Growing up, I was not the smartest kid in the classroom. Recently I was reflecting on my primary school grades and I realized that the problem I had with learning was in recollecting what I learnt in the classroom or read outside the classroom. Even in secondary school although I improved, I was never fully satisfied with my grades. I tried all sort of things like reading in the middle of the night, reading in the early hours of the day but I did not get the best results out of these tactics.
I remember my first college semester, my psychology professor gave us a little trick to learn the parts of the brain and functions. It was learning by association of sound and ideas. The example she used was Hippocampus; the part of the brain that stores memories and then she said we should think of it as "Hippopotamus never forgets." Learning the word "Hippocampus" by associating it with a common animal made it easy for me to remember even outside the classroom.
This example she gave was my academic breakthrough in learning because I remembered things and words more, when I applied her idea of associating words in other subjects where I had difficulties. Another example is the word "puerta" which means door in spanish. I memorized this word for a spanish course by associating it with a similar english word; "enter".
When it comes to learning and academics, I will say that there are many smart people out there. They just need to find the method of learning that works for them. I also think that this concept is a huge life lesson as well. What will work for others may not necessarily work for you. However, this doesn't mean that you cannot achieve what they have achieved, it just means that you may have to go through a different route.
Another key is self-understanding and discovery. In my opinion, if you don't understand yourself enough, and spend time to study similar patterns in your behaviour and achievements, you may not move as fast as needed. It is important that we check ourselves and analyse ourselves as much as we will like to analyse or diagnose other people and make conclusions from their lifestyles. We live in a world where it is very easy to be tangled with everything and everyone aside from ourselves. It is necessary that we spend time to be cautious of what works for us, individually and what doesn't work for us to avoid repeating failure.
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