4 Reasons Everyone Should Be Studying History

I recently graduated college with a B.S. in history. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard, "how could you do that, history is so boring!" I probably would have had all of my tuition covered, as well as money to travel the world. Personally, I find history fascinating and think it is very useful, even though many like to shove it under the rug. Here are four reasons why we should study history.

1. "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."

I know, I know, you have probably heard this George Santayana quote before and hate it. Nobody has ever spoken a truer statement. With studying history, we can prevent horrific events such as the Holocaust, the rise of Nazi Germany, the rise of the Soviet Union, slavery, the Crusades, world wars (I can honestly go on all day) from EVER happening again. They say knowledge is power. We as human beings have the power to prevent these horrible events from ever happening again. Think of that next time you decide to blow off your history homework.

2. You're bound to find something you find interesting.

I'll be honest, some parts of history are not as interesting as others. There is a reason people still discuss the murder of the Russian royal family (one of my favorite subjects, and yes they are the family in the cover image) nearly one-hundred years after their death, it's because many find it interesting. With so much history out there, you are bound to find something you will find interesting.

3. It enhances critical thinking and writing skills.

Contrary to popular belief, history isn't about memorizing names and dates. If it was, it would be useless. A lot of high school history classes are taught like that and it's a shame because it's not only boring but defeats the purpose of learning history. History is about thinking critically about past events to form your own analysis. Analysis usually comes in the form of writing, which is why historians are such good writers. The writing part of it is definitely the most useful if you decide to major in it during college because being a good writer is a skill that is always in demand.

4. It gives you a greater appreciation for everything you have today.

In my final project of my undergraduate career, I wrote a 20-page research paper on two suffragettes, Carrie Chapman Catt and Anna Howard Shaw. I encourage you all to Google them as well as other women involved in the suffrage movement because these women changed my perspective on so many things. I spent an entire semester researching these women and despite studying suffragettes before, I had no idea the extent to how hard these women fought for my (and every American woman's) right to vote. After I finished the project, I decided I would always take advantage of this right to honor the women who gave it to me and I have realized how lucky I am to have the right to participate in my own government.

History can be very inspiring, you see what the people who lived before you did to create the life you live today and see how hard people have had it before. It really puts everything into perspective.

I could give a million more reasons, but I hope I've done my job in convincing you to rethink what you think about history; so, go crack open a book and start learning!

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