I came across a wonderful blog post written by a very insightful college student the other day, and I wanted to share it with you. In her post, she talks about the response students often give to the age-old question, “How is school going?” This is something I’m sure all of you have been asked at one time or another by your parents and relatives. What’s your typical response?
Like most students, you probably say, “It’s okay.” or “Fine.” But what if you were to really think about it? Do you have any idea why you give such an off the cuff answer? If you were to think about your favoite class, what would you say? Hopefullly, you would have more to say than just, “Okay.” and “Fine.”
College is so much different than high school. It’s a time to pursue the education you want, rather than the education your state requires or your parents force you to get. While there are still certain requirements you must meet in order to receive your diploma, college is a time that you can really go after your own interests. Even among the required coursework, there is usually some room to decide amongst different categories, and you can always choose your electives. There are many ways to enjoy your classes and to get more out of them.
Get to know your classmates and your professor by talking and asking questions in class. You’re bound to enjoy the material more if you’re participating in the discussion. If something interests you, say so. Let your instructor know you’d like to hear more about the subject. Tell a classmate so if they’ve made a good point or if you disagree with what they’ve said. Classroom discussion allows for deeper learning to occur.
Make It Personal
One of the reasons your learning experience is enhanced by involvement is because the material becomes more meaningful to you. You’ve put yourself in the conversation rather than just being a passive receptacle taking in information. You can make your learning even more personal to you by sharing experiences you’ve had that relate to the material or by incorporating the lesson into your own life in some way. Think of ways you can use the information to improve your life and search for ways you can relate. Doing so will also help you to remember what you’ve learned.
In the above referenced blog post, the author,Bobbie Ehrhardt, talks of her intention to encourage others around her to enjoy learning. You can do the same. Don’t be afraid to let someone know you got something out of what they had to say. Thank your professor for introducing you to a fascinating new concept. You never know what may result. a positive outlook on your learning experience and expressing it to others will reinforce the interesting aspects of learning for yourself and those around you.
What can you do to enhance your learning? Are you doing these things already? What do you like about college as opposed to high school? Please let me know in the comments!