Learning to learn is as important as learning itself. Whether the classroom is life, school, or personal experiences, there is always a student and a teacher. One must be willing to learn, otherwise the struggle is moot. To learn, a student needs to be flexible and adapt. Otherwise the learning curve becomes very steep and the lessons sharp. Learning is a process of trial and error as students pursue what they hold dear to their hearts. Once the goal is in sight, figuring out the path to it takes serious consideration, time, and thought. The strategy chosen becomes a blueprint and the approach. In short that approach and possessing self-knowledge is the yin and yang that puts it altogether. Nevertheless, knowledge isn’t enough, there must also be action.
Any endeavor humanity undertakes requires a call to action, a plan. Envisioning and constructing that plan sets the wheel in motion as the student figures out the what and the why. Pursuing a master’s of psychology, the student considers personal career goals and the reasons for them. For example, one personal career goal advancing both the student and a future in psychology is the development of constructive coping skills because this skill set will help future clients develop better coping skills. Another personal career goal is improving communication skills because the psychology student can impart to future clients and coworkers the same. Working toward a common goal, the student increases future clients’ capabilities to do the same in their lives. Personal career goals advance both a student’s specialty and life.
Another vital step preparing a future psychology professional is learning about available job titles and qualifications. This knowledge gives the skinny on the real world future in psychology. Psychology students equipping themselves with this information target their future careers, realistic expectations about performing on-the-job and the likelihood of obtaining that job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mental health counselors are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques used to address issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction and substance abuse, suicidal impulses, stress, trauma, low self-esteem, and grief. Psychology students consider matters like personal coping skills because the need to possess a high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems that would be addressed, requires knowing whether or not they can deal daily with those stressors.
Insight about personality and learning style impedes stress counterproductive to the psychology student’s learning plan and goals. The main goal of this self-knowledge is adaptation to the current learning curve implementing efficacy. The psychology student’s firsthand knowledge of verbal/linguistic, intrapersonal, and naturalistic learning tendencies enables improved performance of them. This type of student communicates through language, understands personal behavior and feelings and admires features of the environment. Acting on personal insights, the student works with the dominant personality, not against it. For instance, innate traits of a thinker and a giver maximize study habits with “analytical and abstract thinking and cultivating the potential of self and others. The psychology student intertwines personalities and learning styles into a functional student, adult, and professional.
Reinforcing the professional’s itinerary is optimal learning times for that magic to happen. Learning in the morning is advantageous to the intrapersonal student because fewer disruptions allow the student to focus on personal wants and needs. The student at this time is most perceptive and lucid allowing the verbal/linguistic aptitudes to flourish in freedom. Learning at first light imbues a strong connection to Mother Nature and the student’s balance of individual nature allowing it to thrive via a naturalistic learning style. The need to maintain balance and spirituality within and without via nature at daybreak permits the student to perform at an optimal level and time. Understanding nature the student appreciates life’s finer joys like a walk in the countryside.
Nature balances harmonious learning styles and personality with corresponding study methods retaining course information. In short. thinker-giver personality traits enhance verbal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic learning styles. For example, a verbal/linguistic thinker digests course information by outlining chapters or converting material into logical charts. Corresponding study methods from a verbal/linguistic giver can also learn the material by teaching it to others. Intrapersonal thinkers need time alone to reflect on personal meaning of the information. Dominant personality and learning styles strengthen and complement one another’s similarities working together as one.
This unique sop for learning epitomizes individual learning processes over time as they mature and change with experience and refinement via adult learning theory. Adult learning theory influences how the student learns by lending purpose to the direction of the experience. In other terms the psychology student gives purposeful attention to the lesson beyond hitting the books with a reason and an objective like improving a personal relationship. Learning becomes a conscious choice with the psychology student teaching future clients they can rise above circumstances. This goal will characterize learning from this point fine-tuning the student’s personal adult learning theory and plan.
A personal adult learning theory necessitates effective time management strategies to meet course requirements. These strategies are prioritizing and scheduling responsibilities and goals, using optimal times for learning, remaining flexible, and setting personal limits for some downtime and fun. Fun with friends and scheduling downtime manages time by encouraging the reasons for that study time; otherwise there’d be little enthusiasm for learning. Study time also needs limits like setting alarms into a cell phone conditioning the student’s awareness per constant reminders to manage time. Another time management strategy in meeting course requirements is flexibility and adaptation to life’s upheavals. The time management strategy of using optimal peak and valley times for learning makes the finest use of the time. Scheduling time for weekly and daily responsibilities and goals via calendaring and phone alarms is valuable. Adhering to doable time management strategies creates a productive use of time. Time is money and students need to avoid going bankrupt.
Bankruptcy regarding personal health is a costly debt. Therefore, the student’s personal health also needs a learning plan mediating the stress of returning to school. Some stress-reduction techniques are deep breathing, remembering to have fun, exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, possessing awareness of bodily cues to stress, socializing, and sleeping every night. For example, the student needs to sleep regularly allowing the body to decompress and rejuvenate to deter fuzzy thinking and poor performance. Another stress-reduction technique is socializing with friends because doing so engenders feelings of well-being and balance. Speaking of well balance, time overspent learning detracts from intuiting physical, emotional, and cognitive cues signifying distress. Taking a break to re-center when constrictive breathing occurs is essential. Also essential is eating a well-balanced diet because food affects how a student feels physically and emotionally. Irritability after gorging a gallon of French vanilla ice cream occurs from the sugar high taking a nosedive. Still, walking promotes well-being in contrast to overeating. Vital fun drives the pursuit of academic goals as well. Reducing stress by deep breathing initiates calm, too. Most important saying no to others and even myself promotes healthy boundaries.
A successful learning plan for pursuing a master’s of psychology clearly requires more than words. Second the process of learning isn’t a means to an end, but a beginning as there is no end to learning. Learning is the journey itself, not the destination. Besides the last thing a psychology student needs is to quantify the journey into a predefined context. Giving shape to the learning isn’t so bad as long as one avoids putting limits and boundaries on that learning. Guidelines for learning direct like a mental health counselor the journey. The choice to learn is the experience.