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To love to learn?

(17 Posts)
CottonEyedJoe Fri 06-Oct-17 23:28:11

I'm back at uni this week, and we've discussed Making A Murderer, the reliability of eyewitness statements, and Mexican drug cartels (including the likely outcomes of Trump's wall and the reasons why cartels aren't running amok in the U.K.). Amongst my favourite topics at uni over the past couple of years are hypnotism, optical illusions, your minds eye, and media influence on criminal justice (so ridiculously strong and important, and unrecognisable to the majority of the British public).

God, I bloody love learning. I'm hoping to win a scholarship so I can become a barrister; which means I'll compete my degree this year, but be studying for a further four years part time. I can't wait. My lectures actually get me pumped up and so happy and excited. It really does wonders for my mental health, and I can massively tell the difference when I'm on summer holidays etc. My mum says when I'm not learning, I'm like a world renowned artist with no paint blushgrin I come home and just read for hours once my DDs gone to bed because I love the subject I'm studying,

Granted, I'm 24 and most of my cohort are 20ish. But they're so bored with it all. It's all such a chore and they couldn't care less about what we're studying about. It makes for bloody boring seminars, but I understand it's up to us what we individually give/ take. But AIBU in thinking that learning is a gift (🧀) and we should be grateful for it?

Disclaimer: I volunteered in Africa a few years ago, where I worked with kids who walked 30 miles to school every day - before then I couldn't really give a shit about education; I could have achieved amazing grades but instead I did drugs, became homeless at 16 and was a general down and out. Went to volunteer in an African village for a few months and came back with a completely new outlook on life - went to college, uni etc with a 5 month old baby, became a single parent and put in (and am still putting in) 70+ hours a week to keep a roof over our heads whilst studying. So I could have some bias, and maybe the appreciation for learning just comes later, with life experience. Or maybe I'm just weird, and learning is always done with an end goal in sight, rather than enjoying the process.

But I reckon if I won a million pounds, I'd still crack on doing degree after degree. There's loads id love to learn about if I had the time/ money. What about you?

RangeTesKopeks Fri 06-Oct-17 23:34:54

YANBU! Absolutely agree with you.

I've just started volunteering with Citizens Advice, and it's similar to a degree in lots of ways, in that there's quite a bit of reading and work involved. It's given me a huge sense of purpose, and helped me regain some motivation and self-reliance as well smile

Good luck to you Cotton smile

CottonEyedJoe Fri 06-Oct-17 23:38:29

I've just started volunteering with Citizens Advice, and it's similar to a degree in lots of ways, in that there's quite a bit of reading and work involved. It's given me a huge sense of purpose, and helped me regain some motivation and self-reliance as well smile

Oh! I'd love to do this. I've used their services over the past year (abusive exP left me with lots of debt), and I just think they're brilliant. Also think it would be great experience whilst trying to get into law. How are you finding it, practically? Do you have to put a lot of hours in (I'm willing, but working and studying and a 2 year old makes free time sparse, but I'd happily find a few hours a week). Was it hard to get into?

Glad you're enjoying it. Massively inspired by your post, btw grin thank you.

TheSockGoblin Fri 06-Oct-17 23:38:56

Yep, I'm with you on the love of learning. I don't think it necessarily has to be a classroom thing though! Last formal education I was in was about 6 years ago, but since then I've done loads of personal projects researching and learning about things that interest me. Even turned that love of learning into a new career!

I just enjoy discovering new things. I'm always curious and when it comes to the mind and the brain I'm totally fascinated.

But I have noticed that there don't seem to be that many people about (outside of people I know who have gone into academics as a career) who seem to enjoy just learning about things for the sake of it.

I do wonder whether our modern educational system smacks the joys of learning out of people - but yes many don't understand how lucky they've been to get access to education.

theymademejoin Fri 06-Oct-17 23:46:25

It's students like you that make my job as a lecturer worthwhile. Often, most of the class are just going through the motions so it's just fantastic to get enthusiasm. I never mind the extra time and effort for good students.

I have a fantastic masters class this year and I just come out of the lecture on a high as they're all so keen and really into it. I have an undergraduate class that just saps every ounce of energy out of me.

CottonEyedJoe Fri 06-Oct-17 23:47:12

But I have noticed that there don't seem to be that many people about (outside of people I know who have gone into academics as a career) who seem to enjoy just learning about things for the sake of it.

I agree, but then I wonder if Mumsnet is the wrong place to ask as I frequent Mumsnet, over Facebook etc, because I learn so bloody much here. It's like the junk food version of learning grin

buckingfrolicks Fri 06-Oct-17 23:48:00

Totally with you.

All my life I’ve been a head-person. This summer my DP and I have built a massive 23m natural swimming pool. I mean we built it! By hand

It has been so brilliant to learn about mortar and plastering and sawing and Pond plants and just heaps of new stuff totally outside my normal groove. Plus I have builders arms now smile

CottonEyedJoe Fri 06-Oct-17 23:53:24

*It's students like you that make my job as a lecturer worthwhile. Often, most of the class are just going through the motions so it's just fantastic to get enthusiasm. I never mind the extra time and effort for good students.

