Home » Blogs » Always Learning » The Rewards of Learning Boring, Hard Stuff

The Rewards of Learning Boring, Hard Stuff

I wrote about how most important subject matter is tedious and difficult, especially at the beginning. Kids complain that they don’t see the relevance, don’t see why they need to learn this stuff!

Colleen responded with some nice perspective:

At age 28 I finally think I understand why it is important to absorb and incorporate all of the information that is available… I would hear my professor talk about cells, intersitual fluid, membranes, transport systems, etc… In my job, at a hospital, I see it applied….Trig for example and sin and cosine. I look at the heart monitor… It has taken me a while to realize this but I can’t get enough.

There’s also a lot of satisfaction in learning difficult things for their own sake. It’s fun to feel my mind grasp hold of some piece of learning, like a tire slipping on ice and then finding traction.

Right now I’m trying to learn a few words of French, in preparation for a trip next month. I’m also reviewing a bunch of pretty random subject matter as I help students with their final exam prep this week, stuff like prepositional phrases and polar coordinates and balancing nuclear equations.

Really nerdy, I know!…but I enjoy learning these things. Each bit of quirky, esoteric information makes me appreciate the beautiful complexity of this planet we live on and reassures me that, with sufficient effort, we can understand and improve.

I also enjoy learning so much more now that I’m an adult. Like Colleen, I have more perspective and appreciation for how knowledge fits together and for its power.

What about you? Do you enjoy learning?…if so, what, and why?

beautiful machinery; photo of window mechanism at Ellis Island

The Rewards of Learning Boring, Hard Stuff

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."

3 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2011). The Rewards of Learning Boring, Hard Stuff. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Jan 2011
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.