To find your place in today’s world, higher education is no longer a thing for the elites or upper classes. The global informational era has tumbled down the one dimension social paradigm that structured or characterised post-war Europe. Especially now in times of economic crisis, with austerity measures and a retrenchment of the welfare state, what YOU CAN DO matters more than ever.
Confronting the academia with reality
For young people University should not be mere a place of intellectual torment. Conversely, it should be an environment stacked with opportunities at every step in terms of skills development.
Internationalising education matters as it makes a statement. You prove to yourself (1) adaptability, (2) resilience and (3) maturity by willingly making a step away from a comfortable life at home. So, be bold and go study abroad or take a semester in another country for it will pay in return through more than just a degree.
People like to imagine themselves working for multinational companies and travelling as part of their jobs. Others wish to shape the world, work at the UN or in the diplomatic service. In either cases acquiring (4) cultural awareness, i.e. understanding other cultures, and (5) cultural marketing, successfully promoting you own, are of paramount importance if you wish to avoid ‘civilizational clashes’. One of the assets which will get you the desired position anywhere on the globe is demonstrating intimate knowledge with the respective cultural background. Another asset represents (6) the foreign languages –the sky’s the limit here – you know, after all, you do need a means of communication with the others.
So, pick a cosmopolitan university and the rest will unfold by itself.
Most people fall into the trap of translating faculties into grades and acquired knowledge. Remove hierarchy from your vocabulary and substitute with network. You don’t need to dig yourself a trench into one specialised filed. Contrarily, gain as much knowledge from different domains and make career changes when you feel like it, otherwise you might be arbitrarily forced to do so. All degrees develop (7) transferable skills such as critical or logical thinking, the capacity to synthesise information and so forth that can help you make a transition.
(8) Time-management, (9) communication and (10) teamwork skills are the bottom line in any job, but they’re all basic things we’ve been developing since we first entered primary school. The whole trick is to be aware of them and eloquently illustrate them, regardless if it’s for a job or yourself.
Therefore, to conclude, if you ever need a reality check and fell put off by not knowing what you can do, take a pause and think it through, it’s much easier than it looks.