I have a fantastic masters class this year and I just come out of the lecture on a high as they're all so keen and really into it. I have an undergraduate class that just saps every ounce of energy out of me.*

Actually, I've felt like a really shit student lately. Last year, I was coming out of an abusive relationship which brought on a ton of MH issues which meant I didn't go to uni for about 5 months. I still scraped a 2:1, but in my first year I got 80+. This is evidenced by letters from my GP/ police/ HV.

This year, I'm better MH wise (though still going through court cases etc), but I still can't make one of my lectures, because I have work that day. My work have said I can't change my hours, and I need to work to keep a roof over my little girls head. So I know my uni will be annoyed with me again soon, and I'm terrified about it tbh. I know it's never acceptable to miss uni regularly. But I reckon I'll get great grades, and am already doing tons of extra reading around the subject. I'll definitely get a first now my MH is better. I would never email and ask for help, as I know it's my own fault I'm not attending. But I can't physically be there for that day. Do you still think I'm a good student? Or would you be really angry?

Off topic I know, but as I have a lecturer to ask halo

CottonEyedJoe Fri 06-Oct-17 23:54:09

*Totally with you.

All my life I’ve been a head-person. This summer my DP and I have built a massive 23m natural swimming pool. I mean we built it! By hand

It has been so brilliant to learn about mortar and plastering and sawing and Pond plants and just heaps of new stuff totally outside my normal groove. Plus I have builders arms now smile*

How cool is that! I hope I meet a DP who loves to learn with me one day smile

theymademejoin Sat 07-Oct-17 00:01:03

Depends. If you came to me and explained the situation while also showing what you were doing in the subject to make up for what you were missing, then I would be happy to help you. If you ignored the situation and came to me at the last minute to ask about exams, not so much. Mind you, I do a lot of practical, active learning in class so it is much harder to do it on your own. That means, discussing and engaging with me if there are problems is really important.

theymademejoin Sat 07-Oct-17 00:02:16

Sorry - meant to say, go and discuss the situation with your lecturer. We know things can be complex, particularly for mature students.

CottonEyedJoe Sat 07-Oct-17 00:08:13

Theymademejoin, I would never ask for help in this situation - I understand that's completely out of line. I will go and approach someone. Do you think it's better to talk to my seminar lecturer, or the module leader? I suffer with pretty severe GAD, so these conversations are really stressful for me, but I definitely don't want to get chucked off the course. Please search my threads about the minds eye to see how fascinated I am on the subject I'm doing my dissertation on. And the module I'm missing is probably the most interesting of the whole three years. I'm gutted, and wish I could be there so so much. But I can't afford my rent without working, I can't find another job, and benefits/ student loan don't pay enough to pay it without working.

<sorry for the derail and I'm still interested to hear in people's opinions>

theymademejoin Sat 07-Oct-17 00:20:50

I'm not in the UK or the humanities so our set up is different. I am the only contact students have for my modules so I'm not sure how the structure works for you.

Even if you're not looking for help, go and explain your situation. I would talk to the module leader (I'm presuming he/she is the academic in charge and the seminar lecturer is a tutor of some type, maybe a PhD student?). The main thing is to ensure they know you are engaged even if circumstances prevent you doing it in the traditional way of attending lectures. I remember your thread on minds eye. Really interesting.

I don't know what GAD is. Is it some form of anxiety? There is loads of help in most universities for that and it's often free. Do try and avail of it.

BeALert Sat 07-Oct-17 03:10:58

It's great that you like learning.

Why do you want to be a barrister? If you love learning then maybe go into a career that will involve continued learning, in an industry that's constantly changing. I don't think law is really one of those industries.

I may be wrong - I'm not in law. I'm in digital marketing and web design which didn't even exist when I was at college. I am constantly learning new skills, programs, software etc.

Or research? Biology? IT?

junebirthdaygirl Sat 07-Oct-17 09:01:45

I love your post. Maybe students go into college too early and are more interested in a social life sometimes. I love learning but l find practical stuff difficult as l have a good head but learning to bake a cake was a chore for me. I find teaching a fabulous career as you are always helping others to learn.
But l had to use a barrister in a court and l was amazed how quickly he had to soak up the case..apply law to it..decide how to present and on to the next case. Up to 4 in one day. I was thinking l would have loved that. Keep going with your career.

GrandDesespoir Sat 07-Oct-17 19:30:15

It's nice to read about your enthusiasm for studying.

I just wanted to say, if you're writing your dissertation on the mind's eye, you do need to make sure that it has a possessive apostrophe. (As does master's degree!) Also, if you want to be a barrister precision of language is important for clarity.

Good luck with everything.

bridgetreilly Sat 07-Oct-17 19:46:59

Nothing wrong with wanting to keep learning. I'm doing my 4th degree and still loving it.

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