Eternal student syndrome: description, characteristics

 The eternal student – description

Everyone probably has at least one friend who, after graduating from one university, decides that he does not want to work in his chosen specialty and gets another higher education. And after the second – the third. And so on. It would seem that there is nothing wrong with this. We all learn something all our lives.

But the difference is that an ordinary person studies what he needs in life – for promotion in his career, for expanding the scope of his professional skills, for creative self-fulfillment, for spiritual self-improvement. And the “eternal student” mostly studies for the sake of the process, never applying the acquired knowledge in practice.

And after all, on average, about 85% of knowledge, which did not find a use, with the lapse of time is forgotten. So is there any point in such studies? Psychologists believe that even the knowledge that could be kept in memory, remains unorganized if it could not be used in practice. Such learning is a senseless waste of one’s time. 

What the term means

” Eternal students” refers to two types of people. The first can never complete their first higher education – they take academic leave, recover, drop out, re-enroll, transfer to another department or university, but as a result do not achieve a diploma.

The latter can be called diploma collectors. They study diligently, receiving education in various fields one by one, but they still cannot decide on the final choice of their professional activity and begin to apply their knowledge in practice. 

Why do people want to learn all the time?

Fear of entering adulthood

Some students never become mature adults during their time at university. More often than not, this happens to those who, even during their college years, remained under strict parental control.

Their infantilism is provoked by excessive parental tutelage, suppressing the desire for independent decision-making.

As a result, the student remains a child, unable to shoulder the responsibility that he will carry on his shoulders as a member of the workforce, he is afraid to make responsible decisions in his life.

  • A’s student syndrome

Oddly enough, but life experience proves that excellent students, used to meticulously follow the instructions of the teacher, in life are much less successful than C-level students who do not want to waste their time studying the subject, the task of which they can accomplish with the research paper help. The excellent students make good-doers, while the thoughtful C’s make entrepreneurs who know exactly what they want and what they don’t want in this life.

While it is easy for the practical C student to adapt to the life around him and find his place in it, it is easier for the excellent student to stay in the system, where you have to obey instructions and get good marks for it, to continue doing what he is good at since school.

  • Perfectionism belongs to this same complex

A perfectionist is a person who takes on a task only if he is sure that he can perform it perfectly. His motto is “either perfect or nothing”.

Excellent students, accustomed to striving in the performance of academic work to the ideal, terribly afraid of failure, starting to apply theoretical knowledge in practice.

What to do if you are an ” eternal student”

The first thing to do is to make sure that your self-diagnosis is correct. Many people study all their lives, but who are not ” eternal students” at all. The difference is that some people acquire knowledge for its practical application, while others use it only in conversation with interlocutors, wishing to show off their erudition and the presence of several higher educations.

The first step in overcoming the syndrome is the recognition of the problem. The next step is the desire to cope with it yourself. You can help yourself if you think about the consequences, which leads to a worsening of the problem:

  • Constantly postponing the beginning of professional self-realization steals your time for successful professional growth. Just think about what your peers, your former classmates, have accomplished while you’ve been sitting out your time studying.
  • You spend your life gaining knowledge that will be forgotten without being put into practice.
  • Infantilism, the fear of starting an adult life full of responsibility and inevitable mistakes and disappointments, can lead to mental problems, neurosis, obsessions.
  • Fear of leaving your comfort zone hinders the development of your personality, spiritual growth. Your movement goes not in a spiral, but a circle. And the longer you move in this direction, the harder it will be to go to the next turn of the spiral.
  • A person truly learns only when he faces challenges and overcomes them by stepping out of his comfort zone. These lessons will allow you not only to grow professionally but also to develop spiritually. Even if it is a negative experience, it will prove useful. Thanks to it, you’ll be able to see in real life what your purpose and ideal in life is.
  • You’ll understand what knowledge you need to acquire additionally for further application in practice. It doesn’t matter how much you know. The point of knowledge is only to put it into practice.
  • It is impossible to be a perfect specialist at the very start of your professional career in a certain field. No matter how deep theoretical knowledge is, in reality, everything is learned only in practice. You can know a lot, but not be able to apply your knowledge in the right place at the right time. This professional flair comes only with practical experience.

Don’t be afraid to try, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember that absolutely all great people started with mistakes.


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