I was listening to a podcast this week, and the guest said something I did not agree with immediately. His premise was that he never really liked school and did not think that school was necessary for his line of work. As my brain processed his statements, it is fair to assume he was more so referencing the institution of school, not necessarily undermining the power of an education. Unfortunately, I do not blame him or anyone else who shares this sentiment. I remember going to college feeling this same way and dreading going to class every day. I have deduced that this negativity towards school or education in general stems from the assessed benefits.
School as in institution can easily frustrate someone who feels like they are going because they have to and not because they want to. Throughout grade school, many of us were obligated to attend classes at least five times a week. When you graduate, you are confronted with another decision: do I continue my education and does my career path even require a degree? This forced structure has made the idea of an education leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, and when you begin to factor in the costs associated with it, most tend to shut the door completely.
As I write this, I want to focus less on the traditional thought of school and more on education and being a student. I have heard many times that “one day the student becomes the teacher”, but I would like to propose that the student remains a student. Recognize that I wrote that the student remains a student and not the student. This implies that you should always strive to be a student in some capacity, even if you become an expert or teacher of a particular subject. There is a sense of humility that is instilled and cultivated as a student that will empower you. As a student, you naturally hunger for more information. You can come to your teacher with questions, and like a sponge, soak up the knowledge that they surround you with. As a student, you understand that you do not know everything, and instead of letting that intimidate you, you use it as fuel to learn more. If you remember one thing from this post, it is that being a student is an amazing place to be, and there are several ways you can achieve this:
- Affordable Online Learning Courses
- You may be working on a time or financial budget that may restrict you from starting a full-time program. No worries! There are online websites that allow you to educate at your own pace. There are thousands of online certificates and courses you can enroll in, and I would recommend this to anyone who may want to test the waters with a new passion or hobby. Sites like Coursera offer certificates from credible institutions for as low as $39/month. Because these interactive courses are taken on your schedule, you ultimately decide how much you actually end up spending to achieve a certificate.
- Books are logically known as some of Earth’s oldest teachers. The awesome thing about books is that they are usually accessible, so even if you do not want to invest in a digital or printed copy, you can go to your local library and rent. Some people say that school deterred them from reading because of all of the assignments that forced them to read topics they were not interested in. My message to those people (because I also went through a phase of being a fanatical reader to never really reading at all) is to find genres that appeal to you. If you are dealing with self-love, why read a book about building a car? Start off with books that pique your interest and happen to align with your current stage in life. You can then begin to challenge yourself to read other literature that may not automatically seem intriguing but are necessary for educative purposes. My husband recommended the book “Go for No!” by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz. Even though I would never have read this book without his suggestion, it ended up being an enjoyable read that I finished within days.
- Although YouTube is a treasure trove of entertainment videos, it is also home to thousands of educational gems. Being a student is not limited to the classroom– sometimes it is at midnight in your bedroom when you are desperate for a quick tutorial. I would advise using caution when learning information from various channels as YouTube is a community of general users. Always do your research on your source to ensure that you are not intaking inaccurate information. I have found YouTube most useful in training me to use different software, programs, or activities. I was editing a flyer on Canva and could not figure out how to remove the background image—YouTube had a short video for that. I also recently created a commercial on iMovie, and thanks to a tutorial on YouTube, I was able to layer the different videos to create my very own masterpiece.
In this information age, cost and accessibility become less and less of an excuse for education. My challenge for this week is for you to explore at least one of the options that I listed above to educate yourself. Start a new online course, find a book, or use a YouTube video to teach yourself something you have always wanted to learn. Continuously look for new things to gain an understanding of and always remain a student!