Written by Hailey Hudson
If you’re like most teenagers, the happiest time of the year for you is when school gets let out. You’re probably eager to leave behind the teachers, textbooks, and GPAs in favour of friends, ice cream, and the swimming pool—and that’s great! There’s nothing wrong with a little relaxation in the summer.
This summer, however, I’d like to encourage you to place a priority on learning. I’ve been out of school for a year, but I’m placing a big priority on continuing to learn, and I’d like to share some things I’ve realized about why it’s so important to learn and how we can make learning more fun.
Scripture is full of encouragement to do our best in all things. For instance, Colossians 3:23 reads, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (NIV). Education is a powerful tool. I work for a nonprofit that tutors elementary school students—primarily refugees and underprivileged children—and I’ve seen firsthand how a good education can lift them to higher places.
As a Christian, my desire is to go everywhere I can with the gospel, and the more education I get, the better off I will be. Education can help me serve the Lord more heartily and in more ways.
Summer is a great time to figure out how you learn best. During the school year, many of us teenagers are forced into a box—we have to write papers, memorize study guides or do group projects. There’s no choice. During the summer, however, we have more time to experiment and figure out what works best for us. For instance, many of my friends listen to podcasts every day; it seems like the trendy thing to do. I thought it’d be a great way to multitask—I could listen to a sermon while working out or washing the dishes. But I just couldn’t seem to focus. I finally realized that I’m a very visual learner, so instead of listening to a podcast while I wash the breakfast dishes, I now make time to read a book while I eat breakfast.
As you plan to continue learning over the summer, don’t feel like you have to think in terms of school subjects. Take advantage of your free time to learn about something you’re truly interested in, whether or not it’s on the class list at your school.
Last summer I took a free online college astronomy course; read biographies of missionaries; and gave myself a crash course in exercise science by writing for a CrossFit company. If you’re fascinated by something, go educate yourself about it! You’ll begin to really enjoy learning when the topic is something you care about, and plus, you never know where this kind of knowledge could lead—because of my longtime interest in learning Spanish, I’ve been able to help translate on mission trips, speak to parents at the nonprofit I work for, and complete paying voiceover jobs that required a Latino accent.
Whatever you choose to learn about this summer, make sure to place a special priority on learning more about God. Research different methods of studying the Bible and figure out which one works best for you. Read books by authors such as C.S. Lewis. Focus on memorizing Scripture. If you struggle with this last one, I can’t recommend the ScriptureTyper app enough. It provides an easy way to memorize verses, and it’s a great alternative to wasting time on social media.
Summer school doesn’t have to be all bad—not when you can design the course list and learn about things you love using the method that’s easiest for you. Enjoy learning as you go throughout your summer!