By this point, most of us have been in education for years. We’ve cruised our way through the earlier years, we’ve passed exams that seemed like the end of the world at the time but compared to GCSE’s and A-Levels are practically nothing, and we’ve tried our hand at essay writing – successfully or otherwise. But if you’re here, you’ve probably got some time to go so here are some parting wisdom on how to make the most out of your education.
Focus on your passion, not your grades.
This couldn’t be more important. If you start to focus on your grades as opposed to whether or not you enjoy the subject, you’ll lose interest. Grades are letters or numbers, passion is heart. Find something about the history course that’s interesting to you, try and wrap your head around that maths equation that bothers you and wonder how on earth the human brain can mix numbers and the alphabet and still make sense of it, and enjoy that oil painting no matter how much it smells.
Don’t be put off by failure.
This is the downfall of so many students. Just like focusing on your grades, worrying about failing can raise stress levels. Failures happen, it’s how we learn and it’s not something that we should be afraid of. If you feel like you’re close to failing something important, speak to a teacher or a mentor who might be able to help you. But most importantly breathe, and remember that even the greatest academics have failed at some point in their life.
Unless you’re one of the very few lucky ones who can skim read a book and remember every word, you have to be proactive in your learning. If you learn best by reading, try making shorthand notes and come back to them later to work out what you’ve written. If you’re learning a common subject, think about looking for a YouTube video or an online activity that can get you doing something.
Work out your learning style, and take full advantage of it. If that does end up being reading, then read but make sure you concentrate. Ask questions to yourself as you go, make the information stick. You won’t learn by staring at words that aren’t truly going in.
Take care of yourself.
This is so important, but so badly overlooked. Taking care of yourself is a very important part of making the most of your education. If you’re tired, undernourished and generally feeling bad, then you’re learning won’t be on top form either. You have to feel good within yourself and be happy and healthy to truly take on the information you need to know. If that means taking that hour-long break to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones, then so be it. You’ll know what you need more than anyone else will, just be careful not to procrastinate too much and end up stressing yourself out even more.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling or feel like you’re not making the most of your experience, you won’t be alone. There’ll be other people going through the exact same thing, and it’s likely that they’ll know plenty of ways to work around it. If they don’t? Show them this article and support each other through it.