College After College

What I’m about to tell you may seem ridiculous. That’s it. There’s no “but” to add. Ridiculous, I tell you. Look, I know you don’t know me very well but you’re just going to have to trust me. I think we’re ready.

Here’s the deal: I had always been a smart kid, but I was never really that excited about school. Even so, after I graduated from high school and college, I felt like there was still way too much I didn’t know about. And I’m not talking about drawing-from-life-experiences-you-can-only-have-as-an-adult knowledge, I’m talking about things I should’ve learned in high school or college but didn’t. Like “what happened in Vietnam?” or “what’s Hamlet?” Listen, some of us just go to sub-par high schools and then decide to major in Television, okay? (Really.)

So after I graduated, about a year ago now, I started downloading and listening to lectures from iTunesU. While I remembered lecture classes being tedious to sit through in college, I realized that being able to listen to the lessons whenever and wherever I wanted made me actually want to listen to them. And, what? I can choose the subjects I want to learn about? ┬áIf I’m not into it I can just turn it off? Oh, and there are no assignments? Shut up. Plus, it’s free to get lectures from places like Harvard and Oxford? Also, those were all rhetorical questions? (Yes.)

Basically, I realized that once I took away the parts of school that made it stressful, it was easier to just absorb the information. And sure, deadlines can motivate you but taking away the panic-driven “how am I going to study for this test when I have four other papers to write?” feeling allowed me to actually listen to what the professors were saying. Now I enjoy learning more than I ever did, and in case you were wondering, I know what happened in Vietnam now. And about Hamlet, too, but I did have to read that one.

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