Five Tips to Help You Learn to Love Learning
Learning in school is more than memorizing dates, formulas, and equations. Learning is essential to cognitive development, improving skill sets, and developing new skill sets that will benefit college and career paths. Learning can cultivate a sense of pride and accomplishment, which can boost our self-esteem. Everything we observe is an opportunity for learning, which is why learning helps us perceive the world. Below are five tips that can help you learn to love learning!
1. Stay Focused in Class
While it may sound cliché, staying focused in class is one of the best ways to cultivate interest in a subject. Some subjects may interst you more than others, but being attentive will ensure that you are taking in the course material.
Find yourself having difficulty focusing? Try taking notes. Use colorful pens, drawings, or anything that will help you remember subject material better. Get quality sleep (at least 7-9 hours), eat a filling breakfast, and bring an afternoon snack to ensure that you will be able to focus in class throughout the entire day.
2. Ask Questions
If you do not understand a concept that your teacher is explaining, ask them to explain it in a different way so that you can understand it. Odds are, someone else in the classroom is having difficulty understanding it as well!
Asking questions helps you acquire knowledge, eliminate confusion, solve problems, and stimulate creativity. Not to mention, asking questions will let your teacher know that you are genuinely interested in understanding the concept they are teaching. Remember, there are no bad questions. Every question you have is worth asking the teacher, who is trained in the material they are teaching. The more we question, the clearer the answers become.
Do not settle for being confused on a topic, which will hurt you in the end. Questioning not only provides clarity, but eases any stress about a perplexing topic. Do not feel embarrassed about asking questions! Your classmates will thank you for it. However, if you feel more comfortable asking questions about the topic outside of class, set up a time with your teacher to discuss the concepts you have questions about.
3. Join Clubs and Activities that Interest You
There are several benefits for joining clubs in high school! Learning more about subjects you are interested in is crucial to deciding future career paths. Joining clubs will also help you meet new people and develop friendships with others that are interested in similar topics. You will be able to develop teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills that will benefit you in future academic and career paths.
Not to mention, playing a part in various clubs looks great on college applications! Colleges are looking for students who are active in their schools. Getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things is a skill set that colleges will find attractive on your college applications and essays.
You may feel that the subjects you are interested in are not “club” material. However, many schools provide dozens of clubs for a variety of different subjects. Interested in other languages or cultures? Check if your school offers a Spanish, French, Chinese, or Polynesian club. Do you enjoy cooking, babysitting, or creating projects? Nearly every high school has a FCCLA club that could be right for you. Do you prefer to spend your time outdoors? Look for hiking, mountain biking, or skiing clubs. Interested in video game development? See if your school has a computer technology club, anime, or even a Super Smash Brothers club (offered at Cottonwood High School)! There are plenty of clubs that will cultivate a fun learning environment. If you are interested in starting your own club, talk to a teacher or administrator.
4. Get Out, Explore, and Experiment
If you find yourself interested in learning more about certain subjects, put yourself out there and explore the field. If you’re interested in science, ask your teachers about experiments that they would be willing to do in class, or that you could even do at home. If engineering looks like a prospective field, design your own projects that you can implement and show off for future college applications and job resumes.
You may be interested in a particular career path. If so, call a local company and ask if you can job shadow someone in that profession. If you are not sure of what careers you are interested in, try job shadowing several people and companies! You are bound to find something that interests you. No matter the subject, exploring and experimenting will help you learn more about the fields you’re interested in.
5. Stop and Smell the Roses
Every day, you are learning several new concepts and ideas, whether it is from school, extracurricular activities, or home. Because our brains take in so much knowledge every single day, it is important to reflect on what we have learned. To do this, you may find a quiet area or turn on soft music, and contemplate the material you have come across. Draw sketches, share with your parents, or write in a journal that will help you reflect on the important things you have learned. By making a habit of reflection, you will be able to better remember subject material, help others with the subject, and perpetuate awareness of the subjects you hope to understand more fully.
Remember: Everything is an opportunity for learning.