The value of learning

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Learning is the act of acquiring knowledge. Therefore, the question, ‘Why learn?’ is the same as ‘Why acquire knowledge?’ Imagine a case whereby a middle-aged man named Thomas has absolutely no idea about how to manage his income. Surely, that will lead to mismanagement of income. He could suffer poverty and die miserably. If Tyler does not know how to practice one of many professions, how then will he be able to make a living? 

We learn to gain significant control of our environment, to make more effective and efficient decisions in life, to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to earn a living, to compete better in a competitive world, to enhance personal protection and security, to develop creativity and innovation, to improve our problem-solving skills, to master nature, and to improve the quality of our lives. Indeed, with all these wonderful benefits, learning is invaluable! 

The stages of learning include being able to read, comprehend, and then reproduce in our own words. Learning is particularly considered a challenging and boring process. While knowledge may be desirable, the process may not be so interesting for many people. The common causes of learning struggles include the following 

Lack of passion

For many, the essence of learning is to be able to pass examinations, get a job, and earn a constant, decent income. For this kind of people, studying ends after school. With this kind of mindset, the benefits of studying cannot be appreciated, and the passion for studying cannot be ignited. Until you appreciate the true essence of learning, you will never have the passion to learn. And if you do not have the passion to learn, learning becomes extremely difficult for you. Therefore, it is essential that you develop the passion for learning. 

Poor study approach

The goal of learning should be to understand and be able to own the subject you are studying. You cannot own a subject unless you are able to write a mind-blowing essay on it. Being able to reproduce in your words what you have studied is vital to learning. Therefore, thinking that you have learnt something by merely reading it is being mistaken. It is not only vital, but essential that we learn how to employ effective study skills for effective and efficient learning. 

Fondness for Distractions

The soccer games, the night clubs, the latest video games, the entertainment gossips, these are just a few of those things we spend most of our time doing. While these things are quite interesting and engaging, they are simply just pastimes with little or no cognitive value. To expand our minds and become more intelligent people, we must develop the habit of studying. Ordinarily, we should spend more time studying than doing these things; even if we must do these things. What it takes to manage distractions is managing our time effectively. 

Poor time management

Perhaps, you work eight hours a day, have kids to nurture, or spend plenty of time helping your parents out at the retail store, managing your time is essential. You may be a full time student or a part-time student, but you know why you have enrolled into an institution, and you know it requires studying to excel in it. Therefore, create time for studying, even as it is difficult to make time; you understand yourself best. Sit down and draw out a plan- and then, follow it through. 

Poor foundation

If you haven’t been to the best of schools in the past, or haven’t had the best of education, it is not too late to start. You cannot build a solid skyscraper if its foundation is weak. You need to develop and reinforce essential elementary knowledge before you can take on the hard stuff. If you know you are not suited for a university education due to poor foundation, take a year or two years break to develop better foundation before enrolling yourself into the university. 

Excellent students have positive attitude towards learning. They appreciate the essence of knowledge, have a healthy sense of curiosity, and understand the need to allocate more time to studying than to other activities every day. While a prospective learner may start by allocating about two hours each day to studying, excellent students appreciate the value of allocating at least twelve hours each day to studying. This does not mean that they do not have time to relax or spend time with friends and family; they do those, but they happen to study more. 

Most people study just to pass examinations, and this is because they are ignorant of the true essence of learning. The problem with this mentality is that such people will scarcely study a day, until they begin to feel the pressure of a fast-approaching test or exam. Owing to the fact that they do not appreciate the essence of learning, they will mostly practice memorization than comprehension. The excellent student wants to understand more about a subject; as he or she is not satisfied with the lectures they have received or the information from one book. Excellent students seek to learn from more professionals, seek to study different books on the same subject, and seek to own their knowledge by re-producing theirs. 

An excellent student has a strong passion to learn, an avid interest in owning the subject or work, prioritizes studying over most other activities, visits the library and searches for knowledge via the internet, seeks to learn from more than one tutor, discusses with like-minded people on matters relating to the subject, meditates on what he/she knows and applies it to the real world, and manages study time effectively to cover all courses.