One of the last steps before the completion of a graduate student’s PhD is a student’s comprehensive finals (comps). Comps can come in many forms depending on the school, but in general, they are a daylong test where students are given a series of questions that can relate to any topic or subject that students have learned in graduate school. Since the questions can relate to any subject, and oftentimes ask the student to draw on in-depth knowledge of all subjects, the student effectively needs to be able to recall all they have been taught on comp day.
While undoubtedly the student is intensely preparing in the weeks and months before comps, they have had many years to prepare for this cumulative moment. Graduate schools structure their courses so students can be taught material in increments, absorbing the material semester by semester until they have completed all of their coursework. If a student feels overwhelmed on test day, then it usually is the fault of the student, not the institution, as they have had ample time and have been given the structure to succeed.
While one may debate the importance or role that formal education has on society or the impact it can have in one’s life, one thing that formal education does well is structure its offerings so students don’t feel overwhelmed. Biology 1010 comes before Biology 7130 as the knowledge in subsequent courses builds on previous knowledge. Without this structure, most students would drop out due to stress, confusion, or simple feelings of inadequacy. Unfortunately as adults, this is exactly what we put upon ourselves as we try to learn and apply a new subject, in our case stock and real estate investing.
Entering the Real World
If you ask 100 adults if they could fully understand and apply any advanced subject from graduate school in a matter of weeks, you would get a universal “no.” It would be unlikely that an individual could even read all of the requisite material in a few months, let alone be able to comprehend and have the ability to apply this material in such a short time frame. Yet these same individuals who recognize the folly of such an attempt will become frustrated and even start to question their own intelligence and ability when they can’t master and apply material relating to stock and real estate investing in a matter of weeks, sometimes even days. They don’t even recognize they are asking themselves to be superhuman to do so.
Real estate and stock investing is not dissimilar from other learning endeavors. There is terminology to learn, concepts to grasp, and history to learn from. Most importantly, there is the process of starting to apply difficult concepts in the real world where at times you compete against other investors and institutions that have years, if not decades of experience. The fact that you cannot master your field of interest on day one, or day one hundred for that matter, is not an indictment on you or your intelligence. Learning and mastering simply takes acquiring the right knowledge and devoting the necessary time to learn and then apply that knowledge.
The graduate student knows that if they finish their coursework, pass their comps, and write their dissertation, they will accomplish their goal. The advantage they have is that they know that this is a lengthy process. Real estate and stock investing students should have the same surety in their quest. If they acquire the proper knowledge and learn to apply that knowledge, they too will accomplish their goal. Since the goal of such an endeavor is financial success, and for Rich Dad followers, escaping the rat race, this should provide the proper motivation and desire necessary to succeed. Here are a few tips to succeed in your real-world educational journey.
Acquire the Proper Knowledge – In today’s Internet world, information is accessible as it never has been in the history of humankind. Unfortunately, this information is oftentimes presented as incomplete tidbits, unverifiable facts, and not in a manner that is conducive to learning. One of the advantages that Rich Dad Education courses offer is that material is presented in a manner similar to a university setting and compiled and taught by experts in that field. The material often teaches shortcuts to success and ways to avoid pitfalls in that subject area in addition to all of the terms and concepts you need to learn. This real-world learning experience is the biggest advantage it has over the formal educational structure.
Learn the Terminology – If you walk into any advanced class you would likely be confused simply due to the terminology being used. Each subject has its own lingo and language of its own. Spending time learning key terms before class and in the days and weeks following will expedite the learning process.
Structure Your Learning – When you attend a university, you are informed when classes are held and then handed a syllabus on the first day of class. As class progresses, you are given assignments, informed of the dates of tests, and so forth. This structure creates a sense of urgency in the minds of students and defines short-term goals and objectives for the student to fulfill. After you attend a Rich Dad Education class, create your own version of a syllabus that can help you retain and start to apply the material that you have been taught. Set up reading assignments to review material you have been taught and apply what you’ve learned so you can start acquiring critical experience. These assignments might include placing a virtual trade, attending a tax liens auction, or making an offer on a house.
We all want to escape the rat race as quickly as possible, but we must realize that it is not an overnight process. However, with the right motivation, knowledge and patience we can all eventually graduate specializing in the real-world investing area of our choice. The rewards are well worth the effort and offer far more than a diploma that we can hang on the wall.