How to Learn New Things Better – Learning Needs Time to Digest

learn new things

LEARNING — I dare to say that learning about new things has been my passion through the past 10 years. Whenever I learn about new things, I never feel threatened. I always feel boosted. Do you ever feel like that chemical thing called dopamine, fills your whole body. So you feel like you with no doubt are ready for this. That is what I feel when I learn about new things.

Even though I love to learn new things, it doesn’t mean all my learning journey always runs smoothly. Sometimes I even quitted to learn something. But I found some patterns in my learning journey that surprise me. I will share about this pattern to you in this article.

Back when I was in Senior High School, to the PE subject in my last year, I needed to pass the swimming test. At that time, I had never been in any swimming pool at all, and didn’t know anything about how to swim. I have a friend that can swim pretty well, so I asked him to teach me. After about 1 month of training, I can swim, but just in my mind. Even on the D-Day of the swimming test, I drowned. My teacher helped me with a lifebuoy. I’m in desperation and stating that I can’t swim.

About 6 years later, I went back to the swimming pool with one of my friends, who can’t swim as well. But at this time, I’m bluffing. I said that I can swim. With a short memory about what my high school friend taught me before, I start to jump to the swimming pool, and start swimming. No drowning this time, no lifebuoy this time. I just swim like a frog. Still struggling with the breathing techniques, but I’m floating and swimming! I don’t know the science behind this, but I learned from my memories 6 years ago.

Back when I’m in university, I didn’t have any skill in design. Whenever my friend asks me for a design, even if it’s a simple one, I will just pass it to others. Even though I love to play with Google Sketchup when I’m in Senior High School, I just think I can’t do design things when I’m in university. But eventually, my first official job was being a vector art designer. When I start to learn about vector art, somehow my brain and hand work smoothly to stroke the line. I just don’t realize that I can learn about this.

Back again when I start learning about game developing. I choose Unity to be the game engine that I want to learn the most. At that time, I didn’t know anything about coding. I never had any coding course before. When I see the code on any YouTube tutorials, I feel like I am reading an alien language. It was out of my league. After that torturing moment, I decided to slow down and take another part, which is the 3D design part. Several months have passed, and I dare myself to go back to the “alien language”. I’m surprised that right now, I can follow the tutorial, and somehow I can read that code although it’s just for the simple one. It’s no more an alien for me, it’s just a new language that I believe I can learn in no time.

Based on my 3 stories above, did you see any pattern on it? Yes, learning takes time, and learning needs time to digest. You can’t learn totally new things today, and understand well about everything tomorrow. Sometimes you will get stuck and think that I can’t do it. It’s okay, I believe that learning needs time to digest. So slow down, stop for a while, take a breath, do something else, and get back. If you remember something that you wanted to learn when you were at school, but you were surrendered at that time, why not try it again right now? Maybe your brain has already digested it and you are ready to apply it. I believe that every human has an ability to learn about anything, but we just have a different time to digest it.



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