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This summer, I fell in love.

Not with someone, with something. This summer, I fell in love with learning.

Don’t get me wrong, I still consider myself a TikTok addict. But I’ve recently found the value of investing in myself. I’m not talking about learning in terms of watching professors over Zoom ramble on and on. I’m referring to rewarding myself with knowledge surrounding my genuine interests. If you’re anything like me, you tend to find yourself cutting corners in class just to get a good grade rather than actually learning. It’s easy to do assignments without looking at the textbook when Quizlet and Chegg exist, but the point of college is to acquire new skills. I realized that if I keep taking the easy route, in the end, I’ll just be setting myself up for failure. The intrinsic value gained from spending time learning something new is incomparable to any extrinsic reward that grades provide. Even though I’ll be graduating college in less than a year, my goal is to be a lifelong learner.

Coffee cup near bathtub
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco from Unsplash

This world is too big and too crazy to deprive yourself of the tools to be happy and successful. The more I learn about things, the more I want to know about the world and the knowledge that it holds. Although I joked about it before, TikTok is a great way for our quick-thinking brains to consume knowledge effectively. My “Following” page is filled with young professionals who provide tips on how to get a “real world” job in tiny, bite-sized videos. On the other hand, I follow a skilled runner I looked to for tips when I was training for my first 5k.

After a long day of work, I love being lazy while still feeding my mind. Cuddling up in bed with a warm cup of tea and putting on a Google Ads Tips video or scrolling through my TikTok “For You” page filled with cooking videos excites me now. Listening to podcasts is another great way to learn about anything that might interest you. Seriously, Spotify has over 700,000 podcasts.

person sitting at the edge of a bed with an open book in their lap and a cup of coffee in hand
Anthony Tran | Unsplash

It’s almost addicting learning new things. One thing leads to another, and soon you’ve gone from learning about living in Spain to fashion trends in different countries. Do you know the feeling after eating the most satisfying piece of cake or hanging out with a friend who makes your stomach hurt from laughing so hard? That’s the feeling that learning creates within me. I don’t really have any hobbies; I have nothing that is my “go-to” thing. That’s why I’m using this transition period of graduating from college soon to dive deep into what truly interests me.

Anna is currently a senior at UCF studying marketing and psychology. When she isn't writing, she loves all things Fall, astronomy, and Taco Bell. Her dream is to move to Iceland with her pet chameleon.
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