To read the previous version of this article, please click: 10 things about learning you should know (1).
As promised, the following 9 points add up to the 19 points that my teachers were right about learning.
11. Learning is a journey, not a destination.
Again, learning is different from schooling. Schooling may end, but learning never ends at all. A person may graduate from school(s), but they never graduate from learning. Learning is definitely a life-long experience which can’t and shouldn’t be considered as a goal. Based on my experience, you will not enjoy your learning if you treat learning as a goal.
Let’s relate this to our trip to somewhere. If you have too strong a desire to reach the place, you will become anxious or even worried along the trip. No matter how nice the view along the way is, you just don’t give a dam* about it for you focus on arriving at the place as quickly as possible.
I guess you have seen many students who study for certificates. They don’t care much about their learning process, yet they make sure that they get a paper notifying that they have studied for a certain period of time. For me, this is insane.
As for you students, it’s crucially important that you love your learning or journey in learning because you live with it daily and because you have to do it anyway in whatever mode you are. So, why don’t you choose a mode that makes you feel good to learn?
12. Learning should not be associated with cheating.
When I was in grade 9, I had a Math teacher who changed my perception about cheating. He gave me an advice that I have always remembered. He said “cheating is not only a crime, but a habit that could stick with you for the rest of your life”. He stressed on the word ‘habit’ and warned me to never allow cheating to become my habit.
Cheating is definitely a habit. If you cheat once, you are likely to cheat again. At IFL where I undertook my undergraduate study, I couldn’t cheat because cheating was highly restricted. Those who were caught cheating received severe punishment. Because of this rule, I self-developed a habit of ‘no cheating’. I worked my butt off to learn, and if in any unfortunate case that I was not able to answer any question in the examination day, I just handed in the paper with satisfaction of my own ability.
Habit is hard to change, so don’t let cheating be a habit of yours. But, if it has already become a part of your life, you can check out this article: How to change my bad habits.
13. Learning can be fostered or destructed by friends.
Believe me or not, having friends affects your learning whether in a good or bad way. The logic here is simple. A good friend represents a good network while a not-good or bad friend represents a bad network. Yet, the question is ‘how do you differentiate a good friend from a bad one?’
In general, I’ve written an article about this, and you can check: How to differentiate constructive from destructive people.
Yet, as for students, I strongly recommend to stick to those who are interested in learning and/or work hard on their study. If you are with those who love learning, you will love learning too. “Being a fool around the wise is still better than being a wise around the fool,” said anonymous.
14. Outstanding learning brings network.
It’s very easy to become famous, but being famous in a good way is somehow difficult for it requires you to make some accomplishments. This can be applied to learning. In order to be known in your class or school, you’ve got to do extraordinarily well in your studies. With outstanding results, people will notice your face and name. Even though they have never known you before, they try to get close to you so that they can learn from you. Whether it is a law of attraction, I have no idea. What I know is that students with high academic results are usually awarded, and fame is one of the awards.
15. Learning to understand is better than to remember.
How many of you reading this point find it hard to distinguish between learning to understand and remember? When I was in high school, I believe I did not understand the difference at all.
However, now that I am an educator, I have a complete sense of it. Whereas learning to remember is like learning by memorizing which is not effective especially for long-term learning, learning to understand is learning by using reasons which is effective for life-long learning and higher education.
I personally encourage you to learn by understand. Understanding easily leads you to remember any piece of information you want to. With understanding, you can shorten or expand any concept you wish.
16. Learning can be devastated by alcohol.
To learn more about this, please read: 9 reasons students should not drink alcohol.
17. Learning smart and hard is the best.
Some educators or people claim that studying smart is better than hard. In other words, you should know how you learn best so that you can learn effectively, thus saving you much time and energy. I personally have no objection to such notion, yet I just feel that it’s not good enough to only study smart. A student should study smart AND hard.
Why? My answer is ‘studying smart gets you on the right track while studying hard allows you to learn more quickly than others’. Supposed two people studied smart and worked on the same work, who would get it done first? I guess you are clever enough to say ‘the one with hard work’, right?
18. Autonomous learning is a key to academic success.
Autonomous learning is another term for independent learning which means one’s ability to learn with little if any assistance from others such as their teachers, peers, etc.
Especially in higher education, autonomous or independent learning is crucially important. One can’t just depend on the traditional way of learning called spoon-feeding in order to become successful in university. Instead, he/she has to go out apparently on their own to get documents or learning resources possibly available at the library or internet. Because learning is no longer place- or time-bound thanks to advanced technology, learning could be conducted on an individual basis if the learner has strategies or techniques to make their autonomous learning work.
19. Learning can be easily overshadowed by love.
Have you ever seen or heard of some students drop out of school after they have love problems? Yes, right? I’m not going to elaborate more on this point because you can learn about this point from this article: Love: a huge liability for students.