Life long learning

In about half a year, I will hopefully finish my research project and obtain my master’s degree in science. It will mean the end of my school career, and frankly, that scares me. Since I was 4, I’ve only known school and homework and learning. Since I was 4, I’ve had my holidays at set times and school structured my world. I don’t know anything else yet.

Formally, you go to school so you can learn. That’s the goal of the entire institute. But, it is not the only place to learn, and that’s why I should’t be frightened. Somehow it feels that after my formal education stops, learning will stop and I will statically remain where I am now. That’s not the case!

Did you realize that learning starts before birth already? Fetuses practice the movements they’ll need after they are born, showing breathing patterns, hiccups (though nobody knows what those are about), grasping and more. Remarkably, through their mother they also learn food preferences. So if you are pregnant: your current diet already influences your baby. In addition, singing or talking to the unborn baby already teaches it what voice to trust. Your baby gets accustomed to you.

Then, when you are born, there is this whole world to discover. By view and touch and smell and taste, which is the way babies examine their surroundings. They learn at an amazing speed: crawling, walking, talking. And once we can talk… So many questions! Why is the sky blue? Why is there a rainbow? Where do babies come from (most wonderful question, the answers are so varied :P)? And then formal education starts.

But there’s so much more than what they teach you in school. You develop your own interests, and that will keep you learning for the rest of your life. I can remember a holiday spent by summarizing a book about the Rosecrucians, just because I was interested in that. I have spent hours and hours online, learning more about my sport, I went to conferences to learn more about human movement sciences. And the library is a treasure where everybody can find something to their liking.

Especially when you’re a pagan, learning never stops. So many cultures with different pantheons to investigate, learning how to use meditation techniques, learning correspondences, using different systems of divination. No matter what particular branch of paganism you feel drawn to, there is always more to learn. I can’t remember who said it, but I read somewhere that Christians, Jews and Muslims are people of the book and that pagans are people of the library. Loved this saying, simply because it’s so true. There’s always more to discover.

So if, like me, you’re troubled about what comes next, into what hole you will fall, don’t worry too much. You’ll find a job, an occupation you like, and you’ll continue a life long learning process that already started before you were born.

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4 Responses to “Life long learning”

  1. Silverleaf Says:

    I love this. I once had a job in government developing lifelong learning policies. Much of what you have said, including the quotation, is what I have lived myself. I’ve even read a bit about the Rosecrucians. It’s wonderful to keep on learning!

    • 91juditho Says:

      Sounds like a very interesting job! When I’ve finished university I hope to get a job with the government, something with health policy and getting people to exercise 🙂 I think most people experience life long learning, but not everybody realizes it or pursues it actively.

  2. Emmy Says:

    I am glad I am able to study some more… After receiving my bachelor of design I felt like I wasn’t done learning yet.. So I decided I want to become a teacher as well. 🙂

    • 91juditho Says:

      I feel the same, but have other priorities as well. Since my research project takes somewhat longer than expected, I’m taking the opportunity to take some additional courses from a different master… but I’d love to follow the entire (2-year) programme some day, cause it’s great!
      Teaching is wonderful, trying to get others interested in the subject matter and making learning fun 🙂 Good luck with your study!


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