Pair learning with doing

Seth Godin’s recent post highlights the conflict we’ve created between learning and doing. Compulsory K-12 education involves a lot of learning without much doing.

“The thing we usually seek to label as ‘learning’ is actually more about ‘education’. It revolves around compliance, rankings and ‘will this be on the test?’… Being good at school is not the same as learning something.”

But college is a wonderful opportunity to both learn and do.

A student could major in business to learn about business. But college is also a place where you can intern at a business. You could run or even start a business, too. The more business you do, the more you’ll learn. The opportunities and even the assistance to do both will be available to you for four years.

You could study political science to learn it. But you could also volunteer on a campaign. You could run a campaign on campus. You could campaign for your own office within the student body. Pairing the learning with the doing will lead to the best results.

Psychology, computer programming, engineering, creative writing–whatever the area, if you approach your time in college as an opportunity to conflate learning and doing as equally important parts of your higher education, you’ll be far better positioned to take a fulfilling and successful next step after graduation.

Seniors, as you finalize your lists and begin taking your first application steps, consider how what you learn might bolster what you do in college. I’m not suggesting that you need to have identified a future career or even a major yet. But there is no better place than the right college campus to nurture your strengths, develop your interests, and satisfy your curiosities. And you’ll get more from the experience when you pair learning with doing.

For more on these topics, here are two past posts: (1) You can’t earn straight A’s in life, and (2) What can you actually Do?