student of life.

Learning can become tedious to any student, particularly in high school. Why? A high school student has minimal autonomy but growing maturity. They have interests that seem better than the classroom, and they aren’t paying to learn about biology or physics or art. They are placed, for four years, in a building filled with others who are also placed there, and it can become monotonous.

I’m not writing this to discourage parents from sending their children to high school — I’m writing it to emphasize a point. When forced to learn, we don’t like to learn. I’m a senior this year, which means I have a bit more choice in the matter of what I can study and with whom. I get a little more freedom to explore my passions.

I’m a firm believer in the phrase “student of life,” as I’m sure you can see by scrolling through a few of my posts (which I highly recommend you do). When I find myself uninspired, I usually try to learn something new! I like to uncover new ideas about lifestyles, skills, and passions.

Feeling like life is a bit mundane? Sometimes, what we need is a little perspective change. Pick up a book or listen to a podcast about a new way of living you’ve never tried. Try it out for a day or week or month. Even if you don’t stick with it, it’s a fun way to see how it affects you and why other people might do it.

Needing a challenge? There are so many exciting new things to try! See what sorts of new skills you can adopt. Pick something. I’ve tried knitting (in several forms), duct tape art, robotics, kickboxing . . . none of them worked for me, but I had fun trying them! And what’s more, trying new skills gave me a little background knowledge so that when I do run into someone who enjoys those certain activities, I have a little “Rolodex” of information ready.

Simply want inspiration? The internet is a beautiful place. You can find inspiration for your own passions on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, and so much more. You can create playlists of new music or look through curated blog posts to find the spark you’re searching for. What usually gets my creativity flowing is reading a bit, going outside, sipping a cup of tea, and sitting down to clear my head with a little meditation.

You see, being a student of life takes a lot of self-discipline. It can be boring to sift through things that don’t interest us, or trying something new can be difficult or inconvenient. That being said, there’s also something about “studying life” that is so much more rewarding than a classroom setting. It’s a taste of what’s out there: it’s a way to connect to new people, places, ideas, beliefs, and concepts.

I love school, and I’m going to pursue a mastery level education, but I’m encouraging you today to explore something out of your comfort zone. Google “lifestyle” and pick one to try. Or “skill” and do the same, for a little bit, at least. Embrace your Hermione Granger and read all the books! Happy studying.

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