Educating Yourself

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/educatingyourself
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It’s only now, later on in my life, that I love to learn about things. When I was at school I, like many others, didn’t want to learn. It was a chore to be there and all I wanted to do was to leave and get out into the big wide world.

If I had been privy to the joys of learning back then, I would have paid more attention and I certainly would have gone to university. I stayed on for a year in the sixth form, where I buckled down a bit more and, in the end, I left with 3 O levels and a couple of CSEs.

I started work when I was 18, and I had a few jobs where I had to do loads of training courses to learn how to do certain tasks, but, still, it wasn’t because I wanted to do them. I had no choice.

In 1994, I started an Open University degree. It was an Open degree, so I could choose any courses I wanted to make up the 300 or 360 points I needed in order to obtain the full degree. I chose to do science and biology, brain, and behaviour, because that’s the sort of thing I was interested in. I passed, but only just. After that, my life got in the way, so to speak. I met someone new and started a new job. There was no time to study. I guess this is one of my regrets in life, that I didn’t continue.

However, after moving to Thailand, I decided to pick up where I left off. So, in 2010, I started a psychology course which I passed with distinction. I was so thrilled with this result, it spurred me on and I continued with my studies and did courses in philosophy, grammar, and myth in the Greek and Roman worlds. 3 years later, I finally achieved a Bachelor of Science, with honours no less. I was as proud as punch when I went to the degree ceremony, with my mum, to receive my award.

I realised that studying later on in life, for me, was a good thing. I achieved much better results than I ever did all those years ago. I even did two courses at the same time and I could easily sit down all day and study. It was hard work and, sometimes, I would be tearing my hair out because I didn’t understand something, but I loved every minute of every course. As a mature student, I found that studying was such a pleasure.

When I had finished with my degree, I was so lost without it. I didn’t know what to do with myself. So, I continued to learn. I taught myself to speak and write Thai and I learned a little Hindi. I have to say I am nowhere near fluent, but I am still learning today, albeit sporadically. I’ve got a long way to go yet though. I read books and if there is a word or concept I am unsure of I will research it. I learn about places or people I don’t know about and I’ve completed a few English language courses to give me more ideas and understanding to help me in my job.

There are many things that you can learn about, and I find I don’t have enough time to learn everything, but it’s something I will continue to do and make it my goal to learn something new every day.

Do you enjoy learning?

8 Responses

  1. Yes! And I agree, sometimes maturity helps one study. I finally earned my MA in English Literature two years ago, and I miss every bit of it. But not enough to return yet, I’m toying with the idea of returning to take photography or some type of art class. But my plates pretty full. We shall see. By the way, I don’t know Thai. It’s horrible, but I commend you for that! Great post! So true and the mature student is on the rise!

    1. Congratulations! I want to continue too, but I don’t know whether to do another BA or BSc or an MA. I have a photography course in mind as well. Thai is a difficult language to learn but it’s useful sometimes. Yes, there are loads of mature students, my friend went to Perth and did his BA when he was in his 40s. I would love to go and study in a different country, but it’s knowing where the good universities are.

  2. Great story. I have been learning all my life, the same like you. Of course it is only my opinion, but I think that people who use their time for learning, seldom get immersed in quasi politics, gossiping, consumerism etc., because they respect their time and potentials, to tell the least. Happy learning 🙂

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