July 14, 2020
As a student, you can read, listen to lectures, study, and even take notes — and still not receive the growth you hope for. Instead of gaining knowledge, you might find yourself simply going through the motions. However, there are ways you can improve by being intentional with your studies, and these changes will set you on the path to success!
1. Beware of educational starvation
Stephen W. Owen, the former Young Men General President, taught a parable of feeding hay to deer. A powerful snowfall trapped a herd of deer, cutting them off from their home where they found food. Brother Owen shared, “Some well-meaning people, in an effort to save the deer, dumped truckloads of hay around the area — it wasn’t what deer would normally eat, but they hoped it would at least get the deer through the winter. Sadly, most of the deer were later found dead.”1 The deer had eaten and felt full, but the hay gave them none of the nutrients they needed to survive. Yet they still went through the motions of eating the hay.
As a student, it’s important to ask yourself if you’re absorbing what you’re learning or if you’re just going through the motions. When you study, engage with the readings and lessons, strive to understand assignments by discussing them with others, and apply advice from your instructors. By doing this, you can avoid the danger of educational starvation.
2. Learn how to expand your mind
If you aren’t gaining as much as you would like from your courses, consider how you might push yourself to expand your knowledge or apply what you learn. President Russell M. Nelson taught, “Education is yours to obtain. No one else can gain it for you. Wherever you are, develop a deep desire to learn.”2
With all the effort, time, and money that you invest in education, you should always view it as a lasting investment in your future. Applying what you learn to your everyday life and using what you learn to help others are some of the ways to make your education more meaningful. As you do these things, you will be reminded why obtaining a degree or certificate is so important and receive continual motivation to get an education.
3. Make an active effort
One of the most significant ways you can avoid educational starvation is by making an active effort. By taking initiative, you can greatly improve your learning experience.
Some ways you can take initiative are by finding additional ways to learn; building meaningful relationships with your instructors, service missionaries, and peers; and knowing your resources. Another great way is remembering why you chose to pursue an education in the first place. Becoming invested in your education can increase your desire to be successful, and remembering your end goals can motivate you to get the most out of your learning!
Keep going and succeed!
Real success comes from the effort and determination you put toward your goals. As you give your best effort in your studies, you will stay well-nourished and continue on the path toward educational success!
How has your life been blessed by making an active effort in your education? Share below!