Something I Actually Learned in School

This is for those of you in school.

I’m currently attending school at UCSB; I’m also currently in class — literally. What class? A class titled Philosophy 100E, Metaphysics. I am in my third year here at UCSB, and I vividly remember sitting at my dorm room desk scrolling through the upper division Philosophy classes. I was a math major at the time, not knowing I would switch to Philosophy the following year. When I saw that UCSB offered a class in Metaphysics, I just knew I had to take it because it looked epic.

I have been trying to fit this class into my schedule for over a year; and lo and behold, I finally am taking it! Horary. Well, it’s more like ‘what the fuck?’ Not because the content isn’t interesting, but because the professor is straight crap. You ever have this happen?

If there is anything I have learned in college, it is this: an interesting subject can quickly become your least favorite class if the professor is shit. Similarly, a topic that you have very little interest in can be brought to life by a professor that really engages you and inspires you to think.

For me, it boils down to this: I learn best from people I resonate with and respect.

*current update: I am no longer in class. I left halfway through. People were asking ridiculous questions that distracted me from the writing process. Don’t worry mom, the slides are online.*

Reflecting on my experience at this university, I can say there has been only 2 professors that I have actively tried to take a class with again. 2 out of 31 so far… I listened to these 2 professor’s lectures, record it with my phone, and listen to it again on my way home. They brought the content to life. They engaged me. It was great, but it was short-lived.

Since I knew the probability of being inspired in a classroom setting is extremely low, I have used other mediums to satisfy my craving for knowledge and growth. I have cycled through and revisited a set of additional resources for learning: books, audiobooks, friends, people that publish content on YouTube, successful and interesting people I have had the opportunity to meet, seminars, online programs, musicians, animals, nature, etc. These nontraditional forms of education have taken me from a quiet, insecure, 155 pound, 5 ft 5 high school little bitch to someone confident enough to tell the world that he used to be a little bitch.

But that is exactly why I am excited about where I am today. The difference between who I used to be and who I am now represents growth; personal growth has been my obsession since the end of my senior year in high school, and it continues to be today. I am never satisfied with where I am.

So, what have I learned in school? Well, I have learned that I can learn more outside of school than I can in school. Why? Because the internet has given me the opportunity to discover people I resonate with and respect to learn and grow from. The people I study on YouTube I actually learn from; I can engrain their ideas in my belief system and use them in my daily life.

Let me know if you can relate to this next paragraph.

Contrary to how I learn online, in class I can passively take sufficient notes that I briefly review in order to memorize the material, which allow me to properly fill in a few bubbles and write a few paragraphs. Then what? Well, I get my passing grade, simply forget every single thing I just learned, and now I am one checkbox closer to graduating — yippee. Every quarter during finals week here at UCSB, I have this exact internal discussion. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. The majority of information we are forced to regurgitate for class can be found in half a second given our modern technology.

I have had the greatest experience at UCSB forming friendships with all sorts of different people, studying things outside of class that correlate to what I find intriguing in life, as well as immersing myself in the beautiful surrounding nature I have grown to love more and more each day. Yes, I do plan to get a degree. Yes, I do think studying Philosophy has benefitted me in the sense that it is shaping my critical thinking abilities. Yes, I do think most Philosophy classes are cool.

But I am here to make strong relationships with people I can trust, people who are interesting, and people who challenge the conventional way of thinking about everyday life.

I am slowly realizing how damn important your network is over your knowledge. We have all heard it hundreds of times — it’s not what you know, but who you know, that is important.

I believe in education; I am not trying to say school is a bad thing or that I am not appreciative of the opportunity I have to attend this wonderful campus. I believe that an individual has the power to make the most of his or her circumstances, and that is all I try to do everyday: maximize resources.

If you found this from my Facebook link, I’d recommend making an account on this platform and taking a look around. There’s some good stuff on here.

Thanks for you time.

Run the Train.

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