The secret to my skill in running is simple: I practice every day. Virtually every day I go for a run, which means I give my body more practice to become familiar with the act of running. Assuming I’m not solidifying bad running habits, it’s simply a matter of time that I improve. Since I dedicate so much time to running, my body is never “surprised” by the act of running.
However, this attitude is not often taken for school. Instead, we assume that once a student has passed a class, they have learnt that material from that moment onward. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for those who have good marks, but when someone barely passes a course, it is probably unfair to say that they have learnt and absorbed all the content.
Personally, I find my mathematics classes tend to stay with me the longest, because they are used in all of my other classes and they “pile up” on top of each other as I delve deeper into mathematics. Still, there are some ideas that slip through the cracks and don’t get used often. Once that happens, it’s easy to forget how to deal with that kind of situation.
This is why I think it’s great to periodically look back and ask yourself if you’ve lost anything important that you had once learnt. If the answer is yes, take some time to go back and understand the idea. By doing this, you’re setting yourself up to forget less of the content you learned years ago. Additionally, it’s a good idea because older ideas you’ve learnt tend to crop up later on in different courses, so it never hurts to learn some material another time. Just a quick refresher can make a concept that much clearer in your mind once again, and it’s generally easier to relearn it than to go through it the first time.