The Thirst for Knowledge

I’m writing this because I am so amazed by the leaps and bounds past ‘men of science’ went through for their discoveries and research.

I just ended a lecture on Evolution. It was a lecture that was focused on the historical aspect of the discovery.

The lecturer told the story of how Darwin (it was about Wallace just now) and many other ‘naturalists’ of the time go about their discoveries and it was especially heartening to see so much hard work that was put into the discovery of the ‘Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection’.

I’m not sure why, maybe due to the interesting aspect of the way they went about their work and reaching a conclusion, but it just fascinates me.

By fast-forwarding through time, I realised that we are exceptionally blessed with the immense amount of knowledge that we have today; knowledge that we can easily get through the use of Google (though we need to check for reliability) with just a click or a tap on a screen.

I just think that we no longer have that drive to acquire more knowledge, going to school as just a part and parcel of life. The hunger and thirst for new knowledge seem lacking. WE have gotten lazy in our education, trying to get the easy way out and in that process, we short-change ourselves. We cared so much of the end-point but do not seek (or care) to appreciate the journey.

We are no longer ‘men of science’ like how Darwin and Wallace once were and it is a sad reality that we have to deal with.

Maybe society has put too much pressure on us to get to the end point without emphasising the importance of the process. Maybe we can and should blame society? What about ourselves? I’m sure society did not tell us what to do. I’m sure each and every one of us has free will? Shouldn’t we then blame ourselves for being too focused on the paper and not the journey of acquiring knowledge?

I don’t know.

I am currently facing that problem, the problem of being a motivated student of knowledge. Truly I want to be a student who seeks knowledge and not a student who seeks to get As for examinations but I guess it is hard. Papers define everything.

Maybe reviving the era of enthusiasm for knowledge is futile and tough. I don’t know.

I just know that if we can do it, it is what’s best for humanity.

Priorities = Time

 

Recently, I have been complaining about time, the lack of.

But what I realised is that it isn’t because I don’t have enough time to do the things I need, want or expected of me but it is because I didn’t prioritise my tasks properly.

I have several responsibilities on my hands right now and I’m constantly juggling between all of them. And because of this, I’m constantly getting confused about dates, times, locations and the like.

Furthermore, it felt as it these tasks were also taking up my studying time which later on eats up my sleeping / alone time (which I truly need to stay productive).

Multitasking, that’s it. I have been multitasking, never spending enough time to be in DEEP WORK which is crucial. Thus, causing the problems I’ve stated above.

I didn’t prioritise my tasks properly, always mixing and changing about between tasks whenever they come up. Note to self: not good.

I need to have a keystone task that will keep me grounded and onward towards balance. I think that would be my studies.

In the last semester, I made it a goal to study at least 5 hours a day. It was a mild success (a success, nonetheless). That was my keystone task as anything I do during the day is towards reaching and striving that goal (which kept me focused and neat).

I think I will still keep that goal in mind this semester.

Priorities. Priorities. Priorities.

 

Reset.

After a few weeks of break, it becomes hard to go back to what we used to be. It becomes hard to focus on school work and remain focused for a period of time.

I find myself getting distracted after every few minutes and it is starting to become a nuisance to me.

Therefore, now, I’m in the process of priming and training my brain to get back that level of focus I had a few months ago.

May I succeed.

Mess.

As I’m typing this, I have multiple tabs opened, a notebook under my elbow, a few chats ongoing and several other tasks running through my head.

I’m a mess.

Time management hasn’t been one of my strong points and it definitely begins to affect me in this early stages of school.

It’s already late at night (well, late for me) and if I don’t get my work done on time, it will disappoint me greatly.

So, let me just stop here for the day and focus my time on the readings that needs to be done.

Till tomorrow.

