Learn To Challenge Yourself

Learning, Education and Life

Who among you says, "I want to be stupid?" It's taken me a long time to get this through my head.

Going to school doesn't make me intelligent. Going to church doesn't make me godly. Reading a book does not change my thinking patterns. I won't learn anything unless I want to learn, even from the most worthwhile book or the most worthwhile class.

This is my 7th year in college; I've jumped back and forth between 3 career paths.

I started in Medical Technology, here in CEU, and as I sat in class, my mind was a million miles away. I didn't like chemistry and my teacher was a hard one.

After 4 semesters, I transferred at FEU and took up BSTourism. Still, after doing this, I felt that everything was still not in the right place. So I dropped out again. Then I enrolled back in CEU, and took ABMasscom for one semester then I shifted again to BSTourism.

I always drop my classes. I don't like the idea of going to school. I think about too many other things I'd rather be doing.

I have taken most of my minor subjects for the 3rd and 4th time and I am still taking a speech class for the 5th time and a swimming class for the 6th time.

Even though I always drop my classes, would you believe that I received lots of academic medals in my elementary years and in my high school years as well? I even competed against other schools.

Everyone knows of me because of my achievements and it creates lots of expectations to be even better.

When I first transferred at FEU from CEU, they gave me a full scholarship. I got 99% on the entrance exam. But still, I didn't enjoy the feeling of being at the top of the class. I had to exert, again, so much effort and I was tired of doing this. Why?

When we enter college, most of us are not prepared for a huge change. Now we enter a cafeteria filled with many unfamiliar faces. We feel grateful when we see one or two people we know in the hall, as we are running to our next class. Sometimes, we feel lost because we can't even find our way to the other buildings.

Every day we go home in tears and start asking, "What's going on? Can I ever get use to it? How can I survive?"

Going somewhere completely new - a new neighborhood, a new school, a new city - can be scary because it forces us to look out for ourselves without all of our family and friends. Suddenly it seems like our whole life is thrown into a tailspin.

Going to college is hard for us because we have to leave all the people we are familiar with and move into a little dorm room with a total stranger.

This is the start of our confusing times and often we lose focus and grab onto whatever offers us comfort and a feeling of belonging. We indulge ourselves in different things.

There are "so-called friends" that we meet on the streets, we hang around doing nothing just to kill time and forget the people we are use to being with. We experience love and forget everything; give ourselves and get lost. Make decisions and drowned again in whatever gives us comfort.

And then we will start to forget the main reason why we are here.

Now I realized that none of us says, "I want to be stupid", but sometimes we act stupid. When we get excited in a class, we just write down the answers that we know our teacher wants to hear. We're not learning anything but flattery.

I think it is good to be motivated enough to choose to go to school, but it's just a waste of time if we are not learning anything. Learning or an education is a lot more than just getting good grades or graduating. What we can accomplish over years cannot be all measured by an average, it cannot be entirely conveyed with a transcript, and it cannot be summarized in a diploma.

For in addition to our education from the classroom, we receive an education in life.

The one who knows how to employ opportunities will find that he can create them, and what he can achieve depends less on the amount of time he possesses than on the use he makes of his time.

I refused to go to school and that was a choice; a wrong move I made.

What I regret is the achievements that I have lost, failures that I have caused, and the opportunities I could have created. I failed and what is left of me is a blank mind and no more ideas in my head.

I built my own higher expectations but I was stuck in "Have To" land and to a lie that my expectations were probably at the level of my limitations.

I know that we all get tired sometimes but it gets to be so scary if it becomes a habit. We do use this kind of thinking as the excuse as to why we never win and why we do nothing. Don't allow a negative environment or negative thinking to control you.

So I tell you here today, don't waste your time.

If we all choose to go out and use our time wisely, we will eventually find the value of education. Today is the day that we need to choose whether or not to change our old ways and look ahead to the future.

We can only blame ourselves if we don't learn anything from school. What we put into school is what we are going to get out of it. And if we are not being challenged, it is up to us to challenge ourselves.

Written in 2008 by Dy Roque --- Philippines