What You Got Out Of Uni, Even If You Don’t Use Your Degree

University can be an unforgettable period in your life. Maybe you joined the Spanish Club at O’Week to get free shots of tequila, woke up after a uni club night not knowing where you were or binge watched all TV series available on Netflix to avoid attending your lecture. You most likely pulled an all-nighter on multiple occasions to finish your assignments at the last minute and cried as you stressed about passing your examinations. But then you passed! You got your grades back, a piece of paper with your degree and you threw a big square hat in the air then posted a photo on your Insta or Facebook to show everyone that you are now an adult and are good at stuff.

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But then you look for a job. Some lucky grads find a career that aligns with their studies, while some of us find ourselves taking any job to pay the bills and end up following a career path completely unrelated to our degree. Did you really need to get a Bachelor of Arts to learn that ‘globalisation is the process of the world becoming more interconnected’? Tens of thousands of dollars later, you’ve got a HECS debt that doesn’t truly feel real because you never actually had to physically hand that money over. No need to stress though – here are some of the invaluable things you got out of your degree that you might not have gotten otherwise.

Critical Thinking

As frustrating as it was to try and understand why you needed to critique an author who probably knows more than you do for your classes, critical thinking is crucial in teaching us to ask effective questions and formulate original solutions. Human rights abuses, climate change issues and bad political decisions are far more likely to be conquered if we all apply a bit of critical thinking. It’s important that some arguments are held up to scrutiny. Critical thinking requires a discipline that is learned, and could help you make big changes in society – because you understand the value of problem-solving and strategic thinking.


You might not have predicted it, but maybe that girl who always fell asleep in class actually ends up the CEO of a hugely successful corporation. If you keep her in your network, you have access to hers. Networking is all about making connections and building mutually beneficial relationships. Although we sometimes wish it wasn’t the case, the whole ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ saying remains true in most career fields. Personal relationships are incredibly valuable and are a very powerful tactic to increase and sustain success in your future. So if you added Sleepy Suzie on Facebook after a night out at Uni, why don’t you shoot her a message and ask her how she’s going?

A Thirst for Knowledge

Once you walked out of your last ever lecture or put down your pen in your final exam, you probably rejoiced that you’re now free from having to read any textbooks ever again! But it doesn’t take long for your brain to begin feeling curious and ready to learn new things, and wouldn’t you know – one’s level of curiosity and willingness to learn actually has the ability to enhance memory later on throughout life. There is always something new to learn, and showing future employers that you’re keen to continue developing in the workforce will set you apart from your fellow colleagues.


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Creative Thinking

Why does it seem that some people are always able to generate new ideas? It’s because they’ve learnt how to think creatively. Your ability to look at problems and situations with a fresh perspective will have a huge impact of your success in life. It allows you to implement new ideas to improve procedures or bring new ideas to the table. Creativity is a skill that will always be in demand no matter industry you choose to work in – even tech and science, typically seen as left brain industries, are reliant on creative thinkers.

The Power of Perseverance

Trying to learn all of the language subjugations in your Spanish, Italian or French textbook for your final exam was definitely  stressful and maybe you’ve forgotten most, if not all of them by now. But here’s the thing – you might have thought you wanted to give up but you didn’t! Now you know the power of perseverance. The ability to keep keeping on is the key to success in all aspects of life. It also teaches you about optimism, self-belief, and resilience. You can do anything you set your mind to now!

Sam is a freelance writer passionate about sub-cultures, oddballs of the world and music. She runs a Melbourne music website and writers banter for VICE, The LAD Bible, and other websites. You can find her on Twitter at @hamsoward.