“Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts. Some of you like Pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read.” – Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa had a point. The standardized educational system often limits people’s imagination and will for learning. If you want to break the boundaries and surpass mediocrity, you may just have to get out of that system, and self-education is the way to do it. Here are the most important reasons to start investigating your own interests without any postponements:
1. There Are No Grades
You will be the judge for your own accomplishments. There will be no standardized tests and subjective grades on papers that don’t awaken your interest. You will learn for the purpose of learning. When the pressure of a grade goes away, you will be amazed by your genuine motivation for self-development.
2. Self-Education Fulfills You
When you realize that you’re making real efforts to fulfill your own dreams, you’ll feel like a complete person. Have you noticed the enthusiasm in the eyes of people who are doing what they love? That’s what self-education does – it gives you inner satisfaction and certainty in all decisions you make.
3. No One Can Take Your Knowledge Away
Sometimes college and university professors are the greatest demotivators. They give you low grades on projects, even though you tried your best to meet their requirements and made sure to conduct an in-depth research. It’s like they are underestimating your efforts. When you are learning what you want to learn, you will be the only person in charge of the projects and lectures relevant to your interests.
4. You Will Discover New Opportunities
College does prepare you for a professional career. However, you can’t expect to get the job of your dreams just because you have a degree. Do you know what makes certain graduates more successful than others? Their practical skills and the knowledge they have gained outside the classroom. When you consider learning to be a lifetime activity, you’ll keep discovering new opportunities as you expand beyond the boundaries of traditional education.
5. There Are No Limits You Can’t Push
When you start investing time and effort in self-education, you’ll realize that there is no end to that journey. As soon as you discover the things you want to know, you’ll start wondering about something else, and that will raise other questions. That’s the whole beauty of learning without being limited by textbooks and a standardized system – you never stop wondering. Your perspective of impossible will shift and you’ll understand that the capacity of your mind is much greater than you ever imagined.
6. You’ll Adapt To The Ever-changing World
In other words, you’ll always stay relevant. Your current skills and knowledge can easily become obsolete when the next generations graduate. Thus, success in any profession is intertwined with self-development. Make sure to learn new techniques and skills if you want to make progress in your career.
7. Self-Education Makes You A More Interesting Person
There are two types of people in a conversation: those who have nothing to say and those who can always think of fun facts that amuse everyone around. Which one are you going to be? The more information you know and the more areas you explore – the more interesting you become. Don’t stop seeking out new challenges; they will add more depth and appeal to your character.
Tips For Effective Self-Education
Now that you have enough reasons to start learning for your personal satisfaction, it’s time for the main question: how? Do you just take a book from the library and start memorizing information? No; you research without any limitations! These tips will help you get on the right track:
Search for online courses
Popular platforms like Udemy, edX, Coursera and Open University enable you to find a great course on any subject of your interest. If your school doesn’t provide a high-quality course you would really like to attend, then you can easily fill in that gap through an online course. Don’t limit yourself to the most popular platforms, though; the point of self-education is to discover unexpected sources of knowledge. Explore the great base of free online courses and tutorials that will make you a devoted learner.
Find hidden gems on YouTube
This website is mainly a source of cat videos and great music, but that’s not all you can find in there. YouTube videos are a great way to stay updated on the topics you’re interested in, so search for the experts from the relevant niche and follow them!
Great literature is a much better teacher than a dry textbook. For example, Tolstoy’s War and Peace will tell you a lot more about the Napoleonic Wars than any history book, and Orwell’s 1984 will give you valuable hints on how totalitarian societies function. Read great books and you’ll continuously discover new interests. Then, explore those interests through relevant sources of knowledge.
Make time for learning!
Many people commit to self-education in their free time. That’s not the right approach to take. Make sure to create a schedule and learn something new every single day. When education becomes your habit, you’ll notice that you’re achieving real results.
Listen to educational podcasts
Did you know that the iTunes directory contains valuable educational podcasts? If you want to make the most of your time, listen to podcasts on the subjects of your interest. Thanks to these materials, you can stay productive even when you’re stuck in traffic. A great podcast can turn your mediocre day into a memorable learning experience.
The most important thing you need to remember is that there are no goals you can’t achieve if you’re committed enough to self-education. The bases of knowledge are continuously evolving, so you should never stop learning no matter how much you think you know. This will be a lifetime journey that will offer one new experience after another.
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