According to Merriam-Webster, study is the application of the mental faculties to the acquisition of knowledge.
Does this look familiar? I remember sitting just like this preparing for tests in school. But not always. My earliest memories of going to school and studying are from first grade. I would run in the house after school anxious to do my homework. Usually spelling. I loved spelling. It came easily to me. I remember we had a desk in the hallway where I happily sat every day writing my spelling words.
As I grew older and progressed through elementary school, things didn’t come quite so easily to me. But, I still loved school and usually got right to the studying at home for the numerous tests that Sister seemed to give almost daily. I didn’t quite have the same admiration for the study work I had once had, but I knew that if I didn’t do it I would spend the rest of the year in trouble. So, I studied.
Then high school hit. Wow! What was I thinking? I finally realized how easy elementary school was. Studying then was a piece of cake. Now I had totally new concepts to learn. Biology, Algebra, Math Analysis! I still don’t understand what Math Analysis is. I did figure out that I could expand my social life by belonging to study groups. A definite plus to studying. Unfortunately, you actually have to study to get the benefit from belonging to one. Oops!
It was at this time that I really began to dislike school. Well, that’s not exactly right. I loved school, just not the studying part of it. I did, however, trudge along and did graduate with a decent GPA and was accepted to college.
I didn’t want to go to college right away. I wanted to experience the world a little bit first. My parents didn’t see things the same way that I did. So, come August off I went to Community College. OMG! What a rude awakening.
Needless to say, I was not successful. I felt ill prepared for navigating through the copious amount of work needed to succeed. As I look back at it now, I realize that my perspective was skewed. I lasted about a year in college then dropped out. My parents were not very happy. So off to the workforce I went. I worked for Bell Telephone as a Directory Assistant. Talk about a boring job.
My success or lack of it had nothing to do with intelligence. It had more to do with my thinking. I looked at school, studying, as work. Not as an opportunity to obtain knowledge for knowledge’s sake. I had not yet learned that knowledge is power.
I married, had a family then decided I needed more. All of a sudden studying wasn’t such an obstacle for me. I attended nursing school. I soared. I realized that studying was a means for me to accomplish my dreams. I worked very hard. I ran study groups. I inspired younger students to work hard. I was having fun.
Throughout my career in nursing, I studied constantly. In medicine, there is always something new to learn. I couldn’t get enough. I guess you could say I was a late bloomer. I honestly think that maturity had more to do with my success than anything else. I honestly believe that all students should have to work a year before going to college. I think it brings a perspective that having an education handed to you does not. At least it would have for me. You can’t appreciate what you can have if you never go without it.
I continue to study. I read every day. Fiction, non-fiction, history, religion. I like to say that I never met a book I didn’t like. The difference now is that I look at study as a pleasure not work. Some days I am as giddy as that little first grader running into the house anxious to write my spelling words.