As I drove to work yesterday morning, yellow school buses were again lurching down Atlanta’s roadways, reminding me that kids are heading back to school and the hallowed halls of learning.
When I got laid off, I thought for an entire 10 seconds that maybe I’d go back to school…maybe try for an MBA or go full-force for an MFA. Alas, it was just a fleeting idea. I returned to reality quickly when I realized that would mean student loan debt on top of the credit card bills I was already paying down.
Still, I feel like I’m always in need of continuing education. I’ve been wanting to learn more about art, photography and writing – all subjects that can be covered outside those ivy-covered walls. So I’ve decided to go back to school the Miss Pink Slip way. How? It’s pretty simple:
- Books – I have spent $$$ on books over the years and have dozens of volumes on art, writing, history, etc. Many of them have barely been cracked. It’s time for me to put them to use…by actually reading them! If you don’t own books on topics you want to study, by all means get yourself to the library and find anything you want for free
- Online courses– Almost anything you want to study is available online in some format. Whether it’s an e-learning feature on your local college’s Web site, Wikipedia or YouTube, just surf the ‘net. You can find information on anything from the history of the Peloponnesian War to the rules of rugby to how to dice an onion. Some Web sites I’m checking out for courses include learnthat.com (free), Mediabistro(paid) and Better Photo (paid). Look up “online classes”, your desired topic and go
- Community classes – Pour over your city’s free weekly (such as Atlanta’s Creative Loafing) to discover free or minimal cost events and courses. Attend Toastmasters or a local business mixer. Check out museums, churches and universities. Most colleges offer continuing studies programs each semester. For a fee, you can immerse yourself in the worlds of art, business, film, history, tennis and anything else you can imagine
Whether you have money to dedicate or not a dime to your name, you can continue learning and bettering yourself. And if you’re searching for a job, any of these activities can only help expand your perspective, enrich your network and open up new avenues for your life.
I’m excited about going “back to school”–how about you? Got any other helpful sites you’d like to share?