Lectures and I don’t get along, you will rarely see me in them and if you do it’s probably because I’m trying to avoid another attendance meeting. This post isn’t about how rebellious I am. When it comes to lectures, there are a plethora (didn’t learn that word in a the lecture) of reasons why I rarely go. Keep reading and you’ll understand.
Everyone has their own way of learning and lectures don’t factor that in. These different learning styles are split into 3 categories (sometimes 4) under the acronym VAK. VAK stands for Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic. I am a visual learner. I learn better from pictures, videos, diagrams and whatnot. Even with music, a good music video can sometimes make me either love or hate a song rather than the actual song itself. So that you don’t think I’m making this stuff up, I even did a test and these were my results
(The link for the test will be at the end of this post if you want to find out what your learning style is).
With this knowledge, it made a lot more sense why I couldn’t stay focused in lectures, no matter how hard I tried. A lot of my lecturers simply just talk at me for 2 hours with subpar powerpoints. Trying to grasp anything they say becomes so pointless because after about 10 minutes I start day-dreaming or my signature move, I get up and walk out. It may come off as rude, but I’d much rather leave a lecture after 10 minutes and spend the remaining 40-45 minutes learning the topic in a style I am more comfortable with on my own, than sit there for 50 minutes and be clueless. YouTube has basically gotten me through university up until now.
Last year, according to what I was told in my attendance meeting, I only attending 42% of my registered lectures and seminars. Maybe if I had attended 50% of them I wouldn’t have gotten the 1st Class that I did. Despite only going to 42% of my lectures/seminars, I was able to learn the content that was being taught in a way that worked for me, hence why I still had a successful year. And I recommend you do the same. Find what works for you and hone in on that. Lecturers just talk because they have to. This isn’t 6th form or primary school, where teachers chase you up on your work. Quite frankly they don’t give a sh*t. Which leads onto my next point…
Nobody Gives A Sh*t
In the next lecture you go to, look around you and I promise you at least ten people will have their head down looking at their phones. Can’t find ten? That’s because you are one of them. Every single time I go to my lecture, there’s always at least one international student spending someone’s salary on shopping. A student playing some sort of game, whether it be APEX, Minecraft or flippin Club Penguin. Then a bunch of people on socials, including myself. You seldom find people actually paying full attention and this goes for the lecturer. Sometimes I look at my lecturers like ‘do you even care about what you are talking about?’ Because I don’t feel like they do. Some lecturers even pack up faster than the students, it’s crazy.
We all have that lecturer/seminar leader, who asks everyone a question and actually expects a response. Sometimes, they get one, those are usually the interesting lectures, but usually the silence is impeccable. I find it too awkward. This lecturer has come to ‘teach’ us but when he/she asks a question there is utter silence. Either because nobody was listening, or nobody gives a sh*t and just wants to sign the attendance sheet. I find it so awkward that I ask the lecturer ‘could you repeat the question please?’ Just to break the silence.
Things like this put me off going to seminars. The point of them is to learn from each other and to learn in a more intimate group. If only one person decides to participate and it becomes a 1-1 tutor group with 12 bystanders then it defeats the point. Which makes me question…
We’ve all had lectures where we’ve come out thinking ‘WTF, did I just learn?’. It probably happens often, or it does for me at least. I’ve spent one hour sitting down, trying to make an active effort to listen and understand, but the lecturer is going in circles. Or in the case of my marketing lecturer in first year, goes on about how she worked in Durex and how her husband is an Architect. EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. Some of you probably have the lecturer who simply reads the powerpoint slide word for word, with no expansion or additional information. You could learn all these things in your own time and save yourself the travel time and lost sleep. Personally, I don’t always believe the value is there when it comes to lectures and seminars.
In addition to this, when you start talking to graduates who studied geography telling you they now work in banking, it makes me ask myself if the whole uni thing is worth it. But my relationship with university and lectures are two different things so I will touch on that one another day.
At the end of the day I’m not here to bash anyone who goes to lectures or any lecturers. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy a few of my modules…one of them if I’m being real, and that’s because I can see he’s actually passionate about what he teaches. There are some lectures that I can sit through because despite not necessarily enjoying the module, the way it’s taught is easy to grasp.
Some might ask, ‘why am I paying for Uni, if I don’t go to lectures?’ like I said, that’s a whole different story. But in short, university is a lot more than just getting a degree but not many people see past that.
What I would say for anyone who doesn’t go lectures, though, is ask yourself why? Is it simply because you can’t be asked and you want those extra hours of sleep or because you genuinely feel like you’d be better off learning by yourself. Be honest.
Anyway, thank you for reading, please share and let me know if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said today.
The early morning challenge is still ongoing so if you want to join me and a number of other participants in waking up between 6am and 7am then the rules are simple:
- Wake up between 6am-7am
- Take a snap of yourself out of bed doing something I.e. making a cup of tea, reading, working out etc.
- Post it in the Snapchat groupchat for the other participants to see.
To Join Add me on Snapchat – timi.oniwinde https://www.snapchat.com/add/timi.oniwinde
And send me ‘👍🏾’ emoji.
LINK TO VAK TEST: https://www.hfe.co.uk/learning-styles-questionnaire/