Friday, February 5, 2016

When School got in the Way of my Learning

Have you ever experienced a moment, and now looking back you can remember every crisp detail? Locked in your memory is the exact way the light flooded into the room, or the song that was playing on the radio, or even the outfit you were wearing, down to your socks. One of these happened to me recently. I was driving to class, a green puffy jacket zipped uncomfortably close to my chin, blue nail polish dancing along the steering wheel (which eventually got picked off in a fit of stress), and my phone rang. My mom was giving me my weekly pep talk about how I could finish college, and I would. Once again though, that dreaded feeling was forming in my insides, and it was then that my realization came to me; school was getting in the way of my learning.

I consider myself a learner; a creative, hungry and passionate one, at that. Within months I mastered HTML code, scoured every book about photography, spent nights paging through a Final Cut Pro users manual, and scanned every blog post under the sun about creating a soundproof and consistently-lit studio. Through these trials, I’ve discovered that if I want to know something, I can teach it to myself. Lecture halls, clunky and outdated textbooks, and irrelevant courses to get my piece of paper, weren’t cutting it for me anymore. This was the moment that I realized, school and learning weren't synonymous to me, and learning didn't only have to take place in a classroom.

Do you remember the night before the first day of school? That dark twisting knot that, despite years of experiencing, still emerges like clockwork? That feeling never went away for me. It felt like I was choosing to drown, to suffer, to flail around under water with no lifeboat in sight. When every one around you is rooting for you, it’s damn-near impossible to tell them all that college, simply isn’t for you.

Things don’t, and won’t, go as you plan, and that is okay. Slowly but surely, I’m learning to keep my eyes focused on what is in front of me and lead a life worth living. Tell me, what do you want to do, not what do you do? I was there telling people what they wanted to hear, and here I am encouraging you to do what feels right within your being, and do what makes you wake up each morning filled with gusto!

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