Self-Learning Is Rewarding

This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.

Now that it’s been over a month since I started to teach myself Japanese, I realised something. I like teaching myself new things at my own pace and method. As long as there are no grading involved or other annoyances, I enjoy it. Oh and as long as it doesn’t involve money. I think that’s why I don’t really bother to go find a Japanese class at the moment. Then again, those classes would be taught in Korean, and I’d struggle with both Korean and Japanese instead of just the latter!

Moving on, along with my current Japanese adventure, I think of the other stuff I self-taught myself over the years and here’s a short list:

  • HTML/CSS/PHP — Sometimes I would need somebody to explain something, but a lot of it was self-taught, and even though I did take basic HTML class, it was mostly stuff I already knew. Never mind that I couldn’t tackle Javascript.
  • Touch Typing — I never took a typing class. Instead, I spent an entire summer learning to type fast by having ten chat windows opened before my sophomore year. I think that’s the best way to improve your typing skills, haha!
  • Microsoft Office Programmes — Granted I did take a class or two that taught me certain skills, but a lot of it came from experimentation. I’d sit for hours and play with them.
  • Graphics Programmes — Like the previous, I experimented a lot on those or read tutorials that showed me how to do stuff on Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.

While I am glad I self-taught a lot of these skills for myself, I think being a self-learner has some disadvantages. The main one being that I am very impatient when someone asks me a question on doing some of these stuff. Like for an example, “How do I make a column in Microsoft Word?” I want to bang my head on the wall at times when I am asked these questions because a lot of these are stuff I discovered by experimenting, so in my mind I think the following: If I can figure this out on my own, so can you.

I know, I know. That’s not very nice of me, but still. Several weeks ago, I had an acquaintance asking me what this new message appearing in their email meant, and it was only one of those new user agreement thing where you check the box to agree the thing. That person, without even reading the darn thing immediately asked me what this was. Blarrrrrrgh. I don’t care if you’re Korean and blame your poor English skills, but if it’s something where you don’t even bother to try, then please don’t ask me! And that same person had enough nerve to accuse me of not trying to fix a broken printer a few days later — a printer I fought with for twenty minutes. So yeah, I didn’t try, huh?

. . . Anyway, readers, what are some stuff you self-taught yourself to do? Tell me of your adventures! Maybe it will influence me to try something different on my own in the future! :D

Comments

  1. Self teaching is always the best way to go about it, I taught myself HTML at 14 and that was good, I would love to learn Japanese

  2. I don’t think I could teach myself a language, that’s kind of difficult. I’d need to hear how things are pronounced so I don’t sound like an idiot when I try to use it. Plus I need to interact with people with the new language to understand how it works better.

    But I have taught myself the same things you have: MS Office, HTML/CSS/PHP, Photoshop, & typing..I guess. In my middle school & junior high, I was the fastest typer! We all had a computer class (I went to a private school so we only had a total of 300 students from pre-school until 8th grade) that helped us to improve our typing skills. We’d have to take three tests to test out our words per minute. If you were in 4th grade, you had to get 40wpm & if you got over 40wpm, you got an award. So 5th graders = 50 wpm, 6th = 60 wpm, etc. When I was an 8th grader, I got over 105 wpm or something. I don’t know if I got faster or slower over the years but typing to your friends in a chat box isn’t the same as typing stories ahaha trust me on that.

    It’s always accomplishing to teach yourself something. :D

  3. Wow, those are definitely some great things to know. I think it’s awesome to say you’ve taught yourself how to do something. As for me, I have taught myself what little I do know of PHP/CSS/HTML, how to type, graphics, and anything else on the computer, really. Well, that’s not entirely true. Any programming that I know like Java or C++ I learned in University classes.

    I also taught myself crafts, like the friendship bracelets I used to make!

  4. I guess because I grew up with computers it feels as natural to figure out new programs as breathing. It doesn’t seem to me like *learning* when you’re using MS Office or any other new program. It just feels like dealing with a new program, a new set of rules and guidelines. Though I was never very good with web design because I can’t seem to shift something from Paintshop Pro to web site as well as others can. I know the technical details of HTML and CSS but holding in my head the thousands of things necessary to create a successful web site? Ahhhh.

    Like Caity I taught myself to make friendship bracelets as a child. I also taught myself to knit and crochet and make jewelry and origami. I also hate asking for help, which is another reason why I tend to learn things by myself! Though I’ve had great success with my high school German class. ;)

  5. i only start learning CSS after having my own domain. tweaking and playing with it is fun.
    i would like to learn Japanese too! only if i have more time…

  6. Good luck teaching yourself Japanese! I learned that in school, but I didn’t like it so much as to pursue further.

    I taught myself HTML/CSS. I never went to a class or anything. I also taught myself how to use Photoshop, mostly from experimentation.

    Off the computer, I taught myself guitar, even if I am not terribly good.

    I know what you mean about the disadvantages. It is pretty hard to teach someone or tell someone how. And what you mentioned about other people – they should try themselves. I guess I’m going on a bit of a tangent but I don’t like it when people ask for help without even trying themselves. Usually it’s on the online world and people can’t be bothered fiddling with coding so they ask me. It’s really quite rude.

    Back on topic though, I find that another disadvantage with teaching yourself is when you are considering employment. I wanted to do web design as a job or at least do something for someone, but then again, I have no qualification, and people won’t always take my personal experience as enough. :(

  7. Belinda on

    I like self-teaching, which is good, because I usually don’t have the opportunity/money to get taught by others. Then again I quite like playing with programs and such so that helps.

    Besides webdesign, I’d say the thing I’m most proudest of in relation to self-teaching is that I taught myself to knit and crochet.

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