Sunday Box Talk – Be a Lifelong Student

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So let’s say you’ve decided to become a student again.  You want to learn new things, develop new skills, maybe have some fun.  Now what?

Well, first thing is to learn to be a novice again.  Let yourself be bad at something, in order to get better.  Studying is a challenge, too.  Spend time with the material.  Take notes.  Let yourself have the luxury of working at it.

Once you have all that down, what next?  Where do you find classes for adults?

Some Ways To Be a (Good) Student

  • VTC – Virtual Training Company (software training)
    • Have you wanted to learn to develop websites?  Make better photographs?  Do video production?  Check out their course offerings.  They have affordable monthly payment options or you’d save by signing up for a full year.  Those of you looking for a job in I.T., they have training for certification programs like A+.
  • Craftsy
    • Wanna knit?  Weave? Sew? Cook?  The list goes on.  They have a number of free classes, so you can get an idea of how the platform works.  Watch out; this maybe prove to be as addictive as Netflix.
  • Meetup
    • Prefer meeting with people in person?  There are meetups for almost every interest, from writing to science, gaming to coffee, travel to local exploration.  Attendance at many meetups are free.
  • Museums
    • Pro-tip: search Google for “museums” and see what pops up near you.  Many museums offer free days for locals, or you can get a pass at your local library.  Try asking your local librarian for suggestions.  You never know what you might find.
  • Community or City College
    • In California, they’re called community college.  Here in Chicago, it’s City Colleges of Chicago.  Whatever you call them, these institutions bridge the gap from high school to a four year university.  They also have courses that train students for disciplines like nursing or supply chain management.  You can also learn stuff you didn’t learn in high school or university.  Miss an opportunity to study calculus?  Want to try literature?  Learn a new language?
  • Park Districts and Adult Centers
    • Check out your local park center and adult community centers.  You can learn all sorts of things from woodworking to jewelry.  These classes tend to be very reasonably priced, too.

What about you, Dear Reader?  What are your favorite educational tips?

6 Replies to “Sunday Box Talk – Be a Lifelong Student”

  1. Actually, googling something, or someone I’m curious about is often my first step. I’ve done this with parts of Italy, composers, poets, the Counter Reformation Movement, Christina of Sweden, etc. It’s how I learned more about Guido Reni, when I saw some of his amazing depictions of San Sebastiano.

  2. I’ve taken free courses from They have MOOCs (massive open online courses), some of which are learn at your own pace, created by universities from all over the world. A lot of them are way over my head but I’ve found some that were fun (and some pretty challenging!). I highly recommend Coursera for anyone who is wanting to learn new things!

  3. I would also suggest consider being a teacher if you have a certain skill set.

    As a student, I’m surprised how many people teach various things for FREE. I’ve been looking at getting back to sewing and while I could probably manage via self teaching, there is something about a classroom setting where others muddle with me that helps me move forward.

    1. I think it’s important to understand how we learn. If we learn better in a group setting, then giving ourselves that luxury is something that’s helpful.

      Covey said that one way to learn something is to teach it, because in doing so we learn more about it. I’ve found that to be true for me, and it’s one reason I continue to teach. That, and I really enjoy it. 🙂

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