You have passed all the necessary requirements to graduate from college. You already have your diploma and a resume to prove that you can start being a professional. You hide your textbooks and say goodbye to buying another school material. You have completed your training. You no longer have to attend classes.
Then, what happens next? Does learning stop once you step out of your alma mater and enter the real world? As students, we have been shaped in the four corners of our classroom, most of the learning happens at the expanse of our school grounds. To think that learning stops once you graduate from college is the greatest mistake an individual make. In fact, it’s when you graduate from college that learning truly begins.
Life after college poses the most important lessons you’ll ever face. But of course, as life learners, we can’t just leave it up to chance to tell us what kind of situations we’ll encounter. We must be pro-active in seeking out a way to never stop learning. Instead of waiting around for opportunities to teach us the intricacies of life and adulthood, we can try doing some of the following:
1. Taking online courses
To further expand your knowledge on your chosen field or know more about subjects not included in your college curriculum, it’s a good idea to take online courses. There’s a wide range of classes you can enroll in online. Websites such as Coursera and edX offer subjects taught by professors of renowned academic institutions like Harvard, Rutgers, Berkeley, Dartmouth, and MIT.
Aside from that, you can also take refresher course on topics you have long forgotten. It may also be a great way to learn more about your hobby, which sadly isn’t part of what you trained for in college. You may have taken an Engineering major, and these courses offered online can finally let you learn more about creative writing.
2. Exploring other cultures
In other words, spend time on traveling outside your comfort zone. It’s essential that you have a wider world perspective to be more understanding of people’s differences. Meeting people of different nationalities is a great way to widen your horizons as an individual. But do not stop there. Try to leave the bounds of your country from time to time to explore what the world has to offer.
Traveling doesn’t come cheap, but you’ll end up gaining experiences that you won’t be able to learn or buy from elsewhere. So get yourself a passport and book a flight to the most exquisite destination you can find.
3. Collecting life skills
In college, we’re too busy learning about our field that we ended up focusing too much on it and neglecting everything else. We’re so keen to learn more about the sciences to bother learning how to fix a faulty light bulb. We’re too preoccupied with editing our essays that we fail to discover how to change a flat tire.
Life skills sounds so basic that you don’t need to spend time learning it. Yet, how many of us can cook a decent meal without getting burned a couple of times? Life skills are called as such because they are essential in our everyday lives. We don’t always have to call the plumber every time the sink is broken. We can’t call our father everytime the roof starts leaking. They may be dirty work, but these skills can help us save money and make us more dependable individuals.
4. Learning from other people’s mistakes
Any sensible person knows that one of the steps of growing up is learning from one’s own mistakes. Take all the lessons you’ve acquired in all your years on earth, and use that as a wisdom to discern what you can learn from other people’s experiences. Life is really too short to only depend on what we can get from what we go through. Sometimes, we also need to observe other people’s daily plight and take every nugget of wisdom we can get from it.
Stepping out of your university can be liberating. You’re finally free from all the homework and essays you do on a daily basis. But hopefully, it’s not the end of your learning and growing as a capable individual. Four years aren’t enough to learn everything. Heck, a lifetime is still not enough to be the end all and be all of knowledge.
As humans, we must move forward and take every lesson we can with an open mind. There’s no better way to live than take and create opportunities and turn them into learning experiences.
Nicolette Morrison is a social media specialist for Resumesplanet.com. She’s also a freelance writer who focuses on educational technology. Reading books and traveling on weekends are her favorite ways to kill time.