Goals,  Lifelong Learning,  Personal Growth

What is a Perpetual Student?

The target of many jokes over the years, a perpetual student is considered by Wikipedia to be an individual at college or university “who re-enrolls for several years more than is necessary to obtain a given degree.”

While there are some who can make a career out of the college experience, most recognize the issues surrounding the eternal classmate. In a Forbes article entitled, “12 Ways To Prevent Kids From Becoming Perpetual Students,” writer Deborah Jacobs suggested many reasons how to encourage timely graduation for your children or those near you.

Even as someone that LOVES college, I’m sure most people (myself included) are ready and willing to grab that diploma and run. There’s something natural about wanting to progress and move on to different stages in life. Furthermore, the ever-imposing factor of shelling out hard-earned dollars into tuition has got to be enough to push people into their careers (or back into their parent’s basement).

What I’m going to suggest next may be an earth shattering suggestion, but… why not do both? No, I am not encouraging you to continue with your college experience, but why not take the good habits and skills learned during post-secondary education and continue the learning process. Oftentimes, we are so focused on taking “me-time” that is counterproductive and usually doesn’t bring the happiness that we are seeking. Don’t believe me? There are plenty of studies that indicate the negative side effects of binge watching Netflix and the downfalls of being lazy.

Be someone who is constantly looking for opportunities to learn and to become a better person. Look for areas in your life where you can improve or where you could sharpen your marketable skills. You want to make more money? Be happier with your life? Develop a larger social circle? The quest for knowledge and growth can help you in all those areas and more. I love this post by Jeff Cobb, “5 Key Benefits to Lifelong Learning,” where he focuses on these benefits:

  • Economic
  • Intellectual
  • Cognitive
  • Social
  • Spiritual

Which benefit appeals to you the most right now, and what are you willing to do to achieve it? Commit now to being a perpetual student.


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