I am a student for life. I’m not officially a student of any school, but I consider myself a student of many things. I am certainly not a career student, who continues to study at university accumulating degrees, but never working. I will always be working, but also trying to learn.
Ever since I joined Coursera and FutureLearn, I’ve enjoyed studying new things, mainly in my field of study in university (astronomy), but also in my second choice (palaeontology). But I’m not sticking with the familiar, I’m branching out. I’m expanding my horizons. Along with the astronomy and palaeontology courses, I’ll also be studying history, writing, philosophy, engineering, geology, and anything else that interests me.
I am also studying various languages, including Japanese, French, and Spanish. I’ll be starting German, as well. I’m considering Italian and Portuguese in the future.
Some people choose to stop studying once they finish school. Not me. I want to learn as many things as possible. I want to know as much as I can.
There are some major benefits to studying for life. It keeps the mind sharp and young. It lets you keep up on new developments. It helps prevent you from forgetting the things you’ve learned if you take similar subjects multiple times. Learning languages has been shown to help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Language skills are also very helpful for travel and future job prospects. Knowing about many subjects can help prepare you for a return to university, if you choose to do so.
If money was no object, and I had time, I would go back to university to study geology and possibly move on to a Master’s degree and PhD, focusing on planetary geology. Planetary science is my passion, and geology would not only help me achieve that dream, but could also be used for more earthly purposes.
Most of all, I am learning for the pure joy of obtaining knowledge. I love to know. I have an insatiable desire to know many things. I’m anxiously awaiting Dawn’s arrival at Ceres. I can’t wait for New Horizons’ arrival at Pluto. I look forward to reading about all the new exoplanet discoveries. I’m hoping for a Europa mission. I would love to see a Mars colony start in the next few years.
I also want to know how I can help improve our world. I want to be a part of helping the environment, the people, the plants and animals. I want to be a voice of reason and to be someone who can use knowledge and reason to help resolve problems.
I learn to better myself, and in turn, better the world. At the very least, I want to enjoy it.
Now, the questions for you is, do you want to be a student for life?