That was a very interesting example and great to learn from, thank you. I've outlined this again in my own words to confirm my understanding is correct.
I understand that the transiting planet (Jupiter/Aries/11th) squaring your natal nodal axis was causing difficulty. It was doing this because it was triggering issues to do with itself in the temporary resolution node - in this case your south node (Cap/8th).
The central issue to the difficulty -caused by the transiting planet- was unearthed at the temporary resolution node (your south node). Issues intrinsic to the transiting planet that were already existing within (yet up to that point lying dormant in) that temporary resolution node, in some shape or form. Pre-existing issues inherent in that node that you hadn't got around to dealing with prior to that, or not completely anyway.
As you have said those issues were a mix of autonomy & independence (Aries), expression of your uniqueness (11th) regarding new knowledge you had imbibed (Jupiter). These issues from the transiting location (Jup/Ar/11th) were reflected in your resolution node i.e. in your commitments (8th) to your existing obligations and responsibilities (Cap) at a university (Jupiter - classic isn't it!) .... the symbolism couldn't be clearer. These issues all stemmed from your past, as the resolution node for this temporary skipped step was the south node (the past). With the resolution needing to happen during the period of the transit.
The reolution in regard to these issues at that node occurred through ... the experience (the house, 11th in your case) of the skipped step planet (Jup/Aries) being a challenge (square) to the issues. This challenge was to let the skipped step planet influence in, to include it: in your case to include increased clarity, 11th,and feeling more inspired & independent (Aries) regarding knowledge and how you were approaching/applying it (Jup) .
Including this transiting planet experience meant adjusting your personal experience of the issues into one that was more objective, 11th house. And as I understand it this seemed to be the thing that brought about seeing your current commitments (8th) more in terms of your present situation rather than according to some past (south node) reality - either yours or someone else's. And therefore helping you to break free.
When there are no natal skipped steps generally there is a natural nodal movement to the north node (in your case though you possibly have a natal skipped step, but it's resolution node is also the north node anyway). In these cases I can see how a temporary skipped step can be a powerful evolutionary boost, the impetus for a greater and enhanced embrace of the north node - in your case probably bringing renewed and deepened inner security (Cancer) and self reliance (2nd).
Also very interesting Deva is that the temporary skipped step occurred at your PPP. Any activity happening in the location of the PPP has a strong and far reaching impact. That was no run of the mill passing skipped step ... did you feel you were being picked up by a huge wave and carried into a new space?
I have both examples coming up, none anywhere as dramatic as this, but I'll observe them and see what I notice, and get back. Thank you.