Yesterday, my first day of FREEDOM, I spent a lot of time thinking about my future. Of course, I had a million people asking what I was going to do next, and while Australia looms far ahead for next winter it's this summer and fall and right now that I'm unsure of. Then, as I was getting ready for bed, I found this little essay on Thought Catalog and it made me shiver a little. Especially the part that talks about the importance of self-educating, even when done with University. All of the sudden this huge wave of fear and panic came over me, and I realized that it was a fear of "not-learning". Of not-growing, of not being educated, of falling behind, of becoming stupid, dull, of forgetting. Right after this realization I slammed my lap-top shut and forewent my nightly ritual of watching Mad Men, and instead picked up the book that has been sitting beside my bed for months (Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Paul Theroux in case anyone was wondering).
I love to read. I disappear, take on a million personalities. I don't know why I haven't been reading lately; maybe TV and movies are just easier. But enough. Now, no one else is in charge of teaching me. Now, I am no longer a passive sponge who just by the simple act of sitting in a classroom will be inundated with knowledge. Now, I will have to search for myself, teach myself, grab knowledge and experience anyway I can. I will have to actually read those BBC articles (instead of just skimming straight to the food or fashion ones), and critically think about them, and compare them with Al Jazeera opinions, and come to my own conclusions. I will have to actively search out relevant information about science and the past, and I will have to choose to read that book, rather than veg in front of the TV.
If I have learned anything from school, I guess it's that education should never be over. They've provided me with the framework for learning, the training-wheels, and now I am on my own. Wobbly, for sure, but hopefully the practices I form in the next few months will in conjecture with the habits I've gained over the last 5 years work together to ensure that my mind never weakens or becomes witless, and that a genuine love for growth and knowledge will arise.