Ways to get the most from your education

Of course all students want the best education for their money. Tuition and books are not cheap. Most students who pay for their education want the best possible grades so they can get jobs and careers they desire. There are practical ways students can add value to their education while they are learning and preparing for their careers. I am aiming this blog for College and University students. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your education.

1. Buy the books. It is almost impossible to believe that post secondary students would not buy the books. The teacher uses the books in planning the lessons, assignments and tests or exams. Usually textbooks are much more expensive than most students could imagine. Spending $ 100 dollar for a single book is most normal. Sometimes courses require more than one book. Although books are expensive, there is no reason students can not buy them.

In Ontario, students may apply for student loans that will give them enough money for texts and tuition and sometimes also for humble living expenses.

What is the teacher doesn’t use the book much? The books are not arbitrarily assigned. That is the professors choose the books appropriate for the course. There is a close relationship between the textbook and the material. Buying the textbook gives you information. Often teachers cannot cover all of the textbook in a semester. What does that leave you with? Valuable information that you can use as a resource. Studying the parts not covered in class can give you extra education in the field you have decided to pursue for your career. The more knowledgeable you are in that field makes you more marketable to the future employer. You are only giving yourself more of a chance at attaining your career choice.

2. Stop thinking that getting the job is the end of your learning. Your education is preparing you for your career – that is true. Most fields of study require continuous improvement to keep competitive. The only way to do this is to consider the larger picture. Like a zoom lens on a camera, student focus on getting the job as priority number one. This is essential and wise but also zoom out – consider your school life only as part of your learning. On the job training and experience are also part of the learning. Life experience is also part of your learning.

3. Get involved in school related and community related interests. Your life experiences and skills from your leisure activities also add to your knowledge and skill base. Let me be plain. Sports involvement gives you valuable experience with teams, sportsmanlike values , caring for team mates, caring for your school, caring for your own personal best. These values are transferable to all areas of your life.  Pursuing volunteer activities not only helps you to give to needy members of the community but also teaches you that life is more than caring for only yourself. Learning to care for others who may never be able to repay you develops mercy and compassion for others less fortunate than you. It would also cause you to be more thankful for what you do have.

4. Make a friend in your class. Even if it is only to exchange emails and phone numbers so that you can take notes if one of you misses class. You may make a study partner. You may make a friend for life. Realizing that that their are others who have very different experiences than your own gives you empathy and care for others. You may find a friend with common goals or interests that can become a life long friend.

5. Form a study Group. This is easier if you are an outgoing person because you would literally have to ask the people to join. Don’t just ask anybody – ask the students who participate in class; those you know care about their education. Small study groups are an excellent way to prepare for exams and tests. They are also an excellent way of sharing your educational experience. You are not alone. There are others like you who have similar goals and want the best grades possible.

6. Find out about Scholarship and Bursaries available at your school. The best place to begin is your school website under financial aid. Most students who have less than an A average don’t know they should try anyway. Students with an A average should most definitely apply. Those with high B’s or heavy volunteer experience should also apply. Literally hundreds of thousands of dollars goes unclaimed because no one applies. What if the scholarship (academic excellence) or bursary (usually not only academic but also financial need) paid for only tuition and books? It would be well worth it.

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