Learning is hard. Not just learning new material in class, or learning a new skill; learning how to navigate a new space, learning how to connect to others, learning how to learn – learning, at all, is hard. But it is so worth it. Learning is how we build ourselves, how we continually become, us.
At Sooner Discovery, students did a lot of learning. They studied various study skills in an effort to expand their ability to acquire new knowledge. The majority of the students had only ever attempted one or two ways to study, and several found that their trusted method did not work well in their college course. Armed with an arsenal of new approaches to studying, the students can better adapt to new courses.
They explored the long list of disciplines OU provides for us to pursue, which forced them to confront their original plans as it was suddenly juxtaposed with a multitude of other tempting futures. For some, it clarified the path they had chosen, and they were eager to remold their final year of high school in preparation for that path. For others, the choices were overwhelming, and it prompted them to rediscover in themselves what exactly they were most passionate about, and above all, that they could venture forward without a solid plan and they would be just fine.
They learned how to form a community from a group of strangers, which was a distinct challenge for many students. As one student put it, having to live and take classes with everyone else forced her either to never talk to anyone, or to come out of her protective shell. Like many others, she found herself discovering how to be confident in who she was, without requiring external approval.
Everyone has a story that ultimately makes us who we are: a set of experiences we’ve endured, a set of goals we pursue, a mindset we maintain in the process of continuing our story. That each of the young men and women entering the Sooner Discovery program had a storyline that had led them to the University of Oklahoma campus for the month of June is incredible in its own right. But that each of these bright individuals will walk away with a shared learning experience that challenged what they had believed from their past experiences, tested their goals, and expanded their mindset – building upon and enhancing what makes them, them – that, is truly amazing.
And Psychology, 2015