Learning After Education

Continually Learning

Wanna know what I was supposed to do today? I should be going to school. For the past eighteen Augusts and Septembers, I have planned the best “first-day” outfit to make the best impression during my first day of classes. But instead, I have a day off of work after a 35 hour weekend, and I am going grocery shopping and doing laundry.

Everyone tells you to go to school and college, then get a job, but no one really tells you the specifics of the transition period. Not gonna lie, I have more anxiety about not going to school than I ever have had ACTUALLY going to school. There’s something really unsettling about not knowing what you are doing.  It’s really that there are so many possibilities that my brain can’t understand it. There are so many things that I can do, that I don’t know what to do. I am supposed to be knowing what I’m doing. But I don’t and I have to pretend like I know.

When we moved to Hood River, we said we would live here indefinitely… and that’s just what it was. Now I can travel the world. I can keep commuting to Portland every day at my current job.  I can find a big girl job with benefits and stuff. I can move anywhere I want. I can move back home. There are so many different scenarios. And combine that with my indecisive personality and you get someone who needs to have made life decisions 2 days ago.

It’s also scary because the end of formal education feels like you have to stop learning. Now, there’s no place for me to learn new things in an academic setting.

But when I think about it, I have learned so many things since graduating in May. Let’s take a look and new things I have exposed myself to:

How to move to a new place

How to make time pass quickly on hour-long commutes (lots and lots of podcasts… stay tuned for my top 10 podcasts next week)

How to start a camping stove

How to brew cold brew coffee

How to put an IKEA bedside table together

How to make peanut sauce

How to be an alcohol server in Oregon (AND Washington!)

How to do proper rowing technique

How to get back on I-84 east from basically anywhere in Portland

The list goes on and on…

But while there are so many things to learn and explore during the transition period between school and actual adult life, I think that the most important thing (I know it’s cliche, but…) DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. I thought that I was able to make a better life by taking the advice of others like parents, coworkers, friends, and roommates, but really, you have to learn what makes you, and only you, happy.  It’s okay to learn from other’s mistakes, but also it’s okay to make your own mistakes because it’s your life to figure out.

And secondly, DON’T BE AFRAID OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT MAKES YOU HAPPY, ACTUALLY ISN’T MAKING YOU HAPPY.  It’s okay to admit that you were wrong. That’s why this transition period is here. It’s a trial to make sure you find exactly what makes you the best person you can be. Because in the end, we all just are here to have a good time.


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