What Students Can Learn from Steve Jobs’ Legacy

The passing of Apple co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, sheds light on the unquestionable impact he’s had on how people see the world–he basically handed it to us at our fingertips.

He was a game-changer, an innovator, a risk-taker, and a genius, and there’s a lot that students can learn from his legacy:

1. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life
Jobs said it best in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Find something you love to do, that you’re passionate about, and get good at it. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race. Live your life.

2. Stay hungry
As you work your way through high school, onto college, and graduate into the real world, do not lose what drove you in the first place. If you lose motivation, whether it’s while writing your dissertation or working your 9-5, get back to the marrow of it. What gets your wheels moving?

3. Simplify
Much of the beauty of Apple products is in their simplicity.

That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.  – Business Week, 1998

This applies to so much as a student–essays, scheduling, studying.

4. Keep your standards unexpectedly high
Challenge people’s notions of what they can expect from you.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

Whether it’s your after school job, the extra time you spend on the track, or the details you include in a research paper, surprise people of what you’re capable of working for.

5. Stay foolish
The way you see the world might not be the mainstream, but maybe they just haven’t tried on your glasses yet.

It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. 

What have you learned from Steve Jobs’ legacy?

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