I said it a lot when I graduated college: I’m so glad to be done with homework and studying! And I am still glad to be done with homework and assignments!
Last month was five years since I graduated and I took some time to look back and compare what my life was like then versus now.
Some things are good: I have my diploma, I don’t really have assignments at home; no more studying for tests — I just have to focus on doing my job, not simultaneously doing work for four or five totally different subjects at a time (like the assortment that was my final semester: Latin American history, general math, journalism ethics, news reporting and scuba diving).
But now that I do have my job in this specific field, so much of what I do revolves around that. Which is partly good — I’m able to focus on things that go together and work just on what I am paid to do without “distractions” from things that seem unnecessary (how I felt about my Latin American history class — history has just never been my subject!).
Importance of being well-rounded
On the downside, I feel like while I’m improving in one area, or learning more about one area, it’s just that: One area.
I think it’s important to be at least somewhat well-rounded in a few things, continuing to learn and improve in a variety of skills or subjects. I’m not trying to be a genius on everything or even to know just one fact about every subject. But I’d like to take some of my time to learn and practice other things.
For instance, one subject I really let slide after graduating was Spanish. I enjoyed my Spanish classes, at least the ones related to grammar (again, not so much the one on history), but I didn’t have an outlet set up to continue to practice and learn after graduation so it sort of fell off. Now I use a language app to keep refreshed on what I already knew and start to learn a bit more in conversation vocabulary.
Another big thing is that I stopped reading. I used to love to read, ever since I learned how. I’d bring a book almost everywhere, I’d read at lunch and dinner, I’d sometimes even get in trouble for reading instead of doing class work. But in high school when required reading started, it put out the flame. I stopped finding new things to read because I didn’t have the time.
Intentionally reading Scripture
And in college I started a Netflix subscription so that took up my free time instead of reading (that really should’ve been used for studying, but oh well!).
Just this year I bought a few books to get back into it and joined the local library. It’s still a habit I’m trying to get back — to read a bit every day or so. And I enjoy it when I do take the time to read even just a chapter.
Of course another area to grow (and the most important) is learning more about God. Being intentional in not just reading His Word but how I’m reading it — to learn more about Him — is something I’m still working on. I’m trying to take the time to really sit with and analyze what’s going on in passages I read.
There’s more I want to practice and more I want to learn — small online classes or courses on specific “one-offs.” I really have no plan to go back to school, no desire to get a graduate degree, and at least right now, I don’t feel that I’m called to do that by God. But I don’t want to stop learning just because I’m done with school.
In fact, now that I don’t have graduation and major requirements, I have a lot more freedom to decide what I want to learn and skills I want to add and grow.