Year 1, Semester 1

These are just 10 things that I’ve learnt in Year 1, Semester 1 in university:
  1. There is always time to do things, it is just up to you to plan your time properly. Every single minute of the day must be treasured and used to the max.
  2. Quality is better than quantity. Be it in terms of revision hours, sleep hours or even time spent socialising.
  3. 20 Seconds of courage. We need to always be brave for just a mere 20 seconds and step out of our comfort zone. We need to be brave to try new things and talk to new people.
  4. Ask, ask, ask. If you do not know something, ask. Don’t be shy because everyone is there learning too. You might actually do them a favour by asking. Also, ask your professors and TAs. Make use of them.
  5. It is important to make friends. The more friendships you make, the easier your life is in university. The more options that you open yourself up to.
  6. There’s always lessons to learn from everyone. Each and everyone in university has at least 18 years of life experience. Tap on that.
  7. Sometimes, we need to learn to stop fighting a futile battle. Sometimes, you just couldn’t get your head around certain modules or what the module is asking from you. Just recognise that sometimes we need to put our weapons down and re-strategise.
  8. Learn to accept that sometimes, hard work does not pay off. There’s always someone better than you or you’re just not good at it. Disappointment can creep in when you get a bad result. Learn to stand up again, take a breather and move on quickly.
  9. Make mistakes. That’s the only way to learn.
  10. You are never alone. There’s always someone out there experiencing the same problem you are.

 

Season of Examinations

It is the season of examinations. Well, maybe not for the younger students, but for the students sitting for their A Level examinations and undergrads sitting for their Finals.

During this period, many would already be hustling in full drive mode from the early morning till late at night. Some even go to the extent of having overnight study sessions till daybreak. Even though I feel that sometimes such methods that they adopt are insane, I admire the drive in their souls to score well and push past the pain of sleep-deprivation. I wanted to go to one actually but being a person who needs sleep to function, I decided against it.

As we go through this constant hustling and painful hard work, I’d just like to drop a reminder for you and for me so that we can remember why we’re doing all of this in the first place.

Why are we studying? Why do we even go to a university? Why bother?

 

Each of us has our own reasons to go to a university. For most, it is to get an education, for some, it is to please our parents and society, and for a small handful, it is to chase knowledge. But collectively, it is to have a chance of a better future.

But here’s the thing about wanting something better. We have to work for it. I’m sure all of you have heard of a variation or two of the phrase, “Success doesn’t come easy,” and it is so true.

Especially in a world that we live in today where competition is everywhere, success becomes a mountain peak that is steadily becoming harder to climb to, but does this mean that it is impossible for us to achieve it? No.

Studying is a way for us to achieve that success that we want. The pains of the late night study sessions, the struggle of trying to understand concepts and the futile attempts of maintaining a work-life balance, are all part of that process.

But all of that would feel easier if our intentions are true.

We shouldn’t put the burden of someone else’s dreams or opinions on our shoulders. That is something that is truly unsustainable.

I believe that one should put themselves first, by putting our dreams first, that, I think is a way to live a fulfilling life.

Chasing an Education

Jobs are harder to find,

Degrees are rapidly decreasing in value,

Graduates struggle to make ends meet.

So, is there any purpose in pursuing an education?

Well, I believe that it truly depends.

In my case, I pursue an education because I am fascinated in the subject. I am curious about learning the inner workings of Biology and reaching a level whereby I am able to truly understand the complexities of Life.

I did not enrol into a university so that I can get a job in the future but because of the deep interest I have in the subject and I think that that should be the reason why we pursue an education.

At the end of the day, I believe that our intention matters because ultimately, you have to weigh the pros and the cons of getting an education. Is it worth it to spend thousands of dollars on an education that does not promise you a stable career after or would you rather spend that money to build something for yourself?

Sometimes, we make a decision to enter university because it seemed to be the right path to take but have we ever pondered if it is truly beneficial for us in the first place?

Stop letting that herd mentality affect you but find and truly understand the reason you’re chasing an education.

Degrees aren’t everything.