deconstructing Learning

I started the idea of this blog second semester of my freshman year in college; some semesters later, graduation time calls and the question is, do I have anything to say about college life/experience/insight.

Because I’ve forgotten most of what I learned freshman year (get the point?) and some semester after that, I think I’ve even forgotten most of what I was taught last and this past semester–after all, I got good grades.

Education is one of the options. I have noted severally that Western education forces [most of] us into a box and a pattern of learning that our brains might not be tuned for. Schools assume we learn the same way, would know the same thing, should know the same thing and understand and ultimately apply the same way (with slight exceptions)…Here are some of my miscellaneous ideas on college (university) life. (Listed in no particular order of importance)

If you had the chance, what would you change about your college life?
During orientation, the leader made an important remark: “don’t just pass through the school, let the school pass through you.” The only way I interpreted this then was: read and get as much good grades as you can, don’t leave school without those top-notch grades because without them, you are a success.I would definitely change my perception of that.

I would definitely be more involved in college extra-curricular activities, and some more. There is a trade off. I didn’t start getting involved in campus activities till my senior yet (which I painfully learned, was too late)–joining those clubs, meeting people, involving in community service, travel abroad (if affordable) and all those non-grade related activities.

i found that obsession with grades and grades alone has one ‘just’ passing through college; the experience that is gotten through the people relation is a skill that no college course would match. If I had the chance, I would learn more of these, point? Be actively involved in campus activities.

You said “trade off”, what is that?
You exist as one entity and usually mer mortals like me can only do one thing at a time; getting involved in campus activity might take away time that could be used for studying or better put, studying could suffer. it is up to anyone to decide how to balance (all nighters?) or settle for a lesser grade. In my case, I tried understanding priorities and made trade off respectively, it is case dependent. Sometimes settling for a lesser grade does it, sometimes getting hyped on energy drinks (drugs?) does it, sometimes just not getting involved at all those it, I don’t recommend not getting involved at all, I can’t stress it enough.

Wait…did I hear you mention drugs …?
Abusing drugs is bad, very bad and I wouldn’t mention it. Yes I did. I’m referring to some drugs that help you ‘cheat’ sleep–caffeine. To be honest, I wasn’t referring to caffeine. There gets to the point where caffeine just doesn’t do it and there comes in a drug my friend told me about (usually prescribed for people with ADHD). She told me i not only successfully helps you skip sleep, it helps you focus. I really had to enquire being curious how this girl could start and finish pages of paper overnight. I never used it and if you’re curious, google ‘provigil’. Perhaps you can convince your doctor to prescribe it to you (I’ve heard making up stories does it) or you can ‘hawk’ it, all at your expense.

Do you think you’ve amassed knowledge attending college?
Yes, academically and socially. The question might follow, “can these knowledge be acquired alternatively?” A big yes! Especially the academic part, and maybe faster. Considering that we are thought collectively, everyone learning at different paces, there will generally be a fallback or rush and this again makes the point for the oddness of school assuming we all learn equally.

What was you favorite thing about college?
Freebies! From free fun to free food, free events to free people, take advantage of them all. When one steps out of the college life, you are expected to pay for stuff or the pursuit of freebies might just be too stressful. Plus, people are very understanding when you say: “I’m a student.” Or when there is the readily available excuse: “…because of school”. Now, post-college, everyone expects you to accept responsibilities. Free food is just my favorite

What about your academic favorite?
The best class i took in college was in my sophomore year: Java 1 & 2 and Software Engineering taught by Joseph Kazpryzk (My favorite professor) and Public Finance. And honestly, I’ve forgotten most of the several courses I took. Think about that…I have forgotten most of the course i took in college, so what’s the point?

So, what do you think is the point of college?
Not necessarily about the grades; I can’t emphasize enough but about the progressive knowledge. If someone mentions ‘Capitalist Development Theories’ I wouldn’t be blank or in the remote chance I would have to use that accumulated knowledge in real world, I have something to build on.

Most classes I took applied in some form to an application even Calculus, yes, calculus. They all shape you thinking, or to put different expand the brain’s possibilities and I should add, take tough classes, classes that challenge your norm (perhaps ignoring grades)

How can one be successful in college?
If your definition of success is high grades, the only way is study smart. For this, keep in mind that the means doesn’t matter, only the end those; use every justifiable way to get the grades you want. If success means a holistic learning (not just academic), then, network as much as possible. How? Join as much campus activity as possible, I’ve probably said this already but can’t say it well enough. There is no shortcut to success, study, work hard.

While professors will try to reach you what they know, one has to do much learning him/her-self. Read, and read.

What’s Next?
That’s the usual question when one graduates and my answer: like the Persuasions sang: “Anyway the wind blows, it’s fine with me.” Getting a degree is just a small stepping stone in my learning and development. Learning is continuous.

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