Career AdviceSelf Improvement

How to Pursue Personal Learning This Summer 

posted on July 17, 2020 | by Alyssa Abel

How to Pursue Personal Learning This Summer 

Do you have extra time this summer? Perhaps you’re one of many who lost their jobs during the pandemic and need to grow your resume, or maybe you want to fill the social distance with some personal growth

With uncertainty lingering like a dark cloud, you might hesitate to jump into a pricey degree program. You are wise to consider your options carefully, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for Netflix and chilling all summer. Whatever your goals are, here are a few tips for pursuing ongoing learning as an adult this summer.

1. Take Your Time

If you’re anxious, you might feel like you need to do “something.”  This emotion may grow into a compulsion if you are under severe economic pressure. For example, if you lost your job and rent is due, you might feel desperate enough to jump into anything. Instead of doing that, take a step back and weigh your options carefully, because your actions can have lasting consequences. 

If you have a passion, by all means, enroll. But don’t jump into a program you’re not sure about — before you sign up, make sure it’s a career path that mirrors what you want to do in life.

2. Sign up for an Online Course

You don’t have to enroll in a degree program to pad your resume with a new skill. While many online schools cater to K-12 learners, sites like Udemy and Coursera answer how to learn as an adult. You can embrace ongoing learning in anything from javascript to animal reiki for less than $25 in many cases. Once you build your skills through this method, you improve your job prospects. That could give you the future income you need to pursue a formal degree if you choose. 

3. Go Back to College for Free

Since 64 percent of positions in 2020 require higher education, you might be considering pursuing an advanced degree if you want to progress further in a specific career. Maybe you want to attend a university, but you feel hesitant about committing now. That’s fair enough — but you can still enjoy a taste. Institutions such as Yale and MIT offer select courses online for free, some that award certificates for a small fee. Once you feel more confident, you can jump in full time, and you’ll have an idea of how difficult the coursework will be. 

4. Enroll Part-Time

If you aren’t in a hurry to get your degree, some institutions allow you to enroll on a part-time basis, enabling you to take courses as you can afford them. This option is an excellent option for adult students who don’t want to take out loans and have sufficient income to finish their degrees within a reasonable time. 

You will need to consult closely with your adviser. Most fields change quickly as society acquires new knowledge — it’s why many professions require ongoing education. Therefore, you won’t be able to start a program at age 20 and finish it at 40 without adding to the expense and required course load. However, if you only need to stretch things out for an extra year or two, speak up to make your learning program more personal. 

5. Explore Foreign Studies

Have you always wanted to learn a new language or explore international history? Now is the time to expand your horizons and grow through new knowledge. Download a language learning app like Duolingo, enroll in an online language course, or invest in a book about world cultures. Even if you can’t travel this summer, you can still learn more about the world.

6. Find Free Learning Channels on YouTube

YouTube is the BFF of a learner on a budget. It doesn’t cost you anything except for a few seconds of your time to view some ads. Do you want to learn how to create a blog using WordPress? You can find channels to learn more about that creative pursuit. Maybe you want to develop your culinary skills or teach yourself to code — there’s a YouTube channel for everything. 

7. Look Into Local and Online Seminars

Don’t overlook your network. If you don’t have one, you can build one by attending free conferences and events in both the virtual and real world. It’s another way to pursue ongoing learning as an adult without spending money. If attending a virtual conference, use the chat room to connect with other attendees. When you go in person, come prepared with a portfolio containing copies of your resume and business cards. 

Pursue Your Personal Learning as an Adult This Summer to Open Doors

You have multiple avenues to pursue ongoing learning as an adult this summer. Try the tips above to expand both your resume and your sense of self. There’s always room to grow.