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.]
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 criticalthinking, which is so crucial to effective study in your degree.