I Love Learning!


Olive Ritchie, Co-Assistant Editor

Learning is one of the fundamental parts of being alive. We begin learning from the second we gain consciousness and we don’t stop until we die. From the beginning of time, humanity has advanced through humans changing based on what they learned and what they think is right. Learning, while vital for improvement, is also incredibly fun.

As a kid, I loved learning, and, by extension, I loved school. I loved everything from reading to math to science. I always wanted to learn, even when I wasn’t in school, so I took piano lessons and read to satisfy my curiosity. I always wanted to know more, and oftentimes I actively sought out new fun facts. 

School became intrinsically tied to learning in my head. I started to feel like everything I learned needed to stick inside my head for some test or essay, so learning things for my own enjoyment started to feel like a chore. It felt like unless something was for school, learning it was useless. It felt pointless to learn things for fun. I started to think, ‘If I’m not getting graded on this, then what’s the point?’ It made me feel stressed and indifferent about things that used to interest me. School took up the majority of my energy, so I didn’t have space in my mind for anything else. 

In the past few years, I’ve been trying to unlearn this mindset. I want to learn things for the sake of learning again, and I think that, slowly, I’m starting to. I’m voluntarily learning things for no reason again. Learning things feels less like a burden and more like I remember, it’s more like a window of possibilities. Instead of feeling dread about how much I have to remember during class, I feel curious. For the first time in a while, I legitimately want to learn more almost all the time. 

I’m interested and invested in my classes, and I learn things for fun. I go on deep dives into random, niche subjects for no reason at all. I barely ever use the information again, but I don’t regret spending my time on this. I remember facts from class just because I think they’re interesting.

I want to learn things that aren’t just facts. I want to explore new hobbies and gain new experiences. I know how to play instruments, I’ve learned how to knit and I bake and cook. Even when I don’t think of these things as learning, it is. I learn something new every time I do these activities: every time I sit down at the piano, every time I bake or cook something new and every time I decide to try something I’ve never done before.

Learning for learning’s sake is one of my favorite things, but I think it lost some of its splendor for me when it was attached to a reward system or the amount of information I remembered was up for scrutiny. I’d forgotten something vital: at its core, I love learning!