Today’s society is driven to be progressive in a multitude of directions. Today’s culture needs to evolve constantly with the pressures of fast paced economical, social and technological developments. Adapting to change is the key to survival and success, whether material, emotional or intellectual. And that’s what we can get from education – the skills to survive and succeed.
The importance of education is drilled into us from an early age. From preschool, to school, to college/university and beyond; its kind of like an assembly line churning out model after model! So how do all the models end up so different? What makes one person’s education experience different from another?
The answer lies in understanding the difference between knowledge and education – the difference between “learning” and “knowing”. To know something means to understand it, store it somewhere in your brain and be able to recover it and use it when you need it. Knowledge is subjective – because we all have different processes of transforming our experiences and the information we are exposed to into a skill or ability. Education is one of the pathways to gaining knowledge – one of the easiest ones because it is literally handed to us on a plate in a formal setting with a bunch of experts (who have already been there and done that) waiting to serve up whatever we need.
So the big question is, how can you take your college experience to the next level?
1. Practice. There’s no substitute. You should constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to practice what you learn in class. This can include interning, but you can get as creative as you want. Try “virtual” projects and online communities for application and problem solving related to your field.
2. Engagement. Be involved with what you’re learning. Not all classes are fun, but find an aspect that is of interest to you and focus on that alone. Build your own interests and motivate yourself instead of waiting for your instructors to do so.
3. Organized Information. Higher ed isn’t easy. You will be subject to streams of information from all kinds of sources. Keeping yourself organized can go a long way towards staying ahead of yourself and others.
4. Curiosity. Never underestimate the power of curiosity – its what drives you to learn more. And be grateful that you are living in the age of innovation where curiosity doesn’t kill the cat but points it to google!
5. Flexibility. Be Flexible in your opinions, in your choice of subjects and especially in the people you interact with. Openness to new experiences is important for personal growth.
6. Observation. You don’t have to be Sherlock, but take off the blinkers! Observational skills aren’t innate, they can be acquired – and they contribute towards cognitive skills like problem solving.
7. Teaching. This is the best way to find out what you really know. If you’re not cut out for tutoring, then start writing! Writing things down is a great memory aid and a way of explaining things to yourself.
Ali Jan Qadir is passionate about art, food and fitness. He loves to shares things he has learned by experience. He is a contributor for http://www.thebest-mattress.org where he talks about the most common complaints about tempu pedic mattresses. If you want to learn more about him visit his twitter profile @alijanness.