Lesson Learned

11.07.2011

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The mantra "you learn some something new every day" has--like many phrases--become overused and therefore abused. The truth behind it has completely lost its luster. This occurred to me as I spent the majority of my Thursday night and Friday morning studying the genetics of living organisms.

Over the years, I've found that the harm in these nights is the thought of studying rather than the actual process of learning the information. In fact, there is something oddly rewarding in a night purely devoted to immersing yourself in schoolwork. Especially the rush of a caffeine loaded cup of coffee combined with the feeling when it finally clicks and you're retaining what seemed like jibberish only days before.

I've learned a lot in my first two to three months here, both on and off campus. Formal education will get you somewhere, but learning beyond that will get you far. I've realized I'm both an extremely dependent and independent person. I've learned more of what I can and can't live without. I've learned how quickly a small space can appear cluttered. And I've learned that I love learning. Eighteen years has provided a wealth of knowledge thus far as I've looked up to older siblings, learned from friendships past and present, and spent the majority of my life in classrooms. Yet, there is still more to come and I look forward to every bit of it. Here's a few particular things that I intend on learning someday:

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How to perfect a smoky eye

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How to pack lightly (for my mom's sake as much as my own)

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How to be innovative with my hair styles. The first two I plan to master are the messy bun and the braid wreath.

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Understand all the functions of my SLR camera so I can take flawless photos.

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Learn to cook basics like spaghetti, perfectly grilled chicken and an assortment of veggies.

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Better my skills in remembering people's names and birthdays

Learn how to parallel park flawlessly without slowing down all the traffic behind me. This would cure a lot of my anxiety about getting around downtown Austin.


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How to wink with my left eye. Fun fact: I can only wink with my right.

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Perfect my own unique cup of joe, so when I go to Starbucks I sound like a legitimate coffee connoisseur. I'm still in the experimenting stage.

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How to ski well so that by the time I take my kids I won't be strictly limited to the measly greens

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How to manage my time more effectively

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How to pull off bright red lipstick

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Learning the difference between being hungry and bored. I think many would benefit if this was an elective offered at UT.

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How to speak french fluently

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Learn the history of major fashion designers. I recently learned that Ralph Lauren got a major boost in his career after designing the clothes for Robert Redford in the original Great Gatsby film.

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Learn more about the upcoming presidential candidates so I can be an informed voter next year as I cast my first ballot.

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How to be an expert chopsticks user, so I don't have to embarrassingly request a fork also.

Yes, most of these things are small and trivial in the grand scheme of things. But whether it be something as small as a novelty hairstyle or a grander idea like the realization that we need to let go of those things we cannot control, these small kernels of knowledge stimulate our happiness on a daily basis. We are drowning in a world of knowledge begging to be shared--in the people we meet, the places we go, the books we read, and the internet we browse. Delight in the chase for knowledge, grab hold of it, and don't let go, because--in keeping with the theme of cheesy clich├ęs--knowledge is one of the few means of wealth nobody can take from you. On that note, I'm going to take my own advice and actually start studying! Ciao for now.

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