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.

  • Jessica La Battaglia

    I feel ya girl! I definitely feel that I didn’t learn a whole lot about anything during highschool; and I’m still in college because I couldn’t figure out what to major in (I finally settled into Psychology) and the student counselors that are supposed to help you decide on your major and help you plan your schedule appropriately so that regardless of how many major-changes you’ve had you won’t have one measly little class at the end of your college career to take, thus having to pay out of pocket for said class, aren’t very helpful in the slightest bit (sorry about the run-on!). Anyhow, I do use some of my resources in helping me to learn the things I feel I missed out on but thank you for sharing the news about lectures on YouTube, I had no idea! Free Harvard here I come! :) happy learning!

  • Sara Stollings

    I’ve been out of college for about a year too. I have a degree in fine arts (graphic design specifically) but my college was a small private art college that had, well, only art. So I always feel like I’ve missed a lot too! I enjoy watching lectures on a site called Academic Earth. I had no idea iTunes had lectures to listen to! Thanks for the info and may our lives be filled with endless learning :) especially now that it isn’t mandatory!

  • Sara Stollings

    So I just now checked out the iTunesU…I’m in heaven!!

  • Lauren Nespoli

    I didn’t know about iTunesU, but I like learning about random things so I’ll have to check it out!

    Also, why didn’t I know you could major in television 6 years ago when I was in college? I think I might’ve switched school for that, and probably aced all my classes! haha.

  • Chelsea Parks

    I got my degree in Television too! Glad I wasn’t the only one :)

  • Ada Katarina

    I’m a huge fan of iTunesU and podcasts like Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class. For whatever reason, it took graduating from college and working ‘in the real world’ to realize how much I missed learning new things. The best part is that you can listen to it whenever you want to and not because you have to!

  • Alex Rodriguez

    I like listening to iTunes U while doing chores. I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older my brain no longer tunes out the drone of Professor’s voices. Perhaps, it was because of Ira Glass that this was all possible. I have to admit that my love for NPR, audiobooks and Werther’s Originals has only increased as time progressed. I’ve also found myself drawn to making jams and preserves. Geezercore forever.

  • Karen Lancashire

    I’ve just discovered iTunesU & free audiobooks too, I listen to them when I walk my dog. I find Shakespeare a lot easier to understand when it is being read to me by a cast of characters! I wish I could’ve listened to Shakespeare’s plays on my ipod when I was at school, it would’ve made writing essays about them a lot easier!

  • Antoinette Allen

    Is this Havemeyer 309 with Deborah Mowshowitz’s Bio C2006??!?!
    This class. This person. My brain is dying all over again.

  • Nancy Simone Scott

    I do this too, it’s so good! :-)

  • Lauren Maslen

    I just graduated with a double degree in television and film three weeks ago. My university is going to start putting lectures on iTunesU next semester (which I was kinda bummed about when I read – wouldn’t it be cool to be in the class that’s online?). I’m excited to be able to use this now that I’m not in school anymore, though. Now that I’m out, I still totally want to be learning, so this is awesome – and score, not have to take the test for the class! I’m just hoping they’ll put that one class I never got to take online: Sources Harry Potter in Literature.

  • Rebecca Lynn

    OoOOoo Free lectures from Harvard and Oxford? I’m working on my master’s in English,and I’m totally interested. I always feel like I don’t know anything about anything outside of English, especially History. And hell, even my knowledge of literature doesn’t go too far outside of what’s offered at my small school. Thanks for this!

  • Rebecca Lester

    Oh wow I never noticed that before! Anyone have any suggestions for a good art history lecture on there?

  • Ericka-Jade Mulherin

    If you’re interested, you guys should check out TED Talks. Similar, and brings up lots of current topics.

  • Liz Frye

    Thanks for mentioning this! I didn’t know about itunesU and I love learning and feel the same way you do, I don’t know enough about things that I should.

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