As always, I will tell a story. I am from India and in India, the education system is quite different from US. Till the 10th standard (sophomore year of high school), we study (and/or “learn”??) everything- science, maths, history, geography, politics, economics, languages and much more. From junior year, we have to choose a broad field(major) we want to continue our study in and the options are Medical, Non-Medical (Science), Commerce and Arts.
I was always genuinely interested in science, particularly Physics, so for me, the obvious choice was Non-Medical. But this was not the case with most of my other classmates. They had different criteria for deciding the major. The first criterion was “difficulty”. Med and Non-Med are usually considered difficult, so the students who have a higher GPA (presumed “smart” ones) usually go for these and the students who have lower GPA go for the other two. Now many of these “smart” students actually had no or little interest in science or math and they still went for it because “smart” students are expected to go for it (parental pressure and societal pressure). I remember one of my close friends ended up taking Science because of his parents’ pressure although he was really interested in Economics.
The second criterion (which is nowadays becoming the first) was “future jobs”. The usual mentality is Med and Non-Med lead to high paying and better jobs after college. Because of this, many “presumed not-so smart students” who would have taken commerce or arts otherwise, also went for med or non-med (mostly non-med, because it takes forever to become a medical doctor).
What happened as a result, the “smart” ones with minimal interest and “not-so smart” ones with vested interest, did not perform well because whatever they learnt was not mindful (I do not mean to generalize here because there are some who develop interest even if the chosen major wasn’t their first choice). Now most of them did manage into some pathetically low-ranked, high-cost private engineering colleges (these are the colleges, very high in number, with sole purpose to rake money out of students and give them a degree, with a little to no impetus on learning), but failed to get jobs after graduating or are working low-paying jobs (it is so ironic because the main reason for making that choice in school was to get a high paying good job) .
The rate of educated unemployment in India is rising at an alarming rate and one of the biggest reasons is the mismatch between the interests and learnings of students (I don’t want to discuss specific numbers here because the numbers go higher than the population of many countries). My post might have deviated from the main topic “mindful learning”, but I wanted to lay emphasis on how a small mindful advice from parents (to discover and follow interest and not money) and a mindful teaching from teachers ( to understand that the real aim of “learning” is not to get a job, but to gain knowledge) could have prevented my classmates to fall victims to this herd mentality and could have helped them to take a mindful decision towards their future.