Living History: Understanding the present by studying the past

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Patricia Skinner
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Why do I think history is the best major ever?  I know that history is not really the favorite subject of a lot of students, but there is one really good reason that everyone should at least appreciate history: to try to understand the importance of our past as we move forward in our lives. Through this blog, I hope to show you why you should be thankful for history and maybe even help you begin to learn to like it.

What is history?

To put it simply, history is the entirety of a series of past events that are connected with someone or something.  When you look at it this way, history is so much more than names, battles, or dates. You begin asking yourself, ‘what are we doing as a society right now if not living a future history’? Every single choice that we make and that our government follows through on changes the direction that we are going in.  Will future students look back on this period in history favorably or in disgust? While we are living our history, we are also learning from the mistakes of our ancestors and doing our best not to repeat those same mistakes.  

History is fun?

Studying history in high school and college can sometimes feel like you are stuck in an endless cycle of learning the same things over and over again. There is so much more to history than the same battles repeated through the endless loop of a broken record. History is like one big story that is enjoyable and teaches you about why the world is the way it is. For many of us, history has been taught with tests and projects that are just facts instead of being told in a way that interests us. As we get older we get to pick and choose what kind of history we study, whether that be through more classes or written in books we choose. You can learn about wars, government, or just everyday life. You may not enjoy all history, but I am sure there is some topic that you would like to learn more about.

I challenge you to find a point in history that you find interesting and make an effort to really learn about it. It can teach you so much about your surroundings and keep you from repeating the past. Also, once you find something you really love reading about you won’t even realize you are learning, just that you are having fun.


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