You hear it all the time from people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s: “I wish I had taken more of an interest in [insert subject or activity that you have always wanted to develop further]”. Now, more than ever, learning is incredibly accessible. All you have to do is devote some time (and in some cases, money) to expanding your horizons.
It’s amazing the information available to you via the Internet these days – you can find a how-to on nearly every subject on YouTube. There are thousands of free courses and videos in an endless range of subjects and skills. Ever wanted to learn to paint watercolour, take professional photos, learn how to use Microsoft excel, bake Nanaimo bars, change your vehicle tires, learn basic first aid, pick up Spanish, learn yoga or meditation, make DIY candles, French braid or knit? Well you can learn how to do one or more of them now, and all you have to do is Google it! You no longer have to be the guinea pig – countless others have already done x, y, z and have documented it for you.
Aside from learning ‘hobby related skills’, some of the finer and more expensive learning opportunities also include educational learning (getting a certificate, undergraduate or master’s degree in one or more specializations for example) – and these are the ones that cost you out of pocket, but are an investment in yourself and will help shape the career you lead. Continual learning not only provides you with extended knowledge, but also with new interests and stimulation, as well as purpose. Whether or not the interest you have chosen is critical to your career path or is just for fun, you can always take something away from the experience and hopefully put it to good use. I have always been a keener and have looked to learn as much as I can, and as well as I can. Even after graduating with an undergraduate degree in hospitality and business management, I have taken numerous extra-curricular courses to further expand my knowledge and skills. I’ve taken a course in Project Management (in-class at U Waterloo), photography (on-line via iPhotography), and social media for business (online via ITU). All it takes it a little focus and even if you don’t pursue your new interests for long, you have a few more useful skills to enhance your resume.
I’ve watched hundreds (if not thousands) of YouTube videos that have helped make my life easier – how to start the snow blower, use the instant pot for mashed potatoes, access the trip settings in my vehicle – all of which have aided me in avoiding pulling out the dreaded user manual. Even things like how to use basic power tools and make DIY crafts and projects are easily found online, and keep me entertained while trying something new. All you have to do is watch the video, maybe print off some instructions and you’re set. Don’t understand how the stock market works? Do some research and watch a few videos, then you can consider investing and better understand how the system functions. Love getting creative and socializing with people? Consider a course in bartending – even if you don’t work as a bartender, you’ll always know how to throw a great party. Love trying new foods and experimenting in the kitchen? Look up some new recipes or watch some Gordon Ramsey videos. Do whatever it takes to exploring new avenues and get excited about something!
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.