Like many, I learn best by doing. I can sit in lectures and take notes all day, but until I get in the trenches it is all theoretical and liable to be forgotten if idle time passes.
So How Can I Retain All That I Have Learned
So given the correlation between the amount of info being taught and my tendency to forget theoretical information if not put into practice, how then can I retain all of the info being taught so that I can assure continual progress? Until we start actually building things, how can I be proactive in remembering what I learned the previous week given the large chunks of info I am absorbing? Maybe this is also something you have been pondering (or have pondered long ago, which I would encourage you to share your experience/tips in the comments). How can YOU and I better retain being flooded with theoretical information before we get a chance to put it into practice?
As I looked over my almost full composition notebook (after only a week and a half), and pondered whether I would actually remember it all, I had a thought….a thought which brought comfort….a thought which I think, in turn, is the key. That key is this:
Don’t worry about remembering EVERYTHING taught, but be sure to understand the CONCEPTS behind everything taught.
If you have understood how something worked, and how the instructor came to his or her conclusion, then when you are faced with a similar challenge and look to Google or your notes for help, it is an understanding of the concepts that will help you reconstruct the answer.
In other words, you don’t have to remember every detail of all that you have learned because there is a wealth of resources out there to remind you, but be sure that you understand the concepts so when you find the correct resource, you can implement it correctly.
Ask yourself if you understood how the instructor came to his or her conclusion. If you are unsure about any of it, go back until you understand it. When you understand it, you will be able to recall it without much effort in the future and overall find yourself better at retaining information.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments! How have you better retained information that was delivered to you with a fire hose?