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11 Life Lessons That College Won’t Teach You

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11 Life Lessons That College Won’t Teach You

College life is something that teaches us many things. It tells us how irritating and annoying can people be in the beginning; yet at the end these people are the ones whom we call our best buddies. The most amazing part is that the college life allows us to define our selves. We choose our ideologies and perceptions about life. We experience first time freedom to develop and define our own unique existence.

The endless teasings, the first crush, the first group of best buddies, the first hangover, the first night out, the best enemies, the bunks, the professor’s questions, and much more: college life teaches us many things.

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    With so many memories and lessons learned, it could be surprising that there are a few things that were missed. Here are 11 life lessons that you won’t learn from years at the university.

    1. The courses and classes can’t be used much.

    The guy who sits next to you in the office may not have taken the same course that you did. The two of you may belong to different academic backgrounds, still you both earn the same respect and money. No one asks you what you learned in college, but you have to learn things on your own and finish the task which your boss “assumes” that you learned in college. College is over and now life is beyond the lectures and textbooks.

    2. In life, skills matter.

    The person who supervises you might just be younger than you. However, you will call him “sir”. In college a junior, who may be elder to you, respected you because you were senior. That was college, where respect was given. In real life, respect is earned.

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    3. The art of communicating.

    You may had escaped the Personality Development classes in college but in life you realize the importance of communicating well. You might need to propose a girl, you have to ask for a salary hike, or you may want to discuss issues with your neighbors. Communication skills are something which can make or break you.

    4. How to judge people correctly.

    In college a person is your friend or foe, but in life you just can’t guess what relationship you share. A “somebody” at office may proof to be a “nobody” at the time of need. A good friend at the office may cut off your chance of promotion because he has to make his own way. So you have to learn how to identify the traits of people around you. Actions may contradict the words.

    Young business man thinking with colleagues at the back

      5. You check yourself: what you say, how you say and to whom you say.

      In college you could abuse and fight with your batch mates on one day and the other day you found yourself busy with the same people because you had to complete an assignment together. But in life it is a different story. In college your friends and the others knew what you mean by your words, but in life people will perceive you as per their perceptions, not as per your words.

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      6. Networking and social connections always help

      In college your friends could be your world. But in life you can’t sustain without networking and social connections. You need a job referral; you need a new house; you need to start a business; you need to start your social activists group. This all means you need good relations with people.

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        7. Saving money isn’t easy.

        The quest to explore life, the thrill of being 100 feet in the sky, the joy of savoring the red wine in a vineyard, the scuba diving experience with the corals and sea creatures. For any of these adventures, you need some savings, which isn’t easy. Your paycheck will always have somewhere else to go–buying food, clothes, paying the bills, visiting your parents. And you’ll notice there won’t always be a lot left over after this.

        8. In relationships, actions speak.

        In college life, a romantic relationship thrived on sweet words. But in real life actions speak. You look at the person; you observe his/her actions and notice how he/she makes you feel. So be careful about the words you use, but also be careful about your actions and gestures.

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        9. Making mistake is fine but it must be a new one each time.

        Each mistake allows you to learn something. It leaves you with a lesson. But to succeed you must make a new mistake each time, so that you always get a new lesson. In college it was okay to ask the same silly question to the same professor again and again, but in life if you ask the same questions or make the same mistake again and again you will labeled as “dumb.”

        10. It is important that you keep marching ahead. Life is a journey, not a destination.

        When you were in school, you only wanted good grades. Once you reached college, you wanted to be famous. When you got your job, your next aim was to get a promotion. After being promoted you wanted a free holiday ticket with family, and so on. Life moves on and on and every moment you have new expectations and aspirations. So just pay attention to the little joys and keep moving ahead.

        11. Everyone is really busy, so you need to take care of yourself.

        Everyone around you is fighting his/her own fight. Even a five-year-old has his own challenges and tasks to do. Everyone is busy thinking about himself, so take care. Yes, you need to love and care for the person whom you see in the mirror because college is over and your friends aren’t there.

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          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

          Warming up

          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

          Stay hydrated

          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

          Meditate

          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

          2. Focus on your goal

          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

          3. Convert negativity to positivity

          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

          4. Understand your content

          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

          5. Practice makes perfect

          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

          6. Be authentic

          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

          7. Post speech evaluation

          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

          Improve your next speech

          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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          • How did I do?
          • Are there any areas for improvement?
          • Did I sound or look stressed?
          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
          • Was I saying “um” too often?
          • How was the flow of the speech?

          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

          Reference

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