Of Study and Struggle

Learning can done be either way. You can read up to learn about a thing or you can learn by doing and enjoy the struggle. I like some of both. I quit college quickly the first time partly because being right out of high school, I had no idea what to study. It’s pretty scary to spend thousands on an education for a career your not sure you want. But mostly I quit because I suffered from such extreme shyness I was unable to ever ask a teacher a question when I didn’t understand.

I had struggled my way through twelve grades, guessing at what my teachers wanted. Most of the time it was okay. A few times it was embarrassing and other times it meant giving up on a subject entirely. But I had to pay for college and when I started having problems my first semester, with no way to ask for help, giving up made the most sense. (There was no internet then, I had to ask questions face to face, email wasn’t an option.)

The good news is that the struggles, I went through, getting jobs, getting married and having children did make me stronger. When I finally went back to college not only did I manage to ask questions, but I was able to participate far more in discussions because I had life experiences to share. I found that I got more out of each class as an older student than I ever could have when I was a teenager. I also found I got more out of my classes by taking only one or two a semester. While having three children and a home to take care of makes taking full time classes too much anyways, I have noticed that I like to ruminate over each new thing I learn. If I don’t allow enough time for mulling over new information I get frustrated trying to take in so much (the classes instruction plus my own intuitive absorbing of knowledge.) Taking only one or two classes and then spending time in meditative activity, gives me a stronger sense of learning, and of knowing what I’m learning. I think it is a sad waste the way young people are urged to hurry through college today, focused entirely on grades and getting that degree, to get that job, to earn more money, to be happy. I’d rather be happy now as I grow.

My happiness comes from the struggle to keep living and learning, to become a better person. Maybe someday I will get my bachelors, I finally decided the one I want, Multidisciplinary. It suits me because I do believe we need to learn a little of everything to see the amazing, wonderful connections in life all around us. Right now I’m too busy trying to help my daughter pay off her debt to think about the thousands I’d need. But that’s okay because I know how to keep learning with or without a teacher. The longer it takes me to get back to the classroom, the more I’ll knock their socks off when I do!

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