“Student” is the word that is not only common in English, but also in, Norwegian Nynorsk, Tatar, Swedish, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Latin, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Afrikaans and Lower Sorbian. This word has rich history all around the world. Its English definitions, etymology and the perceptions associated with it is what we will discuss. By the end, we will become students of the word “student.”
The Oxford Dictionary defines. “student” as a noun, which means, “A person who is studying at a college or other place of higher institution,” with some variations such as “A pupil of a school” and “A person who takes an interest in a particular subject” (Oxford Dictionaries). As modifier, the word “Denotes someone who is studying to enter a particular profession” (Oxford Dictionaries). The term is broad, and becoming a student is an easy thing to do. All we must do is say that we are studying a certain subject.
Let us explore how the word came about by beginning with the Latin word studens, a present participle of the word studere which means to study. The Old French form is estudiant, which accurately means “student” in the way we know it now. Basically, it began as a present participle, and became a noun on its own (Wiktionary).
The term “student” has been difficult to define even though it is a word used frequently. This is because no one can master a subject and therefore, we continuously are students. The boundaries of any subject cannot be reached, as knowledge is not only growing, but also infinite. We can never claim to be outside of “studenthood,” despite the honors, degrees, and status within a discipline which makes even the most highly recognized person within a field a student. There are on equal terms for people learning in an educational institution. However, we can say they have achieved a certain level of knowledge though mastery cannot be precisely appealed. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do you know the secret of a true scholar? In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him; and in that I am his pupil.”
Being a student implies a certain modesty because if you have a large ego, it would be difficult for you to be deemed a student. To learn and to study, you must be able to accept, absorb, and process new information. Those who behave as if they know everything are often not seen as students, even if they are enrolled in a higher institution. Teachers can be considered students too. As they often state they learn from their students in the topics they are good at. Teachers are also known to constantly study and be reform within their discipline. This would in a sense mean they are student.
One becomes a student through curiosity. An American author Og Mandino said, “Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” Many issues of this world arise because of people who are narrow minded, and being a student is seen as being beneficial for one’s character and the society. Who is a student if not someone who is curious about life and what to make of it?
The word “student” is generally defined as a person who studies in any shape or form and it can be employed as a noun or a modifier, but it began in Latin as a present participle, where it moved onto Old French as a noun. “Student” however, can also be used as an ethical term signifying humility, curiosity, and the acceptance of the limitlessness of knowledge.
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