Contributing Author: Mónica Olivera Hazelton
In today’s society, women often find it very difficult to find time for themselves. Between jobs and/or children, family responsibilities and social ones, the pace of our lives is often too fast to allow for personal growth. But making time for our own interests and expanding our field of knowledge is critical in order for us to achieve both mental and emotional happiness.
Learning leads to opportunities. And these opportunities are diverse and endless. Often they lead to a new job, hobby, partner, career, friend(s), lifestyle, home, outlook, etc. But most importantly, an interest that is pursued can reduce stress and ignite passion.
Nurturing your inner student does not mean you need to go back to school (unless you want to!), but rather, it is taking the time to develop your curiosity and your powers of observation. Learning to appreciate the world around you and exploring new ideas can change your life forever.
Here are eight compelling reasons why you should be a Student for Life…
Writer’s Block has moved in and brought his mother, brother, and primo, Pepe. You stare blankly at your computer screen for hours, until in a fit of disgust you grab your coat and head to the nearest art gallery thinking a change of scenery will help to clear your mind. Inside you
discover incredible paintings by Rafael López. Inspired, you race home to write your masterpiece in children’s literature, which goes on to win the Newberry, Pura Belpré, and the Americas Awards. (And Rafael himself illustrates the piece.)
To Make Friends
Can anyone ever really have too many friends? Widening your circle of amigos can be an uplifting experience. Who knows? Maybe discovering a new hobby – or exploring potential ones – might lead you straight to your best friend’s door!
Your best friend lands tickets to the performance of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. You’ve never been to an opera in your life and are worried about falling asleep. ¡Que sorpresa! You’ve just discovered a hidden passion and you promptly download everything from Carmen to La Boheme and live happily ever after singing arias in the shower…and maybe onstage!
To Make Better Decisions
Does increased knowledge lead to wisdom? Not necessarily. But it can help you to make informed choices that will benefit you or someone else. For example, if you’re in the market for a new TV, doing a little research to understand what is the difference between digital and HD, or which brands have the best reputation, may help save you trouble in the long run…or at the very least prevent you from buying something you don’t really want!
Just for grins you attend a local convention for crafters. Thinking you might pick up some nice sewing patterns for your sister, you immediately fall in love with an embroidery machine and buy it. Before you know it, your hobby has turned into three embroidery shops around town and your sister now works for you.
To Be a Role Model
Your children (or your nieces and nephews) are little sponges who watch your every move. You want your kids to succeed in school? Show them that learning can be fun and is a lifetime process that can lead to success. The best way to teach a child good habits is to model them yourself!
To Sharpen Your Skills
Friends and family finally convince you to sit down and write your life story. When you finish you mail off your precious manuscript to two dozen publishers. After the 10th rejection letter, you decide to take a little class on how to access the writer’s market. You revise your manuscript and your submission process. A few years later you’ve published three books and have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
For the Opportunities
You’re sitting in a meeting at work discussing which direction the company should go. Your co-workers think that more emphasis should be placed on marketing the company’s educational books and music to libraries and small, independent bookstores. You say, “No way, people. The number of homeschoolers in this country just hit 2 million. They are our target customers.” Your boss smiles and promotes you to Director of Marketing.
This article appeared in The New Latina Guide to a Fabulous 2011 Year! — a collection of insights and tips from a group of talented Latinas (and one Latino) on how to live life to the fullest. To download a free copy, click here.
Mónica Olivera Hazelton is the founder and owner of Latin Baby, an online baby boutique for Latino families. She designs and sells products that reflect the blend of our American tradition with our Latino spirit. Monica feels quite strongly about the future of our children and believes that all parents should strive to raise their children to be proud of their heritage and culture. As a result, she has also created and publishes the Latin Baby Book Club, which reviews Latino children’s literature and is a resource for families raising bilingual – and bicultural – children. In addition, Monica publishes MommyMaestra. a site for Latino families that homeschool, as well as families with children in a traditional school setting who want to take a more active role in their children’s education.