History is not only the study of the past. It studies the past to make sure that the mistakes previously made are not repeated. It is sad to note that the number of historians has been dwindling in the recent years. So kudos to you for wanting to become one! The steps outlined below will help you determine how best to approach your dream of becoming a historian in a creative and fun way.
- Consider different methods of getting your instruction in history. Getting your instruction in history through a structured system of learning is the best way to go about your plan of becoming a historian. And this should not be that big of a problem, as some topics in history are already incorporated in subjects of social sciences as early as grade 4 in the elementary level. Elementary school kids studying in California even get their dose of history subjects as early as grade 1. Another alternative to studying in a formal school would be to join groups with the same interests. Ever wondered about the roots of rock and roll? You might just get valuable historical information on subjects of interest by joining historical societies in your school or area.
- Opt for specializing in a certain area of interest. Examine which areas of history best interest you. Are you into reading biographical chronicles of famous figures of history? Or are you very much interested as to how Russian literature has evolved through the years? Specializing in a specific area of interest will help you focus on your study of history.
- Do not limit yourself to studying history through a formal school. Classroom instruction gives students the advantage of learning history in the most favorable way -- with professors and history books assisting them. This, however, should not be your only source of learning. As you may already know, historians exhaust every possible method to discover something new about their field of interest. They conduct interviews with people who have had personal and first hand experience on the subject. They visit different sites relevant to their study. They peruse old documents to make sure that they find what they are looking for. Most of these historians get to have grants so they could continue with their work. If you do not have this flexibility of finances yet, then the cheapest way to widen your knowledge would be to check out museums, read books on the subject, or probably learn a specific language that would be useful to your research about the subject of interest.
And what's the use of history if you are the only one who knows about it? Let your study or research on a specific subject, however trivial it may be, say the history of common names, be read by many. The Internet can be utilized for this purpose. Just make sure that you thank those people who have helped you through your work.