The art of self-studying

It doesn’t have to be messy.

There is a bigger problem here. To all the self-study advice giving people, should you go to university?

There are two problems I want to address here:

  • Who can be classified as “self-studying”,
  • What “the self-study people” do.

I indeed have seen many self-study advice giving figures out there, to university students. It is a must to self-study (a whole different topic that I won’t touch in this blog). What I don’t understand is, given no information about the advisor’s profile, what is the point? Then when asking about it, they said that they are having “a successful position”. That was some time ago (sadly). Sure, they might be in a good position(?). But,

Tell me what “foundation” universities provide that makes you a person that the society needs.

How do I know that they surely went to an university? Because they put “Studied X at University of Y” on their profile.

What you want, in the end, is the knowledge to be able to provide values (to make money, to live). Who can teach you that? A teacher, of course. Teachers teach at schools. Here’s the problem: Suppose you are a student who wants to make that app you book foods and rides (Software Engineer), you go to school to learn programming. Is the curriculum outdated? Have you tried to answer that question?

I can say with confidence that one single year in Software age is not 365 days, it’s a matter of getting a job. Ask the teachers. They don’t work in the industry. Proves: Ask them to get in an interview with employers. Then they would learn that new knowledge to work that job, except you learn the old knowledge from them. What’s funny, they usually don’t make that old knowledge go away. They teach them. 10 years ago, someone was hiring them. Look again, it’s 2021, do they have the knowledge to teach someone to work in 2022?

Who can be classified as “self-studying”

First of all, how do you find the time to self-study in university life? You must be a prodigy.

Self-studying, in the university sense, is learning new things outside of your learning schedule (including homework). You can’t. (if you learn at schools properly)

Do you see a paradox here? You go to school to learn, and you need to self-study. Why do I need to self-study when I’m literally studying myself?

Self-studying, in my definition, is studying. You do that everyday. Why? What would you do when your professor says something that needs to be more clear? You ask them, and you are doing yourself a favor by self-studying, which if you don’t, you’re just learning from textbook.

So you are self-studying. Knowledge comes to each person differently (because different knowledge backgrounds), and you need to learn it your way. Makes sense?

What “the self-study people” do

Being a sharp candidate

Have you ever question the things the self-study people learn? They learn new things? Not quite. Think about it, do you know how to repair an airplane’s engine? Probably not. It is not a new thing, but it is for you.

Most importantly, they learn how to get a job, and a better job, and a $100k job, and a $200k job. Isn’t that what schools teach you? No. By the time you finish your 4 years of university (that teach technologies at least), it’s like if you are a prisoner seeing an iPhone. The self-study people learns as if tomorrow they would apply for a job, instead of an university student, who will apply for a 4-years-ago job. Do you see the difference that is not-so-little obvious?

There’s a reason why medical schools is more prestige and highly-appreciated than others. It is a fact that science never gets old. Same as Computer Science. Now then, medical students use science everyday, as well as we technical people use technology everyday. The old Flu cures still cures Flu. In other hands, if your Android phone gets old, can you guess whether it will hold its value as well as the Flu vaccine? Even the medical students still have to figure out the new machines and scissors they’d need to do things better.

That is the point. New things do things better. Now who do employers looking for? Someone who gets the job done. Would they employ a 4 years behind employee?

“The Essentialist”

Besides “lacking-behind” reasons (of being unemployed), the university students have to spend their time learning things they don’t use for their first job at all. Before you reasoning with me that

You learn foundation for your future jobs, it’s a skill that you will use to raise your salary.

No. Can you still do juggling after a year, which at the time you didn’t perform before audience’s eyes even once? Why do you waste 4 years practicing, building up that juggling skill, just so to not use it for one single year, and still expect to do juggling? What were you thinking before making a decision to spend 4 years doing juggling? You will die! You don’t have infinite lifetime!

Not all things are of no use. But as if it is equally useless for me to learn to repair an airplane’s engine, it is the same for you to learn things just to not use it. Like humans, we will forget how to walk on four legs, and spend half of them grabbing instead. We remember things that are essentials.

To be an artful student

Don’t tell me that you don’t have any objective in your life. You sure do. Like having a sweet, soft bed to goof off of. Then you would want a laziest way to achieve them. But you are not lazy, you are trying to be smart, just like when you’re trying to get as much money as soon as possible. You will know which way is the best by instinct. Just as people don’t want you to be overly smart, doesn’t mean it is necessary a bad thing for you.

An artful student selectively learns what is essentials and effective. Don’t let anyone tell you to learn to repair an airplane’s engine. You choose your knowledge.