Purposes and functions of university education: My own reflection With the six year hard works in my secondary studies, finally I get into university. I am relieved that there is no more past paper and public examination on one hand but I find that I am lost on the other hand. As a freshman, the experience in first month of university life is out of my expectation: I am totally free! There are so many spare times and so few coursework to do. No more control from the class teachers. No more annoying reminders from my parents.
All I have got is the time to play, play and play (and a little time for lessons, of course). When September has come to an end and October comes as an old friend, I start to wonder: Should my university life go like this? It seems that I am getting lost in a big forest, losing my way, since I do not have a goal. When I was studying in secondary school, there was one goal waiting for me to achieve – getting into university. Now, I have attained it. Then, what’s next? “University is not equal to vocational training institute. My class teacher has once told me. Now it appears in my mind suddenly. In theory, what you have chosen to study is highly likely to be your career after you graduate. Taking the BBA students as an example, which is the commonest, they are likely to participate in jobs related to finance when they finish their tertiary studies, and it is undeniable in practice. But would the same happen to students of arts like me? If I am going to take criminology as my major in year 2, what is my job going to be in the future? A policewoman?
The future female Sherlock Holmes? If university is a place where you are going to decide your future career by your major, does it sound sensible that students major in English should be an English teacher? Definitely not, since there are many possibilities even you are majoring in English. Even though you are practicing a specific skill in university, it does not mean that you should give up the opportunity to discover new things. The theory I have just mentioned above is true, however, not absolutely true, especially to the arts students.
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Since there are many possibilities in the university life, I know that I will be given different chances to try out different things, which is new to me, and it will enable me to discover myself, know more about myself. I am convinced that this is the function of university education – providing a space for learning, discovering, and experiencing. Throughout these three processes, the main purpose of university education – rising up students who are able to think independently and work as a team or individually, can be fulfilled.
Apparently, how to have a good job is the last thing for me to consider right now. At this moment, my goal is try to become an active learner, who can ask questions with confidence, get involved in the classes and clubs, and eventually become self-independent and self- initiative, which is a vital characteristic I believe that it is more important than getting a high GPA. “Learn how to learn”, this is the reason why I am here, studying in university.
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