I miss college. I’d spend my morning watching foreign Pepsi commercials in a language class and the afternoon talking about things like what Freud would think of Murakami’s latest book. Your job is basically just to learn stuff. Sure it doesn’t pay—er, it puts you deep into debt. But it is an eye-opening time. The good news is, just because school is over doesn’t mean the learning ends. It just gets a lot cheaper, and more portable!
Here are some of my favorite ways to learn, even as a post-school adult with a full-time job.
If you’re a creative person (which I’m guessing you are if you read this website), Skillshare can teach you all the skills you didn’t know you needed. Drawing repeat patterns, data visualization, shooting food photos with your phone, pitching stories to a magazine—those are just a few titles on my list. Plus, you get to learn from some of your favorite influencers. If you do get hooked on Skillshare, let your employer know. Your downtime hustle may just open up doors for you in your workplace.
YouTube sounds obvious, but you might be totally ignoring it. I did for way too long. In my mind, it was just a place to watch viral videos and weird commercials. But there are countless specialists in literally every field out there hustling and making amazing educational content that you can access for free. Whether you just want to up your eyebrow game or understand quantum physics, there is a YouTube channel for you. I’ve recently gotten into photography and I’ve been amazed at how specialized the videos are. I’ve watched tutorials and reviews for niche lenses and color editing techniques. It’s become my new favorite rabbit hole of content by far.
Is there a little voice in the back of your mind telling you that you’re forgetting what you’ve learned in school, little by little, year after year? Keep all those school skills sharp by using Elevate. Not only can you practice your reading comprehension and grammar skills, but you can practice math, too. The games are beautifully designed, challenging and fun. Plus, if you ever have to take a standardized test, Elevate will help you ace it.
If you’re not a podcast listener, you’re missing out on a huge chance to learn. Whether you want to pick up tips from chefs or understand politics better, there is definitely an educational, entertaining podcast out there for you. I would highly recommend Trumpcast and Fresh Air as places to start, but you can see my full list of favorite podcasts here.
Looking to break into a new career, or just try something new in your existing job? Learning a new type of Adobe software can seriously open up creative opportunities for you. Lynda.com offers tutorials for learning Illustrator, InDesign and other key Adobe pieces of software. In the process of learning, you can actually create polished, finished products to put in your portfolio. Not a bad use of time at all.
Looking to build your own website or app? Want to make like a character on Silicon Valley? Hit up Treehouse. They provide videos, interactive quizzes, and badges for new skills you earn. Once you feel comfortable coding, there’s no end to what you’ll be able to create.
I hope these ideas help you keep learning and upping your creative game!
Becky Lang is a writer, creative director and occasional podcaster living in Minneapolis. She also likes to draw dogs and female protagonists.
BY Becky Lang - October 18, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.