After leaving university, I didn’t have a clue what to do next. The path that had taken me this far had been so structured. There had been timetables, syllabuses, grades to achieve and deadlines to meet. From 4 - 24, I’d been in education, and education meant classrooms. I’d always felt so at home in the classroom, I couldn’t imagine learning anywhere else. So once the cap’s been thrown high and the gown has come off, does that mean education is over?
At the time, yes. Oh that sweet taste of freedom, that feeling of time suddenly being mine. Down with deadlines, be gone with grades, for a brief, shining moment, it was exhilarating! But then came the Dolly Parton daily, weekends feeling shorter, paydays always 2 days too late for the direct debits due. I missed my files and notebooks, my deadlines and all night sessions in the library. Formal education was over, adulating was a work in progress, was I really done with learning? The funny thing about life and learning is that we’re never done. Or should I say, we never have to be done, if we don’t want to be. Yes, the freedom from formal education is mind blowing, but it’s also freeing in that you get to choose what you learn next. From taking an online finance course with Kaplan to checking out ayurveda books from the library, trying a new sport, or deciding to turn your love for a glass of vino into a full blown certified sommelier certificate. The possibilities are endless. Literally.
Think of all the things you wish they’d taught you at school. In todays world we have an infinite amount of resources available to us at the click of a button, both free and paid for. You can literally take any one single thing that you are interested in and give it as much time as you want. No more timetables, no more 1 hour of PE a week or 3 hours of maths a week. YOU set the timetable, you take your passions and run with them.
There’s something about the idea of taking something that’s always been an idea, or a hobby, and spending so much time with it that you become a professional in that area. They say it takes around 10,000 hours to be considered an expert in something, which sounds like a bloody lot, but when it’s spent doing something you are truly interested in, something you have willingly chose for yourself, that hasn’t been forced upon you by the man. It can be a course to further your career, or it can be a course that just enriches your day to day life.
I’ve been looking at online courses a lot lately. I like the idea of it being a bit more formal, in that there’s assessments and grading, but there’s still the freedom element as I can choose the course myself, do it purely for pleasure, and do it when I want too. Ah the beauty of online, distance learning. I’m really toying with the idea of taking an online course in short stories, in a bid to get back to my degree routes and giving myself a little refresher. Again, the beauty of choosing your own learning path is that you can revisit things as much as possible too, for a reminder or just pure enjoyment.
Because when you’re learning for you, there really is no greater pleasure. If you want to know more about Kaplan and developing an education you can choose, check out their e-book!
What’s been your post formal education learning experience? Have you ever taken an online course before? What was it in? Was it for business or pleasure?
Until next time,
Header image: @baim
2nd Image: @syinq
This post was in collaboration with Kaplan. All thoughts, opinions, hope and dreams are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer.