When learning, it’s important to broaden your horizons as much as possible; this means reading widely, and learning more about subjects that you might not normally be interested in. It also means making use of the many free and inexpensive resources available to you on and offline, as well as changing how you learn; doing so can help you towards a higher degree of employability, and can also set you up for lifelong learning.
Just taking the time to read more every day can make a big difference to your education; try to read the newspaper online, and cover multiple papers to get a different point of view. It’s also possible to broaden your horizons by reading a wide range of different genres, which can be particularly useful if you’re into the habit of reading the same authors. While it’s not a good idea to force yourself to read things you don’t want to, it’s worth sampling as much as you can.
One of the best ways to challenge yourself academically is to focus on one area that you think you’d like to know more about – if, say, you want to improve your knowledge of the Second World War, you can focus on watching documentaries online, and reading more widely than you have before. Similarly, if you have difficulties with some subjects, you may want to try a different approach.
Make Use of Resources
There are plenty of different resources available to learners; online courses are provided by the Open University for free, while you can download and watch or listen to lectures from iTunes University. Schemes like the Open University’s OpenLearn project also makes it possible to complete free courses online, which can lead to future qualifications.
Change How You Learn
It’s also important to try to change how you learn by experimenting with different methods; while remembering basic study approaches, you can improve your knowledge and skills by trying to write a diary about what you’re studying, or by joining an online discussion forum. Reading around a subject, for example, different authors before an English A-level exam, is particularly important for showing initiative, and can give you a significant advantage in the future job market.
You can also start to change how you learn by trying memorisation techniques, and by researching writing skills. Getting better at being self aware about what you’re doing is a useful first step to trying to figure out where you may be having problems with some subjects; this means looking more widely at techniques that may not have been provided to you in school.
Broadening your horizons ultimately means being able to develop improved critical thinking skills, while also making you more confident in tackling subjects that you may not be familiar with. In the same way, learning about a wider range of topics should hopefully feed back into your main studies, and can enable you to stand out for employers – even if you can just bring up your wider interests in an interview, this can make you appear more distinctive.
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