“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
For many people studying and education are just a phase of life, and not a really pleasant one. Everyone waits for school to be over, and then same with university. Education has become a mandatory thing, which automatically brings negative attitude for most people. Same was for me. I hated lessons at school, later at university, because I didn’t see a point of studying all that unnecessary bullshit. However, in a few months after the graduation I realized that I’d actually been a nerd all that time and that I really craved studying. I remembered all the times that I wanted to learn, but learn something else, something not from the “school list” or homework.
It was quite a turning point for me, as I realized that there’s so much that I don’t know in this world, so many different spheres. Even the things that I learned in school were cleared from my mind, just because at that time I thought it was unnecessary. But now I know, life is all about studying.
It doesn’t have to be a specific subject or sphere. You can study everything and everywhere, what you need is the right mindset. Don’t think that learning ends with school, college or university, it should go on for the rest of your life, because otherwise it’s just a huge regression. Our brain needs something new, it needs to learn, analyze, explore new areas, solve problems. Just like we train our body, we need to exercise our brain as well. People often think that they need lots of extra time and energy for that, while in reality it is a very easy and flexible process. Here are some ways that you can carry on learning and always being self-educated.
1. Courses. Doesn’t matter how old you are, what you do for life, what profession you have, going to courses is an excellent way of studying. You can find courses on various topics in universities or special educational institutions. If not, now is the glorious time of internet and everything online. There are lots of platforms, where you can learn every possible things, even foreign languages. And you can even find some free lectures or courses, if you don’t want to spend extra money on that. I personally know a few apps/sites for online education: coursera, udemy, centre of excellence. + you can collect certificates and add them to your CV, and you can make new friends and acquaintances.
2. Encyclopedia. When I graduated, I was really hooked on reading encyclopedias that included many many subjects: history, astronomy, geology, geography, biology, science, physics etc. Lots of the things I read I had already known before, but as I said, my brain decided to delete that information. Even now I can’t say that I know all the right terminology or events that happened in history, who invented what, lots of that information still gets forgotten through time. But it is really interesting and beneficial , because you’ll still remember at least 20-40% of what you read.
3. Glossary. Just like the previous one, this is such an easy way to learn something new every day, that doesn’t require much time or anything special. You can learn 5 new words of another language a day, or even words and expressions of your mother-tongue, because there are thousands of words that you definitely don’t know. And there are so many different glossaries out there-synonyms and antonyms, idioms, various terminology etc. All these will enrich your speech and lexicon.
4. Literature. Yes, literary fiction can also work as a teacher. Because with fiction you get to explore new worlds and times, you find new words and expressions, get acquainted with traditions of different cultures and nationalities, and it really broadens your worldview and mind. You can also learn poems by heart, just like we used to do in school. Learning something by heart, then repeating it over and over again and trying to remember it for as long as possible really improves your brainwork as well as your memory.
5. Crosswords and games. In older times people spent their free time by doing crosswords, alone or with the family. These are also an amazing and fun way to expand your knowledge of different spheres. Plus, there are many other types of crosswords, like sudoku, keywords, fill-words etc. and you can definitely find the type that you like the best.
6. Skills. Who said that learning new skills isn’t studying? Doesn’t matter what you choose, cooking/baking, painting, photography/videography, doing make-up or hairstyles, or any other craft, these are amazing skills that we’d all want to know. Now you don’t even have to find special lessons if you want to learn something, as internet is full of videos and articles about everything. So all you’ll need is internet and practice.
7. Movies. Last but not least, movies. That’s right, you can learn something from watching movies too. You can watch biographies, historic films or documentaries and learn about real life events and people. I really love biographies about writers of older times, and I found out about so many great writers and their books through movies. And even with fiction you can still learn a lot, especially if you watch fantasy, science-fiction, dramas, historic movies. There are lots of interesting things hidden in films, that you can research and explore later and add another little puzzle to your brain.
These all were just a few examples of how you can continue your self-education. I can also add going to libraries and read different books, both fiction and non-fiction, because in libraries you can find every possible book, just like in internet, only for free. These are all very simple, and can easily be added to your daily routines, without any extra efforts. Hopefully you’ll find something useful for you and will continue being students forever for your whole lives, because after all, that’s what life is for, learning, self-developing and exploring.