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Congratulations, you’ve made it to WEEK FIVE of university! You’re back into the student routine: your assignments are piling up, you’ve got a crush on a barista at Vic Books, and the Nap Paradox has reared its ugly head (the more you desperately need to nap, the less time you have to take said nap). Also, you’re LEARNING. It’s crazy how in the holidays you can spend 50 minutes watching blooper reels, whereas at uni in 50 minutes your lecturer will have taught you everything you need to know about NATO. Although the university experience is attached to many things — socialising, crippling debt, anxiety about your job prospects – it’s important to stop and think about all the things you’ve learned. Even if it seems weird or obscure, knowledge will always be important.
Now that we’ve agreed we love to learn, check out the podcast In Our Time. Originally broadcast on the BBC, each week a different topic is discussed by host Melvyn Bragg and three academic experts. The advantage of having multiple experts is that there will often be some brisk debate around the topic, as they challenge each other’s ideas and assumptions on the topic. The range of topics discussed is immense, from penicillin to Animal Farm to the Haitian Revolution. Each episode is 50 minutes long — it’s basically a lecture you can listen to in your bed and just enjoy, knowing you’ll never be tested on it.
The pace of discussion is quick, and there is an assumption of a proficient level of general knowledge in the listener, so I would recommend dipping your toe in at episodes where you are a bit familiar with the topic. However it’s an extremely popular programme on the BBC, with over two million listeners tuning in each week.
Knowledge is power, but even better, knowledge brings progress. We’re all better off if we know stuff. So next time you’re walking to uni, give In Our Time a listen and LEARN NEW THINGS.
Episode to start with: Industrial Revolution