Never stop learning

“I’m going to be in the library all weekend with the amount of homework I have.”  “It’s not even funny how much reading I have to do tonight.” “There is no way I’m getting this all done tonight.”

We’ve all been there. Syllabus week has ended and we are faced with the facts that: (1) going to bed at 2 a.m. and waking up at 2 p.m. was not a good sleep schedule to keep during winter break, (2) when you are told to do something in college, you can’t brush it off until the last minute like the chores list your parents gave you the last three weeks and (3) syllabus week is fun, but what is hard is reminding yourself that you have to get down to business (brace yourself, the hit “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from Mulan will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day).

While it is hard to get back into the swing of the daily college life of homework, homework and more homework, I can’t help but feel grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Don’t get me wrong, like everyone else on this campus I have struggled with bad TAs that make me want to skip Friday morning discussions, I haven’t done all the readings of a textbook chapter before lecture and I most definitely don’t have a smile on my face when I sit down in a 7 a.m. power lecture.

Can’t quite decide what kind of student I am (believe me, I can be very excited when discussing the direction of the television industry or the past 200 years of literature)? Or better question, can’t quite decide the point that I am making right now? I’ll break it down a little more for you.

There comes a point when you realize that you won’t ever be tested again on the rules of the Pythagorean Theorem and that you won’t have to ever memorize another quote from Shakespeare, but you still become appreciative of the fact that you know those little things. Because at least you are learning something.

To learn is to “gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in [something] by study, experience, or being taught” (according to dictionary.com, I was never taught the official definition of the word in school). And I believe that in this day and age we are so focused on jumping from one building block to another, the next chapter, the next unit, the next class, that we forget the importance of the material in front of our faces at this very moment. We are taught that if it isn’t on the test, we don’t have to know it and that once we are tested on the material we can forget it. This shouldn’t be the case.

Perhaps you are just getting into the groove of picking up a pencil or staring at a book for three hours at a time, but instead of thinking about what you are going to do once you finish the homework, finish the semester or finish college, sit back and remember that education is a privilege. I’m not saying that you have to fall in love with the words of Machiavelli or do the extra test questions in your calculus book, but just slow down from moving on to the next chapter in the book of life, and make sure you read the footnotes at the bottom.

Lilly is a sophomore majoring in journalism and communication arts. Please send all comments, questions and concerns to opinion@dailycardinal.com

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