How do you Learn?

Usually my posts have a deep spiritual meaning or are written about something I have recently learned, but this time I’m writing with a different purpose. During this past semester of school, I have learned many things about how people learn and even better, I have discovered the ways in which I learn best. It’s been a neat experience because it has applied to so many different things in my life.

I first discovered that I am a visual learner when I was sitting in a quiet room full of stressed people and was trying to remember the answer to a question on a Geography exam. I found myself trying to recall what page of notes that the answer was written on, and was visualizing that page in my head. I had one of those great, “ah-hah!” moments and was excited to do some research to learn how I could better study for exams as a visual learner. (One of the best things I have learned is why I have such a desire for color coding everything)

Although this was great, I also began to learn something else about my learning. I am not only a visual learner, but I am much better at understanding and remembering concepts, ideas and theories than I am with facts and foundations.

Take my geography class for instance, versus my psychology class. In geography, I type up my 20+ pages of notes (yes, that’s really how many pages I have to review) and then all I can think to do after that is read and reread the notes until I can’t read anymore, and then hope that somehow the information will stick. On the other hand, when I have a psychology exam coming up, all I need to do is make flash cards with the several different theories, names and definitions (I always have the most trouble with names…they are facts) and pretty quickly I can recall what the theories are and who invented them. I can spend four times the energy and time on geography than psychology, and I will still barely pass geography and get an easy A on psychology.

All that to explain that I am horrible at geography. I love learning about different cultures and understanding that where the country is place, connects directly with its people. BUT, as soon as you add dates, shallow information and several names of leaders and important people, I’m lost.

It has been exciting to learn about how my brain best learns things because it’s made it possible for me to develop a better study habit and get good grades easily. It overlaps largely into several other areas of my life. Take music for instance, when I hear a song that has even the smallest amount of piano, it stimulates my brain because I can imagine the pianist playing, the sheet music and the notes that are being struck. When I think about my spiritual life, I learn by taking real life situations and turning them into metaphors, which give me a deeper understanding of myself and God.

As I get older, I learn more about myself and how my brain works. It’s been exciting to figure this stuff out because it will help me to be more successful in so many ways.

Do you know what your learning style is or things you understand better than others? If so, what can you do to use those things to improve your life? If not, I really encourage you to start thinking about it, or even taking tests to help give you ideas. It has helped me in more ways than one, and it’s been neat to discover what my learning style says about who I am.

Have a great week!

-Sadie

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