Learning is a lifelong pursuit. We start learning at birth, and it should never, ever stop. Discovering new things in the world can be so exciting when we’re young, but as we grow older, it can be easy to forget that excitement amid all the studying and exams.
Learning can be so much fun! Don’t believe me? Here are five of the best parts of learning something new.
Curiosity And Discovery
Have you ever been walking down the street on a rainy day, seen a snail, and wondered if they really melt when you pour salt on them, like on TV? I know you have.
One of the great things about learning is stumbling upon something you don’t understand or have always wondered about. Like learning genius ways to use everyday objects, this curiosity has been an integral part of human history, so embrace it! I did, and found a book at the library that explained that when you pour salt on a snail, water is being quickly YANKED out of their body cells through osmosis. The poor snail’s body fights back as it dries out by releasing a slimy substance to protect itself. That weird bubbling comes from that slime and air being forced out of its body as it dies slowly and probably very painfully. Cool!
Try It IRL (In Real Life)
It’s always satisfying to learn something in school, then find a way to apply it to your real life. For example, I took French all throughout high school, despite everyone telling me that I’d never have a reason to use it. Then, in one of my college English courses, we were given an assignment to read a book and compare it to the movie adaptation. That made me appreciate the work involved in what would be memorizing dozens of flashcards as an ESL student. Looking over the list, none of the titles interested me…until I found one of my favorite stories, Thérèse Desqueyroux (don’t worry about it)! I read the book, watched the movie (entirely in French with no subtitles, mais oui), and turned in a great project. It felt great to dust off that knowledge and put it to good use!
Impress Your Friends!
Maybe you’re playing Trivial Pursuit (people still play that, right?) or some trivia board game with your friends at a game night. Your team gets some far-out question like: “Which French sculptor created the Statue of Liberty?”
Yes, again with the French.
All your teammates groan. But you stay calm, cool, and collected, maybe with a little crooked smile on your face. Why? Because you know the answer! One of the best things about learning is—yeah—showing exactly how smart you are. If you’ve got it, show it off! Let ’em know!
Oh, the answer is Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, by the way. Anyway…
Teaching Someone Else
Passing knowledge on to someone else is one of the most humbling things in the world. If you have young relatives, work with kids, or even know someone who also loves to learn, you can share interesting facts and discuss controversial topics with them. They’ll be grateful for the new information, and you’ll feel smarter for having shared it. It’s a win-win!
Stand And Admire
Do you ever look through your old tests and essays from school and think, “Wow, I did that?” Chances are, you did something worth being proud of in the past, and it’s always great to look back and see how good you were! I recently found an old college essay that was so good that my professor thought it was plagiarized (it wasn’t). That’s skill, baby. Skill.
One could say that learning is a journey. Travel broadens the mind. You start off in one place, and as you learn, doors begin to open. Then, you get the opportunity to learn even more things and open even more doors! It never ends! This reminds me of a wonderful piece of wisdom handed down to me by the great Dr. Seuss. He told me:
“The more you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Smart man. Enough said.