17 Apr How has university education helped me to be a better autodidact?
Autodidactism and guided education can seem to contradict each other, but in fact, the combination of these two creates a powerful combination. Personally, it has helped to become a stronger learner.
In general, autodidacts are known to be self-learners, meaning they teach themselves in a way they like. They learn independently without the need or desire of direction, rules and agenda.
For me, I never enjoyed the prescribed path school teachers, professors or any other educational institutions have created for me. Why? It’s simple. I believe there is no one-fit-all method of teaching and curriculum, so I always preferred to learn what, when and how I wanted since it gave me the freedom to explore and learn more naturally.
That is not to say that educational institutions were not beneficial for me.
In reality, all the things I didn't like at schools such as structure, meeting deadlines or discipline are now at the centre of my work ethic.
I went through a good grammar school where I learnt English, but it was not until university that I started to really explore my learning abilities since I felt more freedom and had the independence and motivation to learn. That’s when I learnt all the processes and research methods of higher education.
I applied them to my own independent learning. During university, I would say I spent 20% of my time on university studies and 80% of my time on independent learning outside the subjects I was enrolled in. I was learning anything I found interesting. Whether it was graphic design, flash animation, business, programming, accounting, science, mathematics, physics, basically whatever I desired and felt like I wanted to know.
Higher education and student life have provided me with an opportunity and atmosphere to explore my mind and be free to study whatever I wanted.
Education gave me a solid foundation with which to acquire my knowledge and has helped me become a better autodidact.
The focus of my learning is now more defined and relevant to what I do but I’m still very open and passionate about learning new things, languages, subjects and fields.