Book Smart v/s Street Smart: Which is better for a College Student?
What is more important? To be Book smart or Streetsmart – the debate on this topic has been going on for a long time. The answer to which of the two is better is quite hard to give. As a balance of both i.e. textbook knowledge and street smartness are required to live a successful life in today's world.
Why be Streetsmart?
Like when students move to college there are a lot of changes that occur in their lifestyle. Many of them move to different cities away from their families and familiar surroundings and they suddenly have to manage all their responsibilities on their own. They have to deal with things that they took for granted before entering college. In such scenario, it is important for them to know how to tackle the everyday problems; be it in classrooms, hostel or even with friends. They need to know how to deal with the harsh realities of life in a smart manner. Being streetsmart thus becomes a necessity in a college student's life. For, we all live in a world where everyone is a part of a rat race and trying their best to emerge out as the winner. To beat them, you need to be able to outsmart them, which cannot be done on the basis of textbook knowledge alone.
Being Booksmart is taught to us since Childhood
Growing up in an Indian family the importance of performing well in academics is drilled into our brain right from the childhood. Being good at academics is a must have quality for every college student. For as it happens, it's not just your parents but also the members of your extended family and even society in general who are interested in your performance in exams. As long as you score good marks you are the apple of everyone's eye. But in case you possess better skills at a sport than you do with books, chances are that you'd be ran after by your parents to get good marks.
But if one were to look at things in a broader sense which do you think is better- 'Book Smart or Street Smart?' Sure being book smart is necessary for many career fields but there are many other career options where the skills of street smartness come in more handy than textbook learning. There are a few things that one can only learn by interacting with the world around them.
Here are some reasons as to why it's important to learn the skills of street smartness along with gaining textual or bookish knowledge.
Survival skills cannot be learnt from text books
Fan of popular survival reality TV show of 'Bear Grylls? But no matter how many times you watch him survive a tricky situation, you will never learn it until you actually do it yourself. Because, watching a man do it on screen is quite different from having to actually do it yourself. For as the saying goes, there is a big difference between knowing a thing and doing it! What if you are faced with a wild beast? You might have watched him fight them off but would be able to do it just by having watched him do that over a TV screen? The simple answer would be a big and clear NO!
You learn to be adaptive
Books are a great medium to learn new skills and gain knowledge. But not everything taught in college is always applicable in practical life situations. Books are good at teaching us specific skills but when it comes to dealing with everyday situations and problems of life you need to have streetsmart understanding of the way the world around you works. Only then can you survive and make the best of your life.
You learn the art of taking risks
People who rely on street smartness are more open to taking risks in life. Taking risks is essential to life for as long as you are afraid of doing something due to the risks that might be involved, you will never discover your true potential. You can never know if you can do something or not unless you go ahead and try it out, no matter what consequences the consequences may be. For instance, what if as a working professional you end up in a job you don't like would you stay in it just because there are a lot of risks involved in leaving it. Or would you brace yourself and quit it choosing to deal with the problems as they come.
It teaches you how to interact with people
In your life, you must have met a few peoplewho are excellent orators or communicators. People, who can see right through a person's personality and then communicate with them accordingly. They have the skill of being able to read people. Such skills come in quite handy like when you are living in a hostel and even later on in your office. When you'd start with your professional life, you'd see that it is not always the smartest person who succeeds but people who are good at reading others also enjoy a fair bit of success. Such skills are something that you cannot learn from any textbook but can only be learned by frequent interactions with those around you.
Problem solving becomes easier
Ever heard the Hindi term ‘Jugaad’; it is a very precious gift given to all of us by street smart people. Street smart people possess a valuable skill of finding a solution to almost every problem very quickly. And if not always, most of the times these solutions are very creative. Street smart people are able to get out of even the stickiest of situations. For instance, street smart people are great at handling angry clients and they do so without breaking a sweat. No matter how bad the situation they are always calm and composed allowing them to think with a clear mind and figure out the best of the solutions.
Hope this article will help you understand the importance of possessing the skills of street smartness. However, remember that although, it is important to be street smart to succeed in today's world the foundation of that success can only be laid on a sound knowledge of concepts and text book knowledge in your respective field of work. Hence, it is important to have a balance of both textbook learnings and also street smart skills in your life.
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