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Learn To Fail

Failure is one of the most important lessons you can learn and there is no better place to learn it than in the university setting.

Develop Outside the Classroom

The university experience goes beyond academics; it’s also about building your experiences outside of the classroom. Try doing things you never thought you could do. Try running a large scale event or try joining a team even if you think you might fail.

Take a Leap of Faith

Failure is one of the most important lessons you can learn and there is no better place to learn it than in the university setting. Now I’m not saying to fail a class, it’s better to get the help you need or drop the course before it gets to that point. But take a leap of faith and try things regardless of the outcome. Set goals for yourself that are tough and see how it goes.

It’s a Win-Win

If you succeed, you’ll learn a lot, build confidence and you’ve accomplished something great. If you fail, it’s tough, but you learn a tremendous amount from your mistakes and it will help develop you as a person.

Aly’s Tip: In my first year, I thought I would be fine volunteering 40+ hours a week while taking a full course load. At times, I would miss my classes to attend meetings and run events. I justified this in my head by saying, “Well if I represent all first-year students, I can’t let them down.” By spending so much time on activities and with friends, I didn’t realize that I was letting myself down academically. I ended up dropping some of my first-semester courses.

This was very tough for me because one of the primary reasons you’re in university is to exceed your personal academic goals. I felt like a failure and it was a major low point for me in university. I spent weeks trying to figure out how this happened.

Now perhaps some people would give up their co-curricular activities and put the blame on that. I didn’t. I decided to learn how to manage my time better by always having an updated schedule and having time blocks for classes, studying, and co-curricular activities.

I attended all of my classes in my second semester and improved my grades. I also increased my involvement through additional volunteering and initiatives. I learned from my mistakes and worked on a resolution that would improve my academics, but also preserve the things that are important to me. It’s all about taking that leap of faith and if you fail it’ll still be an experience that you can look back on and appreciate the benefits.

Adapted with permission from Your Guide to Succeed in University (the #1 College book on Amazon, recent award-winning finalist of the 2014 USA Best Book Awards and best of all, entirely free!) by Aly Madhavji at Smashwords, © 2013 Aly Madhavji.

To view the entire guide visit:


About Your Guide to Succeed in University:

How to succeed in university or college? Every student wants to know; every student tries to discover his/her own strategies to succeed – some work, some don’t. Becoming successful in university sometimes feels like trial and error – with potentially serious consequences for failures.

The goal of this guide – Your Guide to Succeed in University – is to help students in university and college to become confident, well-rounded and successful in their overall education experience. This guide aims to equip you – the students – with the necessary tools for success in university and college.

This guide will help students with topics such as building a solid foundation in the first few weeks, efficient techniques for studying and preparing for exams, getting involved, finding the right mentors, networking, job searching with potential employers and preparing for a successful career.

About the Author:

Aly Madhavji, Author of “Your Guide to Succeed in University” strived not only to have a great academic experience but to build the best overall university experience. In university, he coordinated two successful referendums that annually raise $12,500 and $25,000 to support the campus food bank and to help student refugees in the pursuit of Canadian higher-education respectively. He served as a Governor of the University of Toronto where he was a member of the Executive Committee and Academic Board of the institution. Aly was a Books with Wings Coordinator with the University of Toronto International Health Program where he raised 312 university textbooks, with an estimated value of $15,000, for students in rural and impoverished areas around the world.

Aly is the VP Strategy and Chair of Access Empowerment Council, a not-for-profit organization created to inspire disengaged and marginalized youth and engage isolated elderly around the globe. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Mississauga Alumni Association and the College of Electors. Aly has been featured in The Medium and The Varsity newspapers, the Ismaili Magazine, Mississauga Magazine, and University of Toronto Press. Aly loves to spend his free time outdoors, playing sports, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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