What I'm going to say is pretty straight forward: school has let you down. From middle school to high school, you probably spent the vast majority of your time learning about history and mathematics. Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in K through 12 education, but what I've found since being in college is that I don't know nearly as much as I should know--or wish I knew--about the world around me.
I'm recognizing more things in nature than ever before; I'm learning about diseases and cultures that were never even close to being brought up in the textbook lectures of high school.
College was a big turnaround for me. In particular, my human evolution and astronomy classes brought to light an entire field of knowledge I was lacking: current events.
News is everywhere, but CNN and Fox are not the outlets I'm talking about. I'm talking about real people going out into the world themselves with a problem in mind, researching said problem and educating their viewers. In simpler terms, documentaries. I'm sure that college students are no stranger to that beautiful day in class when you walk in, find out your professor was too lazy to prepare a lecture, so instead throws on a somewhat relevant documentary to teach just about any particular topic. I think we can all agree that those days are, by far, the best.
However, as amazing as these days are, they are few and far between. I am certain at this point that I have learned more from these documentaries than I ever learned in my past schooling.
Since I'm positive that at least 85% of college students have either Netflix, HBO GO or Hulu, I think it is fair to say that we all have access to a plethora of documentaries. The real question is, how many of us actually watch them? I used to be so weirded out by people who would turn on a documentary for fun, thinking, "How is that entertaining?" Now, I understand.
Documentaries have become some of my most commonly viewed items on Netflix. From watching animals live under the sea, to daredevils climbing up a cliffside, there are so many things I feel like I've seen for real. There are also probably a couple things I think I can do now because I've watched other people do them (which is completely incorrect).
Is there a topic you were never able to learn about in school? I know that there were plenty of topics I had an interest in that just weren't taught, things that are even hard to find books on, but may have a related documentary. The knowledge I've gained from watching documentaries has actually served me in life, believe it or not. "Planet Earth" anyone? Well, let's just say that I've learned a thing or two from that show and haven't been shy about sharing that knowledge if it serves me.
What I'm saying is, the next time you have something to do, whether it be a large school project, paper or maybe you just need a cure for your boredom, try turning on a documentary and not the sitcom you've watched 15 times over. They are more interesting than you think and there is no substitute for all that you will learn.