I am starting to miss the college days. The days of friends, adventures, papers, and classes. I am far enough removed now from my undergrad that I miss school. I miss learning and being made to read books and write thoughtful papers. I miss the feeling of doing well on a test and knowing my material. Our whole lives we learn – we come into the world as a baby and literally know nothing. We learn everything, how to walk, talk, potty train, share, eat, recognize animals and colors. Soon enough we are in preschool and the schooling keeps going until our early twenties (or late twenties) and then… we stop.
I heard this statistic once that 42% of college graduates never read a book again. Like ever (what?) I have no idea how true this is (being that I don’t know the test that actually supplied these results) but either way I think that is sad. Life long learning has so many benefits. Your brain stays active & healthy, you spend money more wisely, you get more promotions and raises, you make a better impact, you have a higher level of satisfaction in your life, and a million other things! We all know the joy in being able to master a new task and why does that have to stop after college?
I am really wanting to get into photography and this is the camera I inherited from my husband when we got married. I have never really had a real camera but let me tell you, I rocked the disposable back in the day! This statistic really got to me and I thought now is the best time to actually learn more about this camera I’m holding in my hands and maybe be able to take beautiful photos of my family one day!
FIVE WAYS TO KEEP LEARNING
I am sure you live near a library of sorts. Check out their book selection. See what is on their must read list, pick up one book (do not overwhelm yourself), finish it, and trade it for a new book. It is okay if it takes you weeks (or even months) to read a book. Life is busy but you are growing your vocabulary and imagination by letting yourself dive into a book. If you need ideas of where to start, look around at the blogs you follow – a lot of them have a currently reading section.
When you go to a new place you are automatically learning new things because things are done differently. Whether is is taking a plane to the other side of the world or just driving to an old mountain town, there is so much to learn about a new place. Talk to the locals and hear their stories, go to a museum, read all those historical signs on the side of the road, eat something local. Your fun vacation can be filled with learning (and you might not even notice!)
PICK UP A NEW HOBBY
If you have always wanted to sew, do it! Take a class, buy a sewing book, ask your mom to teach you. Why not pick up a hobby you have always wanted to do but never done? Pick something and research it. See what you will need to do to pick up that hobby – photography, running, yoga, chess club, book club, bird watching, scrap booking… the list is endless. It will be a fun kind of learning because you are using it to accomplish your goal.
TAKE CLASSES AT A LOCAL School or online program
I am looking at my local school for a photography class but there are also a lot of online options! My husband and I took a pottery class over the summer and we learned how to throw pots on a wheel! It was so fun even though his pots were infinitely better than mine!! There are lots of art classes I would enjoy taking and writing & photography really interest me now as well!
Next time you say “I can’t ___________” (fill in the blank) add “yet!” Like right now I always tell my husband “I can’t cook” and then we eat out and spend so much money. If I said “I can’t cook yet” then there is more hope in the statement! Maybe I should start looking up recipes, finding things I enjoy making, taking a cooking class, paying attention to how long things are in the oven… things like that 😉 It is a way to learn something that will be immediately helpful in your life. Just pick one thing and work hard on it.
All this to say that I want to keep learning and I plan to do just that my whole life.