The Learning University Mindset

Continuing our look at the University Mindset, we need to look at one of the most important (and obvious) aspects of the University Mindset- learning. Since if you have a bad mindset around learning at University then you could struggle and it might harm your chances of thriving at university.

I know some people reading this might be thinking this is odd to talk about because surely if you’re going to go to university then you would have to love learning.

If you thought that I can’t blame you, but even at university I’ve seen too many people see learning as this boring, evil thing that is a chore and not enjoyable. Resulting in some of these people leaving university and not going on to their future ambitions.

Thankfully, your mindset around learning can be changed.

How To see Learning At University?

Personally I see learning as an amazing thing because learning can give you great knowledge that others don’t have, learning can give you access to higher paying jobs and learning can sometimes be a gateway to new passions.

But what makes learning truly great in my opinion?

It gives you a chance to study what you love and that’s how I see learning at university. Learning isn’t some evil chore or something that nerds do.

Instead learning is about exploring your passions and collecting knowledge so hopefully you can use it in the future to better yourself.

Of course, this sounds like I’m talking about jobs and future careers. To some extent I am because the knowledge you get in your degree can help you get into new careers and explore new paths. Which was one reason why I chose psychology because you can’t get a job in psychology without a degree.

However, education and learning can also benefit you in other ways. For example, the reason why I love forensic psychology is because it benefits you in everyday life and it helps you to overcome some of the collective biases that people have. Such as my favourite piece of knowledge I’ve got from that module was the media bias, how the media focuses on the most sensational stories because that’s what gets people to react.

I love that fact because I can use it in everyday life so I know when a story is just a story and being exaggerated. It’s really helped me in my life to sort through the news sources to find trusted ones.

My point is learning isn’t bad. It’s fun, exciting and it can benefit you in ways you’ve never expected.

But how do you see learning as fun?

Do What You Love:

I know this has been a repeated theme throughout my blog posts but that’s because it’s critical.

If you don’t choose a degree subject that you love and want to study then you will start to see learning as a chore. No one likes chores. Meaning you’ll stop wanting to learn, avoid it and that will be reflected in your marks.

I don’t want that for you. I want you to be successful at university and your mindset is a big part of this.

Therefore, pick something you know you’re going to enjoy over the years and you want to study and learn about. As I said in the first Mindset post, it’s this drive and love for a subject that will help you through the tough times.

Break Tradition:

I needed to add in a fun subtitle here because when it comes to learning, sometimes you need to break tradition. Since at university the traditional ways of learning are reading and lectures.

Of course, still go to these critical things.

But also add in some types of learning that break tradition massively. For example, I don’t recommend this unless you want to but I write books as part of my learning. I write books using what I’ve learnt then I write it so it’s fun, engaging and interesting. That’s another part of my learning.

Some more normal ways to learn include study groups and talking with friends. If you’re friends with people in your cohort then talk to them about learning and what you’re studying. Practice explaining it to each other like they don’t know what it means or talk about it with your parents.

Chances are your parents are like mine. They don’t have a clue about psychology so I can tell them and teach them too.

All of this can be great fun and actually quite funny but it’s all still learning.

And that’s what’s important about the Learning Mindset, it isn’t necessarily about how hard you study or learn or how dedicated you are. It’s about your willingness to learn, how much you enjoy it and you’re proactive about your education.

Because if you love your subject, you keep learning and you keep expanding what you know. Then from my own experience and those of friends, this will almost certainly be shown in your work and your marks will reflect that.


After reading this, I hope you now have a better understanding of learning at university because I know lots of people say it’s hard, it’s evil and boring as hell.

It isn’t.

It’s all about how you look at it and how you approach it.

I approach all sorts of learning, be it writing, psychology or business, with fun and excitement because every so often I discover a massive life changing piece of information that I love.

And I can honestly say it’s these moments that make it all worth it for me.

So please keep learning, have fun and you never know what you might find.

Connor Whiteley
Connor Whiteley

Psychology Student and Podcaster