Found this from an ancient treasure chest.
I copy-pasted this from a previous blog that I had.
Recently, I received a certification from the University where I study, recognizing my accomplishment of having to reach a certain grade last semester. And of course, I am very grateful of what I was able to do. But at the same time, I’m not too crazy about it. Some students strive to be “excellent” by aiming for the highest grade possible, and there’s nothing wrong about that. What bothers me is that it feels as if getting that grade is the most important thing in the world. It’s as if they study to achieve that mark. As if getting 1.0 (highest grade) is everything. As if they wake up each school day thinking of all those quizzes, examinations, and reports. As if they wake up each day just to get through those requirements. How stressful must it be for them, always striving to be the best, always trying not to succumb to pressure. And for what? For higher future income? For self-fulfilment? For recognition?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t abhor the idea of striving for excellence. But I do believe that we must reflect upon ourselves what the purpose of this excellence really is. Or more concretely, why are we trying to study so well when we could just lie low, have fun, and just, well, have fun?
As for me, I actually derive satisfaction from studying. The level of satisfaction that I get would, however, depend on the subject matter. The more interesting subjects would obviously give me higher utility. But unlike the others, I don’t study to get that grade. When I study, I just try to process everything. Try to understand everything, as much as possible. As for where I get the motivation to keep on studying during my lazy hours, well, I try to imagine how lucky I must be to be chosen to study in the University of the Philippines.
UP is a state university and as such, it is subsidized by the government. A portion of tax collections from the whole society is allotted for the school’s operations and would mean relatively lower tuition fees. Therefore, I owe these people a lot. I owe the society a lot. It’s not really about the grade that I get – grades are supposed to be the effect of comprehension – it’s about what I really learn. I have to learn. Then I have to learn to apply what I’ve learned. I feel like this is the only way for me to pay back to society.
Whenever I see those muddy, tattered shoes, or loosely-fit uniform blouses, or those worn off pants of some public school elementary students, I feel like Poverty is really trying to catch my attention. And that as a scholar, I have to help in some way to improve the condition of my country. As a scholar, I don’t have an excuse to just “enjoy.” I have to study well so that when I graduate, I can use the skills that I have learned to help the country in some way.
When I study, my aim is to improve my skills and myself as a person. I study to broaden my bounded rationality. I study to remove my biases. I study to better understand the things that are happening around me. I study to help in finding better solutions to problems. I study to grow as an individual. I study to be a responsible citizen, and not to gain the highest grade possible. I mean, come on. We should study to learn. Grades are but crude estimations of the measurement of how much we have learned, subject to those things that our teachers feel we should’ve learned.
Anyway, I’ll end it here because I feel that mind is starting to slow down. But yeah, how about you?
Why do you study?