The unintended consequences of University

By Anena Cynthia Treasure

Welcome to the Fall Semester and I hope you are excited for another ride of experiences. I thought about writing something for the start of the semester and after much thought I finally settled on unintended consequences of university. If you are new to the school, this article would be a good place to start. What do I mean by unintended consequences of university? I will give you a sociological answer.

In sociology, every institution has two functions: Manifest functions (intended consequences) and latent functions (unintended consequences). Manifest functions are the most basic functions that is expected outcomes from university for example graduating with a good GPA. The opposite of manifest functions is latent functions, the unexpected outcomes for example self-management, meeting the love of your life, making meaningful connections, expanding your cultural view, developing a lifestyle, time management, hard work, honesty, among others.

It's been three years for me here at USIU-Africa and I’ve learned so much, which I highlight in detail below:
Intercultural relations/ creating meaningful connections. If you leave USIU-Africa without this skill, then you haven’t utilized your tuition to the fullest. Intercultural relations are a skill you teach yourself when you get here. There so many people from different cultures and backgrounds, it’s up to you to form those connections.

Leadership. I’ve been class representative and club leader for two clubs, Speak-Up and Journalism clubs and I can say I’ve grown as a leader while holding these positions. With class leadership, I have learnt the critical skill of managing people. On top of learning how to communicate with your lecturers and classmates, and building a good reference for your CV, you also get some additional marks to your grade. As a club leader, I have learnt how to draft proposals, take meeting minutes, come up with a budget, draw up club activities for the semester, and sharpen my communication skills.

Confidence. I grew up shy and as life passed, I made a decision to work upon it. Participating in Mr. and Miss USIU pageant was just the beginning. Throughout the competition, I built my confidence. Nobody is born confident. Confidence is a skill that must be built and consistently nourished for it to become second nature.

Teamwork and hard work. There is no class you are going to finish alone. I mean to say there are people going to contribute to your final grade. Through class presentations and group work. Trust me, this is where you will meet different characters, the determined ones, and the lazy ones. Pray to God, your lecturer lets you choose your teammates otherwise if you land in a group with lazy people, don’t be afraid to hand over their names to your lecturer because you will be saving everyone including that lazy person. Finally, you must love the hard work, you have no choice but to!

Resilience. Resilience is one thing university is going to teach you. In all areas of your life, the relationships, and academics. Relationships will form and get broken in this place so do not break in the process. Academics will put your brain to the test with a lot of stress so don’t break when you feel overwhelmed. Carry resilience with you wherever you go.

Financial Intelligence. The most important unintended consequence is financial intelligence. You will learn how to manage your money from here. Whatever you do, be smart with your money. Do not borrow money from friends and fail to pay back. Also, there many negative unintended consequences that may arise but be wise we cannot avoid negative experiences because it’s where the learning happens.

Have a lovely semester, this is your journey, so get as many experiences as you can!

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