Admit it: You don’t know it all


Every class has that one kid who seems to think they know everything there is to know about the class topic.

I’ll admit it. I’ve been that kid before, probably more often than I’m aware of.

For those in the class who don’t think they know everything, that one know it all can be a royal pain.

The sight of them raising their hand can elicit sighs, groans and outbursts of anger from the rest of class, who don’t care to hear from the same student time after time.

Now, the point of this column isn’t to attack these so-called know it alls. As I admitted before, I’ve been that know it all.

The point of this column is to send a message to everyone. Nobody knows it all. It is okay to admit that you don’t.

Every now and then, we need to take a step back and acknowledge that we may not be the smartest person in the class.

It’s a tough position to take, but one that is instrumental in your success. If you’re a person who thinks you already know all that there is to know, reevaluate.

By thinking you know everything, you’re limiting yourself from learning more.

Think about it: if you sit in class and think to yourself, “why am I here when I already know all of this,” you’re wasting your own time.

Instead of thinking about how much you already know, think about how much you don’t know.

There is always something more to learn, more discoveries to make and more connections to find.

It’s important to approach academics with an open mind and an understanding that while you might know many things, you certainly do not know everything.

In an example of how there is always more information out there, take this instance my roommate told me about earlier today.

We thought scientists knew everything there was to know about the human body, right? They knew it all.

Every bone, muscle and ligament had a name and a function that they put in textbooks and required students to memorize.

There couldn’t possibly be more to learn about the human body, right? Wrong.

A group of Belgian surgeons just discovered a new ligament in the knee that can sometimes affect recovery from ACL injuries.

So here we are, in college, thinking we know everything, yet a group of highly respected scientists and medical professionals still have more to learn.

To boil down the scientific example, even when we think our knowledge is extensive and exhausted, there is always more to learn and discover.

Those scientists thought they had every single piece of the human body labeled and characterized, but they were wrong.

We can apply that lesson here in college. If you think you know everything, you probably don’t. And that’s not a bad thing.

Think about how boring life would be if you knew everything. Where’s the excitement in that?

Having more to learn is refreshing and exciting, and something we should embrace.

Instead of going on the quest to know everything, we should focus on knowing what we don’t know.

If you really think about it, it’s amazing how much information the human brain can store and analyze while still having room for more.

Your brain will never be filled to capacity with information. It will always want to know more and have room to store more, so why not learn more?

On the flipside, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be confident in what you do know.

This column is by no means telling you to stop raising your hand or shouting out the answer in class.

It’s telling you to think more about what you don’t know than what you do. If you view yourself as someone who knows everything, it might be hurtful to your ego to get an answer wrong or misunderstand something.

If you approach your studies acknowledging that there is more for you to learn, you will put so much less pressure on yourself.

For those people who don’t consider themselves know it alls, that’s great too. You have already acknowledged that you have more to learn. You may not know it all, but you definitely know something.

Everyone, regardless of how confident they are in their intelligence, has something different than can bring to the table.

To the know it alls – take a step back. You don’t know it all, and that’s okay. Listen to your classmates and seek out new information. Don’t limit yourself by thinking you already know it.

To those who are annoyed with know it alls – understand that they may not realize what they’re doing. Speak up. You have knowledge that is just as important and applicable to class discussion.

Everyone has more to learn, whether a college student or medical professional. Don’t limit yourself by thinking you already know it all.

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