I am sure you have found your response to this question by now. What is it? Are scores important to you or the curiosity to learn? Personally, I don’t think a keen learner should chase only scores. Several successful people have also claimed that mark sheets don’t define our future. That is actually true, I realized that a little late in life. Though I am yet to achieve success, I must tell you that ideally, scores alone shouldn’t be your priority.
I can say this from my experience because I made a mistake of choosing exam scores over everything else during my student days. I was always one of those students the teachers lovingly called ‘the smartest of all’ and I enjoyed being in that category then. But in the hindsight, I often wonder if they were ever right in judging my smartness. I had maintained my grades very well right from the start. They never dropped and with time, I only grew fond of my scores.
Gathering study material from different books felt like a treasure hunt for me. As a child, I ditched playing out in the evening or indulging in simple pleasures like gazing at the sky and walking barefoot over the moist grass, all for my scores. When children my age were busy learning some new skills in addition to studies, like playing badminton or taking swimming lessons, I remained immersed in my books for hours. But that did not hurt one bit, what did instead, was the fact that I was doing it all for temporary recognition more than for learning.
By the time I finished my education, I realized that I wasn’t crafted to be what was required of me. Even after securing outstanding grades, I wasn’t intelligent enough. I lacked smartness, the presence of mind and the ability to make optimum use of resources. I couldn’t properly assert myself and my ideas and consequently, I lagged behind in practicality. Now I realize that this is and has been the case for many of us, who slogged for scores and ignored other essential aspects. It is not that education doesn’t make you smart, however, the ways and purpose of attaining knowledge affect the outcome of education.
In the age of Google and the booming digital media, I have realized that we don’t necessarily need to be good at memorizing historically important dates or the formula of a chemical reaction. What we must develop instead, is a creative mindset, the ability to solve real-time problems with innovative solutions, and also master a few whiz-skills. This might not be an easy task, as it requires a deliberate shift in the thinking process.
Here are some ways that can help you get through this door of transition:
1) Learning is a slow process hence have patience!
Make peace with the fact that you can’t suddenly know it all overnight. Adapting to knowledge or learning a new skill takes time. One big issue with our generation is that we lack patience. We look for instant happiness and success. Tired of trying over and over again, some even quit. Sadly, that’s not how it works.
2) See what is best for you
There are many people around you trying to pursue the same skill or course as you. Meet and talk to them about what exactly they are doing and how. Join communities that cater to your needs and add to your knowledge.
3) The internet has it all
This is not something you don’t know; the internet has most of what you need. Before spending a bomb on registering for the course you want to take, refer to online mediums. There are portals that allow you to learn through a free social medium and you also get a certificate once you finish these online courses.
4) Be street-smart
You can be book smart, but being street smart is essential too. Theoretical knowledge and scores would never be sufficient. There are many ideas and ways of working, that theory never gets introduced. One can explore these ideas and master new skills only through practical experiences. After all, one can never be too old to learn something new!
Never compromise on your curiosity to learn amidst scoring well in exams. Read with an urge to learn, and learn with an urge to know and grow. Let your scores and degrees catalyze your knowledge and experience.