OPINION – Students only learn what they want to

Nomaan Khan

In the pursuit of a college degree, people forget to actually learn.

Ultimately, it’s a student’s responsibility to learn in college as much as it is a professor’s to teach them, but it seems too many students are relying on the institution to pass them and “teach” them, so they stop being proactive in the process.

A college professor’s main job and concern is to give students the resources and methods so they can learn on their own; instructors are supposed to teach you to fish instead of giving you the fish, so to speak.

The majority of students, however, will complain and blame a professor for their shortcomings and forget that college requires effort. It’s not just a “go with the motion” process.

What are you doing after class is over? Are you using your resources properly, like instead of Snapping away and Instagramming, how about using your phone to watch supplemental videos on YouTube? Or maybe you could try following a certified and professional blog site and learning insights from there to incorporate. Or maybe using Google to find some internships or jobs that connect to your education. There are many ways to be involved and there are tools everywhere! Use them!

A classroom is something we’re asked to be in for maybe an hour, or even two at most, and honestly there is no way to fully comprehend and understand your course in only that much time.

Think of all the things we do in 24 hours — now how in the world can we possibly retain a full college lecture and then expect to perform well in our courses and then our careers?

Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

Taken from the man himself, if we start to look at school as a springboard for our own talents and passion I think we’d actually enjoy school a lot more. We would look at it not as something we are scheduled to be at, but as a place that is a part of us and something we have to do with full effort. School is something that provides us with wisdom and helps build a connection with our constructive selves.

How can I learn something here in class that I can incorporate into my life, and then use it to better myself? Then how can I pass the wisdom on through not only words, but even my actions, essentially living out what you actually learn. That, to me, is what learning is, not just listening to a lecture, not just writing some notes down, and then only knowing it to pass exams. No, I think I’d like to know how what I’m being taught will fit in with my future, and then how I would be able to share the lessons.

What is mastery? What does it mean to become a “professional?” To some it can mean having a degree, but to others it means being so good and tuned in with what you’re learning that people end up learning from you as a person. Knowledge and wisdom are contagious, after all. If someone is truly knowledgeable and wise, their every word and action is exemplary

We all say we love something and we express our passions and dreams vocally, but when it comes to chasing it, we rely on others to master them for us. We’ll make excuses, convince ourselves not to give it one more push, even though there’s a slight voice in your head telling you “one more push.” That is the voice we should listen to. If we love something and want it, we should always give our task that one more rep we “think” we can do. After all, like the great Philosopher Rene Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” If we can think of it, it can be.

If we think about ourselves as students, and how to best master ourselves by using the tools and wisdom provided at school, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be that. With our own dedication and will, we can take the great lessons that our institutions give us, and use them to not only become good college students, but to become lifelong scholars.

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