The last few days have been a super emotional roller coaster, but I’m back after a much-needed mental break. It’s hard telling yourself that you’re not okay and you need to lighten up on the pressure. Of course, holiday time is tough when your family seems to get smaller, but I guess I have to find healthy ways to heal and deal. Today I was thinking about hobbies that I enjoy and things that I want to accomplish in life. Half of the things weren’t necessarily career based, but just things that I wanted to learn or do out of pure interests. As happy as I am to not be a student anymore, I feel like it was a part of me for so long. It took a while to get that first degree and then I jumped right into working on my masters and when I finally finished, I told myself that I was done. I was burnt out. A year later I was about to start on a new degree when I realized mid class that this was all too stressful for me. I had to move on from school, especially after all the stress that it caused me. So I withdrew from my class, and I moved on. Fast-forward to 1.5 to 2 years later I then realized that maybe I just missed being a student. Last year I took a free Harvard class online during the pandemic (https://ellerey.com/2021/02/18/i-completed-a-free-harvard-course-my-thoughts/) and I actually enjoyed it. I liked the freedom of not having crazy deadlines. They gave you 6 months to complete something that could be done in 4 to 6 weeks. It took the pressure off in more ways than one (no deadlines, and it wasn’t $900 to $2,500 a class like most schools). I didn’t want to add to my mountain size pile of Navient debt, but I wanted the feel of being a student and learning things that I was actually interested in. After I completed it, I paid the small fee for the certificate, and it just made me want to find other classes.
It doesn’t even have to be mental challenging classes. It can be something artsy and fun like painting, sculpting, or cooking. I just want to learn something fun, or just learn something useful on my own time. I learn a lot of things just by doing research or watching videos on my own, but I miss the class setting. I guess I’m just used to it. It somehow became a part of my identity. This time, instead of taking classes that I’m not interested in I’m going to search for classes that spark my interest. That’s the difference between this and college. No general core classes, just the courses that I’m interested in. I want to look into art (or cooking) classes at local community centers. If there’s nothing available, then maybe I’ll try to find a class through coursera, edx, skill share or other known sites. I just want to continue to learn and expand my mind, of find other creative outlets to express myself. I feel like life is all about learning and growing so it’s nice to have knowledge in certain subjects or just learning new trades in general. You never know where it could lead. It’s also good to add something new to the resumé. It might seem like I’m just adding something new onto my plate, but I feel like there’s always room for education and bettering yourself (whether it’s for a particular career field or just a healthy distraction). Sometimes we need to find ways to keep moving, to keep us from going under.