This is going to be a practical post.
Can you imagine? I’m not exactly known to be the most practical person. My mom (and many of my friends) used to joke that someone with such a great academic record should really be able to remember to buy milk or call the dentist (okay, forgetting the dentist MIGHT have been on purpose). In fact, I know my mother worries sometimes that with all my head-in-the-clouds daydreaming behaviour, I will be incapable of leading a productive grown-up life.
But in fact, I have thought about some very practical matters recently. Chief among them, what does a recent graduate do with his/her life? Well, this graduate here would like to be a brand designer. She’d like to create brand identities, develop strategies, be a creative planner and an artist. Really. That type of job has that faint but irresistible smell of “this could be your passion”.
So instead, I’ve been teaching myself. I called this post “school of life” but really it’s more like “school of awesome free (and not so free) online resources”. I’m studying for a certificate in Graphic Design (that’s the not so free part) but I’ve recently also found some other resources very much worth looking into, so I thought maybe I should share. Please note… this is a personal collection, I’m not being paid by any of these websites to advertise them (on a blog with 27 followers, that wouldn’t make much sense either, hehe), neither are they aware that I’m talking about them 😉
Learn Spanish, Italian, French, German and Portuguese online for free. Your progress is divided into sections on a “skill tree”, which you need to solve to unlock new sections. In each set of exercises, you are permitted a maximum of three mistakes (three hearts you can lose). In the end, you get points for the questions solved and the hearts you have left. It’s fun in an almost addictive way, and I’ve been using it to brush up my French recently. My boyfriend’s taking his first tentative steps to mastering my mother tongue, German, in the same program – he’s not quite as excited about it (yet, hehe), but German is also a bitch. Ariane has been using it to learn some Portuguese. You can sign up with Facebook if you’d like to connect with your friends and see their progress as well as yours (feeling competitive?). And since it’s completely free, you don’t lose anything by checking it out either 🙂
Yet to try this, but it looks like a really cool resource for a wide range of affordable online courses. I browsed through yesterday and I will for sure be enrolling in some of those once I finish my design fundamentals course.
Those are my top 3 at the moment, but don’t forget one valuable point… work experience. Get student jobs. Really. Work with a professor. Last fall, I started what sounded like a very boring office assistant position. I took it because I needed money. I ended up learning how to create a personalized online survey and being head organizer for a three-day conference. I learned a LOT more than I had ever expected, and it was in no small part due to the fact that I just volunteered when something needed to be done. So be proactive. Take opportunities. Agree to build a WordPress site, make an online survey, organize an event, even if you’ve never done any of those things. It’s learning by doing and in the end, you’re benefitting just as much, if not more, than the professor who got around doing the wordpress site himself.
By the way, if you have any cool resources to add to the above list, please comment!