Call me Rory Gilmore, but I’ve said it multiple times since my graduation: sometimes I just miss studying.
There’s something both familiar and exciting in the ritual of getting a hot drink and curling up in a comfy chair at a coffee shop with a stack of books and an interesting subject to research. I certainly don’t miss cramming for tests the night before, or scrambling to get homework turned in on time, but it’s easy to take learning for granted while still in college.
Thankfully, with the accessibility of the internet, learning after receiving an undergraduate degree is easier than ever. If grad school isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of options for continuing to explore the areas and subjects that interest you.
iTunes U is an app that gives users the ability to freely listen to actual college classes. Sometimes an entire course will be available for download, enabling anyone to listen to classes from an enormous variety of schools, even universities like Yale and Oxford. The class topics encompass a wide range, and if you don’t click with a particular course, there is usually a similar one available from a different school. I’m currently listening to a class on Young Adult Literature, and I’ve found that my appreciation and depth of knowledge for the subject has grown tremendously, even after only a few days of listening.
Podcasts are becoming more popular every year, and it doesn’t seem like their rise in listeners will decrease anytime soon. Most popular podcast apps have an endless array of free episodes to instantly download, and there are shows on pretty much any topic under the sun. Not only are podcasts great for catching up on the news or listening to a favorite comedian, they’re fantastic resources for learning as well. Want to improve your grammar? Brush up on your literary knowledge? Listen to in-depth historical analysis? There’s a podcast for every taste.
KEEP YOUR OLD TEXTBOOKS AND NOTES
Okay, you might be skeptical about this one – but think about it: nine times out of ten, you won’t have covered the entire book in class, and more than likely, you don’t remember half of what you did read. Sitting down and paging through an entire textbook probably isn’t high on your to-do list, but if there was a class you enjoyed, try to dig up your old books and notes. Skimming through them once in awhile may trigger your memory or teach you something you might’ve missed.
DON’T STOP READING
Good old-fashioned reading has numerous benefits, and assisting in your quest to continue learning after college is among them. Read fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry, short stores, biographies. You’ll learn about life, people, and the mechanics of good storytelling. Branching out of your comfort zone and reaching for something in a different genre is the perfect way to continue your personal pursuit of knowledge.