Manila, Philippines

Missing the Old Learning Attitude: Self-Study vs Post-Grad

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Almost four years out from college, I miss my learning attitude, that certain passion to understand and comprehend the new things and lessons that our courses are giving us. Almost four years out from college, I’m starting to miss studying.
Not really to improve my credentials, or to get a pay hike and improve my marketability, or to add a PhD or MA after my surname. If ever, these shall be secondary incentives for me. I miss studying per se primarily because I miss my old self,  the young passionate learner. The learning attitude. Very teachable. Subjected to many instances wherein we are taught and handed down with new alien concepts and ideas, and that we struggle, attempt (and hopefully succeed) to grasp, to comprehend, to master and to own these ideas and concepts.
I said to myself and friends that I don’t have plans of pursuing formal further studies in graduate schools (unless of course I get a scholarship and allowance), but still I want to revive that old self of mine. Seeing students and part-time students studying and reading articles in MRT or in shuttle vans somehow make me envious. Of their drive and dedication, not just to read, but to learn.

I am not saying that I do not learn from my work right now. Yes, I do learn and try to master my responsibilities and job designations daily. But I guess I’m missing the old setting wherein we have sit down discussions, classroom settings, readings etc. Not the work-and-learn-along-the-way setting.  At work, you’re really not given much opportunity to learn and be taught in a structured setting since you’re there to work. You’re boss wants you to do a great job and at the same time learn. You’re very much responsible for your learning basically. Learning should be second nature. Whereas in school, the primary objective is really to learn, and that’s what school mentors are trying to do. They are partly responsible that you learn.

I guess the conscious effort to learn while working is pretty tiring, since you’re doing a lot of things and tend to miss the bigger picture, the learning points. At school, the atmosphere is really academic, everyone is attempting to learn, everyone is teachable. At school, everyone is wearing the learning hat, even the part-time students. At work, we have to wear lots of hats as a boss, as a manager, as key resource, as an employee, and as a student. And in the hullabaloo of things, we tend to forget wearing the last hat. School learning is very structured. Learning after school is very spontaneous. At least it has to be.

To settle this issue which I had previously encountered years ago actually, I said to my self back then that I will study on my own on stocks, other investments, economics and finance, and possible business ventures. But when there are opportunities to do so, I find my self already tired from work, that I do not have the energy and time left to study on my own. Why is this so? I think the former students are more committed and at the same time pressured to study, else they will fail the course. Whereas the self-study, I only have me to pressure my self, and I that I will not fail in any course, but will fail on attaining my personal goals. And will fail by wasting my time. But basically no bad record. Purely personal accountability. No reputational and financial risk involved.

See, I’m torn. I want to study, but not in a school (and I don’t want to pay for my tuition!). I envy people who study on the go, but I’m too tired (and lazy) to study once more. That is why I miss my learning attitude. And I need to get back on track soon.

PS. I don’t miss homeworks and thesis papers though. That’s for sure. I just want to learn but no extra efforts and activities and requirements along with it as much as possible. Learn on my own, at my own pace, and have real life situations as my exams and assessments.

PSS. When we stop learning, we stop growing. Scary. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Scary too! 

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