A couple years ago, I wrote a column that encouraged students to savour the moments with the people they meet in school, and I still encourage students to do just that. However, with a new school year soon upon us, I have some extra tips for students returning to learning institutions.
First of all, I recommend learning as much as you can from those who are teaching you. Yes, I am aware that is the goal in the classroom, but I am recommending students ask questions about the information they are being given, and maybe even talking to those teachers or professors after class to see if they can learn more or get clarity on something.
When I was in high school, I was the kind of student that didn’t always ask questions. However, when I got to college that changed, where I constantly used the office hours my professors made available to me, and I learned a lot from them. The cliché, which says, you are always learning in life, is true. You never know what you might learn by asking questions and form a connection with those teaching you.
While getting good grades is important, students should also remember that grades are not as important as what you learn and how you can apply it to the everyday world. The purpose of school is to prepare you for the real world, and when all is said and done, not many people are going to ask you what your grades were after you reach the end of your post-secondary education. Not as many are going to care much that you got an ‘A’ in math in one elementary school year. They will instead be looking for how you can apply what you learned into the workforce.
Of course, I am not saying don’t strive to have great grades. What I am saying is, be careful not to let people define you, and make sure you don't define yourself by their attitudes, but instead, by how much you learned about the subject in that one class, and maybe even by how much you learned about yourself.
This is where the previous tip comes into play, asking questions and learning as much as you can from each teacher. The main point here is to not just study up on the facts to get a good grade, but to try to gain a better understanding of them and what they can tell you about the world around you.
I wish all students who are going back to school good success.