#1 Where do I see myself in 5, 10 years?

While seemingly trite and troublesome to deal with, this is an essential question that will help chart a successful uni - and post-uni life. Yes, plans change, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any.

Treat your university education like an investment, what are you looking to get out of it? In the midst of studying and joining a 1001 activities, it may be easy to forget your purpose. Don’t graduate only to realise that nothing you’ve done had been actually meaningful.

By listing and committing to actual goals early in your education journey will help remind and propel you towards it. Get off the autopilot and start navigating life on your own.

Plus, preparing this early helps for any internship or job interviews that is more than likely to ask for the same thing. Spend some time at the end of each day to chart your progress towards your actionable goals. As far as we know, that’s the only way to reach it.

However, planning and saying is one thing. It’s another to actually act on it. Set little time slots for each task to reach your ultimate goal. Japanese isn’t going to learn on its own.

#2 What are the biggest mistakes others and I have made?

Billion dollar fundings, unprecedented traction and growth, overnight millionaires. Success is attractive, sexy, sellable. In today’s age of unprecedented social media immersion, many tend to focus more on their achievements as a form of validation, of their place in the world, of where they stand. This inadvertently promotes survivorship bias, and sways us towards the optimistics odds. But to truly find success, it is not past achievements and trophies that one should focus on. Rather, we should start looking into our failures and mistakes, as well as that of others.

Focusing on your own past achievements inculcate complacency. Sure feels good to get that dopamine hit, and it may be a great way to lift your spirits during particularly dreary periods of your uni life, but soak up that motivation and get to the real work. The only way to improve is by improving upon your missteps.

Analyse your failures; where did you go wrong? Where did they go wrong?

If you’ve just had an awesome groundbreaking idea for a community project, take a step back and research. Has this been done before? With more than 7.6 billion people in the world, some rendition of it might already be in the market. Is it still there? More often than not, it might already be gone.

Find out why and avoid making the same mistakes. That’s how you will drive your project to succeed, and not blindly “taking the leap”.

As George Bernard Shaw said “Success does not consist in never making mistakes, but in never making the same one a second time.”

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