OPINION | College: A time for discovering how you learn

Sophomore business major Anthony Tanara, ponders in the library about his goals for the upcoming semester. This is an important step for students during their growth within college. Photo by Annie Sorensen.

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Although we learn many different concepts at college, such as professional skills for future occupations, one of the main objectives is to become a learner.

When I first began my college career, I had the set idea that you went to school to attempt to figure out what you wanted to be when you grew up. I didn’t realize the importance of developing skills to learn best. 

There are many different types of learning. Some of them include: visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners and, reading/writing learners, according to Rasmussen University. Therefore, it is important to identify what type of learner you are for your best chance at success.

There are many different lecture types that I participated in such as Zoom lectures, in person discussions, group work and more. It didn’t take me long to figure out what lecture types worked best for me. I mainly realized that it was hard for me to pay attention during long Zoom calls. I noticed that I learn much better when I am in a classroom actively taking notes.

Dartmouth Academic Skills Center goes into detail about the different types of learning strategies and how to use them to your advantage.

Understanding what type of learner you are will go far beyond the classroom. The skills you learn now will be used for the rest of your life. Rasmussen University also talks about how knowing what type of learning works best for you will be used to your advantage in the future.

When I registered for the spring semester, I was glad I was aware of the types of classes I learn best in. While registering, I looked closely at the course description and the syllabus to make sure they were fit for my learning style.

Identifying how I learn best has helped me succeed and become a better student overall. I would highly recommend taking the time to pick out the learning styles that work best for you and apply them in the classroom. Not only will this help you do better in your classes, but it will help you with future careers and other learning opportunities.

Princeton University gives a few suggestions on how to get to know yourself as a learner and thinker. Some questions you might ask yourself are “when and where are you most productive” and “what tends to get in the way of your learning?” Knowing how you learn most effectively will help you be more productive and successful overall. 

Using your time in college to understand how you learn best will help you throughout the rest of your life. Once you shift your mindset and realize that college is a time for understanding yourself as a learner, the importance of your classes will increase and, you will see the positive outcomes from it.