Robert Kerr | The Most Important Thing You Can Learn in College is How to Learn

Document created by Sara Jo Lee on Mar 22, 2020
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Robert Kerr shares what drives him to achieve more.
My Journey to #AchieveMore
What drives me to achieve more was sparked the day in class, midway through my underachieving early undergraduate years, when a professor said: "The most important thing you can learn in college is how to learn." If I could write a letter now to that 19-year-old self, sitting there almost half a century ago, I would tell him, The fact that for once you were listening at that moment will change your life exponentially. You will write twenty years for newspapers, which will transition from manual typewriters to Selectrics to mainframe computers to PCs. Nurturing the skill of how to learn will guide you through that, and it will ignite the ongoing versatility to evolve from sports to news to design to features to columns – and to see storytelling from multiple perspectives in developing a flourishing freelance sideline. In time, it will enable you to engineer a complete career transformation through five years of master's and doctoral work, and to thrive more than ever teaching media law and media history for almost two decades. You will come to see learning how to learn as not just skill, but art. It will enable you to apply your academic learning – far beyond padding the vitae – to making a difference in everyday life. It will enable you to understand diversity and inclusion not as "politically correct" mandates but as keys to a richer world for all. As you try to help alert your Millennial and Gen-Z students to studies revealing the addictive, mind-numbing qualities of smartphones, you will one day be inspired to promise them that learning how to learn will deliver an infinitely more lasting high than the dopamine-delivery shots of social media. And you will sincerely hope they may look back one day and see how that path made all the difference.

What Drives You to #AchieveMore?