In an old old drawer at my mother’s house I found an ancient portable music player that hadn’t been used in nearly 8 years. This wasn’t the most popular brand and wasn’t the most supported but I’ve recently had a side hobby of computers. It started out as a software hobby and has migrated ever so slowly to hardware. Over the break I repaired my sister’s broken laptop and this non-functioning (for the past 7 years) music player became my next task. I began work right after reaching milestones in my reading (currently dense theory translated from the German).
This post isn’t really about my hobbies though. It’s not even about taking time off to do something fun in between long stretches of work (though I think that’s a good idea). It’s about diving into something you’re uncertain about. This particular player is of no use to anyone in its current state and hasn’t been used in 7 years. The risk was low… but I could break it beyond use. Little change, to be sure, but a risk nonetheless. What I’ve learned about how hardware is put together is quite a bit. I found manuals online for both the device itself, taking the device apart, and ideas on how the device might be repaired. Without flinching (almost) I took a tiny screwdriver to the device and opened it up to see what was inside. One thing lead to another and I eventually saw how the main parts at least were assembled. I knew how to replace the rechargeable batteries (long since dead) because I could see them and easily remove them. If I needed to replace the hard drive (still not sure) I could remove it. This small experience (still not finished) has been great. It bears relationship to risks in education.
Perhaps you’re afraid to give a speech or to tackle that unknown topic. You’ll never know unless you try. Trying is an important thing and that’s what you should do. So, without hesitation, go off and research and try that thing you haven’t yet. Whether a hobby (for in between school work) or a topic for schoolwork itself go off and learn something new and take a risk or two. What’s the worst that could happen?