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Advices for first & second year University Students or for 21 years olds


“Our whole theory of education is based on the absurd notion that we must learn to swim on land before tackling the water. It applies to the pursuit of the arts as well as to the pursuit of knowledge.”~ Henry Miller

I thought more than twice before putting pen on this column. And after a grueling discussion with my inner-self I have come to the decision that I’m going to write this post because these young people who have just entered into the University in a developing country like Bangladesh should know where this education will be taking them-an education system that is designed for generating factory workers.

For us it’s necessary to understand that life must not be confined within class room and life is much much bigger than that are taught in class room (it does not necessarily mean that class rooms are valueless). We should know that corporate jobs are not the end of the world and there is much more important contribution to make to the country and to the world.

Moreover, this is important to know & believe that human beings are immensely potential to make impossible happen, and we know there will be obstacles, there will be demand from families, friends and loved ones but what’s most important is what heart wants, & what makes bigger impact. There are too many things to do, to contribute and to make change and we are here to make things better.

Thinking impossible is not a sin; rather it’s the way how one should live a life worth living. And be realistic is a bad advice. Because reality sucks! Here is a list of rules to think about that I would love to listen from someone when I was a first year student:

1. Be unrealistic, because reality sucks! You choose. You are a genius (you are here because of that!). Imagine something big, gigantic, brilliant, extraordinary, and outrageous and do it. We are here to make amazing things happen.
2. “Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.” (Anais Nin)
3. Do a lot of hustle, be restless, go out and experience things.
4. Class room is not the end of the world, experience always stands over reading (books)
5. Make plan. Define what you want and want to do and when you are deciding your goal never underestimate yourself, remember, you have already proven that you can make almost anything happen.
6. Find out what’s not there and try to fill the gap. Contribute to your community (i.e. start a language club/entrepreneurship club/book club in your class, or department or university or anywhere)
7. Connect with people- lots of people. Make your connection real, authentic and something from heart.
8. Learn both giving and taking. There is nothing wrong in taking and asking for help. Give. Give what you have and not.
9. Start earning money without doing tuition! Do something that pays less but teach you real life skills.
10. Do lots of voluntary work but use your head while choosing an organization to work with
11. Read at least 5 books in a week
12. Start something; if not every month at least as frequently as you can
13. Fail, make mistakes and learn from them
14. Give learning top priority over all things
15. Read Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’.
16. Read ‘Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho at least for once
17. Read ‘Linchpin’ by Seth Godin twice
18. Read ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
19. Read ‘What I talk abou when I talk about running’ by Haruki Murakami
20. Read ‘Himu (all)’ by Humayun Ahmed and try to have a heart near himu!
21. Ask questions-lots of questions. Question systems, norms, and whatever you don’t understand
22. Don’t hesitate to be different and ridiculous
23. Be persistent
24. Work your ass off
25. Learn & love (don’t define these two words with a limited mind)
26. Attend politics with a strong will to change it
27. Be human
28. Do things well, so well that people will start conversation about your work.
29. Remember everything takes time
30. Never try to get attention; you’ll get it any way
31. Be bold
32. Build it when you are not in hurry
33. Attend debate club and don’t dilute the purpose of debate (it’s to create people with a conscience)
34. Don’t blame, criticize, and talk if you don’t have ability to fix it. Or work and let them to see the result
35. Lead by examples
36. It’s not necessary that you have to be the leader; be a follower to make a difference
37. Break rules but not laws
38. Experiment
39. Think
40. Don’t buy in the idea of stability. Be restless and unstable. Put yourself in crisis until you get what you want
41. Never loss your conscience
42. Don’t do mean things like lobbying for good grades
43. Don’t follow cheap path to be famous (i.e. lamenting religion for all bad things on earth, doing cheap things to get focus)
44. Don't limit your capability. Read this piece from Debbie Millman on how we restrict ourselves from accomplishing outstanding feats. And read this post if you want to start your own venture right after graduation.

10 Rules for Students, Teachers, and Life by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent (via Brain Pickings)

Advices for first & second year University Students or for 21 years olds
10 Rules For Students, Teachers & Life

Here goes a piece from Henry Miller on art of living:

"The art of living is based on rhythm — on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death. By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance, ‘the dance of life,’ metamorphosis. One can dance to sorrow or to joy; one can even dance abstractly. … But the point is that, by the mere act of dancing, the elements which compose it are transformed; the dance is an end in itself, just like life. The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression. To relax is, of course, the first thing a dancer has to learn. It is also the first thing a patient has to learn when he confronts the analyst. It is the first thing any one has to learn in order to live. It is extremely difficult, because it means surrender, full surrender.


Life, as we all know, is conflict, and man, being part of life, is himself an expression of conflict. If he recognizes the fact and accepts it, he is apt, despite the conflict, to know peace and to enjoy it. But to arrive at this end, which is only a beginning (for we haven’t begun to live yet!), a man has got to learn the doctrine of acceptance, that is, of unconditional surrender, which is love."~ Henry Miller (thanks Brain Pickings)

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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