case, defend it, sometimes abandon it, take the lead when it’s in our best interests, and sometimes give up the lead. Like everything else, many people can learn this outside of college, but I didn’t. It took me a long time in college before I learned this. Even then, I didn’t get much better at it until my master’s degree where almost every class had a group assignment. It’s not easy to succeed in group assignments, but I’m appreciative that I had the opportunity to learn how to work well in teams. Again, that’s how real life works.
I own the outcome. No matter what it is. I can succeed no matter who I’m paired against or who I’m paired with. I can succeed no matter what the situation is. If I fail at something, it’s completely my fault. It means that I should’ve known better. It’ll be a learning experience. I’ll learn the lesson and move on. That’s the biggest lesson that Higher Education taught me. I own my final grade no matter what. Sometimes you can cruise through a class. Sometimes the class will be bitterly difficult. Either way, your success is wholly dependent on your actions, or lack thereof. You can’t get more real life than that.