The Most Important Thing You Learn in College

THE SPECTRUM STAFF Erik Jonasson II Some people learn best from hours of studying; some need to be told once.
THE SPECTRUM STAFF | Erik Jonasson II
Some people learn best from hours of studying, some need to be told once.

I have learned a lot during college, like what learning is.

Don’t let exams fool you. Regurgitation is not learning a topic. Cramming for an exam is not what learning actually is. Understanding what a topic is and knowing how to apply it is how you learn.

I have seen far too many people sit back and puke information on an exam they learned last night. Their brain is simply trying to puke it out so they can forget it tomorrow.

This isn’t how you learn. This is how to pass an exam, not how you actually master a topic.

An important part of learning is learning how you learn best.

Anyone can spit up a review sheet onto an exam. Can you actually apply this? Can you remember this for the final? These are questions you must ask for your classes.

There isn’t a required class in high school or university that actually helps you find this out. Rather learning how you learn best is your job. It is a job that is hard and requires time.

Do not compare yourself to others as well. Your ability to learn may be different. You may need more time to learn something compared to your peer. That is ok.

This is a special time in the semester. The dreaded midterm. We are in the middle of our classes and in some cases we need to figure out if we should stay in all of our classes.

Remember, it is ok to drop a class. Experiencing failure, though, is worthless unless you change something. Change your workload at your job. Possibly take up a more in-depth study regimen. Talk to your professors.

North Dakota State has some amazing professors willing to talk to you. There are some amazing advisors here. Use every resource you have. Think critically about your future and make plans that are best for you.

In my classes, it is hard to see people experience failure. It is hard to see people down on themselves. Coming from someone who has failed exams in college I can promise you these methods work.

Remember your success depends on you. Learn how you personally learn best. This might require you to work in a group; maybe you work better alone. Everyone is unique. That is ok. It is ok if you learn a topic a different way than your friend.

Don’t envy. Know that everyone has something going on. People work hard to succeed; don’t expect anything easy. Know your work isn’t in vain. Working your hardest and learning will never be bad for you. As midterms come and go, make sure that you learn these things instead of just going over old exams and cram.

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