Graduation is an exciting time. In part, because it means you’ve reached your goal and accomplished what you set out to do, but it’s also because it means at least a temporary end to tests, homework and those dreaded group projects.
However, just because your formal education has come to an end doesn’t mean you should stop learning. After you’ve had a satisfying break from the monotony of school, you might start craving activities that exercise your brain. If you do, keep your mind sharp with these five simple ways to keep learning after graduation.
1. Take a continuing education class
Learning doesn’t have to be all about satisfying a certain amount of credits or getting a grade. Continuing education courses are designed for people who have been out of school for a while and just want to learn. Take a fun class on photography or Photoshop or maybe even guitar. Any class where you’re actively using your brain to acquire a new skill will help you stay sharp.
2. Join a work committee
Check to see if your workplace has any committees, and I don’t mean the party planning kind. Perhaps there is one for organizing guest speakers or developing new organizational processes—anything that forces your brain to switch gears and think differently.
3. Start a book club
Finding time to read can be difficult and often deprioritized. Join or start a work book club to give yourself a reason to read a book every month. Whether it’s specific to workplace development or open to any genre, the act of reading is always a great way to exercise your brain.
Volunteering is often associated with simple, menial tasks, like handing out fliers or collecting ticket stubs, but as a working professional, there are many higher-level volunteer opportunities available that provide personal and professional development. It’s also a great way to apply your skillset to a passion project that might be outside your field of work.
5. Sign up for Meetup.com
Meetup.com lets you connect with groups of people in your area that arrange activities based on a specific interest. Spruce up on your foreign language skills and join a Spanish Speakers group, or head to Toastmasters and brush up on your public speaking. It’s a great way to network and learn something new.
Don’t let your brain turn to mush. It can be simple and fun to keep learning even after graduation.