There are many ways we can continue to learn about the world around us and our place in it. It can often happen when we aren't seeking it out - A flash bulb moment if you like. Someone says something that resonates, that pulls together a whole lot of information or joins the dots to help us better understand things.
We can also actively seek out learning through committing to study formally. These days it's pretty easy to access study. You don't have to turn up to university or TAFE every day or every week. You can connect through online platforms, communicating through discussion forums, email and teleconferences. This can reduce many of the barriers previously facing people, particularly those with work and family commitments.
Studying can help us find new ways of understanding the chosen topic area. Studying areas related to psychology can give us fresh perspectives on our own life while also gaining information that really needs to be kept at arms length in order to ensure we can take it in with some degree of neutrality and without our own personal spin on it.
Sometimes when studying psychological topics we can feel it resonate. We can connect with it for ourselves or others around us. We can also become easily overwhelmed by the information, particularly when it's challenging information about mental illness or suicide for example. At those times, it helps to step back, to understand that the theories presented are simply theories. They don't explain absolutely everything. They are tools to help us build a better understanding. As we learn more we will be able to use them most effectively.
A risk of continuing to study formally is that the more we learn the more we realize we don't know. We realize that even the best theory or most well accepted understanding of the world can be open to criticism, can't explain simply everything. So over time we can start to feel less knowledgeable. We can find ourselves answering questions with "well it depends" because we know it does. In this way, ironically, we can sound like we actually know very little.
Approaching life as a mystery to be unraveled as we gather clues along the way might be a helpful way to look at the place that learning has in our lives. That way we're not expecting to have the answers all at once. We know that over time we will gather more and more information that will one day, hopefully, form a whole that makes some kind of sense to us. Trusting this can help us get through the challenges of gathering a whole lot of information that might not make sense at the time.