I came across a bit of interesting history the other night that is both a good lesson for young students today and a reminder that there truly is nothing new under the sun.
In England in the late 1600s, coffeehouses were the place to be for students. Students would often visit them several times a day to get the news, engage in discussions, and socialize with friends and strangers. They became known as “penny universities” because they offered an alternative to structural academic learning. Unsurprisingly, academics and administrators began to take notice and complain that coffee houses were distracting students from more “legitimate” work. 
From Anthony Wood, an Oxford academic in the 1670s:
Why doth solid and serious learning decline and few or none follow it now in the university? Because coffee-houses, where they spend all their time…
Besides the “doth,” you could imagine something similar coming out of a professors mouth today. Replace “coffee-houses” with “computers” or “social media” or “the internet” or “for-profit education” or “online courses” or anything else a young student might frequent form intellectual stimulation and you have a very “modern” complaint that I know I heard growing up all the time. Here’s another bit from a Cambridge Don in the 1670s as well:
Hours spent in talking, and less profitable reading of newspapers….scholars are so greedy after news they neglect all for it…”
And from a lawyer in Cambridge, Roger North:
…vast Loss of Time grown out of a pure Novelty. For who can apply close to a Subject with his Head full of the Din of a Coffee-house?
What’s particularly interesting is that despite these complaints from people with official certifications, coffeehouses became a fountainhead of innovation in thought and action. Adam Smith wrote a good deal of The Wealth of Nations in a coffee house. Jonathan’s Coffee-House in London became The London Stock Exchange. Isaac Newton was inspired to write the Principia after a coffeehouse argument involving several scientists.
From author Tom Standage:
Rather than enemies of industry, coffeehouses were in fact crucibles of creativity, because of the way in which they facilitated the mixing of both people and ideas.
Likewise, in our time, though the internet can be distracting, it’s also where the vast majority of innovation, intellectual discussion, publishing and work happens today. It’s almost laughable to think how much we were shamed about in school. If only they had known!
And my work in alternative education, I’ve experienced staggering amounts of resistance from traditional academics, despite seeing people achieve incredible results in nearly all spheres of intellectual and professional endeavor.
The stodgy professor (or lawyer, bureaucrat, etc) who can’t get past his ways and see value in something new is hundreds of years old it would seem. He takes different shapes and forms but he reappears again and again to do battle against the modern “coffeehouse.” And again and again he is proven wrong.
If I were still a student, I would double down on doing the things I find valuable that the academics in my life tell me I should avoid. It seems to be a pretty solid heuristic for what works long term.
 See Writing on the Wall by Tom Standage for more information