Summer may have your mind in relaxation mode, but there’s no need to stop learning. While learning comes naturally, it’s always good to sharpen your skills for being a better employee, student, intern, or friend.
The first step to become a better learner is to listen. How do you expect to soak anything in if you aren’t listening? Listen to professors in class, listen to your boss when they give you instructions, listen to your friends, and even try listening to your parents sometimes. But don’t just listen then let everything go out the other ear. Become an active listener by concentrating on what is being said, understanding it, and then responding respectfully with a question or answer. Asking questions is a huge part of being a better learner. Questions can help your comprehension and memory.
Being an intern has taught me one golden rule of learning: write down everything. This is especially helpful when learning material in class. The initial action of writing something down helps to improve memory. Then when you can’t remember information later, you have a place to look it up and learn it again.
Want to start learning more but don’t know where to start? Look to the world around you. Pick up a newspaper, attend a presentation, read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a new TV show—you never know where you may learn something at or when that knowledge will come into play in the future. Trivial facts may come in handy later in life, you never know.
Lastly, ask for feedback, which can help you learn how to better yourself. For example, by gaining feedback on your performance in class from a professor, you are learning how to be a better student. Apply this to other aspects of your life to learn how to be a better person, friend, employee, or intern.
There’s always room to hone your learning skills. Becoming a better learner can help in many aspects of your life from personal to professional. Try spending just five minutes today to become a better learner!
Natalie Butko is our VP of Visual Communication and a junior here at Ohio University. Natalie is a strategic communication major and marketing minor. Follow her on Twitter @chatty_natty.