17th November 2016

How to Trump university

Cachella Smith argues that students can apply aspects of Donald Trump’s personality to inform their own personal success

Last week, Donald Trump was named as the 45th President-elect of the United States. Having campaigned for just under five months, since the 16th of June 2016, Trump’s victory has been met this week with protests, demonstrations, and disapproval. It has to be said that throughout the campaign we saw very negative tactics in the US. Both Presidential candidates took it upon themselves to highlight the flaws of the other as an attempt to maximise their own support. The media jumped on the bandwagon, the result being an entire election shrouded in doom, with neither candidate seemingly able to present an awful lot of hope.

This said, whatever you may think of his ideals and policies, there are many attributes of Donald Trump’s that should be admired and even recycled, particularly within a competitive studying environment such as a university. Donald Trump succeeded where Clinton did not, and there is something to be said for that. Here are some of what I consider Trump’s most admirable qualities and how they may be applicable to you, as a student at the University of Manchester.

The first is determination. Both Presidential candidates have spent five solid months travelling up and down the country, writing and delivering speeches, debating and doing interviews. Trump raised half of Clinton’s $556 million, has had very little experience in politics, and still came out on top. Whatever challenges you face throughout your university life, Trump has proven that these do not need to have a negative impact on your results. Keep going, use your time effectively (although you do not need to necessarily go as far as visiting five states in a single day) and success will soon be within reach.

The second is facing hostility. Donald Trump had very little support compared to Clinton throughout the campaign. Lacking the celebrity endorsement of the likes of Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, and Lady Gaga, Trump even succeeded in alienating the majority of his own Party. The media and the public were quick to pick up on rape allegations against him and criticise him — people “would rather swallow arsenic that vote for Mr. Trump” (Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail’s columnist). This hate did not faze him. Never let other people put you off your goals. Those who tried to undermine Trump did not manage to deter those who supported him; whenever you feel deflated, never forget those who will forever be behind you.

The third is high standards. Trump is not one to compromise. He knows what he wants, he knows that people do not agree with him, and he does not care. You may think this could be troublesome, with him soon to be the leader of the world’s most powerful country, but my point is that he aims high. Yes, he is ruthless. He fired Corey Stewart, the campaign’s Virgina state co-chairman, Corey Lewandoski, campaign manager, and Rick Wiley, national political director. He expects great things from himself and his campaign members, and in return he gets great things.

The forth is transferable skills. We are forever lectured on the importance of acquiring transferable skills during our education. As well as acquiring transferable skills, it is useful to consider how the skills you already have can be applicable to other environments. This is exactly what Trump has done. With no political or military experience, Trump plans to use the skills he has acquired in business to fulfil his political manifesto. This transferring of skills that you already have developed is a major step on the pathway to success.

The fifth is honesty. We are all well aware that Donald Trump does not dress up his opinions. An advocate of free-speech, he takes no pains to disguise what it is he wants or believes. Yes, he has controversial opinions, but he is not misleading. Throughout the entire campaign I doubt any American citizen could claim that they were uncertain or dubious about Trump’s future plans. My advice to you: be honest to yourself and those around you. Do not disguise your opinions because you think someone might not agree. Obviously, do not take it to the point of causing offence, but be original and stand on your own two feet.

The sixth is confidence. Linked to my earlier point on facing adversity, despite what anyone has said about him, Trump has never faltered whilst being verbally attacked on stage. He stands in front of the American people, believing and knowing that he can be their President. He believes in his own abilities where so many others doubt him, in the same way that each and every student must believe in themselves. Whether you are aspiring to be the next President of the United States, or simply to get a First in your next essay, never listen to anyone who doubts your ability.

At the end of the day, the biggest lesson Trump has taught us is to not be afraid of opposing common opinion. Challenge social beliefs when you think there is a better way; be yourself and do not simply look to fit in; dare to be different, and success will come.


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