Getting psyched, and even addicted to, your own education is too much fun. The problem with the traditional route in the schooling system is that, although maybe not “intentionally”, the system turns us off of school. Please calm down...this doesn’t mean everybody. Of course you have your circle lens glasses dorks, your math whizzes that live in the library, and the teachers pet that lives on that leash. But the majority, they just can’t wait to get that piece of paper and move on...in all the different levels of schooling. But what happens when we get to that last stage and then stop learning? And again, yes we this isn’t TOTALLY true. I’m focusing on the ACTIVE LEARNING though. This includes enrolling in classes, attending workshops and seminars, and diving into book after book. It’s probably pretty safe to say this doesn’t USUALLY continue to happen after “graduating”.
Why is studying dreaded though? Why isn’t it cool to be in a study group...and not one forced upon students by their teachers coercing with extra credit points to make up for that bombed test. It’s really just the structure from the beginning. It’s programmed into us and our system builds up these automatic thoughts and emotions whenever the subject is around. We dread having to sit on the bench if we don’t pass that test, or having to give up an evening doing what we want to finish up a book report, or the worst...feeling the wrath of the rents if a C shows up on a report card...no less a D. All this pressure, test taking, forced learning, and poorly designed processes make schooling just create emotions of fear and anxiety, while it should be inspiring growth and development.
But there are some very negative consequences when we stop actively learning. We begin to lose our edge first of all. If your brain isn’t being stimulated and challenged, how do you expect to stay on top? Many people also begin to feel stagnant. The goals that come with learning aren’t there so getting lost is easy. But the two worst things that could happen are: We stop investing in ourselves and begin wasting time on bullshit. The combination here means we are no longer building upon ourselves, and at the same time are doing things that actively break us down. Doesn’t seem like a very good combo.
So what am I trying to say here? Great question. But I do know that being a nerd needs to be the “new cool thing”. And not just the 12 year old with oddly arranged clothing, hilariously misfit glasses, and straight A’s on his report cars. It’s time for everyone to find that nerdy side of them. Getting passionate about subjects and then making moves to get exposed to and learn about them is an amazing experience. Maybe it just needs to be made a little easier? Or maybe we just need to restructure the entire educational system beginning when kids are 5 years old up until the age of 22 when graduating college so that then their young adult, then adult, then senior citizen, and then grandparent lives can be filled with educational enrichment and productivity? Hmmmmmmmm