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Rule #1: You Can Never Stop Learning

Since graduating from university about a year and a half ago (yikes, it’s been that long already??), I have adjusted to a whole new method of education—the online realm. Not that I wasn’t previously being enlightened via the Internet (it is 2011, folks), but I just wasn’t depending on it to the extent of which I do now. And I have learned so much post-university. The best part?? It’s free! (Well for the most part, anyway). Every day I am discovering new resources to teach me about writing, starting a business, managing finances and other random, but useful, life lessons.

(I’ve tried to track some of these resources through my blog roll, in case you’re interested).

The thing is, other than a mandatory course teaching me about the oh-so-fun-and-wonderful (or not) use of HTML coding, my university program did not dedicate much focus to online writing. And thanks to the brilliance of publishing platforms such as this one, I feel no guilt in forgetting everything I learned about HTML from that course, and instead clearing that space in my brain for lessons I will actually have use for (wasn’t that $1,000 well spent?). I don’t want to mess around with coding—and frankly, I don’t have the time nor the patience. Luckily, WordPress organizes all of that jumble for me and I can just get on with my day.

Still, I find it slightly ironic (and perhaps a touch annoying) that 80 per cent of the relevant knowledge I use for my business on a daily basis is self-taught. Don’t get me wrong, I do value the part of my education that came in the form of a $30,000 piece of paper now resting safely within a glass frame, and currently stashed in the back of my closet. If it weren’t for being able to list my degree on my resume, just think of all the job interviews I would have missed out on…uh, wait a second… job interviews? Ha. But all kidding aside, I have taken much valuable wisdom away from my experience at York U. Even if most of the teachings are currently collecting dust on my book shelf, they’re within reach, just waiting for their chance to shine once again. And shine they will—I’ll make sure of it.

My point is, when I graduated from school, I never stopped learning. Rather, my eyes were opened to an entirely different way of gathering new information. And thank goodness for that, because if my lids remained even slightly sealed—I’d have been run over and left for vulture bait at the side of the road a long time ago.

I remember a few years ago, people would ask me why I wanted to pursue a dying field, like journalism. But I refused to let this discourage me. Our world is constantly going through new changes and adapting to suit modern needs; I was confident journalism, too, would be reborn. And it has been—in the form of online writing. Before you know it, your local newsstand will exist in the form of an Amazon account, where you can order any magazine subscription from behind the screen of your touch pad computer. It’s already happening. Not only that, but the opportunities to reach certain goals, such as running your own magazine, no longer appear so far-fetched with the possibilities offered through an online existence. Really, what’s stopping you? You better hop on the e-train before it races right by.

As of recently, I have signed up for a few subscriptions to free e-courses, the point of which is to send relevant and accessible information straight to your inbox. I also follow multiple blogs which offer helpful tips and advice through the pleasurable descriptions of real-life experiences. I hope my own blog can provide similar insight—and I aim toward further improving this aspect. In a field where competition is constant, and getting your voice heard is an ongoing battle in the race to being “the best,” I’m aware the only way to get to the top is by learning from those who have already breathed in the thinning air. I still have much to discover in this field; but that of which I do know, I am willing to share with you.

I do know what it’s like to feel unprepared when stepping out the door into the unknown, only to get a swift slap in the face by the rigid and unforgiving hand of what they call the Real World. I also know you’ve got to zip up and face the wind chill, no matter how freezing cold it feels against your bare skin as it tries pushing you the other way. But if you continue moving forward, keeping your eyes on the destination—you’ll get there eventually. And I hope you, too, will share the stories of your boosts and bruises along the way.


Charlotte is a writer, blogger and amateur photographer based out of Toronto with interests in positivity, creative muse, generational differences and the future of work. She has written for Zoomer Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. She currently blogs for a range of small and medium-sized businesses.

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