Learning How to Learn

One more week stands between me and the finalization of my third year of college.

While I’m not the largest fan of school– memorizing facts to regurgitate on an exam and not getting more than five hours of sleep every night– this was the year I learned the most and grew the most.

Back in August, I thought I knew everything. I thought I was a hot-shot. After getting a C on my first reporting project, I got a nice reality check.

Throughout the year, I learned how to report, produce, work in a team to create a multimedia package for a professional news outlet, analyze online audiences in order to create content that would fit best with those audiences, how to figure my way around a legal case should I need to in the future, and so much more.

Outside of the classroom, I grew as  woman, professional journalist and friend. It’s cliché, but I am a new person after this year. A lot happened, time flew and I learned to roll with the punches.


The thing about learning, though, is that everyone does it differently. I learn best by doing things. Putting them together, working on a project, talking to people–  having something other than a paper with red ink to show at the end of that learning period.

Some people learn best by memorizing, thinking of pneumonic devices to recall information and being tested on that information.

That makes me feel like this:crying

It could be my lack of experience or knowledge on the subject, but I just do not understand how after sitting in class listening to one person lecture for 20 hours, collecting pages of notes with tons of information just to not have to know half of that information for an exam is an effective way of learning.

Why will I ever need to know what persona Benjamin Franklin used when he assumed the role of editor at the New England Courant? (The answer is Janus, by the way).

Sure, it’s one extra “fun fact,” to have in my back pocket, but I didn’t need to waste 10 minutes of my time talking about that when I could have been working on producing a video that thousands of people could watch and connect with.

Don’t get me wrong, discussions in lecture settings are beneficial. They stimulate conversation and help immerse us (the students) in the class material. But throwing a test on the end of that to really ‘test’ if we were paying attention or coming to class isn’t the best way to find out if we invested time in that class.

Bottom line: I go to class, I engage in class discussion, I pay attention. But throw an exam in front of me asking me about the little details and I’m screwed. Test taking isn’t a strength for me or a lot of students in the education system, but it doesn’t mean we’re not engaging students.

Even though I’m frustrated about this, though, it’s one more thing I’ve learned.

Now, the challenge is learning how to play the game of the test. It’s how to study so it doesn’t make me feel like a hangry infant.

The challenge is figuring out how to learn in a different way to be successful…

And find a job.


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