Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why Am I In University?

I only began asking this question at the beginning of this semester! I should have thought of it way back before entering university. But better to have thought of it now than when it’s much too late.

Do other students ponder over this question? Do they know why they go to university? Are they like me who just went to uni because it was the next step in completing our education? Will education be ever complete? I thought we learn throughout our lives because we always learn something new each day.

This morning during a tutorial, my lecturer reminded us why we are in university. We were asked to define some communications concepts which we answered pathetically but still understandable. She said that we needed to learn to express our ideas in words in order for other people to understand us clearly. It’ll also be useful when answering exam questions if we knew how to form our ideas properly.

Anyway, she said that we come to university to learn how to think. I don’t know how she got to that part but that’s what she said. That comment of hers got me thinking all about it all over again.

So that brings us back to the first question, which is why am I or why are we in university? I’ve just searched via Google and found some insightful articles on why students are in university in the first place even if they don't know it themselves.

I realized a few things earlier. One of them was learning in university is completely different from learning in school. Yeah, the hours spent in classes were less but scattered throughout the day. Still, it is less if compared to normal school hours. That gives us the chance to pursue our other interests so we join societies, clubs, etc.

Spending less time in class should give us more time to study, right? Well, that isn’t the case since students take advantage of their extra free time doing other things unrelated to school work. We students should be using the free time to read our required readings or get started on assignments. Sadly, we like to procrastinate!

Besides that, we are in university to form ideas and ask questions, aren’t we? It’s usually known as the time when shy students learn to speak up in class and during discussions. However, in class, it’s normally quiet when the lecturer asks for questions. Why is that so? Nowadays, lecturers expect this to happen because it’s been happening for quite a while now where students don’t like to ask questions anymore. I’m not sure about ten years ago but this is true for now.

During tutorials, the students and the tutor or lecturer are supposed to be discussing, aren’t they? That’s what I’ve been told but tutorials are becoming like lectures where the tutor/lecturer still talk the most. Sometimes, only a few brave souls will ask something or just give their opinion on an issue. As usual, students will be holding a pen and some paper on the table. It's the copying notes syndrome again.

I’m also amazed at some people in university. When I ask them a simple question, they give me answers which are not related to my question. This shows that they haven’t understood my question in the first place! They also plagiarize in assignments and presentations. They don’t put forth any ideas or opinions of their own. But I’m amazed that they can still do fairly well in exams.

Questions, questions, and more questions. It’s all a mystery to me. But at least I have an inkling of why I’m in university and what I should do to survive there. I think.

This has been a messy post, I know but I just had to get this out. And for those planning to enter university or are already in university, you’ve gotta read this!


  1. Not a messy post at all, Josette. You make some excellent points. And it's never too late to ask those questions. Some people never ask them at all.

    "Anyway, she said that we come to university to learn how to think."

    I like that. One of my favourite professors used to sat tge same.

  2. Hi there

    I realy thought your post was insightful and more students should think about that question before they jump along on the university train...

    You should check out my blog, I also posted something on the same subject.

  3. nymeth: Thank you for your lovely comment! And yeah, that one particular line from my lecturer has been stuck in my head ever since.

    blush: Hello, thanks! I've checked out your blog too and you have some great posts there. I've yet to read them all but I'm working on it! :)


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