more to learn

i am starting to miss the college days. the days of friends, adventures, papers, and classes. and 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 (see picture below) this is a 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 and the camera phone!) this is really want got me to thinking about all this. i WANT to keep learning! 

i do not know if you are anything like me but if you are wanting to keep that pretty little brain of yours active, i have a couple ideas!


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.

i am reading Les Mis right now and i have been for a month now. feel free to join me on this journey! i am learning tons of new words and finding myself clicking the “define” button in my kindle multiple times a page but it is making my brain work and i am loving the story!

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. you fun vacation can be filled with learning (and you might not even notice!)

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.

i am looking at my local school for a photography class (as i mentioned). i think it would be so fun to learn and taking only one class at a time is pretty easy to mix with my busy schedule. 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 other classes about people. i would love to keep my degree up to date with classes here and there.

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 my whole life.

right now elizabeth is reading for fun, learning how to cook to save money on food, and taking a class to become a photographer. 

what are YOU learning these days?

Author: Elizabeth Mayberry

  • Great Ideas Beth!

    I grew up loving to read, but in High School and College I had so much required reading that I never had the energy to pick up something I WANTED to read.

    So once I started my current job (Sep 2011) I told myself I wanted to read at least a book a month – and I've chewed through so many more than that over the past year. Books give life πŸ™‚

  • I finish college in less than a month and found this post so perfect for me! I'm starting to feel sad and excited about finishing college. I'm definitely going to miss that learning part. Fortunately, I still have some more school to go (I just have to apply and all that wonderful stuff).

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I loved this post and am excited to see you learn more photography! I would love to do that someday.

    And 42% of college grads don't read a book ever again? That is one sad statistic! πŸ™‚

  • Amy

    Great ideas for real!
    I'm constantly saying how i'm not challenging myself anymore since i graduated college.
    It is time to change that! πŸ™‚
    I'm with you, let's learn more!

  • Great post, so inspiring! I would love to be a better writer so I've been focusing on that these past couple months. Good luck with photography, Elizabeth!

    xo Ami
    a champagne dream

  • All of these are so true!! Recently, I've really been trying to use the books I'm reading for fun to teach me something. I try to google something from the book that I don't know much about…all in the effort of opening up my mind more. Great list!!

  • I honestly can't imagine never reading a book again after graduation. That is crazy!! I want to be a lifelong learner too. πŸ™‚

  • this is awesome! I personally read non stop, but I definitely think the world would be a better place if we all valued learning things. Just for the sake of learning them. Such a good post- knew I followed you for a reason πŸ˜‰

  • I hear you. There are some days that I miss school so much. Like you I am trying to keep on learning by picking back up playing the piano & violin and learning how to use my camera. I loved this post and am so glad you shared it.

  • Love this! I'm finishing up grad school, but I long for the days of my undergrad. I feel like I just learned so much more, especially since I was taking classes on all different subjects! Plus, living with my classmates definitely made a huge difference. I loved that our conversations could carry on beyond the classroom!

    Love that you're pursuing learning beyond college! πŸ™‚

  • this is brilliant! when I graduated college I was so happy to be DONE, but soon realized that life without learning is so boring. this list is perfect!