“What we learn with pleasure we never forget” --Alfred Mercier, poet and playwright
How much do you “learn with pleasure”? I know many students would groan at that question. While school isn’t meant to be a round-the-clock party, we all do better when there’s some joy in the mix.
At this back-to-school time of year, I hear people asking things like “do you like your classes?” often, as if there is a built-in assumption that liking them will make you do better. And they are RIGHT! It turns out that finding something of pleasure in your moment-to-moment school experience is exactly essential to doing your best. We remember more and do it more easily. But wise students don’t sit back and just wait for the joy to come to them--it often won’t--they actively find the joy. They actually inject joy into the experience. They en-joy school!
Let me tell you about Randy, a college student attending his third college campus, struggling to get grades high enough to finally graduate after 5 years. During our coaching relationship, we located small elements of pleasure in his courses: an interesting fact here or there, an awkwardly funny professor in another, and so on. By midterm, he had 2 A’s and a B, higher grades than before. What are you doing to earn these? I asked him. Sheepishly he said, “I’m keeping up with the work for the first time, because...I kinda like my classes. I’ve never said that before.” I was thrilled, but also heartsick--never liked it before? All those years of high school and college, covered in misery? Please let’s not waste precious opportunities that way. Find the joy. Turn the key to learning with pleasure. Make at least one back-to-school goal this year be to en-joy school!
Not sure how? Ask me. I’ve got tips for even the most grumpy of students.