Over the past few weeks, I’ve had friends and family members who have graduated from high school & college and I’ve had time to reflect on my own time.
A lot of people think that when you graduate from high school, college or grad school you’re done, but in reality you’re only just beginning.
I graduated from college 14 years ago and I’ve spent the majority of my professional career learning as much as possible. Sure, I took some time off after college but I’ve spent the past nine years learning as much as possible. Between reading text books, nonfiction books and in the past four years taking free online courses, I’ve picked up an entirely new skillset that wasn’t available to me in college.
That has given me the freedom and flexibility to do what I want to do, travel and live in the places and not be shackled by anything. If it weren’t for the openness of the internet this would not have happened.
Between sites like Github, Stack Overflow, Coursera, Edx and even sites like Twitter, I would have never found a community of people who were passionate about the same things that I’m passionate about.
The thing that has helped me the most is my own curiosity. I want to know ‘how’ things work, but more importantly I want to know ‘why’ they work that way.
By being curious, asking questions, trying new ideas, searching for truth and evidence, challenging assumptions and sharing work so that others can improve upon it. That’s how we grow. We do it in community together.
And yes, it’s hard. There will be times where trying to further yourself professionally will seem pointless. You may be surrounded by people who don’t care anymore or by people who hit the easy button on their way out, but please don’t let that deter you. There are other people out there that care as much as you do, you just have to find them.
Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate, it’s only the beginning. It’s up to you to keep the flame alive.