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English Expression #9: The University of Life

What have you been learning from the university of life? Oh, sorry to confuse you with my question. If you haven’t encountered this expression yet, allow me to explain it in simple ways.

The phrase the ‘university of life’ does not exist at all. You cannot find it anywhere because it's not an academic institution or school. If people say this phrase, they are referring to their ‘life experiences’. In other words, it’s about a person who became wise or successful in a chosen field without taking any formal education or did not use books because he or she has experienced a lot of something in the past that made him or her successful today.

You’ve probably heard news or even met someone who’s been from the university of life. I know a lot of people who didn’t have any formal degree or MBA from a university or college, yet they were able to manage success in their chosen business and career. Perhaps, their will power and determination have triggered them to be risk-takers and confident. Aside from that, they were able to use their passion as ‘bread and butter’.

Here are some examples of this expression;

  • Khaleesi used everything she learned from the university of life before she became a successful actress. 
  • Gendry established his skills in sword making through the university of life.
  • The university of life taught Sansa to become kindhearted and committed in managing her kingdom.

How about you? Have you experienced something positive (or even unpleasant in your life) and were able to use it to become a better person and succeed in something? Please share them below. Thank you in advance!

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Tags: expression, learning-English, university-of-life

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Comment by Robbie on October 2, 2017 at 15:37

Thank you so much, Dara, Mishaikh, Roman, Eva, Susana, Elen, Usra and Diah! Have a great midweek ahead! :)

Comment by Robbie on October 2, 2017 at 15:34

Hello, Diah!

You might be right. What's the purpose of living if we aren't learning from our own experiences and from others. Some people are given with wealth, yet they waste their lives through gambling and illegal drug addiction. 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this expression.

Happy learning,

Robbie :)

Comment by Diah on October 1, 2017 at 8:20

Hey Robbie! 

I think all people have experienced and learned from university of life since we were born. If not so, we are just useless human. That is my thought hehe. 

Thank you for the new words! :)

Comment by Robbie on September 24, 2017 at 16:49

Hello, Teresa!

Welcome to MyEC! Thank you for your comment and for sharing some quotes from Bill Gates. When a person truly works hard for his or her ambition and goals, nothing is impossible. And it's important to learn from the mistakes of others to prevent us from hurt and unpleasant situations.

Have a wonderful stay on our club!

Robbie :)

Comment by Robbie on September 24, 2017 at 16:32

@ Bet

Thank you for the comment! :)

Comment by Robbie on September 24, 2017 at 16:26

Hello, Luci!

You're right! As what Mod Paula wrote here, 'life is a great educator'. The good thing is that, we can choose to learn from someone's experiences to become better individuals. Don't worry, I always learn from what life is throwing at me either good or bad. In fact, one of my phrases is 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' he he.

Have a great new week ahead!

Robbie :)

Comment by Robbie on September 24, 2017 at 16:08

Hi, Roman!

Thank you for your comment! It's alright if you haven't got a family member who's been from the university of life. I think Bill Gates is a good example. He used his intelligence to develop Microsoft even though he didn't graduate from a university. Mark Zuckerberg is another successful one!


Robbie :)

Comment by Teresa on September 24, 2017 at 8:51
Reading this blog, it recall me this quote from Bill Gate "I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft." It's really true, there is no university of life. I'm not only learning from my mistakes, but also from others' to avoid repeating it again in my life.
Comment by bet on September 24, 2017 at 8:21

Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Luci on September 24, 2017 at 7:48
Hi Robbie,

we also say in my language school of life, which I guess Rose also mentioned. Life is ofc the best teacher as our mistakes, falls, experiences give us the best lessons and it is up to us, our attitude if we are able to learn from them or not :p
Hope you are a good student when it comes to study at University of life :D

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