independence

10 Good Things About University That Can Also Be Bad (And What You Can Do About it) – TUB-Thump 008

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The stuff you usually think of as good aspects of university can sometimes serve to trip you up.

In Episode 008 of TUB-Thump, I talk about 10 of the positive points that you need to be careful with. Because a lot of freedom needs to be used wisely.


This edition of the show is based on an old post from the blog that looked at the 10 points. If you want a quick reminder from time to time, you can also remind yourself at the original piece:

10 Reasons Why the Benefits of University Can Lead to Downfall

Independence is great; so long as you know you have to take the rough with the smooth. All that responsibility can easily go to your head if you’re not careful!

How do you deal with the new independence?


Here are the show notes for the 16-min episode:

  • 01:30 – Positive/Negative 01: You can choose when you want to do your work.
  • 02:30 – Positive/Negative 02: You can choose how much time you spend on a project/task.
  • 03:30 – Positive/Negative 03: You aren’t fixed to any particular study area.
  • 05:00 – Positive/Negative 04: You aren’t pushed in the same way as you were at school.
  • 06:30 – Positive/Negative 05: You can concentrate on all the things that interest you.
  • 07:40 – Positive/Negative 06: You have the freedom to have as much fun as you like.
  • 08:50 – Positive/Negative 07: You’ve got the scope to develop through all sorts of new activities.
  • 10:10 – Positive/Negative 08: You’re given the tools for independent thought and making your own mind up.
  • 11:20 – Positive/Negative 09: You have enormous scope to network and collaborate with others.
  • 13:20 – Positive/Negative 10: You are given independence from Day One. [Note: Some things are beyond your control and responsibility. I’m talking about the stuff we can make excuses over by latching blame onto others, even though you had the ultimate choice.]

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

Why even your independence goes through a dependent phase

I believe everything I read and I regularly fall to peer pressure.  Just like you do.  Just like everyone does.

photo by fotologic

photo by fotologic

The most independent free spirits among us may seem a law unto themselves, but they may just be better at working beyond an acceptance of what other people tell them.

If that sounds far-fetched, check out this fascinating piece on PsyBlog about it.  Whether it’s group work, a lecture, a textbook, or just some random late-night conversation, our natural instinct is to do a couple of things:

  1. Believe what’s being communicated to us;
  2. Follow the actions of our peers.

That’s why young children often believe everything they hear and why they want to copy other people (their parents, their friends, a stranger…).  It’s pretty natural.

Now, you may think this is beyond you.  You may think peer pressure is for other people and that you disagree with more than enough things to believe everything.  But apparently you’re just better at overcoming the instincts.

I bet it can go the other way too.  There are probably subjects, beliefs or people that automatically trigger an alarm in your head that turn you so cynical that you won’t believe anything that’s put to you.  It may be more of a learned process, but it works on a similar level.

In academia, it’s important to overcome the instincts and come to your own conclusions.  You don’t need to find a unique opinion (it’s okay to agree with someone else), but you do need to understand why you think a certain way.  An independent view is a massive step toward critical thinking, which is so crucial to effective study in your degree.

photo by fotologic

photo by fotologic